BlogathonsStudent Culture, Trends & Issues


Notches On The Bedpost

Jesus told the Samaritan Woman that ‘whoever drinks of this water will thirst again.’ (John 4:13 emphasis mine)

Never before has this Scripture come screaming at me as it does when I watch some of the interactions of students on the college campus. The phenomenon of dating is evolving, and the church isn’t keeping up. The idea of a more traditional mindset of dating where the guy talks with the family…especially the father…about courting his daughter is nothing more than a manuscript of a 1950’s sitcom that airs reruns on TVLand.

Gone are the ideals of respect, trust, love and commitment. They have been replaced with a shallow, worldly view that quantity is all that matters. It’s become more about how many ‘notches one has on their bedpost’ than being focused on ‘becoming’ the right person to serve their future spouse’s needs and be a God-glorifying husband or wife.

The beast that has evolved, or should I say morphed, is a ‘hook-up culture’ that exists solely for the purpose of instant sexual gratification. And the college campus is the perfect breeding ground. No strings attached, has become an understatement. In conversations I’ve had with students, most aren’t looking for long-term relationships. They seem to only focus on the ‘immediate moment at hand’.

On our campus, it’s so prevalent, that students use the term ‘The Thirst’ to describe this culture. And it’s everywhere! One would think that this would be limited to the dorm rooms and campus housing. But these conversations that lead to non-committal sexual encounters are heard in the student center, the classroom, the cafeteria and anywhere in between.

In a recent survey on our campus concerning sexual activity, I found that of those surveyed, “45% admitted to having sex 10 or more times since the beginning of the Fall Semester.” I also found that “57% said they have had up to 6 different sexual partners during that same time period.” “52% admitted to NEVER having any regret after their sexual encounters.” And, it’s reported that as many as 4 young ladies have become pregnant during this same time period.

We have a growing epidemic with no signs of an antidote anywhere on the horizon. But suffice it to say that we are most probably not the only campus with this dilemma. How about your campus? Have you taken a serious look at the ominous sexual climate that surrounds your students?

I truly wish I had a wonder cure for those students suffering from The Thirst, but truth is, as long as hormones rage out of control, this will always be a continual battle. A battle in which we must be willing to get our hands dirty and head to the front lines with those that are engaged in this spiritual temptation. It’s a ‘coming along side of’…a mentorship, if you will, to those lost in desperation and deception. Even though society has chosen to accept this behavior as the norm, we cannot sit idly by and merely be spectators.

Joshua 3:5 is foundational to teaching our students a Godly lifestyle. “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you.” Consecrate…to set apart…to be designated for a special purpose…to be completely dedicated to God.

The Thirst is real, and any student is vulnerable. But God is more powerful than any worldly thirst can ever be. It’s up to those of us on campus to help quench that desire with a taste of Living Water.

See you at The Well.



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  • MJ

    Thanks for your thoughts, Jim! You wrote, “It’s become more about how many ‘notches one has on their bedpost’ than
    being focused on ‘becoming’ the right person to serve their future
    spouse’s needs and be a God-glorifying husband or wife.” – Don’t you think this has to do with the lack of vision today’s college student has for marriage and becoming a “God-glorifying husband or wife?” If all marriage is good for is “guilt free sex” and, as your own survey notes, the kids can have sex already and not feel any regret, WHY GET MARRIED?!? Of course, marriage is so much more than guilt free sex, but I don’t see that message preached often to youth and college students. I don’t even see it preached to singles. It’s only preached to couples as a means of encouraging them not to give up on their lack-luster marriages where guilt-free sex simply doesn’t offer enough incentive to keep their vows. I’m praying for you to be able to cast a greater vision for marriage with your students at Tiffin! God bless you!

  • Hi MJ!
    Thanks for your comment! To answer your question, YES, I certainly do think there is a definite lack of vision among today’s college students concerning marriage. And even more so about ‘becoming a God-glorifying husband or wife’. Now there are plenty of exceptions to this. I mean there are some amazing students out here. But there is just an uncommon ‘silent majority’ of those that are only interested in the ‘immediate fix’.
    I believe we’ve got to take a deeper look in our youth groups & such, and refocus if you will, on the concept of dating. This is way more than a ‘True Love Waits’ campaign! We should be teaching in the Jr. High and Sr. High levels that the ‘becoming’ process is where it’s at!
    Thank you again for your prayers! Time to dive in!

    • MJ

      The “becoming” process. Love that!