Why the “ring by spring” phenomenon has good intentions, but poor execution
For those of you who are not full time students on a Christian college campus, there is a phenomenon I should introduce you to. The idea of “ring by spring,” is the hope that many college students have to get engaged by the spring semester of their senior year.
While this is not universal to Christian campuses, many young females enter college with the notion or hope that they are going to find their forever partner through this journey. This goal of marriage is encouraged by families and communities of faith.
While many people may associate this terminology with “pressure” to get engaged before they graduate, I am here to tell you that there are positives to this trend.
The first reason that this idea is not so terrible is that for people who are ready for life together, they are encouraged to start doing it together sooner. As political scientist Charles Murray puts it, “[Y]ou and your spouse will have made your way together. Whatever happens, you will have shared the experience. And each of you will know that you wouldn’t have become the person you are without the other.”
If you believe you have met the person that you love, why would you want to spend any more time apart from them? This encourages people to not just have long-term half-committed relationships, but actually engage in relationships as they were intended to be by God. Ultimately, Christians believe that the end goal of a relationship is marriage, so what is wrong about encouraging that over “casual relationships” or “hookup culture?”
Another positive surrounding this culture is that the colleges themselves, not just the students, are aware of it. Since they know of the culture, they can provide services that are even more tailored to the students.
One such example of this is Houghton College, a small Christian college located in New York. Since the “ring by spring” culture is so prominent there, the school’s counseling office offers a couple’s retreat to those couples who are engaged or are considering engagement.
If schools can be better equipped for people who are at this stage in life, these couples are more likely to overcome the 50 percent divorce rate that is so commonly mentioned as a reason not to get married young.
A final note on ring by spring revolves around the idea of pressure that comes with this phenomena. Ecclesiastes 3:1 reads, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.” Just because there are some individuals that feel ready to get married by the time their graduation is rolling around does not mean that everyone has to be there, nor that everyone should be there.
God has a plan for everyone’s life and we should not take a silly tradition to such extreme measures if we are uncomfortable doing so.
Ultimately, this “ring by spring” phenomenon is not as bad as some single college girls would have you think it is. With faith in God that everything will turn out as it is supposed to and an objective look on the idea as a whole, it is quite easy to see that “ring by spring” provides a pretty positive outlook on marriage and relationships.
With all that said, good luck out there ladies.