As Valentine’s Day draws near, thoughts turn to love and relationships.
Lipscomb University’s Department of Family and Consumer Sciences is hosting Embrace Reality: Conversations about Dating, Sex and Singleness, a series of activities Feb. 11-13 leading up to Valentine’s Day that focuses on how to build healthy relationships and examines the cultural issues in relationship trends.
“It is important for our students and the community as a whole to understand the principles of healthy relationships,” said John Conger, professor of family and consumer sciences at Lipscomb. “At the end of the day, we all want companionship. We are hardwired for relationships. February is an ideal time to raise awareness of these issues and to provide resources that will make a positive impact on the relationships in our community.”
Conger said this year’s event features leading experts in relationships in a series of events on campus that address a range of related topics. All events are open to the public. These events include:
• 10:55 a.m. • Allen Arena: Michael Johnson featured speaker at The Gathering
Michael Johnson, co-founder and the dean of dating at Future Marriage University, will speak at The Gathering to kick off a week of relationship-building activities for students and the community. Future Marriage University, www.F-M-U.com, was established in 2003 with a mission to equip the church to empower individuals to prepare for marriage just as they would a successful career: intentionally, intelligently – and in advance. Toward that end, Johnson speaks to college students, youth and young adults sharing practical, passionate Biblical truths about sex, dating and relationships. He calls it love education: the missing link between the sex education provided in middle school and the premarital counseling most don’t get until they’re already coupled up.
• 8 a.m.-5 p.m. • Hall of Fame Room, Allen Arena: John Van Epps PICK Training Seminar
Registration fee: $285. Register here.
John Van Epp, president and founder of Love Thinks, LLC, presents an all-day training on Tuesday, Feb. 11, for those wishing to become certified in the P.I.C.K. Program. The P.I.C.K. program (aka: How to Avoid Falling for a Jerk or Jerkette) helps singles know how to safely build healthy romantic relationships while exploring five key areas of a partner that predict what that person will be like in a long-term committed relationship. This course has adult and young adult, Christian and secular versions, and is taught in churches, social agencies, educational settings, and by more than 5,000 chaplains in the military.
Van Epp’s organization Love Thinks is dedicated to building and strengthening relationships before and after marriage. The heart of a vibrant relationship is a strong bond of love, and the Relationship Attachment Model (RAM) provides a picture of love and closeness. When you understand what produces the feelings of love in your relationship, and how these dynamics work together, then you can actively manage your relationship healing hurts and deepening intimacy.
6:30 p.m. • McQuiddy Gym: John van Epp, “How to Avoid Falling in Love with a Jerk”
Van Epp holds a session on relationships for high schoolers. It’s happened to everyone: You meet someone and fall madly in love, and all good judgment and perspective are thrown out the window—until slowly you realize this person isn’t who you thought he/she was. It’s true, love can be blind. But by following the successful and scientifically based program in How to Avoid Falling for a Jerk(ette), you can give love 20/20 vision and see your partner for who that person really is. Based on years of scientific study on marital and premarital happiness, How to Avoid Falling for a Jerk(ette) provides a roadmap to using your head and heart when choosing a life partner.
• 10:55 a.m. • Break out chapels featuring Michael Johnson (men’s chapel) and Kimberly “Brownie” Vaughn (women’s chapel)
Johnson speaks to college students, youth and young adults sharing practical, passionate Biblical truths about sex, dating and relationships. He calls it love education: the missing link between the sex education provided in middle school and the premarital counseling most don’t get until they’re already coupled up.
Kimberly "Brownie" Vaughn is also the author of Sane in a Sex-filled World: 10 Simple Tips for Saving the Best Sex for Mr. Right. She is an active member of the Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Nashville and serves in the Bridge Ministry as a mentor for college female students within Ladies of Virtue. She co-founded She Power Rocks, a community initiative to inspire women. Within this effort, she delivered inspirational messages at college campuses throughout the U.S. including Indiana University, University of North Carolina, Mary Baldwin, Fisk University, and more.
Through the You Are Singled Out movement, she infuses God’s word to go beyond the excuses and lies that entangle many single women. “There’s nothing that a single woman faces that can break her without a willful surrender. Adversities may bend her, bother her, and bruise her...but like a powerful tree, they can’t break her. She has to bloom. She has to blossom. She must continue to build. And building herself up in the Lord is the first step towards growing in greatness.”
• 7 p.m. • Stowe Hall, Swang Center: Kay Hymowitz
Kay S. Hymowitz is the author of Manning Up: How the Rise of Women Is Turning Men Into Boys. She writes extensively on childhood, family issues, poverty, and cultural change in America. Her other books include Marriage and Caste in America: Separate and Unequal Families in a Post-Marital Age and Liberation's Children: Parents and Kids in a Postmodern Age. Hymowitz has also written for many major publications including The New York Times, the Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The New Republic, New York Newsday, The Public Interest, The Wilson Quarterly, and Commentary. She is the William E. Simon Fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a contributing editor of City Journal.
• 9 p.m. • Late-Night Features
Michael Johnson • Stowe Hall, Swang Center; Kimberly “Brownie” Vaughn • Shamblin Theatre
Johnson, co-founder and the dean of dating at Future Marriage University, and Vaughn, an author and women’s activist, will perk up students with 9 p.m. discussions on love and life.
Embrace Reality: Conversations about Dating, Sex and Singleness is sponsored by Lipscomb University’s Cross Chair in Family & Consumer Sciences in the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences, housed in the College of Arts and Sciences. For more information visit, http://www.lipscomb.edu/fcs.