Grand Island’s twist on bible study: Relationship Panels

Women of the Grand Island residence hall normally study the Bible every week. But during February, the month of love, the Resident Assistants (RAs) and Chaplains put together men’s and women’s relationship panels. These panels have been an annual event for around 8 years.

Approximately 40 girls from across the University of Sioux Falls campus gathered together to hear insight from men and women in different relationship stages. The 12 panelists sat in a row in front of the crowd as they answered questions that had been previously submitted by students.

“A lot of opinions are shared and everyone is striving for an answer that glorifies God. I also love that it brings together so many people from around campus, because everyone is excited to learn!” said Haley Seeba, a Grand Island Chaplain.

Panelists from the women’s panel

They enjoy putting together this event, as it helps students from the University of Sioux Falls find answers to certain relationship issues and topics. The Chaplains and RAs find panelists from people they already know, who have a biblical perspective and are single, engaged, or married. The Chaplains believe these panelists provide wisdom from their personal experiences.

“It was interesting to hear from Dr. Hiigel, because even though he and his wife have been married for 40 years, it hasn’t been happy the whole time. He told us counseling saved his life, and that was nice to hear because marriage counseling has such a bad reputation. People from outside their relationship would always assume their marriage was great, but they needed help just like everyone else,” 19 year old male, Alex Nelson said.

The men’s panel has helped give a new perspective on relationships to young men and women, as they hear from men of different ages telling them what made their relationship persevere.

Katelyn, a 19 year old girl engaged to Alex Nelson, attended the panels to get other couple’s perspectives. She said it was good to hear from both sides of particular topic. “I didn’t agree with the part when one man said that women should be submissive. Times change, and I don’t think women have to act submissive anymore. Slavery used to exist, even in the bible, but it doesn’t anymore because the times have changed. All of the other men negated what the one said about submission, so it was nice to hear their side as well.”

Panelists from the men’s panel

“I think these relationship panels are important for women our age, because they help us see how to be strong in a relationship as well as how to be strong single. We often hear stories of negative and bad relationships, but it’s important to hear good stories of healthy and positive relationships as well,” said Rachel Boyer, a freshman from the University of Sioux Falls.

Allowing young women and men to hear the perspective of relationships from men and women of all ages, helps them to see how healthy relationships are maintained. Even though the panelists agreed that not all relationships are the same, there needs to be a level of trust, respect, and spirituality.

“This event was one of the first times that I heard that singleness was a good thing, and was actually better than being in a relationship in some cases,” Seeba said, “I think that is so important to let people know, because it’s very different than what the world tells us.”

This annual activity took place Feb. 12 and 19 at 9pm in the Grand Island Big Lounge. Every year new panelists are invited along with the USF student body to explore love.

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