By Sean Callahan
On Feb. 15, Dr. Jason King, professor of theology, had more to talk about than Hershey kisses, heartbreaks and Valentine’s Day. Following the conclusion of 7 p.m. Mass at the Mary Mother of Wisdom Student Chapel, Campus Ministry hosted an event in which King spoke on aspects of a healthy marriage, including conflict, communication and consent.
Twelve students gathered in the Bearcat Lounge to listen to King, while enjoying hot chocolate and donuts. Another student attended the talk via Zoom.
One of King’s first statements emphasized communication abilities as the best indicator of whether or not a marriage will survive.
“In the grand scheme of Christianity, it’s about relationships,” King said. “It’s also about communication—communion, and resolving conflict, which is reconciliation.”
King then engaged with the students through guided questions and discussion. In one instance, he had students discuss the positives and negatives of personality types. King explained how compatible different personalities are in marriage and why their resulting conflict is necessary.
“You argue because you’re passionate and you’re passionate because you care about someone,” King said. “So if you’re not expressing these things, you’re not showing you care.”
Matthew Bryne, a sophomore engineering student present at the talk, felt King had many insightful points regarding relationships.
“Comparing healthy and unhealthy different reactions to specific conflicts really spoke to me,” Bryne said.
Similarly, Karen Dopico, a junior history student also attending the talk, appreciated King’s guide for communication, safety and consent in a relationship.
“I really liked knowing that the word compromise means two promises that come into one,” Dopico said.
And King had much to say about compromise and care, in terms of a relationship.
“Loving sacrifices aren’t meant to be destructive,” King said. “They do cost you, but in the end, they’re meant to give new life.”
He then elaborated on sacrifice and provided a parallel from Christianity.
“The point isn’t ‘great, we killed God,’” King said. “The point is that we did kill God, but He loves us anyway. And now His sacrifice brings us new life.”
In closing, King reiterated his hope that students would remember his communication and conflict strategies, so that it would lead to a healthy relationship and marriage.
“I feel so often relationships are about status, insecurity or loneliness. But God wants good things,” King said. “And so when you’re thinking about how you live and how you talk, it should be like Him.”