Nick Adrian, Staff Writer
This Tuesday, JSU’s branch of the organization Active Minds held a Relationship Talk with husband and wife Fred and Rochelle Smith titled: “From BFF to Mr. and Mrs.” The couple, who were once JSU students themselves, gave the story of how they met and offered advice on how not only to lead a good relationship, but a good marriage, as well.
While Rochelle Smith is the Director of the Office of Residence Life at JSU and Fred Smith is the director of the Community Foundation of Northeast Alabama, they are also both pastors at the Bridge Christian Center in Alexandria, Ala. They first met while attending school at JSU in gospel choir practice, but did not begin dating until Rochelle was in graduate school and Fred was out of school. They have now been married for fourteen years and came to give advice to students as they “transition from to one day Mr. and Mrs.”
Fred Smith made the point that relationships are one of the few important things in life that we are not tested on.
“You actually are tested to get a driver’s license, but you’re not tested before you get married,” he said. “How do you prepare yourself for something that you’re not tested on?” He went on to explain that this “test” does not come along until you are already married.
Mr. Smith gave two ways for students (or young people, in general) to look at themselves and ask where they are in the process of choosing someone to spend the rest of their life with. The first was to take a closer look at other relationships that we may model our own relationships after – whether they be the romantic relationships of our parents and couples on campus, or platonic relationships we share with our friends.
“Whether you like the model, or you don’t like the model,” he explained, “that model that you see influences how you perceive relationships.”
The second way Mr. Smith discussed was allowing yourself to have good judgment, or “measure” when evaluating someone. He recommended to know how to measure yourself in three areas: measuring your relationship with the model you have chosen, measuring your relationship with your partner, and measuring your relationship with yourself.
He then added one more tip, “I couldn’t leave this out because I figured that this is the real reason for success with any relationship: measure your relationship with God.”
“Good relationships are not accidental. Healthy relationships take work,” Mr. Smith warned.
Rochelle Smith also took the floor, warning about signs of unhealthy relationships.
“Secrecy, dishonesty, lack of respect…make sure you look out for those signs,” she advised.
The couple also wanted to emphasize that it is important not to rush into relationships, even if it seems like it is what everyone else is doing.
“Continue to develop yourself,” Mr. Smith said.
“You’re able, as a single person, to love yourself, show yourself respect…” Mrs. Smith added. “Just treat yourself really, really good. So, that way, you know how you want to be treated.”