Recently, I accomplished something quite amazing. Something that very few women have accomplished, despite courageous attempts and valiant efforts. It’s not something you hear about very often, and in my strains to remain humble I have not broadcasted this achievement, but I am broadcasting it now, not to throw myself into the spotlight, but to give hope and encouragement to those who will pick up the noble cause of my quest.
Five years ago, I went to Bible college. And on my first day, as I went through the arduous registration process, figuring out my classes, finding my dorm room, getting over the shock of how small and shabby it was, fending off the badger that had taken up residence in my closet over the summer, meeting my room mate and introducing her to our new pet badger, and saying goodbye to my parents, this sentence was running through the back of my head: “You could meet your husband today.
It was certainly a possibility.
In reality, if you’ve ever been to Bible college, you’ll know that it was a probability. And let me tell you, I was prime Bible college wife material. Allow me to elaborate:
1) I was a pastor’s daughter.
2) I sang on my youth group’s worship team and led Bible studies.
3) My favorite band was Superchic[k] and I had seen Toby Mac in concert at least 5 times.
4) I wore a purity ring and had never had a boyfriend.
5) I had a plethora of gender neutral tee shirts with Scripture and/or Jesus’ face on it.
The odds were stacked against me. Yet here I am, five years later and where’s my ring by spring? I’m not sure, but they definitely didn’t give me my money back.
Here are my best tips for making it out of Bible college without being shackled to a man by the ring finger.
#1) Learn to recognize the “wife scope”: The quickest way to tell if a guy is only interested in being your friend or if he’s looking for someone to take home to his momma is the “wife scope”. Inexperienced Bible college men will be super obvious about it. It comes in the form of a very specific question, posed casually, usually in the cafeteria or in one of the coed common areas: “So, do you think you could see yourself serving a children’s ministry at a small church plant in the northern regions of Peru in the next 4 to 5 years?”
Pause and consider: “What’s your major again?”
“Peruvian missions, with an emphasis in church plants with children’s ministries”
#2) Master the “Don’t talk to me” vibe: Once you realize that you’re on a guy’s wife scope, it’s time to deflect his affections with what I like to call the “don’t talk to me” vibe.
First, use closed body language and avoid eye contact. Even if he’s sitting between you and the white board, and you desperately need to copy down the 5th petal of Calvin’s TULIP, look resolutely in the opposite direction. You can get notes some other time. If you find yourself trapped in his gaze and he attempts conversation, resort to one word answers, half hearted smiles, and non-committal shrugs and grunts. Make sure you’ve alerted your roomie and hall mates to this development, so they can bail you out of a desperate situation. Most importantly, NEVER acknowledge his presence unless he speaks to you directly.
#3) Say crazy stuff: Develop the habit of talking about your “potpourri” of theology as frequently as possible, particularly in class. Say stuff like, “Maybe God is a woman,” or “Is it really necessary to submit?” Granted, you might get your rear handed to you by your professor, but they’re used to hearing crazy stuff. It’s best if you get a little emotional during times like this; it’ll tell your unwanted suitor that you’re a time bomb of insanity just waiting to go off.
#4) Never ever ever EVER bring your Bible to class. Don’t even have one on your smartphone/ipod. Just memorize it (but don’t tell anyone).
There are many other methods to avoiding the wife-seekers of your Bible college. These have worked for me. What has worked for you?