I”m not going to deny that stereotypes aren’t true when it comes to Bible Colleges. Most stereotypes exist for a reason, and I get to see them everyday. But one that is consistent without fail, is the atmosphere of Marriage on campus. Sure, I met my wife at this exact same school so many years ago, and now that we’re married I look back and think of our whole relationship at school being nothing but odd. Students date quickly, break harshly, and marry young. There is a stigma to the school that the right thing to do as a Christian is to go to graduate, marry, and work in a ministry, and most certainly not in that order. I have seen Freshmen get married, and I have also seen them just as soon divorce. They assume that just because they are both have similar calling in life that that means God wanted them to get married. Phrases like “Bridal college” and “MRS Degree” get tossed around a lot on a small campus like this. Maybe its because we want to rush some sort of change so quickly in a place that changes slowly. I guess even I assumed that I would never be able to find someone else to marry who was a Christian outside of Bible College when I was their age.
It was a lot colder now that it was winter. Stephen and Paul took full advantage of this miracle of nature by exhaling big billowing breathes in order to see their results form a small cloud in the air.
Stephen: “I can see my breathe.”
Paul: “Clearly. Jeez-Louise, its cold. I need to start wearing gloves to class if it’s gonna be like this.”
“I’m just going to go to all my classes still wrapped up in my blankets from now on.”
“Or hop around in my sleeping bag at least.” Paul added.
They continued walking in silence for a little bit before Paul began to speak again. This time, his tone was a little less jovial.
“Uhm…Stephen…What do you think of Mary?”
Stephen already knew where this question was going; they almost always had some sort of talk about her every time they came back from hanging out with her and Maggie.
“She’s alright, I guess.” Stephen followed the question up with one of his own. “Why do you ask?”
“Well I was thinking of asking her if we should start dating.”
Stephen tried to act surprised, “You and Mary?!”
“Don’t try to act surprised; you sound condescending. Yes, me and Mary.”
Stephen stopped walking, and Paul followed suit.
Stephen: “I don’t know if you know this, but I’ve never really liked her.”
Paul: “I know. I can tell when we hang out together.”
“I mean, its not like she’s a bad person, she just rubs me the wrong way.”
“She does kind of have an abrasive personality.”
“Yeah.” Stephen agreed.
Paul continued walking and talking, “And everything is a riddle with her.”
“Well, don’t expect to change her just because you start dating. Some of those things are there to stay.”
“I guess.” Paul resigned.
Stephen brought back his smile with a gleeful insight. “I mean, there is always the conversion by marriage.”
“I don’t think that’s Biblical.”
“Nope.” Paul said.
“Then how come so many Christian’s think that they’ll convert people’s crappy personalities by marrying them?” Stephen joked.
“I have no idea. But I’m not the only one who should be concerned about dating.”
Stephen looked puzzled, “I don’t get it.”
With both of his hands jammed firmly in his pockets, Paul nodded towards his companion. “You, man. Can’t you see that Maggie has a thing for you?”
“We’ve been over this before.”
“And I remember what you said before, but if you aren’t going to say anything, eventually she will.”
Stephen shrugged the notion off. “She’ll probably start dating someone else long before then.”
Paul shook his head. “I doubt it, Maggie may be quiet, but she’s persistent.”
“It’s always the quiet ones…” He muttered.
“Plus,” Paul added, “If you would hurry up and start dating her, we could start having our double dates without you two trying to pretend that you aren’t sitting next to the person you’re attracted to. Ring by Spring: am I wrong?”
“Yes, you are.” Stephen replied, “But I’ll play along.”