College Week: Love and Marriage

If you’ve ever heard someone use the words “God’s will” in a pickup line, chances are you went to Fundy U.

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a ministerial student in possession of a diploma from Fundy U, must be in want of a wife. For all the jokes about women coming to a fundy college in pursuit of their MRS degree,  there is a great deal of genuine fear among fundamentalist parents that if their child goes off to a secular university they may end up unequally yoked to a Presbyterian. This is a fate to be avoided at all costs.

With the incredible pressure to find a spouse, dating at Fundy U is as serious as it is ubiquitous. Every date is a potential mate, after all, and the  mad rush to the altar demands that any interaction between the sexes may be defined as “a date.”

Borrowing a pencil in class? You may need to stop and “define the relationship” with that person first.

Sitting next to someone in church? You’re as good as engaged even if you don’t actually know them.

Eating dinner alone with a member of the opposite sex? It’s time to start picking out the names of your first six children.  I hear Jack is a popular one.

Other opportunities for dating include dating outings with all the rapture of “hand holding” games; Artists Series wherein you get all dressed up and listen to someone scream in Italian for an hour; or best of all trips to the dating parlor complete with hours of optical intercourse.

With college coming to an end and hormones running high, many graduates of Fundy U will be married within a few weeks of getting their diploma. The sad reality is that many will end up divorced as it finally occurs to them that maybe a date to Vespers wasn’t the best way to get to know who their mate was in the real world outside those hallowed halls.

Of course, compared to the alternative of having the type of fundy parents who insist that they be allowed to chose your spouse for you, maybe dating at Fundy U isn’t so bad after all…

84 thoughts on “College Week: Love and Marriage”

  1. “Optical Intercourse” – we called it “Making Eye Babies”

    If I had a dollar for every time I heard “every date is a potential mate” during my high school and college years, I wouldn’t have to worry about finding a job.

  2. So Darrell, not to get too personal, but does your wife know about this evil, driving-people-straight-to-hell, making woman wear pants and men wear long hair web endeavor?

  3. “For the record, I met my wife at Fundy U. She remains one of the few reasons I’m glad I went.”

    My wife is the only reason I’m glad I went. And no we have absolutely no intention of ending the mariage in divorce. 4 years now.

    Anyway I’d add to it that there is constant pressure to get a wife before you leave Fundy U because if you can’t find her in the jackpot of Fundy U how on earth are you going to find a good godly fundy girl out in the real world. They don’t exist and trying to find one would be futile. If you leave Fundy U without a marriage partner then you might as well live the rest of your life as a hermit. Of course that means that if you never went to Fundy U you can rule out any dating, because obviously if the girl is at a non-fundy college then she is probably as rebellious as you are and therefore not a godly fundy girl.

    I had every intention of leaving BJU without a wife. Not purposefully, but no one tickled my fancy. Then when I was in grad school last year it hit and I fell in love with my best friend. I’m so glad I waited for the right one, instead of giving in to the pressures of finding a girl before you graduate. And no I didn’t stay for grad school just so I could have more time to find a wife.

  4. I met my hubby at BJU. He definitely didn’t fit in: a science ed. major who went to public school and came from a broken, abusive family and basically learned to be a very responsible person on his own. He didn’t get along with the fundy “spiritual” leaders and administration. He once wrote a letter to Dr. Berg about a new rule and how it was unconstitutional, and he basically got told “we can do whatever we want” and was put in spiritual counseling. I knew he was a good choice. 🙂

    We tried to supplement our bubble relationship by sneaking kisses in the art building and being off-campus as much as possible.

    He can’t read this blog because it makes him angry. I think he’s still recovering.

  5. And no I didn’t stay for grad school just so I could have more time to find a wife.

    I think this is the whole reason fundy grad school exists. 😀

  6. @Kirsten It took me several MONTHS of lurking here to be able to read it w/o feeling deep anger. I would take a week or 2 break and come back, just to not have to deal w/ the memories. Hope he gets there. Lots of reasons to be angry at what does & has gone on in fundyland.

  7. Major kudos for the literary reference. That’s an appropriate paraphrase, since that book is all about figuring out who people really are.

    I did not meet a wife at BJU. I met my first girlfriend and a whole bunch of crushes, and none of them was the person I thought they were. I still have a lot of friends there who sometimes try to set me up, but suffice it to say that I’m uncomfortable in the BJU dating pool, not just because some of the girls may turn out bad, but because I know I’m too “liberal” for most of them and want to spare us both.

  8. Right on! I think we picked our first four children’s names before we were engaged – maybe before we were even officially “together”. (So far we only have one child.) As I recall, we may have named our first two cats back then, too…

    I was just reflecting last night on the fact that a year or two ago I would have had a hard time enjoying this site because of all the dredged up angst, but now I’m finally at a place where it’s just funny and I can enjoy it without feeling bitter about it. I hope I can also use the perspective I find here to keep me balanced as I enter the new school year at the Fundy U where I work (a much less Fundy U than PCC or BJ, but still…)

  9. @ Kirsten:

    I married an ex-BoJo. He was caught “dating off-campus without permission” with (gasp) a Methodist. The *real* story? He was on break at K-Mart, sitting with a co-worker in the Snack Bar. But the truth didn’t matter; he was told to accept the prescribed discipline. He left instead and I met him a few years later. I’m a Wheaton College (IL) grad, and when I heard his story, I knew I’d found a keeper.

    We’ll celebrate our 27th anniversary this October. Like yours, my husband can’t read this blog either. He says the stories make him nauseated. 30 years…and he’s still recovering…

  10. “The sad reality is that many will end up divorced as it finally occurs to them that maybe a date to Vespers wasn’t the best way to get to know who their mate was in the real world outside those hallowed halls.”
    Reading this gives me tics, so much truth in this little sentence. To add a little more truth, many end up staying in abusive or destructive marriages because to divorce would be a true indication that there is no hope for you to ever truly be ” right with God”. Fundy U seems to attract and breed a style of marriage leadership in men akin to boot camp. In women it means dying to self by unquestionally accepting all forms of abuse from your spouse.
    I don’t believe it exists in every case but I DO believe it exists in MANY cases but we don’t hear about it because of the shame and fear these women live in.
    Sorry to get so serious on this post…

  11. Because my parents were strict, I didn’t have a big problem with the rules (although the things townies got away with was annoying so I didn’t think about it as I dutifully got in bed at 11:00 p.m. on a Friday night). But once I started dating, I found the rules overwhelming and stifling.

    I too met my husband at BJU, and he was already wilder than I because he had a NASB and listened to Steve Green! LOL Assigned tables for supper (apparantly the most common way of meeting one’s spouse among older alumni) ended after my freshman year. I met my guy when we were both in the same play. We’d hang out back stage and talk – a much more normal situation than artificially sitting on those stupid couches (back when BOTH sides of the dating parlor had couches!) I must with shame admit though that our first official date was to see “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” in the FMA. SO humiliating to admit that!

  12. Spot on. Somehow I made it through four years of that nonsense without so much as going on a date. I guess fundy guys don’t go for women who think for themselves and reject the fundy teaching on gender (the present company excepted, of course). You also can’t forget sitting through chapel after chapel after chapel after chapel after chapel on how to find a spouse.

  13. @I am His Beloved

    Unfortunately I do believe this to be true. I know of some abusive situations and the women often feel trapped. That is because if you divorce there is no reconciliation for you. You are permanently stained with a spot that marks you. There is no forgiveness for that sin. And typically the women will end up being blamed anyway. It probably doesn’t help that a lot of people rush off to get married because otherwise they’d break another unforgivable sin, sex outside of marriage. Nothing like raging hormones and marriage as the only outlet to have you rush into an eternal bond that hitherto cannot be broken for any reason even in the most violent of circumstances.

    It is really sad that Fundamentalists take such an immutable stand. They often turn a blind eye to the reality that might be happening because they can offer no other council but, “You must stick with your man.” Kind of sad.

  14. My favorite part: “there is a great deal of genuine fear among fundamentalist parents that if their child goes off to a secular university they may end up unequally yoked to a Presbyterian. This is a fate to be avoided at all costs.”

    LOL.

  15. I don’t see a ring on his finger. This couple is not married! They are sitting way to close to each other and there is no chaperone in sight. They are obviously not right with God. 30 demerits for both of them 🙂

  16. Great! Now I am going to go back to every post and “mouse over” every picture. BTW, I love the caption on the Chapel post from 2 days ago 😀

  17. @Amanda I went on less than 5 dates @ PCC, they were all miserable, and the more they tried to tell people they should be dating, the more I realized that I wouldn’t want to marry a typical PCC girl if she was the last woman on earth. And it was difficult enough finding good roommates & friends you could trust. Here’s to Friday & Saturday night tips delivering pizza! 🙂

  18. <>

    Guilty: I subjected folks at BJU to this for 4 years. Grant taught me how to do it best! It was fun (at least on my side of things)! On the bright side, at least most of the fundy girls I was with backstage were SUPPOSED to be acting, so I never really cared much for dating there. I guess you can say that (even though I was raised a Baptist) there was a flaming Presbyterian waiting to be unearthed! Thanks Camille and Grant!

    <>

    Now I’m going back to as many posts as I can to mouse over the pictures … LOL!

  19. Oops. I cut off the quotes on my last post. Here’s what I ACTUALLY meant to post …

    “Artists Series wherein you get all dressed up and listen to someone scream in Italian for an hour …”

    Guilty: I subjected folks at BJU to this for 4 years. Grant taught me how to do it best! It was fun (at least on my side of things)! On the bright side, at least most of the fundy girls I was with backstage were SUPPOSED to be acting, so I never really cared much for dating there. I guess you can say that (even though I was raised a Baptist) there was a flaming Presbyterian waiting to be unearthed! Thanks Camille and Grant!

    “hint: sometimes when you “mouse over” the pictures there are extra bits of commentary.”

    Now I’m going back to as many posts as I can to mouse over the pictures … LOL!

  20. I’ve only started doing this so don’t bother going back too far.

    How far? I found the “hidden messages” on this post and the chapel one. Are there any others? Oooh, is this the SFL version of backmasking? 🙂

  21. Glad I waited and married someone who did NOT go to Fundy U. . He’s actually employable. 😉 (Meaning, w/ a Fundy U degree, as we all know, it’s much harder to get a job.)

  22. Even at Moody we had jokes about this. MBI Moody Bridal Institute. Where the ladies come to get there bachelors, and the guys come to loose their bachelors. There was an old one before my time. Moody used to have the tower for the radio station with the call letters WMBI on it, We Make Brides Incoperated.

  23. I met my husband my senior year & we only dated our final semester & we’re so glad. He was a townie living with his sister & brother-in-law & neice. BIL was a GA getting his MDiv & was associate pastor at Trinity Bible Church (Mazak’s church). We tried to see if I could go over there since BIL was family & practically a pastor. They let us once because they weren’t sure, then decided it was against the rules. So dumb.

  24. Oh, that picture brings back a nasty memory from BJU… or a few.

    ~~~~~~~
    My then-SO and I were short on money, as students tend to be, so we decided to split a shake at the school snack shop. We had two straws and were merrily slurping away at the same time, looking every bit like the 1950s-era cutesy stereotypical couple in love. I noticed an older woman looking our way and I smiled at her. Big mistake. She was one of those uptight chaperones, not a campus parent or other harmless visitor. She suddenly acted angry, came over to us, and told us that what we were doing looked bad and we had to stop. The rest of the day I was completely flustered, wondering what on Earth this battleaxe saw that was anything less than innocent. This was the era of bigger hair… were our bangs touching or some stupid thing like that? I still have no clue. Even now, I still get rattled thinking about it.
    ~~~~~

    The pressure to marry was intense. I graduated engaged, but we broke it off before we married. I didn’t get married until I was 36 to someone who actually likes having a human being with a brain and an attitude for a wife — and the craziness that comes with all that. My only regret is that I wish I had been better prepared to make the most of life on my own beforehand. I sure didn’t get that help in any Fundy church. (Notice I did _not_ say I wish I had married earlier.)

  25. @ LMcC – it’s behavior like that lady did that makes me really angry at BJU (and such places). Unwritten rules that young people don’t even know they’re breaking that give the uptight folks a chance to lord it over someone else are ridiculous and unfair. If it’s a rule, write it out and let me know. If it’s not a rule, MIND YOUR OWN FREAKING BUSINESS and stop squashing joy.

  26. AFAIK, the era of big hair struck down two more victims that day. He had naturally full and curly hair, and I surely wore enough hairspray in those days to create a wall around my head to protect my mind from impure thoughts. What, did the old bat see a crack in the Aqua Net?

  27. I did not date at FU until my last semester. Of course I inadvertently dated a few times by sitting with a girl for lunch or whatever. I enjoy being the crank and swimming against the tide. During our annual Valentine’s Banquet I would never go. I would just wink and tell people I couldnt go because I had a date. That got me called into several offices for a talking-to.

    I met my wife my last semester there. She did not fit in at FU and that was one of the things that I liked about her. Over eight years of marriage and (gasp!) no children and we are happy as can be.

  28. That picture would have never happened at the PCC I went to. Indirect contact with 2 straws in the same cup. You can share but you must take turns. And the optical intercourse going on! Gross! Those two are going to get kicked out in short order with, I can’t remember the phrase they’d use, something like ‘deviant sex’ forever on their record for the reason they got kicked out of college. No one would believe the truth, it’s too ridiculous!

    PS not only would couples get married within weeks of graduating. It was a known fact that they’d also have a baby in the first year of marriage. Nothing like going from not being allowed to tap someone on the shoulder to going all out after marriage and having a baby, never ever allowing time to actually get to know each other.

  29. “sexual misconduct”. that was the phrase that would be forever on your record for getting kicked out for something way different then what the phrase would mean in the real world.

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