Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Gird Up Thy Cape (Advice for Lonely Geeks, Vol. 1)

Gird Up Thy Cape

(Advice For Lonely Geeks, Vol. 1)

I love geeks. Nerds. Bookworms. Eccentrics. Misfits. Weirdos. I am a compatriot of anyone who is abnormal enough to feel awkward at dinner parties, yet too much in love with their vintage Bradbury books and homemade Batman cape to become a real member of polite society. (And I say real member because we are rather good at faking our way through, unless you inadvertently insult Joss Whedon, at which point we will threaten to stab you with our chopsticks in the middle of the Thai restaurant. Oh, wait, is that just me?) To (mis)quote a book I am reading to the girls, I've had a lifelong appreciation of the Strange, the Odd, and/or the Yummy.

So I can say what's coming next because I understand. I really do. Being an appreciator of the Strange and Odd (and even the Yummy) can be lonely business. It's the existential sadness of realizing no one around you has picked up on the Firefly quote you've just nailed. That you know few people who would (willingly) meet you at Starbucks to talk about the thematic relationship between the Silmarillion and the fall of Old Testament Israel. (Note: if you are that person, name the place and I will buy the coffee). Our geeky interests are deep and passionate, and not everyone will understand why we teared up in the Avengers.

And that's okay. It's okay they don't get us. There are pleasures in otherness. But that's another article. We're talking here about a more universal longing.

Most humans-- geek or not-- realize at some point that God knew His stuff when He said man wasn't meant to be alone. Not everyone is called to marriage. But many of us are. The desire for a spouse is normal and admirable. Yet (as with many good desires that God delays), it can also become an ache. It can also become a thorn. It can squeeze the truth out of what we really believe about the goodness of God, about our worth, and about His intentions towards us.

My friend is one of those geek boys who desires a good thing.  He wants a wife, and has wanted one for as long as he can remember. He is sweet, brave-hearted, imaginative, and chivalrous. But he's still waiting, and he's wondering why.
And then he thinks he knows....romantic prospects for the geeky are just too slim.

He posits the following explanations for the scarcity of suitable mates:

1) Not all of them are single.

2) Not all of them are Christian

3) Not all of them are emotionally stable.

4) Not all of them consider love more important than money.

5) Not all of them are intelligent

6) Not all of them are nerdy

He sums his ideal partner as an "emotionally stable Christian nerd girl who isn't shallow." He is open in theory to long distance relationships, if suspicious of their success, and he suspects arranged marriages would be much easier than the dating/courtship games.

So, to my friend....with all the camaraderie I can muster based on our ten years of acquaintance, with nothing good will and kindness towards you....I have to say--

Gird. Up. Thy. Cape.

Take hope from those moments-- in movie, comic, or novel-- in which the hero, alone and discouraged, wonders if he was fool to ever start the quest or defy the Big Evil. Take hope from the real heroes in the Bible whose "flesh and heart failed them" but who found strength in God to complete their task. Finding a mate is hard-- for anyone-- but it's worth the hardship. (And so is staying single if that is God's calling on your life, but again...different article.)

Let's pretend we're at that Starbucks and we've finished talking Tolkien and now we're talking life. Let's look at those nails you've nailed into the coffin of your romantic aspirations one by one.

Not all of them are single.

Granted. You get +10 honor points for not wanting to steal another dude's Princess Peach.

Not all of them are Christian.

Again, granted. Your prospective wife could be another Felicia Day but if she doesn't share your faith, no amount of shared geekiness will make that marriage work. But it's not just about having an "easier" marriage. The very nature of Christian marriage is to put on daily display the relationship between Christ and the Church. A believing spouse is rightly non-negotiable.

Not all of them are emotionally stable.

When you say you "can't handle women who have emotional disorders," what I hear is that you want a woman who lives with biblical wisdom and maturity. Or at least that's what I hope you are saying. All women are emotionally unstable at least one week out of the month. (And let's not even bring up pregnancy, which is a common side effect of marriage).  Most humans-- male or female-- could be slapped with some kind of "emotional disorder" label if we saw the right shrink. And yet, if we base our lives on the truth of Scripture and rely on the power of the Holy Spirit, we can live with stability and grace. Desiring a woman who bears those characteristics is wise. The Bible talks about her in Proverbs 31 and in 1 Peter. She is clothed with strength and dignity and laughs at the days to come. She is a woman made beautiful by her trust in God and her submission to her husband.

Search out such a woman. But, at the same time, remember that we're fallen too. Even those of us women who fully embrace and search after God's vision of strong, confident biblical womanhood find it an uphill fight. Each of us struggle with some kind of "emotional instability". Your quest is to find a woman who is looking to the Bible to find strength for her own set of weaknesses and seeking to apply truth to her daily life. That is a woman you can handle....if you yourself are looking to the Bible to find the same truth for yourself. You will be able to see, through life and conversation and conduct, whether or not a prospective date is such a woman. She's worth searching out.

Well, the virtual coffee has grown cold and my not-so-virtual children are done with lunch so we'll pick this up tomorrow, eh? next on the list is love and money. Good discussion fodder. See you then.

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