Friends of ours married off their son when he just turned 21. Another is getting married at 20 and hey, I was married at 19! Yes, I know, that is really young.
But is marrying young a good idea?
Well, for me it obviously worked. I’m about to celebrate 43 years of marriage this year. Yes, we had a lot of growing up to do. And maybe that is the point. We grew together. We were too young to be set in our ways and basically had to learn how to get along with each other and create our “We” from our “I”. Marriage helped us understand ourselves better. Growing up together can form a powerful union.
Marrying young, we had to build our careers and watch our money. We saved, ate mac and cheese multiple times a week (5 for a dollar back then) and worked at achieving goals together. We shared our music, learned to appreciate art and developed a spiritual life.
The down side of course was that we, (mostly me), were immature and didn’t always handle things well. We made mistakes, lost money on bad decisions and learned things the hard way at times. Mostly though, we had a lot of fun working our way through graduate schools and finding cheap ways to entertain ourselves (so thankful for college hockey!). During those early years, both of us became more focused in graduate school because we didn’t have all the distractions of dating. Our grades went up!
I know the average age of marriage has risen to 29 for men and 27 for women. But those who wait into their late 20s and early 30s also struggle more with depression, drinking and feeling less satisfied with partners. And certainly, the sexual temptation is always present the longer you wait to marry.
So here is my take on marrying young, if you feel you met the right person, know you will struggle some, but have the attitude of building something together and stay spiritually sound, you will probably be fine. The spiritual part is key because there are too many voices in the culture telling you to satisfy yourself and be dissatisfied with everything else. Keep your eyes on Christ, pray together and make your spiritual lives vibrant. That spiritual unity is most important when it comes to preventing divorce and growing together.Should you marry young?