I got married when I was 19 years old. I was dumb, poor, and not incredibly mature (I know, hard to believe). With all of those things true, I would do it again. Below are a few reasons why every young person should at least strive for getting married young. Obviously, many of these are interconnected.
- Marriage is meant to be a cornerstone, not a capstone to adulthood. The prevailing thought of, “Get your education, get a career, get money saved up, etc. and then get married” is a line of thinking that is damaging and misunderstands the purpose of marriage. Don’t wait until you think you are mature to get married, let marriage mature you. Don’t wait until you have your plans figured out, figure out your plans with the person you will spend your life with.
- Adolescence is not better than adulthood. It is not good when you are 24, but live and function like you did when you were 18. Adulthood doesn’t just happen because the government declares you an adult on your 18th birthday. It pains me to see so many young people settling for 15 years of adolescence when it should be half of that. Life is too short for these games.
- We are fighting for more than “stability,” we are fighting for holiness. Help me figure this one out, parents want their kids to wait until they are married to have sex. They also want their kids to have all of their ducks in a row (education, money, career, etc.) before they get married. This is a set up for failure. Look through history, the average age for marriage has never been as high as it is right now. This isn’t because we have something figured out that no one else did.
- Everyone that is married knows, when you get married there are character and “baggage” issues that have to get worked through. Many marriages that end quickly are typically because they don’t know how to work through those things in a healthy way. The problem though, is waiting until you are 29 doesn’t make those things go away. Your character issues and baggage that you bring into marriage are going to be there whether you marry at 22 or 29. Nothing revealed my character issues like marriage has. I am glad I got to start working seriously on them at 19, not 29.
- You aren’t your parents. Sadly, many young people need to hear this. The fact of the matter is most young people had either divorced parents or parents who stayed together, despite being miserable. You are not your parents. You are not your parents. Go into marriage not only committed to one another forever, but committed to making your spouse holy and happy. Don’t rob yourself the joys of marriage at a young age because you think you will have a better shot at it if you wait longer and have more in order. If divorce rates show us anything it reveals that it has nothing to do with how much is in order.
- Being poor with someone is more fun than being poor alone. I love that in our first year of marriage my wife and I ate Totino’s pizza, ramen noodles, and cereal for 90% of our dinners. We also slept on an air mattress our first 3 months of marriage. Let’s not pretend THAT is what tanked the sex at the beginning.
- Why not get married young? Seriously? I have never seen a good argument, despite numerous attempts. At the heart of them it is typically some sentiment of, “Life is short, spend your young years for YOU.” Ah, yes… life is short, therefore, be selfish. This line of thinking also has this strange sentiment that getting married means life is over. Where in the world did that idea come from? Life got significantly more interesting and more exciting when I got married. 19 wasn’t too young, at all.