Thursday, August 13, 2009

Should Christians Marry Young?

What’s a good age to marry?

Everyone has an opinion, but over the years that opinion has trended upward.

I surprised myself on this a few years ago when a friend was talking about getting married. I said 23 seemed a little young to be getting married, and it was the better part of a day before I remembered my wife was 23 when we got married.

At the same time that Americans are marrying older and older, we’re reaching sexual maturity younger and younger.

Biblical commands to remain celibate until marriage have probably never been easy, but it was almost certainly more obtainable when getting married at 18 was the norm.

Perhaps this is a topic where the church should part ways with the culture, not because of explicit morality but because of wisdom. If our young marry, they have a healthy outlet for impulses that otherwise can lead to not just sin but also pregnancy, disease, and emotional hang-ups, among other problems.

Among the side benefits to be reaped are that married students tend to do better in college and stay out of trouble better, marrying young leads to kids younger which leads to grandkids when you’re young enough to enjoy them, and married couples can live off less money than two singles (important in college and after).

Wouldn’t that lead to more divorces? Since the divorce rate was lower in days when the marrying age was younger, youth alone must not be the problem.

Marrying younger is hardly a cure-all for the problems of the country or the American church, but it has the potential to positively shape the lives of the next generation.


Nancy said...

Hmmm...think I disagree on this one. Maturity makes for better decisions (usually) when they affect your lifetime. Of course, more parental involvement in Christian education might be the answer. A child who is given a proper foundation is less likely to make poor decisions. Thank goodness for a merciful God, without Him...we're all "duck soup"!

ChrisB said...

I understand what you're saying, but once upon a time we considered an 18-year-old an adult. They married for life, started having kids, and got jobs.

Now a 22-year-old is still a kid.

What changed? Is this a symptom of later marriage or vice versa, or are they both symptoms of something else?

Most importantly, is our society better for having an older age of marriage?

Nancy said...

I think our society has moved away from God and that is where the problem originates...not in the controlling of physical or emotional urges.

And, yes it is better for the society and marriage in general when the age of the couple is older. Marriage should be a lifetime commitment...even though we aren't seeing that in our society. Being held to a commitment made while still in the maturing process...can be a terrible cross to bear through out a lifetime...50-60 years, not to mention till death do we almost incomprehensible to a teenager who has yet to learn what commitment entails.

God, being fully aware of this, has enabled us, through His Holy Spirit, to be sealed to Him...without that provision, we would be slipping and sliding in and out of salvation just as we see man in our society slipping and sliding in and out of marital commitments.

jesuslegaleagle said...
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LeeUStudent said...

Coming from a current student who has felt all of the aforementioned feelings and seen and personally thought out the same pros for marrying young that you listed, and already knowing my soul've got my vote on this one. Ha. Thanks for having such an open mind.

Unknown said...

I am 21 years old and have struggled with the answer regarding this question for a looooong time. I agree that younger is better if both are spirit-filled Christians looking to fulfill God's Will in their lives. To the modern world, it seems crazy, but it is sooo what God planned! Thanks for sharing!