There are probably only two reactions to the title above. You either read it and thought, “Yep. Me too.”, or you read it and thought, “That girl is crazy.” But stick with me here. I have my reasons. J
It’s currently against conventional wisdom to think that marrying young (meaning, in this context, 19 to say 23) could ever even be a good choice, nevertheless yield a successful marriage. After all, how could two young people, who “don’t even know who they are yet”, come together in a marriage? That’ll never work. In a world where marriage itself is under attack, young marriages (and the people in them) are on the front lines.
Just to give some perspective here, I got married when I was 21 (I’m 24 now), and my husband was 22. We graduated college six months early, so that we could get married, go on a honeymoon, then immediately move across the country so my husband could begin several years of chiropractic school. Obviously, I’m biased on this topic. Not going to pretend to not be.
I really think there are some serious, legitimate advantages to getting married young – advantages that, if you get married when you’re further along in life, you might miss out on.
…time to be a married couple without the immediate pressure to have children. My biological clock isn’t ticking real fast yet. We absolutely want children, and hope to begin that journey in the next couple years. But in the meantime, we’ve been blessed with the ability to spend the first several years of our marriage just enjoying our time together, getting used to our new roles, and growing in our marriage. I consider that to be a true blessing because when we bring kids into this world, they’ll be brought into a healthy environment with two parents who first and foremost have a Godly marriage. There’s no better gift to give your kids than that.
…having a spouse to accomplish goals and dreams with. One of the most common objections to getting married young is that you haven’t accomplished enough personal goals yet. You haven’t made your dreams come true yet and having a spouse means giving those dreams up. Here’s the deal: I’d rather have my husband by my side when I do those things, versus doing them on my own. When you get married, your dreams and goals don’t die – they just change. If your own personal satisfaction is more important to you than getting married (at any stage of life), then don’t get married. Marriage wreaks havoc on selfish people.
…less pressure to live together before getting married. I know this is situational, but I essentially went from my mother’s house, to college dorms and apartments, to living with my husband. There was literally zero pressure to live together first because it just couldn’t have happened. I thank God for alleviating that temptation for us. It’s not something we were considering, but it certainly was a temptation.
…still having youthful hopes, dreams, and ignorance that works in your favor. While we’ve always been told how mature we are for our age, my husband and I were still pretty childlike in a lot of ways when we got married. We are eternally optimistic about love, marriage, and relationships. Society keeps telling us God’s way doesn’t work, but we keep seeing how it does.
…less relationship baggage to work through. I’ve had one serious boyfriend in my life. And I married him. The further we go on in life, the more opportunities we have to have our hearts broken. I believe that in marrying young, my husband and I came together with pretty much zero baggage from previous relationships to work through. What a blessing that is.
…having no material possessions, so no need to argue over them. The topic of money is one of the biggest marital stressors there is. But when my husband and I got married, we each had nothing. There was no worrying about protecting our assets. Just 100% financial openness. So from the beginning, we’ve only ever had “our money”. We don’t even know what it’s like for there to be “his money” or “her money”. Another issue avoided at the beginning of our marriage, simply because of when we got married.
It would be silly to say that just marrying young in and of itself has contributed to the success of our marriage. There are other important things I think all married couples should do, and that we did/do, regardless of when they get married (pre-marital counseling, commit to having a Christ-centered marriage, seek the advice of wise family members and friends, commit to growing in your faith together, etc). But I can’t dismiss the fact that getting married young was a supremely better option for us than waiting.
Could the opposite be said too (that there are advantages to marrying when you’re older)? Absolutely. Is marrying young right for everyone? Of course not.It’s a personal, and God-inspired, timing issue that every couple needs to make on their own. I feel like that goes without saying. My only goal in sharing on this topic is to contribute to breaking stereotypes even Christians perpetuate – not all young marriages go sour, and marrying young can be a great choice.
What’s your take? How do you feel about getting married young? Is getting married young a thing of the past? How did age and phase of life play a positive or negative role in your marriage?