“Married Young”?

It’s Tuesday, March 18th.

I woke up this morning at 7am, ready for the day. Though a little tired I got out of bed immediately, finding that getting dressed and making your bed the moment your alarm goes off is a far superior way to wake up rather than snoozing every 9 minutes. Speaking of which, does anyone know why alarms snooze for 9 minutes? My pastor was curious.

So, as for the title my Fiance and I started Pre-marital counseling this morning! After eating breakfast and getting my coffee ready I drove the 8 minute drive to her house, all the way listening to the Newsboys.

I enjoy having a car. I find it a very peaceful place to think and pray. Even if it’s for a few minutes I still get that alone time that’s just me and the Lord talking and praising him. I’d highly suggest everyone make time for prayer and sharing your heart to Christ on a regular basis because, as I’ve been learning: “when our vertical relationship with Christ is thriving, our horizontal relationships greatly benefit”.

So when Christ is the center, when we trust in Him to provide and give us the love we need then we have the strength to thrive and grow throughout all of life.

So back to counseling.

After picking up my beautiful Fiance we drove a few houses down to Pastor and his Wife’s house where we parked and headed inside. We were greeted cordially with hugs all around and welcomed to sit at the dining room table where our books were waiting for us, having come in sooner than expected!

The first session, lasting over 2 hours was such an encouragement. Many people have had doubts (and complete disapproval) of us getting married young. Though I completely understand why many have their doubts, the disapproval that we’ve come across have proven to me to be un-scriptural and unfounded in reality. The doubts not even being clarified by asking us about it. (So ask if you’d like to know anything!)

Got that covered.

Anyways, counseling went so well! We have a ton of homework to go over, everything from our family life, to our spiritual lives, to why we’re attracted to each other, etc.

So it’s quite a bit to do in a week. (49 pages!)
But I’m so excited.

So besides the encouragement of our families, the affirmation of our pastor and church family, you’re probably interested in the big question, summed up perfectly by a song we’re practicing for choir: “Why?”

So why did we decide this? Well, as we said this morning, it seems like the next logical step. We’ve been together a total of a year and a couple of months, have similar interests, convictions, and life directions. We both believe in the biblical marriage and what must wait for marriage and the progression of a dating relationship that has a purpose of pursuing marriage.

There’s quite a bit of other reasons (more like “sub”-reasons) for moving forward, but I would sum it up by saying that “I want to”.

If there were something Biblically wrong with young marriages then we have problems with Mary and Joseph, as mary was most likely between 16-18 (approx.) And that would also mean that all those in the 1950’s (and any other time) were in sin just for marrying the woman he loved when they were 18. (or the man she loved!)

That makes no sense to me. I find not an emphasis on age, but rather an emphasis on maturity in the scriptures. (c.f. Eph 4:13, Phil 3:15, Col 1:28, Col 4:12)

So what we find is that we as believers are called to maturity in Christ. So if you’re 25 with lots of money yet still lacking godly maturity, then what business do you have bringing a wife into your life? Same thing goes for 18 year-olds. You must get things straight with Christ before you even think about pursuing marriage.

If you disagree and are thinking of marriage to someone not committed to Christ, or are yourself a professed believer not taking Scripture seriously, then check out those verses aforementioned and tell me whether God is for His children growing in maturity in Him. After all, it’s not about my opinion. It’s about God’s word.

As I read the Bible I think about maturity not just before marriage, but in marriage. In Ephesians 5:23-25 Paul clearly lays out the mans role as head of the home, laying down his life in sacrificial love for his wife is whole life.

That’s not a task for the immature. Nor will money get you there.

Laying down my life for my future wife means that today I work hard, pursue purity, and pursue her heart in a godly way that both blesses and encourages her. Though this is no small task, I know that in Christ “all things are possible” and that He will give me the strength to prepare to lay my life down.

Thanks for reading! Make sure to follow if you’d like to read more posts like this and make sure to share if you found it encouraging! Or just leave a comment disagreeing if you’d like, i’d to have some good dialogue!

 

 

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Good Luck to you and Racheal on your new endeavor together.

  2. Concerned says:

    Okay, so I’ve been following this engagement process and all of your posts since you got engaged, and you could probably consider me to be one of those ‘horrible’ people who disagrees with the whole situation. I find that being anonymous in this situation is important so as not to provide distraction for you and your fiance, because in the end, that’s not what this comment is about. The purpose being, that what I have to say is more important than who I am, because this applies to all people getting married young, not just yourselves.

    I should first note that I am not necessarily in your peer group, and got married fairly young myself, albeit not quite as young as you guys.

    I could write for ages about how I feel on this matter, but instead of filling you with my own prejudice and bias, i’m going to hit you with some cold hard facts and back them up, and then at the end, provide some analysis on the situation as a whole.

    I took just five minutes researching data about being married young, and came up with a ton of information, and I’ll submit you one of my favorite links:

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Cohabitation, Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage in the United States (2002). http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/series/sr_23/sr23_022.pdf

    I highly suggest you check out this study. It’s a bit dated, but the information is solid and much more impacting than a wiki article or some Dr. Phil blog post. In it, you will find some very solid evidence that suggests (not my words, by the way):

    1) Young marriage increases divorce risk because young women “don’t know who they are” yet.
    2) Some percentage of young marriage (especially very young marriage) may be associated with impulsiveness, which itself would increase divorce rates.
    3) Divorce rates are highest when women are youngest and have the best chance of remarriage. Couples who marry when the wife is young are exposed to higher risk of divorce due to the wife being more attractive to other men.

    That being said, lets face some more facts and I’ll rebut you:

    1) Yea, you seem to be Biblically grounded and you seem to possess the ‘maturity’ that is discussed in the scriptures, but you admit yourself that there are many reasons and in the end, you are moving ‘forward’ because you “Want to”.
    Let me speak from experience. If I had a dime for every time I wanted to sleep with my girlfriend and fiance before we got married, I’d be a very rich man! What I mean by that is being Biblically grounded is great, but you gotta have some common sense. Wanting to do something for the sheer purpose of your pleasure is not always the right thing and certainly not Biblical. I’m just gonna say it: Being super attracted to someone for ‘a year and some months’ and saying you have ‘similar interests, convictions, and life directions’, sounds to someone who has been married a long time that you are basically horny and need to satisfy yourself. Sorry to be so blunt, but I know for a fact i’m not alone in this analysis.

    2) A study by Bowling Green State University (http://www2.bgsu.edu/offices/mc/news/2011/news103463.html) found that “there is also evidence that a college degree has a protective effect against divorce among all races”.
    However, I’ll admit, i’ve found research and remember hearing lectures in my psych classes during my undergraduate years that the real answer to ‘when should you get married’ is all about what you want out of your marriage, your career, and your life in general.
    I am aware that your fiance does not have a college education, and that, however, you are at least going to school. You may wonder why that seems like a big deal, so let me enlighten you, because both me and my partner have college degrees:
    Essentially, our mental capacity, awareness of society, culture, ethics, you name it, was compounded by college education. The people we were when we graduated high-school, as compared to when we graduated college were completely different. Going to college, pursing an education, teaches you to be have rigid standards for yourself, it opens your eyes to the world around you unlike anything you could have achieved in high-school, and with that comes huge perspective on world issues, politics, health, you name it. The fact that neither of you are there, and one of you is not even pursing it are cause for concern, because having perspective and having those standards teach you work ethic, discipline, and how to handle huge amounts of stress. I mean seriously, what’s more stressful than paying thousands and thousands of dollars and then failing a test or failing a class or flunking out? Talk about nightmares!

    3) I would note the final thing here that is of great cause for concern is the time you have known each other. Yes, I get that some people know each other 6 months and get married. I also know people who wait years and years and years before the get married. And yes, we know people from both sides that are still together today. I’m one of those people that waited about 4-5 years before tying the knot, and from my perspective it is absolutely horrifying to see young people like you guys get married, because you really are under-experienced about what marriage is. I don’t mean that to be insulting, but looking back over my relationship, I feel flabbergasted to consider marrying my partner after a year. There were so many things we didn’t know about each other. There were so many trials we had yet to face. Ask yourself this: How many serious situations has your relationship endured? Because let me tell you, it’s going to be a shock for you if the answer is ‘not many’.
    Going through the college phase, dealing with the stresses of applying, accepting, the distance, and even personal things such as family deaths, illnesses, and travesties are all things our relationship endured before we got married. There is so much to learn about how to communicate, how to endure, and how to really love someone that just doesn’t seem possible for people who have been together for so short a time. That being said, I don’t necessarily think you two will get divorced, or split up before the wedding, but I do think that if you haven’t learned how to love the other person and learned how to communicate, you are in for some very rough times ahead.

    Without a doubt, being founded in God’s word is truly one of the most important things you can be before you get married. Having Him at the center of your life is vital, and having faith is His direction is crucial. That being said, you gotta understand there’s way more to marriage that just that. There are things you two will lack simply because you haven’t been together a long time.

    Know full well that the trials you will face will only compound with the fact that you are so very young, under-experienced, and under-educated. This isn’t just my opinion, it’s shared by those in higher institutions, and those who know one heck of a lot more about marriage than I do.

    Okay, so my rant is pretty much over, and feel free to debate me or comment back and tell me why I’m wrong. I don’t mean any of this as an insult, and I certainly don’t mean to offend any third parties reading this.

    Quite honestly I see you posting things like this on your blog and on FB, and it bothers me that you feel the need to back up your engagement with such propaganda, as if your love for one another, in some way, needs to be justified. If you truly love each other, and truly trust in God, who cares what criticism other people have on your decision? My only aim here is to advise caution, and you can take that any way you wish….

    1. I would also add to this that at no point do you say that your reason for marrying your wife is that you love her. I know I’m late to the party here, but I just came upon this post and am frankly a little horrified that you decided to get married because it felt like the “logical next step”.

  3. Melissa Towle says:

    What a mature perspective! So nice to get to know you through your writing.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s