Three Ways Marrying Young Helped Our Marriage

wedding-3013449_1920.jpgMy wife Rachel and I married at the young age of 18.

No, we were not pregnant, and no we weren’t desperate either. The fact that those questions were raised by nay-Sayers says something about our changing culture.

Back in 1960 72% of all adults age 18 and older were married. In contrast, barely half of all adults in the United States are currently married. If this trend continues we will see an even further downturn in the coming years.

Anyways, being the “60’s couple” that we are, we met and dated at 16, were engaged at 18 and married a few short months later. We dated for a total of one year (“total” because we broke up for a couple of months, but we do not talk about that…)

All that to say we have seen that although marrying young has its difficulties, we have seen some significant benefits as well. As a disclaimer, marrying at any age is a beautiful thing. We just chose this path for us.

One: Financial Communication

Finances are a huge factor for a good marriage. When you disagree on money fundamentals, than you will have problems.

When you’re married before any significant “career” you tend to handle money loosely. You have not established much of a portfolio other than some savings and a vehicle. The simplicity of two hard-working young people coming together financially in marriage can yield great fruit.

I have met other couples who have become very established with bills, subscriptions, etc. before marriage. This isn’t a bad thing, but I have witnessed couples refusing to combine checking accounts simply because of “inconvenience”. I believe that when the Bible calls couples to be “one” that includes one bank account.

Simply said, starting with nothing and combining nothing allows both parties to contribute and grow financially together. And the sooner you establish financial oneness, the better.

Two: Emotional Baggage

Simply because of the passage of time, you will not have as may serious relationships beforehand. This does not apply to all couples, but sexual baggage is a significant issue in today’s day.

Toxic past relationships wreak havoc on the soul. If you are into “serial dating” as the phrase goes, you just date and date and date and date. No thought of marriage whatsoever. This is toxic.

I am not speaking of a serious relationship that have gone bad. Sometimes that is unavoidable. But rather I am speaking of a mindset many young people have of “test driving” a relationship before “purchasing” in marriage. This analogy is terrible on many levels.

Find another young person with the same general life outlook, love for Jesus, and love for you. If you like them and enjoy their company, maybe consider dating for maybe a year and marrying them shortly after? Is that a controversial thought? Maybe not 50 years ago.

Three: Worship Jesus Through the Highs and Lows

Marrying young is not frolicking through the fields, eating skittles, and talking about unicorns. That actually sounds pretty terrible, but that is me.

Marriage, no matter what age has its highs and lows. We are only three years in and we fight about the dumbest things. Can you relate?

The beautiful thing is that we have gone through so much in the most foundational years of our lives together. The human brain is not fully developed until age 25. We still have three more years of neuro-formation until our brains have matured into adults. We get to experience all of these developments and trials together!

The greatest of all is watching each other conform into the image of Christ. From finding a Church we both love, to struggling to learn how to pray together. The beauty is that we can look back in five years (at age 27 and 26) and see how we have grown to love Jesus and each other more and more through the struggle and joy.

It is not a burden to be married at a culturally young age. It is more difficult in many ways, but it is so rewarding! If you are married, when did you get married and how have you seen each other grow through the years?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Two Ways We View Gender Roles

As a Christian who’s married, I see the extreme importance of gender roles and understanding them. Obviously I come at this issue from a Christian perspective, myself being a complimentarian.

So what is a complimentarian? In my marriage it means that my wife and i have distinct roles we play that are equal but different from one another. For instance I believe biblically Elders are to be men. Women are certainly able and in many (if not most!) cases more gifted then men, but God specifically highlights that men are who are to be elders in the church and primary leaders in the home.

This view of course does not give men the permission to be harsh with their wives because of some misguided power-trip (Col 3:19). This means they lay down their lives in loving, leading service to their wives and children. In the same way this doesn’t mean women are worthless “kitchen-workers”,  but rather they hold the incredibly valuable role of wife and discipler of her children.

Also, this doesn’t mean women aren’t gifted by the Holy Spirit in the area of discipleship, leadership, and teaching. In contrast God used and uses women to reach the world for Jesus Christ and to disciple other women who are already in Christ!

So, don’t say that i as a complimentarian have a low view of women. I married one, and she’s fantastic.

Another view point held by some Christians is the “Egalitarian” viewpoint. From my experience, this view says men and women have equal responsibilities and roles. Men don’t necessarily hold the burden of leading and making the final decision on things, and in some cases women may lead as elders.

Now, I don’t have personal experience with this point of view or with a church that holds to it. To be fair, if you’re interested in some “misconceptions” on this view, see this link for details.

[DISCLAIMER I by no means recommend or endorse RHE and obviously, if you read the article, come to different conclusions on gender roles.]

Anyhow, these are two “sub” worldviews that fall within scripture. Obviously not a salvific issue, but certainly an extremely important one if we wish our homes and marriages to be run Biblically.

So what side do you fall on? Complimentarian? Egalitarian? A little of both?

I’d love to see some comments! Thanks for reading!

How Worldview Effects Marriage

Another School post!

Worldview effects marriage in a huge way. The way you view marriage will ultimately affect your marriage for better or worse. Most of us have a combination of good views and bad ones.

As someone who’s a Christians, I see marriage through a biblical lens. I view Biblical marriage as between one man and one woman for life. But this isn’t going to be a post debating these things. I’ll just be presenting why worldview will affect your marriage or future marriage.

Let’s imagine you were raised in a non-christian household, grew up a naturalist, had some morals, but generally took life as it came.

Let’s now imagine another person raised in a Christian household that upheld traditional marriage and saw scripture as the authority.

Now ask these 2 people the same question: What is marriage?

The first might say (and im probably generalizing so don’t quote me) that ring-260892_1280marriage is where two people commit to each other, but it’s not binding by any means. It’s also good to be a caring spouse, but you have to make sure both give 50% to make 100%. So both need to do their parts, and you can be in a happy relationship.

*(this is a very narrow answer, but i had to think of something)

A Christian would probably answer that marriage is a lifelong commitment where a man and woman pledge to love and serve each other no matter what. Even when one gives 0% the other will still give 100% (in a perfect world).

Though these are very general answers, i think it gets the point across that worldview will affect marriage one way or another.

Thanks for reading!

 

Married For a Year!

Of course I mean married for a year and counting, not married for a year and done. Definitely in it for life!

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Pictured above is my wife and I under the tree where we got engaged, I made a scavenger hunt that led to under that tree where the ring! But that feels like forever ago…

This certainly isn’t exhaustive but a few things Jesus has taught me through this year are these:

  1. Listen even when you “know” you’re right.
    -Don’t ever let pride get in the way of listening to her. She needs to be heard and genuinely listened to whether she’s right or wrong.
  2. Let her drive sometimes.
    -As “the man” i like to drive- a lot. And for a while i thought i knew the only way to drive, the only way to steer, brake, etc. Though all those things were well and good, I can be a bit of a push-over and insist my style of driving is superior, leaving my wife feeling nervous whenever she’s driving. So, what I’ve learned is to loosen up and realize preference is just that: preference. (this has applied a myriad of other things)
  3. Find a strength that’s her weakness and vice-versa.
    -Finding something that one of you can do well and the other can’t can be a great (and humbling) learning experience!
  4. Spend time with Jesus .
    -This is one is the most important. Taking the time during the day to sit down, put the phone on airplane mode (BIG struggle for me, no sarcasm there), and dig into God’s Word is the most important way to love your husband or wife. I could write a ton about this one, but in short: When Christ is filling you with His love and truth it will pour into your spouse.
  5. Laugh.
    -No explanation necessary. Just laugh. Together.

Thanks for reading! I’ll be sure to update more on life and marriage and this upcoming year! Also I’ll be the photographer for River of Life and will be posting camp updates and fun throughout the summer!

The Beach and The Burn

There were many memories of laughter on our honeymoon, one of them was our trip to the beach.

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I find it quite fascinating being able to see the curve of the earth and feel the water that may have been halfway around the world some time ago. I thought of what may have swam in that water, sharks? Turtles? Either way it was really fun to spend the day at a peaceful place like the ocean.

I would love in the future to see a sunrise or sunset at the ocean, but we didn’t have that privilege that day. One fun thing we did was building a mini sand fortress!

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I love building in the sand. God gave me the mind to build and design things and i love using that to make anything out of everything. As we dug our mote the sun beat down on my bare back (without sunscreen) unbeknown to me.

As we laid sticks across the entrance and seaweed for added flair Rachel grabbed a couple hermit crabs to be the king and queen (i am so blessed with a fun wife!) and we laughed as our day rolled by.

After wading in the cold water for awhile we decided to take a look around at the seaside shops. We found a little airbrush tattoo place where we got matching daisies (mine was black and red so it was manly of course).

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So after walking around for awhile, we headed back to the hotel for the hour and a half drive. We arrived safely and we decided to chill out and watch something. But as we were about to sit down Rachel noticed some red on me, which then we took a look and i had a terrible sunburn on my back.

We then commenced to remedy it with an aloe spray which dis help a little bit, but time would be the only long term remedy.

But after all the adventure of fun and a little pain, it was worth it and we had a grand ol’ time.

Thanks for reading!

The Honeymoon

Life is finally here! Perfect bliss!

Well… Sort of.

Life? Well, its always been here, now its just shifted up a gear, a gear that involves so much more than just passionate “feely” love.

Perfect bliss? Well, bliss? Sure! But perfect?… Nope.

Life begins as a baby and we’re born as sinners. Life is an uphill climb where we must rely on Christ alone for our strength. But before my theological rhetoric gives you a three page lecture, lets talk about our honeymoon!

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It began as the wedding drew to a close. “normal” clothes donned and the car brought around, we hopped in and got the heck outta there!

Our journey began as we drove down route 58, talking of finally being married and how weird it felt. We stopped briefly to open our plethora (plethora, plethora) of letters, wherein we stocked up on a little wealth in a jar to save for some of the honeymoon.

After the little break we traveled for a couple hours, drove through Franconia notch (gorgeous mountains!)

20140708-170028-61228078.jpg and arrived in NH safely.

Our little resort was quite nice, with pleasant staff and comfortable lodging we were quite happy with the arrangements! We unpacked, felt absolutely exhausted and went to bed.

The next few days were a series of fun and relaxation, transitioning into life together. One things struck me throughout the week:

This isn’t perfect.

And as i said in the beginning, we didnt have “perfect” bliss because we’re imperfect people. Even honeymoons bring out our sinful hearts at times, but it was humbling as i reminded myself that life isn’t hollywood. People don’t always get along and life will never be perfect.

But as i make all you who are close to marriage discouraged, take heart! Marriage is what you make of it, so if you choose to let Christ live through you, then your bad expectations, attitudes, and selfishness will be greatly remedied. As colossians 3 says:

5 Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming. In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth.

“Once walked” is very encouraging! It means that that the sins we once openly walked to can be walked away from in Christ! So as the more sobering moments sink in, the happy ones make me smile also, so stick around for next time and follow me to hear about the good times we had and some of our trips on the honeymoon!

Thanks for reading!

Home.

As our week-long honeymoon comes to a close my wife and I find ourselves adjusting to “real” life.

Everything from making coffee to scheduling our weeks together has been an adventure in and of itself! I personally love it. Laughing as we crack (lame) jokes before bed to stressful shopping where we learn to show grace to each other has all been ways Christ has shown us how He loves His church.

Though i understand that we’re only a week into it, but i can still say that I’m beginning to see more of Jesus in our lives because of our marriage. From telling myself as i feel like saying something snippy “is this ‘laying your life down’ for her?” to when its raining: “don’t let her walk in it without the umbrella!” I find myself seeing (though dimly) how Christ loves His bride: the Church.

And as we settle into “normal” life, or at least the new normal, I hope and pray that I lay my life down every moment for her, “for better or for worse”.

And as we become accustomed to our new home i’ll be writing some more hopefully! So stay tuned as the next post will recount our honeymoon!

Make sure to like and subscribe so you can hear all about it!

Thanks for reading!