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?

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Great Snowfall

This morning consisted of waking up (after a long night of Netflix with my wife) to around two feet of snow on the ground. As someone winter-654442_1920.jpgoriginally from Vermont, now in Virginia, this actually comes as a pleasant “surprise” coating the world with a clean white covering that makes everything feel fresh and new.

After breakfast we went to dig my car out, which was conveniently blocked by around four feet of plow-compacted snow.

As much as my Subaru has been a handful at times, I’m certainly grateful for the all-wheel-drive system. After we cleared the snow she pulled out quite nicely.

I then commenced to drive over to Home Depot and tested my emergency brake in the parking lot just to “make sure it worked”. After my brief fun I purchased a shovel and scraper and my wife and I helped out a young lady who didn’t have a shovel. She wasn’t there to witness our help, but we were grateful to be able to help either way.

Because we’re temporarily at an apartment complex, everyone was out shoveling. So it felt a lot like one big community effort to get rid of the snow. We stayed out shoveling until about noon and went in for some lunch.

After eating, we drove over to our IMG_20160124_132357.jpgstorage unit (which of course wasn’t plowed, pictured) to grab my work boots for my first day on Monday. We then went back to Home Depot to pick up some gloves and sun/safety glasses to prepare for work.

At three we headed over to the apartment clubhouse where we played some pool and watched the AFC championship game (yeah, Broncos!).

Now I’m nervously anticipating the first day at my new job. I’m not even nervous about the work. I’ll enjoy maintenance and construction, It’s just that I have no idea what to expect or what I can look forward to.

I’m sure we can all relate to pre-job anxiety, but I know that God will provide what I need to be content in all circumstances. I’ll be sure to update you all this Tuesday on my experience and impressions!

How much snow did you get?

 

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!