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?

 

 

 

 

 

 

“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!