Today my husband and I celebrate our 19th wedding anniversary. This is a significant year because I was 19 when we married so now, everyday I have been with him longer than without him.
There are no quips or one-liners to ensure success for every marriage but I will tell you something my husband told me when we were engaged. “Love is a choice.” Pretty profound for a 21 year old kid. Marriage is always better when we are choosing to love.
Here is last year’s post about saving for your anniversary — intentionally adding to your relationship throughout the year. It would work for Valentines Day too, and now is a good time to start.
We’ve been blessed the last few years by our involvement with premarital discipleship at church; walking couples through a curriculum for 6-8 weeks before their marriage. Recently we met with a very young couple. (The girl was the same age as our son.) The leaders chose us because they thought we would be able to warn them about some of uniqueness (difficulties) of marrying young.
Later, they asked us if we think marrying young is good. (Yes.) Their reply: “Even your own kids?”
I know it is popular to say you want your kids to wait until they are 30 years old, have $10,000 in the bank, a steady career and a home. But think seriously about our culture. Do you really expect them to be celibate the entire time? And if they aren’t, what will that bring to the marriage? Ten years of giving away and giving up.
Every year of living adds baggage and drama. The younger you are (to a point), the less issues to work out and the more willing you are to mold yourself to someone else.
Money? Pooling resources makes more sense than locking cabinets. But yes, finances make it hard. Almost as hard as the 30-year-olds who bring a mountain of debt.
How young? I don’t think you should marry before you’ve finished high school. I also believe a little experience supporting yourself (not living with your parents) helps.
The alternative: Recently I found an article called the Perils of Aging Alone. It talks about the high cost of living alone and the fact that, without children — you have no one to take care of you in your old age. She addresses that you aren’t guaranteed your children will take care of you, but if you don’t have any, there is no chance at all. So if you don’t want kids, invest in long-term-care insurance.
Marry young(ish) and make babies. Of course, who you marry is the variable. There are circumstances that prevent a marriage from succeeding, like a spouse who walks away from you and Christ. But you aren’t better suited to foresee that at any particular age.
Marriage isn’t for everyone and neither is marrying young. All I am advocating is: if you know two people who are committed to God and to each other, don’t discourage them because of age alone. What do you think is the secret to marriage? Any advice for those considering it?