Ten Darn Good Reasons to Get Married and Have Kids Young

By Thursday, May 23, 2013 61 No tags Permalink 0

“Why are you traveling to Europe?” asks the man behind the counter.

“We are here on vacation for our tenth anniversary.”

He lifts his head up from our passports with an awkward stare of shocked disbelief.

“You two aren’t old enough to have been married for ten years,” he says, struggling to ascertain the real reason we are in his line at immigration control.

“We got married young. I was twenty, she was eighteen. We are thirty and twenty-eight now, with four kids and number five on the way!”

His look of shock turns to a sarcastic smirk, as he laughingly says, “That’s insane. I’m thirty and not getting married anytime soon. I can’t understand why anyone would want to get married so young, let alone have kids. Have fun in London.”

He shakes his head, stamps our passports and waves us through.

And with this singular encounter, I have just summarized the last ten years of our lives – full of confused stares and awkward questions.

So in light of ten years, I want to offer ten reasons why it’s not only okay, but can be very good to get married and have children young.

  1. Because you get to grow up together AND grow old together.
  2. Because you are fighting for holiness. Despite our culture’s broad acceptance of sex outside of marriage, co-habitation and more, God has given us a right and better way to enjoy sex within the meaningful and satisfying confines of covenant marriage. When you’re young, your hormones are going nuts and you’re a lot more likely to make stupid sexual mistakes that could potentially cause a lot of physical and emotional damage to yourself and others. I’m not saying marry just anyone so you can have sex, but if you’re “burning with passion” (1 Cor. 7:9), getting married young helps protect and empower you as you contend for the holiness of yourself and your spouse.
  3. Because you will never really find the right person and if you do, you’re probably not the right person for them – at least for long. I don’t mean this to sound fatalistic and this doesn’t mean just marry the next person you date because you’re not gonna find “the one.” Certainly you should have standards that honor God and set you up for a fighting chance to win at marriage. But you’re both gonna change a ton over the years. Both Amanda and I are completely different people than we were ten years ago. We have both gone through various phases of personality and passions. It is like my wife has been three different women over the last decade. I have loved all three versions of her, and she has loved most of the eight or so versions of me. The inevitability of change is one of the key reasons we make a promise to love, honor and cherish each other’s future selves.
  4. Because you’re never really going to be ready. You will always want to make more money, do more things, and go more places. Getting married and having kids young just means that you get to do all those things with the one you love by your side as your partner. Sure, you may have to get creative and work hard, but you’re gonna have to do those things anyway if you ever want to accomplish anything worth doing.
  5. Because few things can sanctify you like a spouse and children. God the Holy Spirit uses these gifts to mature and help you grow up; changing you for the better. Nothing confronts your selfishness and depravity like putting the needs of others before your own needs. Marriage is hard work. Parenting is no walk in the park (though it sometimes involves walks in the park). It’s fun and rewarding, but in no way is it easy or comfortable. Yet God has not called us to comfort and ease. He’s called us to die to self and be made into his image and few things help us do this like our spouse and kids.
  6. Because having kids is better than having dogs. Dogs can’t laugh at your dumb jokes or tell you they love you in just the right way to melt your heart for the millionth time. They can’t take care of you when you’re old. You will never be your dog’s hero. Your dog will never come to you for advice. You will never watch with amazement as your dog comes to saving faith in Jesus. You will not spend eternity worshiping Jesus with your dog.
  7. Because having kids doesn’t mean life as you know it is over. When you get married and have kids young, you are a lot less likely to make your entire life about your kids. You still have things you want to do and having children young doesn’t mean you have to put everything on hold until those little guys are out of the house (they don’t stay little for long). They are not running the show. Your spouse is the most important person in your life and will be there after your kids are out of the house. So do yourself a favor and don’t make your life all about your kids. Date each other, do fun things together, go on vacations together and enjoy life. I’m not saying ignore your kids or be irresponsible, or that there won’t be seasons that you need to ratchet back, but your kids won’t die if they aren’t the center of attention.
  8. Because when you’re young, you have more stamina and vitality. This is incredibly helpful both biologically when it comes to starting a family, as well as practically when it comes to the many complex and amazing aspects of marriage and parenting. Sleepless nights with a newborn, rolling around on the floor, playing ball, wrestling or carrying kids on your shoulders for hours on end – all are much easier when you’re in your prime. Not to mention how much more you will enjoy your grandkids when you’re still young and your kids start bringing those little guys into the world.
  9. Because you don’t want to be confused for the grandparents at your kids’ graduation, but it might be nice to be confused for the parents at your grandkids’ graduation.
  10. Because having kids young means they graduate and are out of the house when you’re still young. Only instead of being young and broke, you’ll be young with money. You’ll likely have spent years establishing your career and finances, and will have the finances and freedom to do many of the things you always wanted to do.

Obviously this is not for everyone. God calls different people to different things and not everyone is called to marry and have children young. But by all means, this is appropriate and good for many and just because it is strange to the culture we live in doesn’t mean it’s wrong. It’s an adventure and adventures take courage.

61 Comments
  • Damian
    May 23, 2013

    This is absolutely brilliant.

    It is so true, too.
    Something I’ve thought about a lot lately. Our culture is all for marrying very late and then having kids. And that does work for some people.
    But if you find the right girl/guy, don’t waste time for the sake of marrying late.
    You just need to make sure that they love Jesus as much as you do so that you can build each other up and grow together in your own spiritual journeys.

    Thank you, Stephen, for this blog.
    It was really great.

    God bless you.

  • Cody Patterson
    May 24, 2013

    Thank you so much for this article it is great!

  • Ryan
    May 24, 2013

    I got married at 23, 11 years later I have a 3 year old and a 2 month old. I wouldn’t change a thing because the kids I have are amazing but my one regret is not having them sooner.

    P.S Your site is in typographical crisis, this should help:

    font-size: 14px;
    line-height: 120%;

  • Vivian
    May 24, 2013

    very true! my husband and I got married young as well , 20 and 19. We have 3 boys and have been married for 15 years. It has been a great adventure, great challenges and if laughs as the 5 of us have grown up together. God is faithful! Thanks for you article..

  • Chris Rutherford
    May 24, 2013

    I Married at age 25. I wasn’t ready or mature enough (nor had I found the right person) until then. We had children right away. I am not even 29 and have 2 boys. I must say these are good points and completely valid. I don’t believe they are for everyone though. I would not mock or judge anyone who gets married young. There are risks at getting married at any age. The plain truth is that it will take work, God will have to be center of your union or it most-likely won’t work.

    Age is a small factor. You need to be open, accepting, flexible and a myriad of other qualities must be obtained to have a strong and healthy marriage. There is no one right answer or path to get there. There are merely observations and experience of others you can take. Put God first, then your spouse, then yourself and then your child. God will help you take care of you with your spouse. As parents you need to be well enough to take care of your children. Put God at the center and prayer a priority before any decision and it will be ok.

  • Jennifer Flanders
    May 24, 2013

    My husband and I got married fairly young (20 and 22), got pregnant two weeks into the honeymoon, and have had a child every couple of years for the twenty-five years that followed (for a total of 12 children, plus 5 grandchildren, so far). Was it hard? Sometimes. Do we regret it? Not for a minute! As you say, we’ve had the privilege of growing up alongside our kids, and of taking them along on all our adventures, from training for marathons and triathlons to backpacking Europe. Thanks so much for a great article. I hope lots and lots of young people will read it and take it to heart!

  • Charlotte
    May 25, 2013

    We got married at age 20 and absolutely do NOT regret it! Like Jennifer, we have 12 children and five grands and I love having a first grader at age 53! Having grown children is an amazing joy and we are SO glad we had them when we did. We’ll be married 33 years this summer and my husband is still the one I love spending time with more than anyone. I agree with all of your points (well, except maybe #9 and #10. My husband loves it when someone mistakes him for being the grandparent of our 7yo and 9yo, lol).

  • David Wakeman
    May 25, 2013

    Although I’m in my 30′s and single, I can provide a different perspective. I appreciate that my parents married and had me young. My parents are only in their 50′s, so I may get to enjoy them here for the next 30 years!

  • David
    May 26, 2013

    I too was twenty and my wife eighteen when we got married. On our honeymoon trip across America, we were denied hotel rooms because of our age on multiple occasions. It got to the point where we just bought a tent and camped the rest of it! I’m 23 now and our first daughter has just arrived. REALLY looking forward to the next sixty years (or more!) with my wonderful wife.

  • kas3pa
    June 1, 2013

    you might want to check your browser cause unless your reading this on your phone it should be easy to read. looks to be about 14pt font which is larger than the average 12pt. so before you send someone a link about readability maybe you should check out windows for dummies

  • Brittany
    June 7, 2013

    I love this! Thank you. My husband and I married young and have four small children. We have talked about most of these things together. We have so much time to do what we want after our kids are out of the house and we are still young. I wouldn’t have it any other way!

  • marriedlate
    June 7, 2013

    Well, you marry, when you’ve found the right one, whether that’s early or late in life. Bummer if you get married too early because you think of all these reasons why this is such a good idea and then find out you should have waited just a little bit longer for someone who is a way better match.

    • Jenn
      June 8, 2013

      I guess the point is you can’t know if you’ll find someone better, and if you find someone who wants the same things in life generally, then there isn’t a good reason to wait. I thought I found my someone at 19, and I foolishly hung on to a relationship (and a person) that didn’t glorify God and wasn’t going anywhere. I praise God for that relationship, though, because it helped lead me to my husband. We quickly knew we were a good match, and married without much delay. We’ll be having our 3rd child a few months after our 4th wedding anniversary. We were not financially stable, but God has provided and there was no reason for us not to have married when we did.

      I often think of what would have happened if I would have married the first guy. I am pretty sure my life would have been harder, but I would certainly be refined in a different way by loving someone who wasn’t pursuing a relationship with God.

  • Sarah
    June 8, 2013

    My husband and I were married at 23 and are expecting our first child at 26. Though this isn’t super young, we are still in a totally different stage of life as our friends. We constantly talk of how thankful we are to be married young.

    Please be cautious with your message for the young men and women who desire holiness and long to be married, but have not found it yet. My heart goes out to my girlfriends who want to be wives and mothers and are wonderfully Godly women who trust God, but haven’t found their soulmate. Many people would like to be married sooner, but it’s not what The Lord has for them.

    I am blessed by all of the comments of people who have married young and spent many wonderful years “growing up and growing old” with their spouses. I look forward to 50+ more years with my husband and pending children.

  • KWitham
    June 8, 2013

    This article is full of so much truth and wisdom!! Wonderful! But I challenge you to prayerfully reconsider #9 and #10 in light of Biblical principles. You have seen the blessing of God’s ways in marrying and having children when you were young…maybe because you are still young, you don’t realize that He may want to continue to bless you, continue to sanctify and mature you in this way…what if He wants to bless you with children at age 40? His ways are still the best, even if you might be mistaken for the grandparents at your youngest child’s graduation, and what you lack in physical stamina with “late” life children, you make up for in wisdom and patience and pure enjoyment!! Don’t be short-changed by conforming to the world’s thinking and robbed by Satan’s deceptive strategems :)

  • Matt Svoboda
    June 8, 2013

    Great blog post!

    Now, please change away from a black back ground with white words so I dont get a headache just from reading it!

    • Tina
      June 9, 2013

      I agree! Great post, yet, because of the black background, it took everything within me to sit still long enough to read it–and my eyes are aching as a result.

      God bless you!
      Tina

    • Lois
      June 11, 2013

      I agree! The white font on black is very difficult to read!

      But great article! We too married young and had a baby within a year and a half. she is the joy of our lives!

  • Joe
    June 8, 2013

    I am 21 and my fiancee is 20, our wedding date is July 20th of this year. We are very excited and this article was an encouraging read! Thanks.

  • Kath H
    June 8, 2013

    Thanks, I appreciated your take. Husband and I were the talk of our town for marrying at 24, and 19, respectively. His biggest reason for wanting children when young (were finally able to have our first, three years later) is that he wants to know his children, and have them know him, as long as he possibly can. Not to mention grandchildren. What a selfish generation we have who will be depriving their children of precious years knowing their parents and grandparents. Just another angle.

  • sam
    June 8, 2013

    LOVE THIS!! My husband and I married at 20&21…15 years and 3 precious kiddos later we are enjoying life!! My only regret is not having a 4th (pairs have a playmate) Last Christmas I bought matching rockers for the front porch.. so we can rock & grow old together :)

    ps.. blog hard on the eyes.. 18″laptop

  • Glennda
    June 9, 2013

    My husband and I married young and found out we were infertile. The rest of the world isn’t sensitive enough to consider this and as a member of the Christian community, maybe this should be considered before writing a post like this. Many of your infertile readers will feel the pang of childlessness and the idea of failure will resurface upon reading this article.

    • Tara
      June 9, 2013

      I don’t read your blog. Don’t even know who you are. I came here upon hearing my sister was upset after reading a blog today. (I had to search a while because she didn’t tell me the source, only what it said.) Apparently you wrote this with frustration due to people assuming you were crazy/ignorant to marry so young. I understand the reason for your post, but may I PLEASE bring to your attention that not all people have a CHOICE. While hearing those comments must be hard, I’m willing to bet it’s not as hard as infertility. Annoying, maybe. Painful, I doubt it. I’m gonna let you in on something. Your post here just ripped open a fresh wound that my sister has been working on healing for years. YEARS. (specifically #6) I am sitting here with a pounding heart, and crying, because I am trying to understand how you couldn’t have realized this? I sincerely hope you are just uneducated about this, and that you don’t know anyone personally that has lived with this heartbreak. If you didn’t previously know, you do now. And if you did, well then shame on you. This was unbelievably cruel. You were trying to defend your CHOICE of marrying early, but you completely highlighted someone elses painful reality in which they had no vote. As I said, I know nothing about you, and I truly hope you were just unaware of how your words would sting. However,now that you are, I hope an apology will follow. It is surely needed.

    • Tara
      June 9, 2013

      Sorry Glennda, this wasn’t directed at you, obviously. I tried to reply to you to say thank you, and somehow my message to the author got put here too. I agree with you 100%. Hugs.

    • Stephen
      June 10, 2013

      Glennda, I am so sorry for the pain you are experiencing. We have many friends who struggle with infertility, and although we do have two bio daughters as well as two beautiful adopted sons, this past year we struggled through some deep pain as my wife miscarried twice (once the night before my birthday, the second baby while we were celebrating Christmas with our family). We all have different struggles and pain that can be very deep and this blog is certainly not trying to make light of that. It was, rather, a response to the common mindset in our culture today that marriage and children are a burden and a hindrance to a fulfilling life. Still, it is completely understandable that topics about building a family will be very painful to those struggling in various ways in this area. My wife and I will be praying for you and your husband, that the Lord would give you peace beyond comprehension as you seek Him in this. Thank you for a respectful response to such a painful issue for you.

  • Rachel
    June 9, 2013

    Although to an extent I agree with your post, I will be nearly 24 when I get married next year, there are other things that I disagree with.
    There are a few other couples I know who are marrying at only 20 in the middle of their degree and I think waiting just that extra year would help them financially and remove unnecessary stress.
    What about waiting as a Biblical principle? If I had married at 20, I never would have completed my degree or even started one, I would never have formed my identity in Christ. Without someone else there I’ve been able to discover God’s calling on my life. As much as I love my fiancé and wish we were married now I’m also grateful that I have had time as a single pringle. I will never get this time again and to wish it away or waste it seems a shame.

    Obviously I don’t mean this as disrespect to anyone who did marry younger than I, but just throwing another side out there.

  • Grace
    June 9, 2013

    My husband and I met when we were 23 and 24. We married when I was 24 and a couple months after he turned 26.
    Our first child was born 4 days before our first anniversary.
    We’ll have been married 5 years this August and we have a 1, 2 and 3 year old currently.
    Is it exhausting? Certainly. Is it fun? Most of the time.
    I recently mentioned to someone “when we have our next child…” and received incredulous looks.
    I am glad to be having my children young. My parents had two much later in life and I love my younger brothers but I have seen how exhausted they are. Children given later in life are most definitely blessings but again, I’m glad to be young.

  • Single&Satisfied
    June 9, 2013

    Ok look, I’m not saying marriage is never gonna work. My grandparents have been married over 65 years and they’re still deeply in love with each other. I’m just saying when you get married, you’re taking a 50/50 chance. My parents, on the other hand, were married 25 years and then divorced. My dad lost everything, all the money was spent on lawyers, and he can’t even afford to start his seasonal business without borrowing money. It’s been miserable seeing your parents not being able to get along and their lives crumbling apart. Neither of them have money and don’t own a house or land.

    75% of marriages end in divorce, and 50% of “Christian” marriages end in divorce. If you want to marry, I wish you the best of luck, but just remember you’re taking a chance. Divorce in an ungly thing guys. A once beautiful marriage where all these “vows” (which hardly mean anything these days) were made winds up being the ugliest mess you can imagine.

    Proceed with caution.

  • Cameron Waddel
    June 9, 2013

    Sometimes it’s not by choice. I didn’t get married until I was 31. That was because I couldn’t get a girlfriend. I was always turned down. Met my wonderful wife online who ended up being a first cousin of my church friends. Unfortunately neither of us was ready of marriage and it became very sick and also violent (my part) so we have temporarily separated to work on ourselves. Hopefully we will get back together in the near future and have a normal marriage. We have 4 children, 10, 6, 4 and 2.

  • HeatherHH
    June 10, 2013

    The average American woman doesn’t even marry until she’s almost 27 years old. By that time, I had been married 9 years and was the mother of 5 children. The Bible is pretty unequivocal that children are a blessing, and it’s great to see other Christians embracing that truth in the early years of young marriages.

    However, it’s sad to see them doing it while running down those blessings when they arrive in the 30s or even 40s. And there still is the underlying tone that “Yeah, kids are great, but they really put a cramp on the good life, and we want to get all the hard work out of the way when we’re young and energetic so we can really enjoy our middle years without the burden.”

    By God’s grace, I hope to experience the blessing of children born to me in my 30s and even 40s as well. And so what, if I’m confused for my youngest’s grandparent or am no longer “young” when he/she leaves home? Another life created in His image and raised for His glory has far richer rewards than being footloose and fancy-free in my middle years.

    • Amy
      June 12, 2013

      Actually, the average is 26. However, keep in mind that many of us have had no choice in the matter. I for one had hoped to marry by 22. But I had NO offers. Not even a date by then. I’m not a terribly unattractive woman, I’m told, and I’m a wonderful cook and great with children (I’m an educator for a living even) . . . nothing other than God’s timing provides a suitable explanation for this delay. I think it great if people are able to get married early – but I think it is hateful and hurtful to judge others for not marrying in YOUR time frame, when clearly God has other things in mind for them. I’m not sure why I’m still single – but when I meet the man I am to marry, I’m sure I’ll see why God had me wait for so long. In the end it’s HIS timing I’m worried about. And I’d appreciate it if the church would stop assuming I’m some hag just because I’m not married yet!

  • Danielle
    June 10, 2013

    Thanks for the article. My Husbnd and I were married young and we have two children and number three on the way. I have found it is kind of lonely, we are the only couple as young as we are with kids. So the single that are our age kinda shy away because they can’t relate to having a family and the older couples are in a different stage in life, where their kids are more of a blessing instead of a bunch of mess makers. I don’t regret it one bit, but it makes me sad that there aren’t more who feel as I do about marrying young.

  • Lindsey
    June 10, 2013

    My husband and I have been married for three years. I was 21 when we got married, and he was 23. We have been together since I was 18. I constantly have people ask me WHY the heck I would want to be married so young. It actually just makes me laugh. However, we have not hopped on the baby bandwagon yet. While I understand that you’ll never really be ready, I’m REALLY not ready to be a mom. I am deep in the throes of becoming a CPA (one year of work experience and one of four exams down), and I make a lot more money than my husband does. I am pretty sure I’ll never have the privilege of being a stay at home mom, but I also don’t want to work as much as I am now (50-60 hours per week) when we do have kids. So, we are waiting. I still want to be young when we have kids, but I don’t see anything wrong with waiting a few more years. Plus, we have two amazingly adorable dog babies that you speak so negatively of. ;)

    • Lindsey
      June 10, 2013

      Correction, we’ve been married for two years! Oops. =)

  • Becky
    June 10, 2013

    Well, we married at 23 and 21, and we sure tried to have kids young. And tried. And tried. And tried. And after years of infertility, treatments, people asking us when in heaven’s name were we going to start a family… we were blessed with a daughter through adoption at ages 31 and 29. We are now 34 and 32 and are beginning the process to adopt again.

    While it would be nice to check off all of those ten things on your list, for some people, it’s just not reality.

  • Amanda G.
    June 11, 2013

    I was 19 and my husband was 21 when we married! Now we are approaching our 20th annniversary this year. I think it is wonderful to grow up together. We didn’t have any habbits or preferences that were developed by living alone, so that was not an issue when we married. I went from living at home with my family to being a wife in my own home. We did wait five years before we started having chidlren – that is my only regret. I wish we would have started younger, too. We have four children now, and have often said we are getting too old to keep starting over with a newborn – ha! So YEs – get married young, have babies young, and enjoy LIFE the way the Lord meant us to!

  • Kneeland
    June 12, 2013

    AMEN! Why is it that culture shapes us so much as Christians today and not God’s word. Thanks for posting this Stephen.

  • DKH
    June 12, 2013

    Great until this:

    “Because having kids is better than having dogs. Dogs can’t laugh at your dumb jokes or tell you they love you in just the right way to melt your heart for the millionth time. They can’t take care of you when you’re old. You will never be your dog’s hero. Your dog will never come to you for advice. You will never watch with amazement as your dog comes to saving faith in Jesus. You will not spend eternity worshiping Jesus with your dog.”

    1. This is opinion
    2. My dogs DO tell me they love me. Daily. And melt my heart. It’s wonderful to see hard work and training pay off with visits to nursing homes and hospitals. They show their love with a simple head-on-knee gesture and a hand reaching out to stroke them. Not only does that melt my heart for the millionth time, but it reminds me of how helpful and intelligent they are.
    3. ^They can lead an old man who hasn’t moved in a long time to reach out and touch them. They are very helpful to old people at the end of their lives!
    4. I am my dog’s hero! All I have to do is say, “Wanna treat?” actually, he doesn’t abandon me. He is attached to my hip and states at me with the biggest eyes ever!
    5. He may not ask me for advice, but he looks to me when we run agility for direction. He makes sure to follow where I point him to go! And pays attention to my every step, the direction of my feet, the palm of my hand. He makes sure that his paws follow my body, and we are a team. He can’t ask in words, but he searches for it with his eyes and heart!
    6. I can’t watch my dog be saved by grace because he is not human. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t believe he has a place after death. I believe God takes care of ALL his creatures, not just the humans. Everything on this earth is His, including our dogs.
    7. The brings me to the last point. How can you know that I will or will not spend eternity with my dog(s)? I have enough faith to believe that in the end our animals will be taken care of. God claims that all the creatures and all the plants now down and proclaim his name. Dogs not excluded.

    This isn’t to say that I don’t want children, but don’t underestimate the power of a dog, or the love some of us have for our dogs. The rest is great.

  • Tonya
    June 12, 2013

    I was 16 and my husband was 19 when we got married and in July we will celebrate 30 years of marriage. It wasn’t always easy but we’ve done it! We have 4 beautiful children (25,23,18&16) We’ve had to work hard but it is so worth it. My husband finished college and I finished high school, married. The Lord has been and will always be our foundation.

  • Anonymous
    June 12, 2013

    I totally disagree with quite a few things here. Just because there is the possibility of sinning sexually, it doesn’t mean you should run off and get married to make the hormonally charged impulses Biblically okay. That’s cowardly and weak-minded.

  • Rico
    June 12, 2013

    Excellent article. I hope young people will read it and take your advice to heart.

    Proverbs 5:18 says rejoice in the wife of your **youth**

  • Amy
    June 12, 2013

    “Because having kids is better than having dogs. Dogs can’t laugh at your dumb jokes or tell you they love you in just the right way to melt your heart for the millionth time. They can’t take care of you when you’re old. You will never be your dog’s hero. Your dog will never come to you for advice. You will never watch with amazement as your dog comes to saving faith in Jesus. You will not spend eternity worshiping Jesus with your dog.”

    Ouch! Talk about salt in a wound! Speaking as a 28 year old, still single woman who owns a dog. This wasn’t my first choice in life. I had hoped to be married by 22 and having kids by 26. But God had other plans for me. This article strikes me as judgmental at the very least if not downright hurtful to those, who are still single in our late 20s and even into our 30s – not because we CHOSE to.

    Getting married young CAN be great. But getting married at ANY AGE – provided God is the center of the relationship – is a WONDERFUL thing! Let’s not judge one another about God’s timing.

  • Jennifer Maassen
    June 13, 2013

    Thank you for this post. Far too many people are afraid of marriage, which is something that God created for our enjoyment and benefit. The same is true of parenthood. I will eagerly follow your writing in the future.

  • Jason
    June 13, 2013

    I see these “arguments for marrying young” circulated at least a couple times a year. They are always filled with presumption and simplistic arguments from one end to the other, and this is one of the worst of the bunch, probably because you add the “having kids young” as a component.

    Good for you for getting married when you did. But why does that make your story an argument for marrying young in general? A lot of couples who married later (I married at 32) can argue from their experience why the timing was good, and how they can see God in it, and why they were better off for it. How about, instead of arguing whether marrying older/ younger is better, we cultivate godly character in people’s lives so that they are ready for marriage whenever it happens?

    So instead of arguing that marrying early helps you fight lust because you can have sex, maybe you should think a little more about the value of trial and overcoming temptation in the forming of godly character (steadfastness, patience, self-control) instead of touting marriage as the easy way past it.

    And maybe there is something to be said about people learning, with Paul, to be content “whatever their circumstances,” rather than coming up with an “ideal” circumstance (marriage) for people at a given age.

    Your arguments presume a few things: that people who marry later are hung up looking for the “right one,” or waiting for perfect “readiness,” or are worried that getting married and having kids will mean that “life as they know it is over.” It seems that, as someone who married younger, you are out of touch with the experiences and mindsets with those who are single into their twenties and beyond their twenties. Don’t insult them be assuming that these are their guiding perspectives.

    Compelling arguments could be made for how singleness sanctifies a person, for how waiting cultivates faith and character, for how marrying and having kids later helps couples to begin marriage better and to approach family with less naivety and more preparedness.

    If we are a people that are supposed to trust in God’s timing and leading, and who are to rely on God-given wisdom, then we shouldn’t be cultivating a sense that certain things (marriage/kids) should be happening at certain times. If the bible is our guide on the issue, we should notice that it is pretty silent regarding the issue of when in life is the best time to get married. It gives us principles that can be applied whatever the circumstances.

    If I was unable to chalk up your perspective to a lot of naivety, I would find the suggestion borderline insulting that I missed the boat by waiting until I was 32 to marry the woman that God has made so right for me, or that the joy we are experiencing as family is somehow second-rate because the timing was the same as you believe is ideal. In fact, some might suggest that marrying/having kids later, even if it doesn’t make you a perfectly ready spouse/parent, makes you a more prepared spouse, or a more mature parent. It could be argued that you lead into these seasons of life with more discernment and wisdom, the fruit of which would bless your family in a way they wouldn’t otherwise experience…

    But don’t let that last point detract from my earlier point. I am not trying to make an argument for later marriage/parenthood, because I think that arguing for older/younger detracts from what God really wants to be the focus. That we are growing in faith and character to Christ’s glory- contentment, discernment, love, sacrifice, patience, self-control, selflessness. I’d encourage you to dedicate more time blogging about that rather than drumming-up simplistic principles that can undermine those things.

    • Amanda
      June 13, 2013

      Jason, I’d have to say that while I have enjoyed reading the responses, both those that are in agreement with and those that are critical of, my husband’s blog (and I rarely comment on his site) I’m a bit disappointed in your response. It just feels as though you didn’t actually read the blog, but instead took offense to the topic of marrying young in general and decided to try to discredit the entire thing.

      I would just like to point out that, unlike what you assumed throughout your entire response, Stephen never said that marrying young is the best way or that waiting to marry is a mistake. In fact, he even went to lengths to say that while marrying young is NOT God’s plan for everyone, that he is not ashamed in saying that it IS one very appropriate way for many of us. It just seems funny to me that you would not take this into account and instead seem to take personal offense to the blog because you did not marry young. No one is criticizing you for marrying in your 30s, and Stephen was only responding to the overwhelming criticism that comes from marrying and starting a family in your early 20s.

      Also, please note that while you say the Bible is silent on the issue, it actually is not. I do not find it “simplistic” when Paul says that if you are burning with passion you should go ahead and get married. Like Stephen said, that doesn’t automatically mean everyone should go out and immediately get married, but it is a factor to consider. The Bible actually says that.

      Lastly, you encourage Stephen to spend time blogging on issues other than this topic, and I’d like to encourage you to check out any of his other blogs as almost all of them are on other topics. I would also encourage you to read blogs in the future with more of an open mind rather than immediately taking offense because it isn’t how God worked in your life. There are so many Christians who have been blessed by marrying young and starting a family as God led them to and it is absolutely appropriate to stand up and say, “Yes, this is a viable option for some of us.” Like Stephen said, it’s not the only way but it is one way that is perfectly acceptable and God-honoring.

      Perhaps you can write a blog on the benefits of waiting until your 30s to get married and start a family which will also speak to a large portion of the Christian community. I promise we won’t leave a comment about “Hey! Marrying in your 20s is ok too! I find this blog to be simplistic and full of presumptions. It’s not the only way, you know.” ;)

    • Jason
      June 13, 2013

      Hi Amanda

      I realize that Stephen attempted to qualify his statement at the end and I did read the post in its entirety- I apologize that my response seems like it isn’t taking those things into consideration. As I explained to the person that shared this on their facebook- most of the suggestions throughout seem to undermine the alternatives to marrying young, or like I said, to presume upon people’s reasons for marrying later. I understand what you are saying he is trying to do, but I question(ed) the soundness of his reasoning…

      My point about the bible’s silence is that it does not advocate for marrying younger, even in the passage you are talking about. Paul’s exhortation regarding the burning passions suggests pursuing marriage over singleness, not ramping up your effort to get married sooner!

      Don’t confuse critical thinking with the lack of an open mind- my response pushed far beyond saying that “your experience and mine are different, so I reject your perspective.” I actually presented points that respond with thought to the points made in the blog. I just believe, after considering this whole marrying younger conversation since before I ever read this post, that making arguments for marrying younger (or older)flies in the face of principles of discernment. You marry when you find that person that you love, that loves you, and that you both love God. You marry when you’ve met that person and gotten to know them enough, and let them get to know you enough, to realize that they are a fit according to God’s standards.

      I can agree along with you that marrying younger is certainly a viable option, which is why I have no interest in telling people that should be waiting. Again- that is all beside my point which is to discern according to the relationship rather than try to decide on the basis off the perks that come from marrying in a certain season of life.

  • Cindy
    June 21, 2013

    I got married at 19 my now ex husband was 23. We have 4 children together. Looking back I wish I would have waited. There is so much I missed out on, like getting to know other men and seeing that there is more out there. After the first 5 years of marriage, I couldnt stand my husband. I’ve been divorced almost 10 years now,(I’m 39 now) and I couldnt be happier. I live with a great guy, we are both financially stable.

  • Naomi
    July 25, 2013

    If the biggest part of getting married had to do with your children I am afraid you might not realize you are sending a terrible message. Most of this is just awful. God didn’t call us to be eager irrational baby machines. His aim for us is to become more like him and serve others. I understand that each person is different but what’s more dangerous to a culture of sex depravity and false worship, is the fact that kids somehow complete your life. I don’t mean to pick on this blog singularly, but it is getting very grating as a young, married and childless (by choice) christian to see this imbedded in our christian culture. My husband and I married young and a major reason we have not had children is because we feel it’s important to build a good financial foundation first and while we are at it we share our earning with orphans who didn’t have a choice in being born. We volunteer, we share our story with others. One day we may have a child and that would be incredible, but our children will not define our marriage.
    Similarly, marrying young should still, be thought about thoroughly. We eloped and have never looked back, but we knew for four years that we wanted to be together and not because we were lustful or afraid of being old.

    I think you’ve stuck your head in the cultural armpit of christianity and I would be wary about letting this post be seen by young people.
    But, too each his own. That’s what blogs are for.

  • Naomi
    July 25, 2013

    Also, having kids so they can take care of you when you are old?
    Come on.

  • Candy J Cyrankowski
    July 27, 2013

    #6 = Ouch.

  • Tom
    August 9, 2013

    Jesus never got married and look at all the great things he did

  • Michael M
    August 11, 2013

    I would go a step further and say that parents should facilitate marriage at a young age. Teenagers have the same sexual needs as adults, and need a permissible way to express it.

  • marcus
    August 20, 2013

    Its culture too. Its normal carribean people to marry early. My grandmother is 73 my mom is , 49 and married im ,23 and married. We dont have any kids my sister is , 27 and have fourkids. Its great how my grandmother is a greatgrandmother too. And we didnt forget about colleges. My father have a law degree , but he is a mortgage director , my mom is rn. My sister is rn and married a pa. As well as my wife and iare in law school together. We live in the city. Its great of us. And the best part we,dont have to worry about kids out of wedlock. And my brother in law, who is 19 is considering marriage to his girlfriend aftercollege graduation. Which is good, so yeah i think as long you have a plan , youll be fine.

    • cantwaittobemarried
      December 12, 2013

      this is awesome! most caribbean people just have babies out of wedlock with multiple partners

  • Jen
    August 27, 2013

    I disagree about kids being better then dogs. Dogs are better then kids. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on them, you feed them only one type of food, they don’t live long, so you can get another one, they don’t need health and life insurance. They have only one doctor, they’re fun to play with, etc.

  • Sabrine hanchafi
    September 2, 2013

    thanks for this articl , well .. after all i’m 17 years old and i’m going to get married next year with my fiance and he is 18 years old and this really inspired me because in the first i was really afraid but as long as we love eitch other there is nothing to be afraid of and thanks again , god bless you

  • Laura
    October 2, 2013

    I don’t regret marrying young. We were both 19 and had been dating for 3 yrs so it just seemed like the next obvious step. We have 2 beautiful who I am very thankful for but honestly, if anyone were to ask my advice I would strongly suggest they wait. It’s hard, really hard, and a few years of maturity never hurt anyone, divorce on the other hand hurts everyone.

  • Anna
    October 4, 2013

    I don’t like the stereotype that people who marry older have more sex partners. I’m 28 and still a virgin, waiting for the right guy. There is something to be said for building character through restraint and willpower, rather than getting married when you’re young just to have all the sex you want.

    Good for you that you are happy with your choice, and I am glad that you acknowledge that it may not be the right choice for everyone. I am disappointed with some of these commenters, though, like HeatherHH, who actually think it’s okay to put other people down for not wanting the same things that she did. And it is just so selfish, in my opinion, that she’s only 27 and already has 5 kids – how many is she planning to have? Does she not understand that the world is overpopulated, and people like her are the reason?

    Also, I don’t agree that kids are better than dogs. Dogs love you unconditionally, protect you, and don’t really ask for anything more than you than love and basic needs. Kids are selfish, love you VERY conditionally, and demand a lot from you.

  • Devin Anderson
    October 30, 2013

    I was actually looking into this because me and my girlfriend knew we were gonna marry each other since we were 15 (halfway to 16) and now that I’m as couple months from 19 and in college, I’m planning on marrying her after my associates degree program in Business Administration and then finish my bachelor’s at Georgia Tech. It’s kind of crazy to think about the times that I was just a young teenager just dreaming of having a family with her and it’s now almost a reality. we have plans to open our own business and to use it for ministry. Pray for us because the time is coming up pretty soon and thank you for this great article.

  • brandee
    November 8, 2013

    my husband and i were married at 18 and twenty one our married indeed has been great being a mom of a 5 year old a set of twins who are 3 and 8 months pregnant with my first boy it aint easy we both work and family is our life the biggest thing is we had support alomost 6 years later were still going strong we are currently raising our three girls and my two nieces who we will be adopting by march 2014 it hasnt always been easy but support and our love for each other has made us strong

  • John
    March 8, 2014

    This article is spot on! But, I’m doing it the other way. It took the accident that ended my carrier to allow me to even think of fatherhood. I am 51 and not in good health. I have a son 7 and a daughter 1.5 years old. God has given me the grace to have them. My son has shown me a reason to live. I would love to have had them when I was young. But, Im a sinner like the rest of us and I don’t think I would have done half the job I can do for my children now. As Peter was the rock to the early church. My son is my rock. He has kept me going when I had no reason to continue. Even though I think children would have been better younger. I take what I get and praise GOD

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *