Early marriage...

This good comment on early marriages by Benjamin Franklin, forwarded by our happily married firstborn, Mrs. Doug Ummel:

I am rather inclined to think that early [marriages] stand the best chance for happiness. The tempers and habits of the young are not yet become so stiff and uncomplying as when more advanced in life; they form more easily to each other, and hence many occasions of disgust are removed. And if youth has less of that prudence which is necessary to manage a family, yet the parents and elder friends of young married persons are generally at hand, to afford their advice, which amply supplies that defect; and by early marriage youth is sooner formed to regular and useful life; and possibly some of those accidents or connections that might have injured the constitution or reputation, or both, are thereby happily prevented. -Benjamin Franklin


Great quote!

Having married my wonderful wife, Sebra, when she was 18 and I 23, I heartily concur.

This notion that one should wait until later in life to marry has never made sense to me. Of course, the argument they use is the same as mine: namely, that a person grows into who he/she is in their early adulthood. What better way to grow together, to learn together, to develop "who we are" together than to marry young?
Unfortunately, in this selfish society in which we live, many walk away from their covenant with the excuse of "growing apart"
THerefore, to those who are committed to live and grow as one: marry young. To those who aren't...why get married at all?
My husband is 27 and I am 24. Already in our marriage we have lived overseas together, had two children (3 and 1) together and have celebrated our 4 years of "togetherness."

As someone who married a little later (at 27), I must wonder if a great portion of our habit of marrying later is a lack of maturity. I know it was so in my case!

On the other hand, given Franklin's illegitimate children, we might rightly question Franklin's insight into this as well.

One of the reasons we marry later is that our romantic ideals prompt us to wait until we find that special someone. That can take a little while.

So what happens when our romantic ideals come crashing down when the "special" wears off? My husband grows more special to me every day...although perhaps I just found "someone special" at a young age. I don't feel like I "took the first one who came my way."

Well good. You shouldn't feel that way. And yes, some people do find the right match a lot earlier than others.

My wife and I married at 23, which is probably a bit young for the modern age, but a bit old for Mr. Franklin.

Looking back, I am glad we married when we did, especially since God called us to CGS where we could hear faithful messages about God's design for our marriage.

One of the reasons that "young" marriages are discouraged in our culture is that those that marry young are statistically more likely to have their marriages end in divorce.

Some people are ready to marry at 18 or 19 (for a woman; I've yet to meet a boy that age who had any business marrying) while others are still hopelessly immature in their late 20's.

While it's sweet to read that a young marriage has still managed to sustain itself all of four years later, this is hardly a compelling argument for young marriages in our current culture. At the same time, Jodi --- in her young starry-eyed newlywed state --- does make a valid point about growing together as a married couple. Years ago, I felt similarly about the advice to postpone parenthood in order to "get to know each other". Wouldn't we get to know each other much better as parents? (Experience has borne this out.)

Hindsight is often 20/20. Now that we are measuring the length of our marriage in decades, I would have to say that I've come to the following conclusions:

1. Some of my best friends married young, at the ages of 18 and 19. All those marriages have endured. Some are wonderful marriages. Some of them were probably far more companionable and "compatible" when the two were teenagers. I only know of one friend who regrets her early marriage. However, all of those marriage were plauged by early difficulties that we didn't have. (Then again, we had our own unique challenges.)

2. My husband would not have considered marrying me had we gotten to know each other any sooner than we did. When he was younger than 30, he was looking for an entirely different sort of woman. The same holds true for many young men, who often have some rather narrow and immature ideas about what makes for a good wife. As a boy matures into a man, his priorities change.

3. There is some truth to the adage "Marry in haste; repent at leisure". At the same time, no matter how long you date or court, you will still be in for surprises when you get married.

4. You really don't get to know a man until you have had children together. Having our babies when we did is the best thing we ever did.

5. The bottom line is seeking God's wisdom. In Scripture, He has not chosen to comment on the best age for marriage. There is a reason for that.

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