A Case for Early Marriage: Why It’s a Good Idea to Get Married Young

A Case for Early Marriage: Why It’s a Good Idea to Get Married Young

The Taboo of Early Marriage

People don’t get married anymore. If they do, then it is much later in life. In fact the age of marriage is continually going up in our culture to where it is pushing thirty. Not only has this been the trend in the culture, but I have seen this trend begin to take place in the church as well. It is my personal belief and conviction that this can be harmful to human flourishing and a great hinderance for godly families within the church.

Early marriage has become taboo in our culture. Getting married at a young age of 20 or 21 will get you some strange comments from others, including other Christians (Trust me, I’ve experienced them). However, I think we need a revival of early marriage among Christians. I think there are several reasons younger Christians need to begin adopting this counter cultural practice by marrying early.

1. Marriage is a Great Gift

The way many people talk about marriage, it seems like they were talking about a death sentence. As I was engaged to my beautiful wife Kaitlyn at twenty years old, here was some of the comments I received.

  • Enjoy life now because everything will be different (said in a depressive tone)
  • Already? But you’re so young, you have so much life to live!
  • Get ready for that bail and chain

It is astonishing that Christians treat marriage as if it’s the worst possible thing that could ever happen to you. Getting married is right underneath getting terminally diagnosed with cancer for some people. Young people are told to go “sow their wild oats” and live hedonistically before the settle down and get married. We must recapture the biblical definition of marriage as an incredible gift. Marriage is not a curse, but a wonderful privilege given by God. Marriage is not something to be avoided, but something that should be sought after by young people. unfortunately people’s negative comments about marriage deter young people away from this precious gift. However these negative comments reveal nothing but the troubles of their own marriages.

2. Marriage Encourages People to Grow Up

It is not a strange sighting today to see 25 or 26-year-old men living at home with mom and dad, drinking red bull, and playing X-Box all day. The recently created teenager/adolescent culture seems to be a growing age group. Adolescence is no longer just during the teen years but continues into the 20s and early 30s. My own generation is a generation characterized by a lack of initiative failing to take responsibility for their own lives.

Marriage is God’s gracious gift of forcing a man and a woman to grow up, particularly men. When a man gets married he becomes responsible for providing for his family, making sure the bills are paid, and protecting his wife. He must not only take responsibility for himself but for his wife and future children. Marriage pushes young men out of the nest to spread their wings and fly under the windy pressures of life. This is a good thing, but unfortunately rather than pushing these guys towards manhood we allow them to continue in a lengthy boyhood. This is a shame and Christian men need to grow up into their divine calling of marriage and family.

3. Marriage Protects From Sexual Immorality

We live in an overly sexualized culture. From nude scenes in Hollywood movies, risqué television shows, and erotic novels, young people are being bombarded with one message: Sex. There is an incredible amount of pressure on Christian young people to bend their knee to our cultures unbiblical view of loveless, carnal sex without consequences.

However, if Christians place the expectation on young believers to wait till their late twenties and early thirties for marriage, we are placing on them a weight that will cripple them. Young Christians seeking to be obedient to abstain from sexual relations outside of marriage will collapse under the weight of their optimal sex drive and the influence of an obseessivly sexualized culture.

It is unreasonable, foolish, and harmful to place this weight on young people. Sex is a good gift given to us by God, meant for our enjoyment in the way God has designed. Rather than encouraging young people to delay marriage and a sexual relationship with their spouse, we should encourage them to marry. This way they can enjoy God’s gift of sex in a way that protects them from sexual immorality and glorifies and honors God.

Don’t Make Early Marriage Taboo

Christian parents, grandparents, and teachers should encourage younger Christians to consider marrying early. Marriage is an incredible gift given by God to our sanctification and our enjoyment. Yes, early marriage is not necessarily an easy road. You may be poor, have to work twice as hard to make it through college, and be thought of as weird by a anti-marriage culture. However, if two Christians love each other, and most importantly love the Lord Jesus Christ, early marriage should not be a thing that is tabooed, but encouraged and celebrated.

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  • Jessica

    Such a good blog! My husband and I got married at 19 and 20 we have now been for 5 years with three handsome sons. We heard the same negative comments. But as time goes on we fall more in love with each other. It is truly a blessing to be married young in this world today!

    • Justin Deeter

      That’s great Jessica. We got married young too and haven’t regretted thar decision at all! Thanks for reading and for your comment!

  • Pingback: The World vs. Young Marriage Part 2 | His Endless Love

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  • Madelyn Lang

    Another reason to marry early is that the two people are still becoming…still developing into the adults they will be. Each can influence the other’s “growing up.”If two become one, if two people unite in marriage with a single vision and shared goals, isn’t it ideal that they should be influences in each other’s lives as they develop and form that vision and that each influence who the other will be?

    • Justin Deeter

      Madelyn, great point. Often when you marry young you are able to grow up together and develop that single vision and shared goals of your life. Thanks for sharing with the us!

    • Ghost Of Len Bias

      That’s an interesting POV, because that’s usually the argument I see AGAINST early marriage. People are still so young and are still growing, that they can’t be sure that they will have that single vision and shared goals. My parents waited 7 years to get married, and now they’ve been together more than 25 years. That’s a level of love and understanding that makes sense to me.

      • Madelyn Lang

        I should have added a qualifier. Certainly there are many young
        marriages begun for the wrong reasons, but the fault here is the same as in any type of marriage begun for the wrong reasons…engineering a marriage instead of waiting on God’s leading and vision.
        It is unusual today, but there are couples who meet very young indeed,
        but still have an understanding from the Lord that they are in a permanent andstable relationship, one which is a gift.

        My point was that IF two young people are submitting their
        lives to God’s will, and believe that they are in the relationship toward
        marriage God means for them, that they ought to help one another, influence one another, develop together those shared goals. Not to fear what the world sees as “losing one’s identity” in the other person, but to boldly forge their one path TOGETHER, because they are preparing for a life together. A life where they will be sharing one vision
        and pursuing it with a united purpose, with united minds, united hearts. Is it not ideal, in that case, to be in each other’s lives, being a primary influence in each other’s growing up into the people God means them to be?

      • Amy Nicole

        My parents got married at the age of 16 and 17 and have been together for 33 years.

  • Bethany

    Plus, all that transitioning (first jobs, first homes, etc) is much better spent and navigating when the Lord uses your partnership! This was a wonderful post, just the other day a lady I barely know made fun of getting married young, realized I was the epitome of everything she was mocking…and then spent twenty minutes with an audience asking prying personal questions trying to justify her opinion. Praise the Lord for truth!

    • Justin Deeter

      Bethany, thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts. It never ceases to amaze me how some people think that getting married young can be the worst possible thing that could happen to you. Marriage is a great gift from God and an incredible joy. I haven’t regretted getting married young for a second.

  • Hobbit

    This is cyclical. Thirty or forty years ago, marrying young was accepted, and something pastors did happily. Then, as those marriages started hitting the bumps in the road – for reasons which were almost obvious at the time the people got married – gunshy pastors, seeing the *negative* consequences for too many early marriages, started encouraging people to hold off a bit and get themselves better grounded, especially the men.

    While I’m here – and without wanting to disagree with the thrust of the main post – could I ask pastors to address the fact that many won’t marry young, and some won’t marry at all. Better still … they could get older, battle-hardened Christian singles to address the facts. Nothing like having been in trench x to be able to help others in it.

    • justindeeter

      I’d agree with you that not every young person has the maturity for marriage. Some need to grow up. A man especially needs to have the maturity to provide for his new wife, work a job, and be responsible. With some early marriages I see young couples just living off of their parents. This isn’t good. A man should leave and cleave. I believe a lot of the negative consequences can be eliminate by good discipleship and pre-marital counseling. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

      • Sarah

        But what about women? I think it is exceedingly important that both peoples entering their marriage (everyone really imo) should have some experience being completely independent before they join with a partner.
        My convictions of this matter have only been solidified by watching my grandmother struggle to adjust to the management of her and her husbands life since my grandfather became sick. She went from basically living in her fathers home to living in her husbands. Her husband took care of her and was the leader of the household as one might expect of a godly marriage especially one of that generation. But now he can’t preform the duties that he always has and she is left unequipped to manage even the simple things like paying the bills.
        Where’s the encouragement for women to be able to manage and care for their own life before joining with their husbands in matrimony? I’d be interested in your take on that sir.

        • justindeeter

          I agree. Situations like this are unfortunate and common. I have a widow in my church whose husband did everything for her and now she struggles with simple things like paying the bills. A husband and wife should manage their home together as a team. Yet it is important to be able to be independent for a while to learn how to “be an adult” taking a year or so to live on your own is a good idea. It is something both my wife and I did for a few years before we got married. It helped us learn up to pay the utility bill, keep a budget, and do all those grown up responsibilities. As a result, we had little problems with those things once we got married.

        • LA

          You need to realize, Sarah, that Christian bloggers find it much easier to call out men than women for fear of being labeled “misogynistic.” You’re right–the Bible has an extremely high standard for growth and maturity for both men and women (Titus 2, anyone?), but young men are far easier targets because their immaturity is generally manifest in more obvious ways.

    • Rachel Hamilton

      Very well said. God’s will doesn’t fit into a neat little package of “marry at 21, have babies, and adore each other” for many, many Christians. The Bible is full of examples of individualism (*gasp*). Some married young, some married old (um, OT, anyone?), some had 12 children to 12 different women, and some had one to one woman. Some, shockingly, remained unmarried (Paul and Jesus Himself). There simply isn’t one right way. I’m not going to blog about the wonderful merits of being a single, 31-year-old Christian woman and how everyone should follow suit because that’s MY experience, not an experience that every Christian should look to as an example. So, marry young, marry old, don’t marry at all; just make sure you’re seeking and following God’s will.

  • Daniel Foucachon

    Amen! My wife and I were 23 when we got married, and I’ve always felt it was on the late side! :)

  • Meagan Hughes

    My husband and I (both Christians) Got married young. I was 17 & he was 19 & yes, we were pregnant. But that is truly not the reason why we got married, just the reason we got married a year earlier than we had hoped. When my teachers found out that I had gotten married over summer break (I was a senior in high school) they pretty much treated me like I was a plague.. not all of them but a good bit. They didn’t think I would graduate, though there was a small group of us girls in the pregnant club together that was designed to promote us to graduation, and by the grace of God it worked & I graduated.

    The reason why I love this blog so much is because its true. I didnt get to start college until I had been married 4 years, I was 22 and working full time, going to school. I quit school after about 2 years because I started having health problems but I have started back this last fall at Liberty University Online and will have my B.S in Psychology-counseling next year. I am so glad I waiting about finishing school.. if I had done it strait out of high school I’d be in a job I’d hate right now. Growing up with my husband has given me time to achieve God’s dreams for me.

    I have had the past 12 years with my family. Some girls my age are just getting married and having families but my oldest child is a preteen now.It feels weird sometimes but I think about it like this, I have gotten a 12 year lead start on the rest & I’ll raise my family, then my husband and I can enjoy our middle age crisis together =) God bless!

    • justindeeter

      Meagan, thanks for sharing your story. Marriage is a blessing not a burden. I’ve never regretted for a second getting married at the age I did.

    • Eli

      Amazing! How did he get pregnant too?

  • Mooki ‘bratz #9

    I WISH I CAN GET MARRIED TO THE FATHER OF MY LITTLE GIRL, AND THAT HE WILL FINALLY DIVORCE HIS CURRENT WIFE WHOM IS DISTANT FROM HIM AND HAS A DRINKING PROBLEM THAT I DO NOT HAVE. HE ALWAYS PROMISED ME HE WOULD MARRY ME, BUT NEVER GOT THAT DIVORCE. NOW I HAVE HIS LITTLE GIRL. I HAVE NEVER BEEN MARRIED AND HAVE ALWAYS WANTED AND DREAMED OF LIVINGIN THAT INSTITUTION OF LOVE- BLISS.

    • anonymous

      Drinking problem or not, she is his wife. You are not. You need to repent.

  • Mooki ‘bratz #9

    I’ve been like DYING 2 experience marriage since i was 20, and the gentlemen I’m always SO into just never like me, enough for that. It breaks my heart, ppl just want 2 lie and tell me they will MARRY me so i can just believe them and eventually they can take advantage of something I’ve got.

  • Jenn

    Lot of good it did me. Married at 22, wasted 15+ years of my life with the wrong person. Now I’m alone and probably always will be.

    • Hobbit

      Hi Jenn – sorry to hear – but your post is a much-needed reminder that early marriages can go horribly wrong. Some people, at least, do need to hear this.

      • Joseph Jackson

        I would be willing to venture more people would be wrongly motivated by this article than those who would benefit.

        • Barbara Drewry

          Agreed, Joseph. :-/

    • Marilyn Crisp

      I think there are PLENTY of people who got married at 30 and ended up with the wrong person and “wasted” years of their lives. I got married when I was 19 to someone I had known since I was 11, same church etc etc. I stayed married to him for 21 years and had 3 beautiful children. He was a liar, a cheater and a lot other things. But you know what? I don’t see those 21 years as a waste at all! I was blessed beyond measure with 3 great kids that have made me proud every day. I would not change a thing! I have told them again and again, that if he wasn’t their dad that they wouldn’t be who they are, and I could not be happier with who they are!

  • Kate

    First of all, men can learn to grow up while staying single and so can women. Some of the most mature people I know are getting their lives together while staying single; to say that marriage is the catalyst for adulthood seems to be very flawed logic, in my opinion. Second of all, I don’t understand why it is of utmost importance that the man learns responsibility; nothing is said about female responsibility. Women also need to learn how to take care of themselves. Yes, a marriage allows for two people to work together cohesively, but a woman should have the chance to be independent before getting married as well. I really don’t see how that is a bad thing. I have a few other issues with this post but I’ll leave it at that. I am not one of those so-called “anti-marriage” people, but I really don’t understand this new push to get married and settle down young.

    • Hobbit

      Agreed. One issue I have with Mark Driscoll is that he appears to lump all his single men past about 30 (?) in a dumpster called – indisciplined videogame-playing slackers. Those of us who are single, well past 30 and have followed Christ faithfully through the years – and through a lot of friendly fire (ie not the world) he doesn’t seem to realise are there.

      • Bonnie

        Wonder what his opinion is of Isaac, who didn’t marry until 37.

        • Tucker Walden

          it’s all relative to life longevity. 20 is the 16.

      • Belinda Breitling

        wait, I thought this was written by Justin Deeter…when did Mark Driscoll get involved?

        • Hobbit

          Driscoll’s a big fan of young marriage, which is one thing – but very critical of the single men who don’t make the cut.

    • Rachel Hamilton

      This is 100% my experience, and I thank you for saying it!

    • Kourtney

      I get and respect your opinions, but it put a huge downer on his article for me. I really enjoyed it. I highly doubt he is pridefully saying “this is the case, for everyone”. Obviously some people grow differently, everyone is different. It’s obvious that some people will never get married, however, for most people I know, this IS the case. In general, his statements are true. I grew independently as a woman and too much because we are to submit to our husbands. Not like some mindless robot, but it’s so freeing to let them do what God created them to do then come beside them and help.
      Isaac was a lot more mature than men in our culture today.

      This article really encouraged me as a married woman, and it really is disappointing when people take it the wrong way and pick apart every word.

      Please forgive my words if they seemed harsh, I am saddened but not meaning to offend.

      • Rob

        Kourtney, I have two problems with your above statement. 1) Your assertion that “we are to submit to our husbands” devalues your gender and is not “freeing,” but traps women in a frame of mind that dictates that they are less in worth than a man. 2) The idea that, “it really is disappointing when people take it the wrong way and pick apart every word,” misses the true point of discourse. Picking apart every word in a reasonable discourse is the one and only way of ascertaining truth from another’s statement in a logical discussion.

        If you do not agree with any ideas that are derived by others, directly from the above article, be open to the idea that the fault lies in the source material, not in the person interpreting it. Don’t be saddened by different logical standpoints and close yourself off when your beliefs are challenged.

        • dmeador

          Rob. 1)There are some great articles, and posts about the “submit to our husbands” point. Reading the biblical guidelines for marriage does anything but make the point that woman are inferior. If people only follow one part of a list of directions, things dont come out as planned. “Pour contents into microwave safe bowl”, dont help too much taken on its own

          2) There are many others ways to have a logical discussion, and if the true goal is to have one, then you try to find out what the person is saying or trying to say. Picking apart every word is the recipe for an argument, not discussions.

          • Rob

            I wouldn’t mean to carry on with other responses that divert from the original topic, but I will answer your response.

            Apposed to your assertion that “Reading the biblical guidelines for marriage does anything but make the point that woman are inferior,” I would in fact argue the opposite, that it instead reinforces the idea that women are created as subservient and less in worth to a man.

            “Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.” (I Corinthians 11:8-9)

            And lastly, your statement “Try to find out what the person is saying or trying to say. Picking apart every word is the recipe for an argument, not discussions,” is flawed in exactly the same way. Picking apart every word is exactly how to determine what someone is trying to say and further a constructive discussion. Arguments are most likely to happen when someone takes personal offense to someone questioning their beliefs.
            If more people were able to seperate the ego from the belief, I think we would see many more objective thinkers with the ability to examine their ideas without bias.

          • Mollie Caitlin Griggs

            Submitting to my husband? I can make small humans. He can make my house a mess. Im not submitting to anybody. This is how women get caught up in abusive relationships. Im not doing things for someone because i have to. Im going to do it as an appreciation and affection thing. If he just expects it that’s just ridiculous. How do people live as an inferior in their own homes. No.. just no

          • Faith Matthews

            If you are not a Christian it will be hard to understand the idea, but women are not to be seen as inferior. It is a different roll. Both are equal but man is made to take responsibility for his family and make decisions as God leads him to, not lord over his wife. Women are made to help them and to be loved and taken care of, not bare the weight. This is seen in the characteristics that differ between man and women. Two sides of God. Wives respect and honer their husbands and husbands love and cherish their wives as Jesus loves and cherishes his church. Wisdom and understanding is given and required of both as both will undoubtedly fall short at times but when both are true to their purpose in God the relationship will be an amazing example of Gods love and will be a lasting one.

          • Presley L

            Absolute best description I have seen about the roles we take as we enter marriage! I am 21, in a serious relationship, but I already see my boyfriend and I taking these roles and nothing makes me more happy. He treats me with kindness, respect, and always love, so I am happy to “submit” into my role as the helper as long as he continues to love and respect me, as the provider in our relationship. Unfortunately I know this isn’t the case and some may use the “power” in an abusive way but, that is why I pray to God and ask for guidance in my relationship and to know he is the one that God has picked to be my soul-mate :) My favorite quote sums this up nicely “Women were created from the rib of the man to be beside him, not from his head to top him, nor from his feet to be trampled by him, but from his arm to be protected by him, near to his heart to be loved by him.”
            I believe no matter the age 18-99 God has a plan and the perfect person for you, so no judging when you get married! God’s timing is perfect timing.

          • jeannie.williams36@gmail.com

            I believe you missed the whole picture.here it says that yes a woman should submit herself unto her husband but does it not also say that a man must love his wife as christ loved the church? Any man who loves his wife in that way will never disrespect immoralize or hurt her. And why should we not submit unto our husbands should we not love and respect them?

    • Holly

      I think whether you are young or old getting married there will always be problems. You can’t really just classify the young marriages into the group that always divorces because people who got married older do just as much. So its not really fair to just call out one group. Its the whole world.

    • Kevin Marek

      I recently got engaged and I can say that the conviction of responsibility of things in my life has increased exponentially. This is because I know that to lead a family that glorifies the Most High God, I must be conditioned and prepared in every way. I could’ve matured at my rate, sure, but am i guaranteed tomorrow? No, I have a calling to radiate Christ in every way until that SOON approaching day, that’s why I welcome the jump start. And believe me, plenty of my un-engaged brothers are sitting back with no conviction to serve Jesus because they don’t feel the haste; I’m sorry, that’s males for you, we’re pretty dim sometimes.
      It’s also time for new leaders to step up in the church, simply because there are more Christians today than ever before and in order to continue that we need leadership and teachers. That’s God’s call on men throughout the entirety of scripture.
      PS: honestly, would you have wanted the author, a man, to tell you what your role is, or would you rather a woman of God who gets you better? You should really cut the guy some slack for NOT dictating biblical femininity to you :)

  • Rhiannon

    I’m scared to get married because of all the failed relationships I have seen. Both inside and outside of my family. With being 21, I also see how quick people are willing to give up on each other. No one is willing to fight or work for anything anymore. What also gets me are the men who say they love their wives but want to cheat. I don’t want to be with a man who loves me only when it’s convenient for him. It’s either all or nothing. I always tell people that I don’t want or need a perfect anything. I just want healthy and happy.

    Your blog is awesome by the way. Discovered it on facebook.

    • justindeeter

      Marriage is a big decision and should not be taken lightly. Marriage is a life long commitment and both the man and the woman should have that conviction from the start. If not, then they shouldn’t get married. Marriage isn’t a temporary contract but an life long covenant. Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts with us!

  • Jessica

    As a single 27-year-old Christian, I see this from a different light. I certainly agree with the points made above with regard to marriage– that it is a blessing, that it does incur responsibility in those who are married, and that it is God’s intended outlet for sexual relationships. Undoubtedly getting married earlier, in cases where appropriate, fulfills all of these goals, which is certainly a blessing, praise God. However, there is also risk (in my opinion) in encouraging young people to marry early. I think of many friends I grew up with, in the church, who married very early (18-20ish) and we’re divorced within a few years. Certainly this is not our goal, as Malachi tells us that God hates divorce. I’m not ignorant of the fact that any marriage can work as long as both parties are willing to work at it and follow God’s model of men loving their wives and women submitting to their husbands. However, not all 18-20ish-year-olds are mature enough to understand and carry out this responsibility. (Certainly some are– comments below about marrying early and having had a long and happy marriage are inspiring! But this circumstance is, unfortunately, becoming the exception and not the rule.) As an “older” single in the church, I must say that encouragements to get married young because this is best for your life are discouraging. Perhaps God calls us each to different paths in life. Paul actually encourages others to stay single as he was, and although he specifically states he is expressing this as his own opinion, I believe when taken in he context of his life of service to The Lord it is difficult to deny the usefulness of his being single to the kingdom of God. Perhaps we should encourage young people to seek God first, serve Him in every area of life, and if/when they have found the person whom they want to marry, not to delay in this, regardless of age. Marriage is a beautiful thing created by God for our enjoyment, and mirroring the relationship of the church wih Christ. But it is a life-long commitment which (at least from the outside looking in) does not seem like something that one should take lightly, or should rush to enter into before the time is right… which may be different, in terms of age, for each individual, 18 or 81.

    • justindeeter

      Some great thoughts. Divorce should never be an option and not all people have the maturity to get married at a young age. There needs to be great wisdom with parents and pastors to discern if a young couple is ready for marriage. Also, singleness is a gift from God and should not be taboo as well. I’ve written about the gift of singleness here: http://www.justindeeter.com/archives/479

      • Ashley Lynn Parker

        I married my first husband at a young age, and I see nothing wrong with marrying young even though my first marriage ended in divorce. I may have been divorced, but I do believe that “divorce” is too easy for people to fall back on when things get hard. In my case I feel it was appropriate and was not just a case of “falling out of love” or “not being happy”. My husband was physically and emotionally abusive to me and our children. It was not a SAFE situation. Now I have a wonderful God fearing husband. He is an amazing friend and partner to me and a wonderful daddy to my children. Even though I had a difficult first marriage and a subsequent divorce, I would not try to prevent my own children from marrying young.

      • Jeff Stephens

        Justin, please clarify what you mean when you say divorce should *never* be an option. Do you mean to say that not even adultery is grounds for a divorce? I know someone who would disagree with you…

        • Randy Wallace

          I will answer that question. The Bible does “permit” divorce in the case of adultery, but Jesus is not condoning either. Like Moses divorce is “permitted” because the hardness of one’s heart. The best outcome is for forgiveness and reconciliation. Jesus says in Mark 11: 25, that if we do not forgive our brother or sister neither will our Father in Heaven forgive us our trespasses. That includes adultery.

          • Jeff Stephens

            So do you agree that divorce is NEVER an option? Or that we must ALWAYS stay in an adulterous and/or abusive relationship, because the Law is very rigid on this point?

          • Randy Wallace

            Divorce should always be the absolute last option, which is if the offender is unrepentant and not willing to reconcile. As far as the law being rigid or what you mean much tougher than Grace, you are incorrect. The Law says, “You shall not commit adultery,” but Grace says If you look upon a woman and lust in your heart, you have already committed adultery.” The latter is much more difficult to live by than the former. The Law addresses our actions, but Grace addresses the heart which is the source of our actions.

            The bottom line is this. Divorce is either a result of sin, or it is a sin. There is no such thing as a no fault divorce. If you are looking to justify divorce for any reason in the Bible, you will not find that justification. I usually find that when someone wants to argue about divorce it is because they are divorced, or they are contemplating divorce. it is rarely because they are being abused. It is almost always because they refuse to forgive.

            Now when someone is being physically or sexually abused, use common sense. Get out of harms way. But, you must remember that the offender is a soul just as much as the victim, and both need help. Yet, even then that best possible outcome should be strived for, which is deliverance for the offender and for the victim, and yes if possible healing and restoration of the marriage. Divorce should always be the absolute last option.

          • Jeff Stephens

            Thanks for your reply. I don’t want to get into a debate about this, I just wanted clarification. And I was responding to the comment above that divorce is *never* an option. Of course, divorce is an option at times, but it should never be taken lightly, and it should be a last resort.

          • Amy Nicole

            I understand that Malachi says the lord does not “condone” divorce but i have an issue with this statement. My sister was married at the age of 21 to a man who she had been dating for 2 years. Both very godly people. But 9 years later she come to my family for advice from my parents, my dad is a pastor, and asked them what she should do because knowing that divorce was wrong but he had beaten her every day for 8 years along with their autistic son. So are you saying that a divorce in this type of situation would be wrong? My sister divorced him, is that a sin since she wasnt sinning herself?

          • Randy Wallace

            The sin was the husband’s beating her and their son. He was the one who broke the covenant of marriage by not providing for their security. By beating her He was actually the cause of her lack of security. He was clearly abusing her physically. Remember, I said use common sense, get out of harms way. I do not believe that she sinned in divorcing him. He was braking the marriage vow, not her. I do believe that the best possible outcome would for them to get back together, but if and only if he got the help that he needed. Anyone who condones them getting back together without the abuser doing what is necessary to get the help he needs, is simply foolish. Your dad advised her correctly.

          • LeonMoyer

            No, Randy Wallace, divorce is not permitted to MARRIED couples, only for the cause of fornication among unmarried couples during the engagement period. The Bible uses “fornication” and “adultery” with that distinction. The perfect example is Joseph and Mary-they were “espoused” but had not been married or consumated the relationship, therefor Joseph thought about “putting away” or divorcing Mary till the angel appeared to him and explained things. Likewise, Jesus did not give any exception in Luke 16:18, neither did Paul allow for remarriage if the spouse is still alive, as marriage lasts for life, period, and any subsequent relationship is an adulterous relationship, not a marriage.!!

          • Michelle

            So I know someone who was married for 22 years and found out her husband had been cheating off and on the entire time and the most recent time had been going on for about 2 years. Might I also add her husband was cheating with men. He claims the reason he got married was so he could have kids of his own. She tried to stay and asked that they go to marriage counseling but he refused. She was forced to divorce him because he was spending her money on furniture for his new home with his lover and left her to finish paying for their kids’ college and every thing else with no help. Are you saying she was wrong for divorcing him??

            I would also like to add that people who are in abusive marriages have the right to leave and no not all spouses show that they are abusive
            before they are married. So they should stay and possibly get killed from being beaten to death or threatened with a knife or gun everyday??

            I’m a Christian and I try to live by The Word but I have to say that I completely support certain situations like the above. Now, do I think some people treat divorce like a simple break up? Absolutely. But there are extremists in every situation. Doesn’t make the others wrong

          • LeonMoyer

            Yes, Michelle, people marry for better or worse–if your spouse is abusive, is it showing Christian love to divorce and run away from the problem so that the abusive spouse simply moves on to another relationship where he may be abusive also, or is it Christian love to work with them–even for the rest of your life if necessary-to help them become a better, non-abusive person (and also a born again Christian)? The spouses may separate, but they are married for life, and should care about and pray for each other for life. To address your other situation where a spouse could end up losing their life by the abuser, that would make them a martyar for God’s service–what could be a higher calling? If Jesus and the disciples gave their lives in service to God, should you expect to do any less? It is a straight and narrow way, you must scrape off some of the human flesh, the human nature, when you enter the strait gate and pathway to Heaven! Read First John. If you are a Christian as you claim, then you must say what the Bible says, no more and no less, Eph. 4: 1-6, otherwise you are making your own religion–this is why we have denominations- they all claim to believe, but do not obey, and faith without works is dead, they can not be separated James 2:19, 20 et. seq.

          • Ci’ara Ray

            I never comment on blogs, but this comment is so incredibly ignorant and potentially harmful I have to. Please, if you’re reading this and you’re in an abusive relationship of any kind leave that person! This advice is so backward it should be reported and blocked.

          • Robert Winters

            doesnt that book also say women should be put to death for such a thing ?

          • Randy Wallace

            No it doesn’t.

      • Amy Nicole

        I understand that Malachi says the lord does not “condone” divorce but i have an issue with this statement. My sister was married at the age of 21 to a man who she had been dating for 2 years. Both very godly people. But 9 years later she come to my family for advice from my parents, my dad is a pastor, and asked them what she should do because knowing that divorce was wrong but he had beaten her every day for 8 years along with their autistic son. What should we say to people in these types of situations?

    • Rachel Hamilton

      Beautifully articulated and so very true!

    • JoVonda Foster

      Although I’m getting married at the age of 22 you made some really good points that no one else seem to make… One being waiting on the Lord to show you. When people talk to my fiancé and I, I tell them it was never in my plan to plan a wedding during college or to be getting married at this age but what I have learned is my life isn’t my own. I let God guide all things I do and his plans are better then ANYTHING I could even think of on my own… Another great point you made was about apostle Paul; Marriage isn’t for everyone.

    • Marie

      Though I agree with this article in regards to stable Christians who are mature and know God’s direction in their life, there are so many who aren’t there. I think this article could be directed more to parenting and raising your kids to be ready for life and what God has for them. Like the guys playing video games can be seen in the reverse light: they shouldn’t get married because they are not mature enough. They may be “forced” to grow up if they get married, but that also may lead to more problems. I think they need to “grow up” first. And I think that can fall into the category of parenting, and raising your kids to be ready for life at 19 and 20.

      Decades ago, people got married at young ages and stayed married for life. But these people were probably more mature and knew what career/roles they were going to have at a young age. So many kids today are graduating from high school and not knowing what they want to do with their lives. I think we could help our kids by raising them to be sober minded, responsible, hard working kids who love God and are growing in their relationship with Him. Helping them to be mature and to figure out God’s direction in their lives.

      Another side of this, is so many kids growing up in unstable homes. Many of them may not be prepared for life when they come out of these situations. And may not even want to get married depending on what they experienced in their home life.

    • Thomas Zinecker

      But marriage is not about maturity or preventing the possible detestable sin of divorce as much as it is about God’s commanded plan for those who can’t abstain from sexual sins like adultery, fornication, or even “looking to lust and commit adultery in your heart”. It is a designed union of protection and help. It is primarily supposed to be a picture of God’s relationship to a born-again man. It can’t be undone. So, no matter what, stay together, get counseling (if you wait to get counseling regarding issues, how to love properly, it is already to late). Marry your best friend, know people constantly change from year to year and stick by their side as God does you.

      I wonder why unbelievers even get married as it is a God ordained thing for spiritual people.

      All marriages, young or old have an incredibly hate rate of divorce so it seems age or “maturity” isn’t the case.

      In the last days the bible says people will be against marriage. Make no mistake that this includes GOOD reasons about preventing it. Or suggestion against it.

      You can wait to get married or NOT marry if your not sexually sinning.

    • Kevin Marek

      Just a thought on the Paul comparison; are you saying that God can’t use a married person in an amazing way, similar or greater than Paul? I think we can agree that Paul (being an apostle and much more intelligent and wise than any of us will ever be, in addition to understanding the spiritual realm to the point where he often contemplated why he should want to stay here and not join God in heaven) is in an entirely separate class from us, having been trained from youth as a leader of the synagogue.
      What I’m saying is, don’t give Paul so much weight in this ONE quote and opinion that you miss his MANY discussions on how marriage and the family works for the good of the body of Christ.
      I would conclude with the argument that singleness is neither gift nor curse as many people console themselves with or condemn others with (which makes for nasty twisting of scripture to defend one’s current status), but that singleness is merely a path that all of us walk on for different amounts of time; nothing near an ordination as you seem to suggest, but a choice made by us with what biblical principles God has revealed to us (that’s His ‘will” as we like to call it). There is no shame in being convicted of one path over the other! So no amount of “encouragement being discouraging” as you put it, should affect you if you’re convinced of one way. Any reaction otherwise just admits that the core reason isn’t a concern for marriage and the worlds future couples, but rather a personal insecurity.

      Encouraging a Godly thing should NEVER be frowned upon! Just take it into your context and decide whether it is applicable or not.

  • Zion

    This is great, my husband and I were married at 18 and 19. We’re 21 and 21 now with our second baby on the way, and we love each other so much. If my daughter gets married young I may be blessed with grandchildren by the time I’m forty. You never know the blessings the Lord has in store. We have been so blessed to have one another. I heard a lot of comments about traveling. ‘Don’t you want to travel first?’ To be honest, I’d rather travel with my best friend, wouldn’t you? Life is better when we’re together.

    • Dana

      To be a grandmother by the time I’m 40 would be very depressing in my opinion lol

      • Zion

        That depends entirely on your world view. I hope to see generations of believers in my life time. I will see the fruit of my labor.

  • Maisey Humphrey

    I think living in the will of God is more important than trying to get married earlier in life. However, I see the point of the Christian community supporting those who do get married young. My husband and I did not meet until a little later in life. Neither of us had a serious relationship until we met each other. We are both thankful for having found each other and for the wonderful family that we have. We should support people to live for God, no matter what their marital status.

  • Rachel Hamilton

    I am 31, have never married, and am very thankful I didn’t marry the man I thought I loved at 21. This, I realize, is not the norm, but it’s my experience. God graciously kept me from what I now see would’ve been a miserable life. He has given me a vocation that I absolutely love, a ministry both in and out of church, and a contented, happy single life. Again, this isn’t for everyone, but young marriage isn’t for everyone either. I am a completely different person at 31 than I was at 21. My desires have matured, my spirituality has matured, my ideology has matured, and life experience has taught me many strong lessons. This is God’s grace to me, and I’m thankful I didn’t marry that guy at 21 in a youthful exuberant, stars in my eyes decision. Many men in this generation are still boys at 20 and 21, sadly. In previous generations, men were men at 21 (my father and grandfather are two prime examples). Today is different . I am hard-pressed to find a strong, stable, mature, wise, Godly man at 20 or 21 today. Many THINK they are all these things and then they meet a young woman who also THINKS her man is all these things; then, they marry and often realize they are wrong.I travel extensively and have lived in three countries. This appears to be the case world-wide in the 21st C. Of course (before I’m vilified) there are WONDERFUL exceptions, and for those young men, I am thankful, and I would love to know where they are! Many Christian women, at 20 and 21, see no other path but marriage, so they marry the first guy who pays them attention. Many Christian young women are also incredibly immature and find that as they grow through their 20s, life and their view of marriage is vastly different than what they thought at 19 or 20. On the other hand, many do marry young and stay married because God is gracious. They do, though, have to work through the growth and maturity of the 20s into 30s years together. Some work through this while other crash and burn. I feel, at 31, that I am far better prepared for marriage now than I was when I was 21, and I was a fairly mature 21-year-old seeking God’s will. Here’s the bottom line which causes me to fundamentally disagree with your premise (not with everything you say nor all your reasoning): God’s will is different for everyone. My situation isn’t right 100% of the time and the premise in this article isn’t right 100% of the time. God does, in the majority of cases, use young marriage and the procreation of children to further His Kingdom. But what about me and thousands of others like me? Are we to feel pressured in marriage simply because our singleness might be detrimental to the church’s growth as you suggest? No. I will continue to serve Christ in my singleness as He has graciously called me to do. God bless you all, married or not.

  • Vinnie Eve

    I absolutely love this!! I’m 20 and courting with a 11 years older man. He’s lived in boyhood for so long and now that he’s met me, he feels the need to actually take responsibility. The pressure to be sexual is REAL so getting married at this age where your sex drive is high is definitely a good idea. Refraining from sin has always been a good idea!. I have always had a keen eye for marriage and looked at myself as a ‘marital type’. I’ve always wanted to wait until marriage and marry early. I had a friend’s mother tell me once that getting married early is good! It means you can have so much fun together even before you start thinking of children. These days people assume marriage is like signing your life over to a world full of rents, bills, procreating and boredom. I get some friends telling me “omg why get married so early, go out have fun, explore!!” I’m beginning to criticise the notion of ‘exploring’ to be honest. I don’t see it like that. I plan on marrying once I’m done with university, preferably to my courtee as I believe that he is worth it and that God sent him to me. Likewise he thinks the same. I’m glad I tumbled across this post, thank you!!

  • elizabethanna

    I’m 24 and married, but I would say I had to grow up a lot before I got married. I can’t imagine getting married as an excuse to grow up…I think this would have destroyed both of us. We’ve definitely both have matured in many ways since our wedding day, but I would consider it a dangerous thing to jot on a list of reasons to unite yourself to another soul.
    Jesus calls for our hearts, and our bodies follow that. He wants our actions to flow from surrendered hearts. These hearts don’t fear sexual sin…because they don’t fear anything. These hearts are confident in Love and Sacrifice for the Kingdom. Living in fear of sexual sin is almost as bad as choosing to marry someone when you’re not ready. It’s like running into a holy place with your sandals on your feet.
    Just because young people get married, it does not protect them from sexual immorality. There a plenty of ways to be sexually immoral within your marriage besides premarital sin. Marriage is not an automatic get out of jail free card. It is a beautiful stitching together of hearts that provides so much good, wholeness, and fruit that sexual sin would seem laughable. Just like the love of Christ compels us to love and obey Him, and to follow Him, so marital love compels us to be faithful. This kind of love can take a while to develop and grow both individually and relationally, and it’s ok to take the time to let that happen. Love God, be loved by Him, rejoice, and that Love will compel you in the proper time to make the eternal decision of marriage.

  • Natalie Lawrence

    “biblical definition of marriage as an incredible gift?!” What Bible are you reading?! Paul advised his church to never get married unless you were unable to abstain from sex. Marriage has nothing to do with Christianity and wasn’t even endorsed by the early church.

    • Heidi

      The Bible that makes the comparison of man and wife to Christ and the church, probably. Yes, Paul advised against it, but God also created it to be a beautiful thing. Adam needed Eve, and God created her for him.
      Ephesians 5:22-6:9
      There was no need to be hateful in your post. My Bible has plenty of verses on marriage besides what Paul wrote in I Corinthians. There is no need to cut down other Christians…
      If marriage had “nothing to do with Christianity” then it wouldn’t be the metaphor for Christ and the church.

  • Tonya M S Umbel

    First, I agree that marriage is a great gift. Being married to my husband has been the best time of my life and each day gets better. However, I don’t agree with the statements that Marriage will make you grow up or that it is good to protect Christians from sexual immorality. Let me give you some background to understand where I am coming from.

    My first kiss was age 19, second kiss age 23. My first real first date was also age 23 when I started dating my first boyfriend. I was married at 25 (not to the same man) and was a virgin. My husband is a pastor. He had his first kiss around 28, first real girlfriend then as well (not me) and was a virgin when he married me at 30.

    We feel that we do not even want our children (the hypothetical ones yet to be born) to date in high school. I never did, my husband didn’t. We appreciated that we focused ourselves on our studies and our faith. We did not focus on finding a mate but discovering who we were as individuals. Many times when people date too early they don’t really develop a strong sense of self. I know because my grandmother, mother, and sister all married in their teens and don’t have a good sense of self. Both my mother and grandmother had a terrifically hard time when they were widowed in their early 50s, not only because they lost their best friends but because they literally didn’t have the ability to function on their own. My mom 2 years later still has no interests of her own and has become obsessed with remarrying so she has a mate to tell her how to think.

    Marrying early doesn’t make you grow up. It thrusts you into a situation that stifles your personal growth and adolescent development. The psychology community has recently stated that a person does not leave adolescence (the developmental milestone of self identity) until 24 years old. It is also pertinent to point out that adolescence has extended because of the society we live in. 100 years ago adolescence was from age 15-17. Now it starts at age 12. The thrust of sexualization on teens and the more complicated social order with media, busy living, and higher expectations for career, it makes it a bombardment on neural development and has stunted young people. Marriages that were fine 100 years ago at the age of 18 are not comparable. It is apples and oranges.

    My other qualm is that you are recommending early marriage because of the “they want to have sex anyway so if they are going to do it, at least be married” attitude. I think this teaches Christians to make decisions for the wrong reason. It encourages young persons to jump into marriage when they may not truly be with the right person. It encourages marriage to fulfill sexual desire in some sense. Instead, we should encourage abstinence and development of the fruit of self control.

    Statics also show that those who marry before 22 have a much higher rate of divorce. Simply put, these individuals are not fully adult psychologically so how can they posses the maturity it takes to have unconditional love? It is very hard.

    In conclusion, although you make some interesting points, I do not beleive we as a society or as Christians should encourage early marriage. We should encourage personal development and discernment of God’s will, whether that be early are late marriage, or no marriage at all.

  • Zaundra

    I have been married for 23 yrs! I married my husband when I was 17 (not pregnant) & he was 20. I do not regret a moment of my life. I agree with this article. The reason why he talks abouy a man becoming a man is because that is what the bible says, God says. It took a long time for us to get it right but do you know how much happier I am because he is the leader of our home. I tried it and too much of a headache. I have no problem with young couples I think it is sweet and a big adventure and I do not lool at marriage as a life sentence, it is our way
    God’s way. He sent Scott to me and haa made my journey wonderful. Not easy but what a great partner I have been blessed with.

  • Tatin

    As I read this, I was thinking of a young college couple I know. Both Christians who had sex in their late teens, then a year later got together again. This time they are trying to honor God without falling into sin. I am concerned about them because I feel that the temptation to be intimate again is very great. One is 23 the other 22. I am a woman that got married at 25 and have been married for over 30 years. I think generalizing is dangerous but as I counsel young woman I find that many young Christians are having a hard time living a holy life. When I was growing up most of my friends were virgins, that is not the norm today. I grew up believing that sex was part of marriage and outside of it, it was sin. This is still true. So I can understand the concept of getting married early. But I would say that the question is not about getting married as much as living a life that is pleasing to God and asking God to guide them in their life choices. God has a plan for our lives. I think Paul had it right when he talked about marriage. If we are going to sin by having sex out of marriage, then get married. But marriage should not be taken lightly. One of my best friends got married at 19. She always says, “It was that or burning in hell.:” Yet this couple also have been married more than 30 years. He is a pastor. So my advice would be, live a life that pleases God. Remember that sex out of marriage is sin. If you are leaning toward sin in this area, then get marry. Marriage is a blessing but it requires that two people commit to God and to each other. So if you get marry young or older…honor God by praying that He would make you the best spouse for that person.If God calls you to wait, then honor God in this.

  • ed

    If early marriage is so great then why do they end up getting divorced 80% of the time. A high school diploma means nothing. You have to go to college. You cant focus in class with a baby and rent to worry about

    • Mallory

      The divorce rate for people who are 20 and under is actually 11%…(and i am talking about an actual marriage meaning that they got married out of love and not for reasons such as a pregnancy)…this 11% is compared to the national percentage of 45% if you get married after 20(and that also is counting people who got married for “love” and not for alternate reasons)…..just saying

  • Lyss

    Personally, being 20 years old myself, there is no way I would be able to handle the responsibility of taking care of not only myself, but someone else as well. At the age of 20, people should be focused on learning how to sustain and be responsible for themselves, get an education, and have a quality job that is able to support themselves as well as a future spouse and children. There are so many other important things in your life than getting married. It seems so common nowadays that people rush in to marriage young and wind up regretting it and divorce. I’m not saying nobody should be married young; some people stay happily married, and that’s great for them. But getting married young shouldn’t be a top priority in someone’s life.

  • Carina Ottey

    I could argue and agree with this article. I am 20 years old and engaged. The reason why I feel like I am ready to happily commit myself to one person for the rest of my life is because I grew up independently. My family was always poor, moving from small apartment to even smaller apartment every 2 years. My mother had 4 kids and had no idea how to raise them or teach them much about life. I ended up learning how to do most things on my own, with some help from my grandparents. Got a job at 12, got 2 jobs at 16, now I have my own business and am a manager of a bridal store, my passion, while also being a college student. In these years growing up, I was allowed to do pretty much whatever I wanted. I know that can sound bad to some people. The difference is that I could do whatever I wanted with total responsibility on myself. THAT is what made me responsible. Yes, I had a month or two of the “partying” phase. I experienced good and bad long relationships. I was forced to grow up very fast….does it sound like I grew up in like 50′s, 60′s, or 70′s?

    The reason why I think this article is right is because people are much more protective over their children now. They have to be. I mean, it seems like there’s a sexual predator on every street nowadays. Parent’s today realize how important it is to protect their child. My mother did and still does have some serious mental disruptions that caused her to not be able to function like a proper mother would. And I seriously benefitted from it. What I’m trying to get at is that when mothers have always protected their child, it’s almost impossible to let go. Mother’s in the 50′s, 60′s, and 70′s didn’t have to worry about the issues we face today, that is why their children had more room to learn things on their own and be responsible for their own actions. If a kid does something wrong today, it’s the parent’s fault, not the child’s. I don’t believe it was that way in the past.

    The reason why I think the article is wrong is because I don’t think we should encourage early marriage… unless we know how the young adults react to their own responsibilities. I work at a bridal/prom store. I am always watching how teens expect everything from their parents. From my own experience, the majority of teen’s rely too much on their parents and the parent’s are too protective of their children from experiencing real life situations, such as money and expenses. Prom dresses in our store range from $200-$500 (roughly). I am guessing about 90% of the girl’s expect their parents to pay for their dress, and the parents offer to pay for it. I went to 4 proms and paid for every single expensive dress on my own without ever expecting a cent from my parents. I ask these girls whose parents say the dress is too expensive “do you have a job?” To the ones who say “yes” I ask “why don’t you just buy it?” They usually have an answer like “psh, I’m not paying that much of my own money.”…. Take a second to analyze this. They are aware of how much time and energy it takes to make $200-$500, but they don’t want themselves to suffer the consequences of spending it…. but they are begging.. and expecting their parents to. They believe their parent’s will take full responsibility. These are 17, 18, 19 year old young adults expecting their parents to buy them a $200-$500 dress. As much as I love my job… this issue does really bother me. And this is not just with girls, I see it in the young men population also. I do not think the majority of young people, at least in my northeastern American area, are ready to be in a fully committed (married) relationship complete with financial stress and sometimes children.

    • Carina Ottey

      encouragement from society ruins marriages. It forces people to get married for the wrong reasons. They settle for the “good enough” person even if deep down they know they are not “the one” because it is almost shameful to not be married by a certain age. I believe that age is around late 20′s early 30′s. I do believe that is why there are more divorces in older aged marriages than there are in current younger marriages. The young people wanting to get married are so certain of their love that they are willing to go against society norms. That proves real, lasting love. If we started to encourage it for young people, they would be getting married for the wrong reasons. It’s actually a very simple concept.

  • Sam

    Essentially this discussion has broken down into an experienced based rant. The article is making a much broader case than is spoken for in its brevity. Take a step back and consider the bigger picture. He is not saying that everyone should marry young or that marrying young fixes all problems. Furthermore, he is not saying that marrying young will prevent issues down the road. The argument is that marrying young is not to be taboo or looked down upon, but rather celebrated when it occurs. If you got married when you were older you face the benefits of two developed adults who ought to be mature enough for marriage. If you got married when you were younger you face the benefits of being about to grow together. Moreover, most marital problems arise from sin in a person’s heart not circumstances. If that is the case then waiting will not prevent problems. In fact stubbornness increases with age. Likewise, inexperience leads to foolish choices. Marriage is fraught with danger….two sinners living together as one flesh. The benefits of marriage include sanctification and a picture of the gospel.

  • Josh

    Please remove this post immediately as it is wrong, dangerous, discriminatory, bigoted, unsophisticated, and full of hate.

    This is so very wrong. Only God knows the plan for my life. God calls men to live many different types of lives, and no one life is “right”. He says that “Christian men need to grow up into their divine calling of marriage and family.” I don’t know if that true, but even if it is, not everyone should get married early.

    First, a minor point: marriage frustrates, and is inconsistent with early adventure. What if one wants to backpack Europe, hike south Asia, ride the iditarod trail, farm in South America, etc. To my mind, all of those experiences would be beneficial as experiences that broaden one’s perspective. More importantly, those experiences may be ones to which God has called some young men

    Early marriage is would frustrate such ambitions. The demanding climates of Asia, Alaska, South America, Europe, and the commitment of such activities is incompatible with early marriage. He even seems to say as much: “When a man gets married he becomes responsible for providing for his family, making sure the bills are paid…” Don’t get me wrong: I don’t think it’s impossible to do both, but I’m sure that early marriage would frustrate such ambitions.

    A second point: I take serious umbrage at this pastor’s unsophisticated, bigoted, and prejudiced characterization of a whole generation as “drinking red bull, and playing X-Box all day” that is “characterized by a lack of initiative [and] failing to take responsibility for their own lives.” That is a churlish ad hominem that is totally blind to the many young people who live powerful lives, bold lives, daring lives of discovering Him and living out His purpose, but that do not get married early.

    But here’s the gravamen of my point: God calls men to live a million different types of lives, all blessed by God. Wonderful, bold, lives of exploration and discovery, of the world, of love, and of God. No one life is “right”. A blank declaration that “Christian men need to grow up into their divine calling of marriage and family,” at least to the extent that that means that men should get married early, is dangerous – very dangerous – and wrong.

    I do think that marriage is a blessed estate, consecrated by God. But there isn’t one “right” life. Only God knows the plan for my life.

  • Ryan

    I agree with the general premise of this article, but think that it fails to address the many problems with getting married young that I think have to be considered. I myself will soon be getting married relatively young (22) and as I sort through all this the reason why I am convinced that it is a good idea is because it has the approval of older Christians whom I love and respect and have been successfully married for many years and who know both of us and have seen our relationship and agree that we are ready for marriage: our parents, mentors, pastors.

  • http://dustinpearce.com/ Dustin Pearce

    Love it.

    Obviously this is a big topic but I think making a case for younger marriage is awesome!

    I definitely was on the side of later marriage until I met a few good young people who did it right. As long as you know who you are, why not get married young?

  • Aden

    I really think people should get their own stuff together first before taking on the responsibilities of a family. Especially if they have emotional problems, taking on a wife/husband and possibly children is not a great way to start or keep a long term marriage. Marriage is team work its not a walk in the park like he seems to make it. It takes work and other things to make it. Yes God will help you out with your challenges along the way but you have to meet him halfway as well. Marriage will not force a man/woman to grow up, it will not teach him/her responsibility. He’ll/she’ll go from their parents house playing x-box to their SO house playing x-box without having to learn anything, while putting the responsibilities on their SO. Of course not everyone is like this and I’m not indicating to one specific group or gender. I’m not saying it’s a bad idea to get married when you are young, but don’t do it just because it’s the thing to do or “You think it’s Gods plan.” It’s not something you can just rush into and it’s certainly a lifetime commitment if you are a Christian, you are going to want to make sure they are the right match for you. Both earthly and spiritually.

  • justindeeter

    A few points of clarification for you commenters.

    1. No, I am not indicating that every person should get married young or that if you do not get married young you are some how making a big mistake. I am addressing how many people place a taboo on early marriage in our culture, even within the Christian community.

    2. Singleness is a viable option and should be praised and celebrated. Marriage is not God’s will for everyone. I wrote a post extensively on the gift of singleness. You can check it out here: http://www.justindeeter.com/archives/479

    3. Be civil. Debate the issue or the idea and do it with integrity.

    • Jeff Stephens

      Thanks for the clarification. I believe you have pure intentions. My fear is that using words like “cataclysmic” and “detrimental” will only add to a church culture that shames single people and marginalizes them (see my other post in this discussion). As a soon-to-be-married 36-year-old, it *felt* like you said that singleness is ruining the church. I know that’s not what you were saying; I just know that is how it felt and how many of my single friends would feel.

    • Todd Williams

      //No, I am not indicating that every person should get married young or that if you do not get married young you are some how making a big mistake.//

      Justin, now you’re saying it’s not making a big mistake to get married when older, but earlier in your post you said that the trend of getting married when “pushing 30″ is a “cataclysmic disaster for the church.”

      This is contradictory.

      //I am addressing how many people place a taboo on early marriage in our culture, even within the Christian community.//

      Are you not doing the same yourself by “placing a taboo” on getting married when pushing 30 by describing it with such fear-mongering hyperbole?

    • Jeff Stephens

      I read the other blog, and it’s done well. However, I’m still having trouble reconciling that blog and this blog. I’m sure your point is that ungodly attitudes about singleness and marriage are the problems, not singleness per se. But, again, as a single person, it feels like this: singleness is a gift up until you reach a certain age. And, unless you have the gift of singleness, it becomes a curse after a certain age.

      My point is that we should be very careful with how we address single people in our churches. From my own experience, most REALLY want to get married, and many feel unwelcomed by a church culture that puts young families on a pedestal. (Which, coincidentally, brings us to another group we often shame: married couples without children).

      • justindeeter

        Jeff, great observation. Churches often don’t do a very good job ministering to singles. Often they are alienated or don’t quite “fit in” with the rest of the church. I think you’re right, we need to do a better job ministering to those who are single (and don’t want to be) and to those married couples without children. Thanks for sharing your insights!

  • Jeff Stephens

    I get what you’re saying. We shouldn’t shame people who get married young. But we also shouldn’t shame people who are 25 or older and unmarried. Even if that’s not the intent of the blog, I’m afraid that’s how single people will feel when you use words like “cataclysmic” and “detrimental,” as if their singleness is ruining the church.

    I’ve known know too many over-25 single Christians (myself included, though I’m engaged) who have felt like there is something wrong with them because they’re single. I know VERY few Christian singles who are “old” who don’t yearn to be married more than anything, and if they could just wave a wand and be married they would be in a millisecond. And they feel marginalized because they aren’t the “target demographic” of most churches, or because we continue to act as if marriage is the pinnacle of the Christian experience.

    Besides, Paul encourages us to REMAIN single if we’re unmarried, because then we can focus fully on God. How do we reconcile Paul’s words with your blog?

  • Todd Williams

    Justin’s Blog description: “My aim is to encourage you to know the Lord Jesus Christ through the teaching of God’s word.”

    Justin’s Blog quote: “It is my personal belief and conviction that this [getting married near 30] is absolutely detrimental to human flourishing and a cataclysmic disaster for the church.”

    Thanks for the “encouragement” through “God’s word,” Justin! *facepalm*

    • T.O.

      He’s making it sound like marriage is the absolute only way God can grow the church and the only way Christians can properly serve which is just NOT TRUE. Seek first the Kingdom of God, not seek first a partner. Do what God has for you, single or married. So my newlywed friends who are in their 30′s, just had a baby and serve God with all their hearts are contributing to the “cataclysmic disaster” of the church. Just not Biblical.

  • Anonymous

    I’m not Christian but my religion does follow many of these rules. However I do see flaws. Marriage in my opinion doesn’t force anyone to grow up–people don’t change for other people, they change for themselves. Putting someone in a committed relationship when they have not yet been able to prepare for it will only harm both parties. In the same way, yes sex is intended for marriage, but again that is not a reason to marry early. Ideally, we would all be the type of people who would never act on our sexual urges before marriage in ANY way, and we would all be mature enough to get married when those sexual urges hit. But this is not the case. It takes a lot of emotional maturity to get married, which obviously comes WAY after physical maturity for many people, and getting married simply for the sake of growing up or having sex will never ever be beneficial.

  • Cassy Stowe

    Even though marriage is a great gift, I still don’t see why it’s one young adults should be encouraged to rush in to. Marrying young doesn’t give either partner the change to grow as a person independently, which is important in young adulthood. Instead, they’re pushed into being adults with many, many responsibilities (which is a terrible idea) and I don’t see why that is something that is celebrated. Also, think about “forces people to grow up” for a moment. Think about that word “forces”. How is that a positive word? One should never force themselves to grow up, especially by getting married too early in their lives when they have just begun to really tread in the pond of true adulthood with responsibilities. Growing up too fast hardly ever yields a positive outcome. People really find themselves in the first few years of their adult lives, and they aren’t the same person at 33 or 43 that they were at 23. Why should someone decide who they’re going to spend the rest of their lives with when they aren’t even going to be the same person in 10 years? I also have a problem with the idea in this article that marriage protects from sexual immorality, because it seems to me that the argument this article is trying to make is that young people should get married early so that they can have sex. How is that moral? If a person truly wants to be abstinent until marriage, they will do so. But trying to entice young people to marry early by telling them that they can have sex if they do so is highly immoral and low. Marriage is so much more. It’s a connection between partners that transcends the physical benefits, and with marriage comes many responsibilities that are better suited for older, wiser, and more mature people who know what they want and have grown into the people they want to be- not for those looking to be able to have sex in a way that “glorifies” God and puts young adults in positions way over their heads.

    Overall, as a young adult, I’m actually quite insulted by this article, and less than convinced that getting married early is a good idea.

  • garrett

    I like this article because I was raised this way. I was raised in this culture to graduate get an education and find someone you love and settle down with that person and start a family. I just found that person. She’s 24 and I’m 19. She’s had that chance to go out and mature like a few of you said. Maybe that’s why I love her. Because she’s mature and has been through some of the things I’m gonna have to go through as I begin to go out on my own. So I go both ways on this.

  • Katie Gage

    If you know someone well enough to know that you can both work as a team
    to serve God and raise a Godly family, why wait? But I don’t think
    early marriage should be preached at ALL, any more than late marriage.
    People need to know how to build a Godly marriage, but timing is going
    to be different, and for some it won’t come at all.

    1. For every difference and big change, there are a million of those irritating pat phrases that everyone is sick of hearing. Two of the three comments you listed are heard by most engaged couples, whatever their age.

    2. The men living with their parents and playing video games may be under
    the impression that they don’t have to grow up until they are married.
    They don’t need to be encouraged to marry, but to grow up. Don’t make
    that the wife’s responsibility. She needs a husband to lead, not a boy to baby-sit.

    3. …I guess you’re talking about people who already have their spouse picked out, in which case I agree that it can be an unnecessary risk to wait. Surely you aren’t suggesting this line of argument should be taken while teaching young adults about early marriage. Are they to feel like they aren’t expected to control themselves if, for whatever reason, they find themselves single at 25? Are they to seek a spouse with this mindset? Paul did say in 1 Corinthians 7:8 “I say therefore to the unmarried and
    widows, it is good for them if they abide even as I. 9 But if they
    cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.” So
    the reason you listed is a reason for marriage, but young Christians
    shouldn’t be taught that they MUST burn because EVERYBODY does, so they should get married NOW. Maybe we should just teach young Christians and parents to avoid media rated for sexual content, and to learn to avert their eyes or control their minds with the advertisements and such, but mainly to see the exposed individuals for their souls and not their bodies. I know men are reported to have a harder time with these things, but do you think that garbage didn’t exist when Paul was in Rome?

    In conclusion, we are called to serve God whether alone, in a pair or with a team. We need to encourage young Christians to mature in Christ. Teach them about Godly marriage, the beautiful design, the purpose, the roles, but don’t give them a deadline. Teach them about serving God with their single lives, too, that they shouldn’t waste time “waiting,” but should follow Paul’s example of serving God while there are fewer distractions. Then they’ll be prepared for either life and be equipped to make their own choice.

  • angelina

    i think that we dont get married early because we see a lot of failing marriages now a days

  • Dana

    Marriage should not be a way to grow up, it should not be a way to mature and get a
    career, it should not be a way to be more responsible and understanding.
    Marriage should not be taken lightly and should not be dealt with too young.
    For the most part for people around the age of 20, they are still getting to
    know themselves and what they want out of life and a partner. I would hope for
    most, for people who get married or are planning to in the near future, they are
    already at the point in their life where they are independent, mature, and
    responsible individuals who are capable of making their own decisions and
    dealing with the consequences as adults. Marriage should not be seen as a way
    to get to that point in someone’s life. It should only be considered after
    someone makes something of themselves and are mature enough to understand
    the sacrifices, responsibilities, and time marriage entails. Marriage is no walk
    in the park.

  • Brit

    Women who get married a little later are happier because they are established, have a sense of self, & aren’t forced to be completely dependant on their husband. They get married for the right reasons & stay married for the right reasons. There is so much more to say, but I’m done..this article ia just terrible.

  • Liz

    I don’t completely agree with the last part, how the article basically says you need to get married young so can fill your sexual desires, but in a way that is pleasing to the Lord. Yes, that is a perk of getting married you get to have sex while glorifying God. But that doesn’t mean the temptations are going to go away. If you can’t keep your body and mind pure while your single, why do you think that will go away when you get married… All I’m saying is don’t get married just so you don’t have to worry about cracking under this very sexualized world, because whether or not you are married porn, adultery, lust ect.. is all around. Purity is in the mind just as much as it is in the body.

  • Rachel Pate

    I met my husband when I was 16 and he was 19. I married him three years later when I was 19. I went on to receive three college degrees before becoming mom to three great kids. The reason we have made it? Grace… for sure! And, we both went in as believers in the LORD. We both didn’t buy the fairy tale… two perfect people … marrying in order to have a perfect marriage. There was only one perfect man, and He never got married (Jesus). Therefore, we went in to our marriage with an attitude of perseverance. We have been married for almost 25 years and he is my BEST friend! I am so thankful we didn’t wait longer.

  • Corrine_E

    Amen! I am 18 and just married my amazing godly husband three months ago, who is 19. Wouldn’t have it any other way!!

  • disqus_y2tN2kw6k5

    A biased article written by an individual who provides no statistical evidence for a number of his points, who generalizes his generation as one that is, “characterized by a lack of initiative failing to take responsibility for their own lives,” and who seemingly believes that chivalrous practices should still be in place in today’s society. If you are going to stigmatize a large group of individuals, then please do so with evidence rather than personal judgments.

  • Sara

    When I first read the title of this article I thought, “Ew.” When I clicked on the link and saw that it was a Christian article I thought, “Vomit. Vaaaaah-mit.” And after I read through the article the first time I thought, “Ok, I may have to call in sick tomorrow.”
    Well, I popped a Pepto and I’m find now, but let’s chat. I’ve read this article 4 times now trying to find the good in it and I’ve yet to succeed. I know what you’re thinking and LAWD, LET ME SAY THIS FIRST: I don’t think getting married at a young age is at ALL a bad thing. If you have a boo thang and you want to spend the rest of your life with him then honey, you throw on a tiara, a pair of Dye-ables from David’s Bridal and you do you. I have many friends who are married and happy and I can’t wait to be the coolest Auntie Plunknasty and get your kid their first fake I.D. Jk. Jk. Jk.

    What bothers me about this article is it using the Christian Religion as a reason to get married at a young age. You aren’t mature? Get married! Want to have sex? Get married! It sounds like a cheesy infomercial….”Are you 28 and at a crossroads? Get married!” Like…..Whaaaaaat? Is this guy freal? Like, srsly. Is. He. Freal.

    Being young and alone can be a wonderful thing. Being 42 and alone can also be a wonderful thing. Don’t let someone behind a computer make you feel like you should be married by a certain age. I don’t know of a single verse implying that a young marriage is best. If you’re having problems becoming an adult or with your sex life, take that up with The Lord not Christianmingle.com. You don’t need a partner to grow up. Just do it. Take responsibility. Create goals. Work hard.
    I whole heartedly believe that God will one day bless me with a man that will take me to Britney Spears concerts and dress up like the Astronaut from the “Oops! I Did it Again!” video and sing karaoke with me, but until then I’m just fine doing it with my friends. Good timing is God’s timing.

    I am young. I am a Christian. I am single. And I am fabulous.

  • Valerie

    This person CLEARLY has a limited point of view. Marriage does not protect a person from sexual immorality. I mean even that’s in the Bible. Men and women had sex outside their marriages in biblical times and they do it in present day. Plus, isolating that as a reason to get married young, just sounds silly. Thinking “I’m going to get married quickly, so that I can avoid sexual temptation and sin” sets that person and their spouse up for disaster. And you absolutely should not consider marriage if you are too immature to take responsibility for another person that you love and care about. Marriage should not be the thing that “pushes young men out of the nest to spread their wings and fly under the windy pressures of life”. And why are men suddenly more responsible than women for running a family? That’s another piece of your logic that would set many couples up for disaster. Men and women should take equal responsibility for all parts of their life. Perhaps before women had rights your logic held true, because women couldn’t legally own anything or make financial decisions. This is not the case anymore. Men and women are partners, and it’s unfair to put more emphasis on men taking responsibility.

  • Eli

    Wait this guy wants the irresponsible me to get married and start a family to learn responsibility?

  • Jaime

    As a 20-year-old Christian female, I disagree strongly with this article. I am nowhere near being ready to get married. I’ve seen too many early marriages fail. I want to have some experiences of my own, finish my degree, learn to take care of myself before I get married! I want some time to do what I want before I have to think of someone else’s needs too. I don’t want to force a guy or myself to grow up by getting married and be resentful of the things I missed ten years down the road. And when I do meet that guy that God has picked out for me, I’m going to date him for a good long time and make sure he’s the one.

    I am not going to rush into a marriage before I’m ready because of my sex drive, or to force someone to grow up. God has given me the strength to wait twenty years for the man he has for me and I trust that when I’m ready, He’ll send him my way. Marriage IS a great gift, but if you open it without double checking the name tag, you may end up with the wrong one.

  • Yaniz Seeley

    I enjoyed the content of this article, however I have several concerns. I am a 21 year old Christian woman. I am single. I believe that everyone has their own journey set up by God and to say that I as a young Christian woman should be putting forth my efforts into finding a husband doesn’t seem to fit into that. I believe God will bring that person into my life when I am ready for him, and he for me. Whether that is next year or a decade from now doesn’t matter. What is time to God? Also, I would like to mention that Paul talked a great deal about marriage. He said that as a single person, it is easier to put your whole heart into working for Jesus (which is what Christian’s should be doing), but that when you marry, you have another person to think about. He was definitely all about developing a strong character through relationship with God before bringing another person into the mix. God should be the One to fulfill me and complete me, not a man. Now, once I find a man who is as crazy about God as I am, then we can talk. But I’m not going to go on a wild goose chase. Instead, I will seek my God out wholeheartedly, and He will bring the right man to me.

  • Jeremiah Butler

    I think there might be one view left unmentioned. I enjoyed his reasoning for marrying young, and hope I do! BUT. As a 19 year old, born and raised in a Christian household, accepted Christ for my self at age 7, and have Christian friends that are girls, I just don’t have any one (knowingly) in my life that I feel God is calling me to marry. Yes, I have a few that we have discussed dating or marriage through out the years, but I want to wait for the “go ahead” from God, vs jumping the gun. Marrying young isn’t necessarily bad! But it might be for YOU, with God’s plan for your life.

  • Eliza

    This is a very disturbing post. As a woman who was raised in a Christian Cult, I am against the christian lifestyle, and marriage. My parent raised me to open without question, and not question what I was ‘taught.’ If you have it fine, but you don’t need to flaunt you views, opinion (especially), and religion, in mine and everyone elses face.
    Marriage in not a gift, it is a way for you to be tied to someone for the rest of your and their life. It is just a way for people to take possession of you, when you marry someone -whether male, or female – the own you, you are theirs, and they are yours.
    Marriage does not make people grow up! Growing up is a choice, and a person can be ‘adolecent’ and married.
    Marriage does not protect from ‘sexual imorallity.’ Its a choice!!!

    Research before believing!!!

  • Stacie

    Thank you so much for posting this! My husband and I believe in and encourage early marriage for those who love God. It is especially wonderful when they have the support of their family to help them get off to a great start. My husband and I are still amazed how much better equipped we are to serve the Lord now that we are married verses when we were serving the Lord as singles. We encourage, pray for, challenge and inspire each other. With the Lord’s blessing, we have done more for the Kingdom in the last three years of marriage than the previous six years of single service for the Lord. And it is not that we were lazy before, it is just that our work is multiplied, not just added to each other. It is now 10×10 instead of 10+10. Marriage to a godly partner is WONDERFUL and definately worth pursuing!

  • Christine L.

    Our goal for our children is not necessarily to encourage our children for marriage but to be ready for it if it happens. We homeschool our children and make sure we incorporate skills training for single life that can easily transition to married life. That way, they aren’t deer in the headlights and they have a confidence in their skills as young men and women as well as husbands and wives, mothers and fathers. We don’t just focus on academics and then expect them to “figure it out” later.

  • Beth

    Honestly, I find this quite offensive. Not that I have anything against people getting married young… but I do think it’s really out of line and extremely insulting to say that the trend of getting married when you are “pushing thirty… is absolutely detrimental to human flourishing and a cataclysmic disaster for the church.” Really??? As a woman who is “pushing thirty” myself, I firmly hold to the belief that it is a “good idea” to get married when it is GOD’s timing for me to get married! I trust Him enough to believe that He knows best, and I will get married when He brings the man He has prepared for me into my life… not when it is culturally acceptable for me to be married… regardless of whether that is when I’m 30 or 50 or 95!!

  • Adriann Ellis

    I really don’t see how any of the reasons you listed are good reasons to get married at a young age. I’ll start with your first reason. yes, it is a gift, but just because God has blessed us with this doesn’t mean we should throw caution to the wind and grab it at the first chance we get. as we grow and mature into adults, people change. our interests, our values, sometimes even our personality. I think that you should be with someone through this time in their lives and see if the person they grow to be is still the one you want to marry. no one is the same as they were at 17&18 as they are at 30…life and experience matures and molds you into who you are. when you are young…you have no idea what you want or a true concept of what the real world is like. for your second point, if you get married because you think it will force you to grow up…that’s a very immature and silly reason. you’re making vows to spend your life with someone…you should already be grown up before you make that decision. and lastly, sex is seen as such a dirty thing. young Christians are getting married for the simple fact that they feel that its the only way they can have sex without being judged or damned. I’m not promoting loose morals, however, sex is natural..people should not be ashamed of sexual urges. also, if sex was meant to be strictly for procreation, we would join the long list of animals that do not experiance orgasm. yes its meant to be shared with your spouse… but…its nothing to be ashamed of and certainly shouldn’t be the reason you marry. just because you want to have sex with them, doesn’t mean you are in love with them…and at a young age, its difficult to know the difference in love and infatuation.

    get married when you are ready…not when you are inexperienced, immature, and going through puberty with the reasoning “ill put a ring on it so I can have sex with her. ” also… pretty sure God would be okay with us getting out of a loveless and miserable marriage… we are human and don’t always get things right the first time. sometimes the person you are meant to marry, have children with, and spend your life with, aren’t the same person. we dont know Gods plan… we just have guidelines and a general idea. those whos life is a result of what we are to believe as wrong, such as divorce, may very well be to see how we react to them. so put your stones back in your pocket. some people may be God’s tools to teach us to not judge and to love as he loves us.

  • Kristina

    I’m a 20 year old single woman waiting on God’s perfect timing to send me the man I’m supposed to marry. In your opinion based on this article, I feel like I am doing the wrong thing. So am I supposed to marry the next creepy guy that hits on me as I walk downtown at night? Or marry someone I don’t love just so that I can marry young because that’s what I’m supposed to be doing? What is your advice to those young, single, independent, God-fearing women? Because marriage isn’t an option for me yet.

  • Layah Rigmaiden

    I feel people need to quit telling everyone else how they should live their lives, we all have our own destiny and our own spirit not to mention growing up in different ways of life and experiences.

  • r21

    Soooo you should get married at an age where your brain is not even fully developed (the prefrontal cortex doesn’t fully develop until 25) and decide to spend the rest of your life with another person before you even know what your career is going to be for the sake of forcing the responsibility of a family on clearly already immature males and to prevent sexual sin? Really, that’s your argument?

  • Anna

    I think that some of this can be true, although culture is changing. More women are getting an education now, which I think is one large reason as to why the marriage age is going up. Women getting an education and a job is not a bad thing at all — actually, it’s a really good thing. It will make the future family more financially secure and completing school before marriage is also less stressful for everyone involved. If you want to get married at a young age, that’s fine, go ahead. I just think people jump into marriage without really thinking about it. They want to “be and adult” and “make adult decisions,” but the truth is that they don’t know anything about that right after they’ve graduated from high school. I just think people need to learn and grow a little more before throwing a significant other into the mix and making that huge commitment. Also, I agree that it keeps people from sexual immorality. Although this is true, I think that is not a good reason to get married. I attend a Christian college, actually, and I see it happen all the time: a guy and a girl date for a month then just get married. And often times it’s for the wrong motive — so that they don’t have to have self control anymore. If it is really that important to someone and they are really adamant about following the Word of God, then they will wait. Getting married just to have sex and not have it be a sin is wrong. That is not the kind of love Christ teaches us about through his actions, and sadly, the reason a lot of people get married young is so that they can just have sex under the covenant of marriage.

  • your mother

    so what i learned from this is that i should get married at 19 or so because its a gift, it will make me older, and this way, i dont have to worry about abstinence because its not like finances get tougher when your married and have a baby… Whoever wrote this is an idiot.

  • Casey Pense

    “marriage protects from sexual immorality”.. and so it does.. but does young marriage?more often than not people who marry young these days tend to divorce at a greater rate. When divorce happens then technically after the divorce sexual immorality takes place seeing as we are suppose to have only one partner and after divorce people tend to take another. .. so is it protecting from it? or just prolonging it? and if it prolongs it, it most certainly has a greater negative effect on ones life.

  • nate

    This is the worst article article I have ever read. You need to grow up and learn that sexuality is not an uncontrollable desire. Early marriage is fine but noarriage and late marriage is fine. Divorce also is a huge result of young Christians wanting to get marriage because they simply want to have sex.

  • Amy

    I’m guessing this author is also a proponent of women staying at home while the husband goes out to work. When you are married in college or even just out of college, you lose the opportunity to develop a satisfying career. I don’t know for sure because I haven’t graduated from college yet, but I’m guessing that new grads “pay their dues” by being relocated multiple times until they gain enough experience to settle down in one spot in one career. If this happens to both husband and wife, the relationship is harder to withstand-especially when the two people are living in separate cities. It’s easier to just follow the husband around or follow the wife around if the other chooses to stay at home. And, by what this author is suggesting, young marriage forces the wife to sacrifice her career and implies that the husband is supposed to be the breadwinner. This is the age of feminism. Why would any college aged woman want to sacrifice that? Moreover, young marriage is not “taboo”. When something is taboo, its controversial and provokes feelings of shock. Young marriage just seems to be something most people look down upon.

  • Carolyn

    Saying marriage protects against sexual immorality is a bit ignorant.

  • disqus_dwizgV9tqw

    As a Christian, I disagree with just about every point said here.

  • JB

    Im 19 years old, the only reason I scrambled upon this post was from my friends who are getting married at the age of 19 & 20. I totally support them, but for others maybe not so much. I don’t personally really agree with all of this. As being part of the young society being described I can’t say I really relate with the way he described people around my age. Im from the “South”, (I dislike this term) but it is very common for people to marry around this age, now it might not be as relevant as it was years ago (I don’t know the statistics on that, just a guess to his statement). I also do not think people think about having Sex in their upper 20s at all, young people just think about sex in general. I do not believe or agree that we as young people are idolizing sex or marriage for that specific age. Marriage and Sex are a wonderful and beautiful gift that is given from God that we as my youth have shattered and made wrong. People get married now because that is “just the thing to do” and young people have seen divorce so often that they think it is an OK option. If a man is not mature enough, he will seek the easy way out of a marriage (women too). How are we supposed to look to our elders when it is so relevant in their lives too?

    Also, for me as I came out of a serious relationship where we talked about marriage and were very mature about things and respected each other and treated each other well, I am no longer in that relationship and I’m not devastated because I am not going to marry this girl, no. Im longing after God and growing closer to him yearning to learn his love more which will ultimately satisfy me and not a woman’s love. Im being patient til He shows me the woman worthy of pursuit. Until then I’m going to keep growing spiritually.

    Although I like that this encourages Men and Women who love Jesus to marry young, I cannot say I relate to this article at all because I’m in college and I’m seeing Godly relationships become Godly Marriages. One thing to consider is that now with this article it is putting more pressure on younger men and women to “Find the One” so I would love to see an article about waiting and being patient for the one that God has for us because that seems more of an issue than Christians not marrying younger. Also one last note that I have mentioned before, with younger Men and Women growing up being numb to Divorce and the Divorce rate is inclining, this is something we have become accustomed to or has become the norm because of older men and women in society, which ultimately stems from Sin. But be cautious and be praying for us younger Men and Women that this is not the case and that we are pursuing Authentic relationships that have Jesus at the Center of the Relationship where Divorce is less likely to come about.

  • Chad

    I got married when I was 38, so first let me apologize for fermenting “cataclysmic disaster for the church”. If I had known I was helping bring down Christendom I would have found somebody sooner. That’s totally on me.
    I read that you were engaged when you were 20, so you’re just writing from your perspective. There is nothing wrong with that. It would have been nice, however, if you had backed up your assertions with some scientific research, or better yet, being a pastor, some scripture. I don’t see any of this.
    For instance, you believe that 20- something marrieds are more mature than their single counterparts. Is this personal observation, research, or is there biblical basis for this assertion? I think it’s incredibly naive to claim that marriage automatically bestows maturity. I didn’t spend my 20s drinking Red Bull and playing video games in my parent’s basement. I did collect a few degrees, and tried to build relationships with fellow Christians and with God. I would think God cares a lot more about my relationship with Him than the age I get married (or if I get married at all).
    More troubling is your assertion that marriage somehow frees you of sexual temptation. It doesn’t, of course. Also, have a little faith in these poor singles: sexual temptation is hard, but far from impossible to overcome. Much like I avoided Red Bull, I also avoided “sowing my wild oats and living hedonistically before I settled down and got married.” Furthermore, encouraging young people to get married just so they can get their “Get Out Of Jail Free Sex” card? Dangerously naive.
    Marriage is a great gift. You got that part right. I’m thankful every day for my wife and marriage. But I’m also thankful for my life before (all that horrible, horrible singleness), because it made me into the man I am, the husband I am, the father I am. Most everything else you wrote, the word I keep coming back to is naive.
    Everyone is unique. Their walk with God is unique. Their level of maturity is unique. And yes, the time for them to be married is unique. Assigning an arbitrary age (you seem to think 20-21 is the magic number, because this is when the time was right for you) is disingenuous, at best. There are a lot of things wrong with marriage in America in 2013. Getting married too old isn’t one of them.

  • Ramano Meth

    We all agree on the dignity and usefulness of the institution of marriage, that (rightly understood) it is a vital part of the preservation and propagation of human life. Because of this we recognize the danger of this delayed-marriage-trend within the church. But we do not agree on how this trend, which is the result of cultural forces, should be pushed back. While i agree with the list of benefits which early marriage provides, (which benefits, i might add, are also true of late marriages), i disagree with the solution proposed by this article, namely that young-Christian-singles should get married early.

    The problem of delayed-marriage-trend is real. It does pose a long term threat to society at large, and a somewhat more immediate threat to the health and growth of the Church. But the solution is not to pressurize young-christian-singles into marriage by bombarding them with a list of the peripheral benefits of marriage. It is a shame that the writer of this article makes such a strong push for early-marriage while making little reference to the original intent and purpose of marriage.

    And mark this, the reasons for this trend in the Church is not only because of the cultural forces which are constantly pushing up against us, but it also has something to do with the fact that the marriages which young-christian-singles have had the chance to observe are not all that great. Let’s be honest. The same strife and discord which is the daily diet of non-christian marriages are normal for christian marriages (This is a general statement. No time to research statistics. I know of many good and beautiful Christian marriages which have caused me to desire marriage all the more!).

    So let me come to some suggestions. Perhaps, instead of pressurizing young people to get married, why not have a look at the Bible again and see what Paul has said about it first. Did not the Apostle say “I wish that all were as I myself am. But each has his own gift from God, one of one kind and one of another. To the unmarried and widowed I say that it is good for them to remain single as I am. But if they cannot exercise self control, they should marry. For it is better to marry that to burn with passion.” (1 Cor 7:7-9).

    Clearly the Apostle strikes a balance between marriage and remaining single such that there are legitimate reasons on both sides for why both states are good. Remaining unmarried is better because it saves one from “worldly trouble” (1 Cor 7:28) and allows for a life more given for service to the Church. Marriage pictures the Gospel (Eph 5:25) provides a degree of protection against sexual immorality (1 Cor 7:9), fulfills God’s purpose of populating the earth (Gen 1:28, 32) and in turn causes the church grow (Mt 28:19-20). Young-single-Christians should strive to gain a clearer picture of God’s purposes in the world and see how their marrying or remaining faithfully single can serve those divine purposes best (1 Cor 7:25ff).

    “So then he who marries his betrothed does well, and he who refrains from marriage does even better.” (1 Cor 7:38)

  • Tracy Geist

    We are called as Christians to love one another. My question to many of us arguing over whether or not its right or wrong to get married young is simply…are you loving people and supporting them in what they believe God has called them to do or are we all so busy trying to justify our views that we are missing the point entirely. Voicing one’s opinion one way or the other is only being critical of someone else and perhaps we need to look in the mirror first and examine where that judgement is coming from. Its very obvious to me that not one way is better than the other and God knowing more than all of us, calls us all differently.

  • Andres Riefkohl

    “Marriage is a great gift.” Marriage is not always great, which is why people now wait longer and are getting divorced more. It is not for everyone, and it only works if both parties are mature and capable enough to sacrifice for each other. Nobody gives you a happy marriage with a bow on top. “Marriage forces people to grow up.” Nobody should be forced to grow up. People grow at different paces. People don’t magically become responsible when they marry. Marriage also doesn’t stop someone from being immature and reckless, it only endangers a family that might be product of early marriage. “Marriage protects from sexual immorality.” Immorality is a subject of opinion, and getting married early just so that young Christians can finally start getting it in is possibly the worst reason to convince others to propose. If someone can’t resist, then they should learn to give in to the natural tendencies without disrespecting whoever their partner is. Don’t marry for a god or a religion. Marry because you know that you will want to be with that person no matter what, and be 110% you’ll never waver. “Till death do us part.”

  • James Murphy

    Three quick thoughts, one on each point you made:
    1. This point I actually agree with. Marriage is a great gift. But it’s for that reason I haven’t married yet. I have been in a couple of relationship where I could have easily been married and been content, but I wouldn’t have been happy. I think we are seeing so many divorces today because people jump into marriage after a short time of dating. Take your time, get to truly know the person and see if you’d truly be happy for one another.
    2. Marriage does not make everyone grow up. I am 26, have two wonderful jobs, in ministry, and I own my own home. I know many many other people who are married, bounce from job to job, and still play X-Box all day. Some are still relying on their parents for financial assistance. Marriage doesn’t make you grow up.
    3. While this could be true when you’re dating, sexual immorality doesn’t go away simply because you are married. I had that assumption for a long time. But when I started talking to married friends, I realized this couldn’t be further from the truth. Pornography, masturbation, looking at women in a sexual way still happens. Just because you have a wife that you can have sex with doesn’t help with sexual immorality.

    Thoughts?

    • T.O.

      agree with all your points. it’s ridiculous to endorse marriage as a tool for forcing people into maturity. single people are perfectly able to grow into maturity and serve God with their whole hearts just as much as married people. nor is marriage a cure-all preventative measure against sexual immorality.

  • T.O.

    unfortunately, your article is full of all sorts of bad logic. i agree, marriage is a gift from God, as are all good things. on point #2: single people are perfectly able to grow into mature, responsible adults. “This is a shame and Christian men need to grow up into their divine calling of marriage and family”. not everyone is called to marriage and babies. that’s just not Biblical. Jesus was single his entire life. on point #3: marriage only protects against one type of sexual immorality, sex outside of marriage. there’s plenty of sexual immorality that can happen after someone is married. i won’t make a list for decency’s sake.

    so if you’re called to be married at age 20, great. if you’re called to be married at age 75, great. if you’re called to be single your whole life, great. marriage is not a requirement for serving God or for salvation. let’s all encourage one another to lives honoring to God no matter our marital status.

  • betsey

    I like the points that you made, but I feel that you’re putting too much emphasis on the time to get married rather than the marriage itself. The fact of the matter is that people are taking longer to transition from adolescence into adulthood as a result of attending university. It is nothing to be ashamed of, it’s just a byproduct of more education. With that said, the divorce rate is extremely high among couples who married young because they weren’t finished growing yet, and through the first few years they grew apart. The age of the participants shouldn’t be a factor in a “good marriage”, it’s all about readiness. 50 years ago people got married young because it was not usually necessary to go to college, and they were fully independent and self-sufficient, and there was nothing wrong with that. Today the average woman gets married at 26 because she is taking time to figure out who she is, and build a career for herself, before she tries to figure out who she is within the context of a marriage. There is also nothing wrong with that.

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  • zaxbys!

    I am about to get married (April 16). I am 18 and he is 19, we have a wonderful gift from God..our baby boy(18months) and our gift back to God is marrying like we should have done. We have been through almsot anything imaginable since meeting including cheating, but ti was worth working through.

  • Robert Winters

    by Odin’s beard who ever wrote this grew up brainwashed im only 24 and i want to live dammit

  • Stephanie Standridge McConnell

    I totally agree, but marriage vows shouldn’t be taken lightly. They are forever! I waited not because I wanted to, but because I trusted God to send me the man HE intended me to spend my life with. I knew marriage is forever and when God knew it was my time I knew without doubt the love I have with my husband was created by God &nothing could ever destroy that love. I prayed & trusted God to send my soul mate from an early age, and HE joined our hearts in HIS time & not mine. I wish it’d been sooner but GOD’s timng is ALWAYS right.

  • Mollie Caitlin Griggs

    Marriage forces people to grow up?! Tell that to my five girlfriends who got married at 20 and are now single moms and ex wives. Young marriage only works when the two are in the correct mindset and most people arent in that mindset until theyre older. Young guys like you are an anomaly anymore and while i wish more of them existed they just dont. I run my own business and enjoy three hour baths alone. Dont make me feel guilty for being self reliant and not needing another person to dignify my life. Not all of us single 20 year olds screw up our lives without being forced to get married when we’re pubescent and just getting over our awkward high school careers. You dont truely know who you are until you’re older. Ask couples who split after 40 years because after their kids are gone theyre completely different people. I want my experiences and selfish mistakes to be made before i invite someone to share my life with me. Nobody wants to plan backpacking trips to europe with a husband and a baby at home. It just isnt feasible. I understand what youre trying to say but i find it rather naive advice.

  • Stephanie Foltz

    to be honest, im not much of a Christian and I had a child out of wedlock and didn’t stay with the father of my child. However, I did get married at a young age and my husband is younger as well. and I feel we have a very strong marriage and I see older married couples that aren’t nearly as happy . I was 22 when I got married and my husband was 19. but we are so happy and we get to spend more of our lives together happy, so I have to agree with getting married younger versus older.

  • Alighieri

    Maybe I’m alone in thinking this, but if you’re going to get married, shouldn’t you do it when you’re in love with someone and you want to spend the rest of your life with them? Just a thought…

  • Donna Benson

    My husband and I married when we were 17 and 18. We waited for 5 years before we had kids. That was a good thing, then we had 3. We celebrated 40 yrs of marriage last August. We knew we had to work out all difficulties because divorce was never an option. I can say I love my other half more today than when I married him. When God is the center of your marriage and you each put the other before yourself, any marriage can make it.

  • Kara Denise Dellisanti

    Some good thoughts and interesting insights…however, I must point out that (1) not everyone refrains from marrying young on purpose…and (2) marriage is not a silver bullet to immaturity, nor a fool proof safeguard against sexual immorality. The reasons cited for marrying young are actually heart issues. Immaturity is a matter of the heart, and I’d venture it’s a 50/50 shot that marriage will “force” maturity…it could also just exacerbate existing issues because now you have TWO immature people dealing with things that require maturity. Same with sexual immorality. Marriage doesn’t cure that. Spiritual wholeness, the healing power of Christ, openness, and a heart WILLING to be transformed are the remedy. This article seems to imply that marriages, especially those that occur at a young age, fix these problems, which takes the emphasis off of the individual heart and relationship with Christ. Marrying younger (or older) won’t fix our culture. People healed and made able to love wholly by Christ will. Is marriage a great gift from God? I’m told yes – it comes highly recommended by all my married friends. Will it fix immaturity and sexual brokenness, both rampant in the culture and the church? Sadly, no. I don’t believe it has that power.

    Not that anyone asked me…#endrant

  • BeckyLee Kathryn Briggs

    This article and similar article have been floating around the last month or so. I don’t agree with it based on the lack of biblical evidence to support telling everyone they should striving to marry early as well as the fact this should be a case by case basis. God brings young couples together in perfect timing as well as couples like my parents that didn’t even meet til they were both in their thirties. My younger sister got married at 21 and my older sister and I are 29 and 32 and aren’t even in a dating relationship. If you tell teens it is a Gods will for all if them to get married before they are 23, then you are going to have a lot kids settling, having marital issues, etc. cause they wanted to do a Gods will. Should people purposefully put off getting married after God has brought them together and their spiritual mentors feel they are ready and they have a good support system? No. But this is not something you can put a sweeping stamp on as right or wrong. Philippians 4:11 advises us to be content in whatever state we are in. My state is single. I don’t feel like a failure or that I have fulfilled Gods will for my life because I’m not married yet. I’m using these single years to volunteer in my church and Christian school and community, help and spend time with my family, visit and make memories with my friends, etc.

    Here is the other article, eerily similar to this one.

    http://mattsvo.com/2014/01/07/get-married-before-you-turn-23/comment-page-1/#comment-78

  • Amanda Ferguson

    Beautiful to read and something I needed since I am engaged at 20 and I feel as if the world is out to get me and my fiancée. I keep reminding myself that God put these people and their negative views in our life (note that I did not say lives because what we do and the things that will happen affects us both for now on.) as a test of our faith and our relationship. Thank you so much for giving me that kick in the butt that it may not be the easiest road but it’s the road worth taking.

  • Emma

    First, while I agree with all of the points made, I think it is foolish to encourage young people to marry solely for these reasons. As a 21-year-old young woman, I have already seen multiple serious relationships among my friends and high school acquaintances crash and burn, several of these relationships being marriages. In general, people my age simply do not know themselves well enough to know what kind of spouse they will want in 10 or 15 years. Love and understand yourself before committing to another person for life. Two people can share Christian values and still be miles apart in every other quality and desire they possess. Maybe I want to travel and work abroad, and I discover this in my mid-twenties. But then there’s my husband who never wants to leave the state he was born in. This makes for quite the problem in a marriage and is only a small example of the differences that can arise in a marriage that in begun at such a young age.

    Secondly, young people are done a disservice by being told, “Well, it’s better to get married than to have sex out of wedlock.” As Christians we are taught to abstain before marriage. However, would dealing with the crisis of explaining a few different sexual partners to your future husband really be harder than navigating a divorce in five years, simply because you got married to avoid breaking the “no sex before marriage” rule? Neither scenario is very desirable, but I am not sure that divorce is less scarring than premarital sex. Some Christians abstain, and some choose not to. However, getting married simply to protect from pre-marital sex is archaic in thought and severely misguided.

    Finally, don’t take my musings here as an indication that I am completely against young marriage. I believe that some young people know themselves well enough and are mature enough to begin successful marriages at an early age. They may be few, but it is doable. My grandparents married at a young age, and they have a strong and viable marriage over fifty years later.

  • Elizabeth Sifuentes

    I am 29 and my husband is 30. We got married when I was 22 and he was 23…but have been together since I was 20 and he was 21. I feel like we kinda grew up together. :)

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  • Clark

    1. A loving, sensual reaforementionedl of trust is a fantastic gift. The relationship that my girlfriend(26) and I(25) have is much better and stronger than most of the marraiges of our peers. We have been together for years and are being blessed with a daughter this spring(which is a miracle in itself considering her medical history). We have chosen not to rush into a marriage because of the financial obligations that come with today’s business of weddings, and the unnecessary pressures that accompany the act.
    Right now, we know that we are together because we both genuinely want to be. Not because we are bound under contract.

    2. I refer back to the afformentioned marriages of our peers. I have seen more unhappy marriages fail from trying to start too fast than I have seen succeed from the same. Especially in today’s age of education and technology, where people must earn college degrees and get established in a good career as early as they can. This forces the choice between doing what is necessary for their personal happiness, and finding a spouse. Yes, I believe that trying to do both at the same time is unfair to both parties and sets up for failure on both fronts. ESPECIALLY for young college-aged kids.

    3. If people are getting married young just so that they can experience sex, I feel that the entire relationship may be built in a fairly precarious manner. Relationships built around sex do not last(I know this first-hand) and building a relationship around the anticipation of sex is no different, in my opinion.

    If you found the love of your life at 18, you are a very lucky person. If you settled on whoever you could find because you felt pressued to marry before you were allowed to purchase a beer, I’m very sorry, you must be miserable. Either way, I don’t think that there is any reason to push kids in either direction. Let them figure things out who they are and what they need to feel fulfilled. Getting married to the love of your life at 30 can’t really be seen as a bad thing, can it?

    I won’t even bother touching on the divorce ratings of marriages that occur before age 25. I don’t feel that those numbers are necessary to prove my point.

  • Kenzie

    I came across this lovely piece on Facebook..unfortunately. Cataclysmic disaster for the church? Haha, nice one. Honestly this is all poppycock and I would be embarrassed for myself if I had written this terribly small minded piece of doo-doo. There is nothing wrong with marrying young and nothing wrong with marrying in an older age either. And FYI marriage does not “protect” from sexual immorality (I don’t know what you have been hiding under). This is religious bigotry and you’re not contributing anything helpful or genuine to people.

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