“Don’t marry young, it won’t work.” If you haven’t heard this before, you probably will. For some reason, most people are not readily supportive of young marriage. Not real ones at least. Fans may show excitement over young love in Hollywood, but that’s not the way it is in real life. In real life, most young engaged couples hear things like:
- You don’t have enough life experience
- You’re too young to know what you want
- Don’t cut your options off so soon
- Statistics show young marriages won’t last
- What’s the hurry
- What did your parents say
- Is she pregnant
- You haven’t established yourself in a career
The words may come from a place of concern…but come on people. These are not words of encouragement and they surely are not wise counsel.
I was 19 when I got married; my husband was 20. It wasn’t my parents that I heard crazy stuff from it was others. But I’m glad we didn’t give in to what others were saying. It’s not always the age you get married, but the preparation, loving and learning between two people that causes a marriage to succeed.
Challenges come in marriage because two people, no matter the age, are learning to live together as one. It’s a learning process not a problem.
This is encouragement for those of us who know young folks in love, to step back and think about what we are saying. Speak words that counsel, coach, and instruct. Speak words that encourage and cause young couples to honestly evaluate their decisions and properly prepare for their future.
Now, fast forward and it’s been almost 30 years since I got married. I have a son who is 25. He’s been married for a few months. Leading up to his wedding, following the announcement of his engagement, you best believe he heard all the same things that I heard thirty years ago – you’re too young, what’s the rush, are you sure about this?
How do we change this conversation so that young adults feel supported and prepared for marriage?
My husband and I did our best to be a good example of a healthy marriage. Our son sees the way his dad treats me. He sees the way we care for each other. My son has been raised to treat me, his mom, with respect and honor. By choice he and his new wife went through 6 months of premarital counseling to prepare for their lives together. They are young, in love and armed with the truth about marriage.
Don’t marry young it won’t work. That’s a lie. Don’t believe it. I’m not encouraging the young or old to marry. I’m encouraging us parents, mentors, clergy and friends to find healthy ways to train and encourage young adults in family life before they are marrying age. Instill in them the proper outlook on marriage, so they will make wise informed decisions concerning their life choices.
I’m a living example – a young marriage can thrive and survive. Some of you are living examples too. So you understand and can offer a helpful perspective.
BMWK what would you say to a young couple desiring to get married?