On marrying young

JP: This article has some mature themes, but as young adults you should be able to handle them. See my further comments after the quoted section.

Christianity Today: The Case for Early Marriage


Our Creator clearly intended for male and female to be knit together in covenantal relationship. An increasing number of men and women, however, aren’t marrying. They want to. But it’s not happening. And yet in surveying this scene, many Christians continue to perceive a sexual crisis, not a marital one. We buy, read, and pass along books about battling our sexual urges, when in fact we are battling them far longer than we were meant to. How did we misdiagnose this?


Many choose to wait out the risk—sometimes for years—to see how a relationship will fare before committing. (We seem to have lost our ability to shame men for such incessant delays.) Consequently, the focus of 20-somethings has become less about building mature relationships and fulfilling responsibilities, and more about enjoying oneself, traveling, and trying on identities and relationships. After all the fun, it will be time to settle down and get serious.

Most young Americans no longer think of marriage as a formative institution, but rather as the institution they enter once they think they are fully formed.


…. successful marriages are less about the right personalities than about the right practices, like persistent communication and conflict resolution, along with the ability to handle the cyclical nature of so much about marriage, and a bedrock commitment to its sacred unity. Indeed, marriage research confirms that couples who view their marriages as sacred covenants are far better off than those who don’t.

… spouses learn marriage, just like they learn communication, child-rearing, or making love. Unfortunately, education about marriage is now sadly perceived as self-obvious, juvenile, or feminine, the domain of disparaged home economics courses. Nothing could be further from the truth.

In sum, Christians need to get real about marriage: it’s a covenant helpmate thing that suffers from too much idealism and too little realism.Weddings may be beautiful, but marriages become beautiful. Personal storytelling and testimonies can work wonders here, since so much about life is learned behavior. Young adults want to know that it’s possible for two fellow believers to stay happy together for a lifetime, and they need to hear how the generations preceding them did it.


  • Kathee was 23 and I was 25 when we were married. In the era when we got married (1974), it seemed that most of our friends got married either in college or shortly after college. A generation before couples got married shortly after high school.
  • I am not posting this article to encourage anyone to marry or to rush marriage. I just found it interesting. (It was published on the web on 7/31)
  • The one quote I liked was “spouses learn marriage”.
  • Kathee and I had a very simple wedding. A basic dress, a rented tux, a simple cake, and that was about it. I don’t think we spent more than about $ 500! Our honeymoon was likewise simple: After the first night in a fancy hotel, we drove around Florida (we lived in Tampa then) and stayed in inexpensive motels. The diamond ring was likewise very basic (it developed a crack about 7 years age and I bought Kathee a larger diamond).
  • Obviously in matters of human sexuality and marriage, the Bible is the authority! If you are a Christian, only marry in the Lord!
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