Getting Married Early

When I got married, my wife was 24 and I was 27. We were poor graduate students at the time and couldn’t afford a wedding dress or new suit. So she made her own wedding dress and I wore an old suit for the ceremony. We lived in Ohio, but the wedding took place in Pennsylvania, where my grandmother (who raised me) lived with her daughter, and we only had a handful of guests.

At the time, we were considered young to be getting married. I recommended to our children that they also marry young. I told them to only go out on group dates until their sophomore year of college, but to start dating with marriage in mind afterwards, and to get married soon after college. Both my son and daughter married not long after they graduated.

People today tend to postpone marriage, possibly because they want to build their careers and become financially comfortable before getting married. But the older you get, the harder it becomes to marry, because your standards get higher. As a result, many people today stay single for a long time or don’t marry at all.

I think it’s more fulfilling to marry someone you love when you are young and build your lives together. It’s more meaningful to marry someone with potential and help them grow into it than to marry someone who has everything already.

When two people get married and form a family, they should be independent of their parents. But I do think it’s all right for parents to continue helping their married children for a while until they can stand on their own feet.

The Apostle Paul says that it’s better for unmarried men and widows to get married if it’s hard for them to control their sexual urges, rather than burning with desire. Some nonbelievers ridicule Paul for saying this, thinking that marriage should not be the way of relieving sexual tension.

But I think Paul gives sensible advice. Sexual desire peaks in one’s twenties and early thirties. This is why many young unmarried people fall so easily into sexual sin.

Some singles, especially females, wait for someone who will sweep them off their feet emotionally. But passion is unreliable. Researchers say that the hormones that give you that tingling feeling when you’re in love dissipate after 2 or 3 years. The passion you feel for someone you love will eventually fade. What holds your marriage together beyond that is your promise – the promise you make before God that you will love and cherish your partner until death separates you.

When you find a woman you feel you want to help fulfill her full potential, marry her. When you find a man you feel like helping to succeed in life, marry him. It’s the commitment that counts.

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