In Defense of Early Marriage

by Kathleen Quiring on February 18, 2010

young couple

I have been wanting to write this post for a while. But I only got the clarity of vision and incentive to really tackle it when I came across Mark Regnerus’s fantastic article The Case for Early Marriage a few weeks ago (via Halfway to Normal). Suddenly, I was going, “Yes, yes! That’s exactly what I was thinking! Thank-you, Mark!” So I’m finally taking the plunge.

Mark Regnerus has already warned me (in his article) that almost no one sympathizes with his cause, and that he has received a nearly universal hostile reaction. I’m ready for it. But I also thought that maybe readers wouldn’t be as mean to me since I did marry young (at age 20) and still am young (I’m 24). Maybe they won’t be as eager to hurt my feelings. But if not – whatevs, man. I’m a big girl.

First, I want to outline the issue and my reasons for believing in early marriage, and give you an overview of Regnerus’ article. Then, in consecutive posts, I want to tackle each of the major objections that Regnerus brings up which are frequently leveled against early marriage.

So, to begin:

Central to this whole discussion is my (highly unpopular) conviction that sex must only occur within marriage. If you don’t agree with this fundamental idea, you are not likely to agree with the rest of what I have to say.

Regnerus, a fellow Christian, shares my conviction. However, we both also agree that it is unreasonable to expect people to wait until their late twenties to have sex. It’s too long. As Regnerus puts it, that is “battling our Creator’s reproductive designs.” We were meant to have sex at a young age. There’s a reason we begin to have sexual urges early in life. God never meant for us to wait until we were 28.

If Regnerus and I think people should be able to have sex when they’re young, but should only have sex when they’re married, the only logical solution is being open to marriage at a younger age.

You are bound to already have objections to what I’m saying, but please be patient. I will get to your objections eventually.

Why Save Sex for Marriage

Every sexual act brings the possibility of pregnancy. That’s hard for many of us to believe: with the enormous accessibility of birth control, we as a culture tend to think of ourselves as immune to this risk. Birth control eliminates the risk of pregnancy, right? But the reality is that unwanted pregnancies still occur at astronomical rates. I couldn’t find any very recent stats, but one article stated that in 1994 almost half of all births in the U.S. were unintended (and 56% of these ended in abortion), and almost half of all women experience at least one unplanned pregnancy in their lives. Sure, that was sixteen years ago, but I doubt much has changed since then in terms of how many women use birth control. I personally know two women who got pregnant on the Pill.

Clearly, sex still results in babies, no matter how many pills and mechanisms there are out there to try to thwart it.

Consequently, I believe that we should only engage in sexual behaviour if we are at least somewhat open to the possibility of pregnancy. We should only have sex with another person if we are absolutely certain that both participants are able and willing to raise a child if one happens to result from the sexual encounter. And since marriage is, without question, the ideal environment in which to raise a child, I conclude that we should only have sex within marriage.

It’s not even primarily about religion for me. It’s about making sure that all babies that are conceived are wanted. (Of course, this idea grows out of my conviction that all human life is sacred, and should therefore be treated with dignity, but still).

But it certainly helps that I also believe that sex itself is sacred, and that God designed it to be shared with only one person, with whom you are meant to share everything else. But I will have to take up that subject in more detail in another post.

I would love for you to read Regnerus’ entire article for yourself, but considering it’s six pages long, I want to give you a brief overview of what he says here.

The Case for Early Marriage According to Mark Regnerus

  • Evangelicals have continued to place increasing importance on virginity until marriage.
  • However, very few young evangelicals accomplish what their parents and pastors hope they will. Almost 80% of unmarried Christian young adults engage in sex – only slightly less than their non-Christian counterparts.
  • Regnerus asks, What’s the solution? Intensify the abstinence message ever more? He suggests not – it won’t work.
  • Instead, the message must change and attention needs to be focused on fixing our idea of marriage. Christians have made a big deal about sex but have become “slow and lax” about marriage.
  • Pragmatically, marriage remains a foundational good for individuals and communities. However, the institution of marriage is under extreme duress in America. Fewer than half of American households are made up of married couples.
  • In the last 30 years, the median age of first marriages has risen from 21 to 26 for women, and from 23 to 28 for men. “That’s five additional, long years of peak sexual interest and fertility,” Regnerus notes.
  • “Women’s fertility is more or less fixed, yet Americans are increasingly ignoring it during their 20s, only to beg and pray to reclaim it in their 30s and 40s.”
  • Yet, in surveying the scene, many Christians continue to perceive a sexual crisis rather than 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.”
  • The problem? “While our sexual ideas have remained biblical and thus rooted in marriage, our ideas about marriage have changed significantly.”
    • We believe that romance and “finding your soul mate” is key to a good marriage and healthy society
    • We advise young people to finish their education, launch their careers, and become financially independent before marrying, since dependence is a weakness
    • “Most young Americans no longer think of marriage as a formative institution, but rather as an institution they enter once they think they are fully formed.”
    • As a result, young adults sense that early marriage is foolish and risky

As I have already made clear, Regnerus and I agree that this is problematic. He then goes on to defend his case for early marriage against all the main objections that are made.

Objections

I would like to do the same thing in posts to follow. The primary objections to early marriage include:

  • Economic insecurity: young people are too poor to get married. They will experience poverty if they marry too early.
  • Immaturity: People are too immature before age 25 to make such an important commitment.
  • A Poor Match: Marrying too early doesn’t give people enough time to find the right partner.
  • Marrying for sex: Some couples might get hitched too early just so they can enjoy guilt-free sex.
  • Unrealistic expectations: Young people do not realize what marriage is really like.
  • Having sex outside of marriage is not that big a deal and you religious zealots need to chillax, Kathleen.

(These objections are all identified by Regnerus, except for the last one).

Expect to hear more from me on the topic in the coming weeks as I tackle each one of these objections!

What do you think? Do you have any additional objections to early marriage? Do you think that a defense for early marriage is necessary? Or do you think it’s dangerous? What are your gut reactions to the idea? I want to hear all your thoughts, I only ask that you be civil.

Photo courtesy of Suzanne Clayton. That gorgeous young couple happens to be my sister and brother-in-law.

{ 5 trackbacks }

Compatibility and early marriage — Project M
March 2, 2010 at 12:35 pm
3.5 Reasons To Become A Husband | Becoming A Husband
March 5, 2010 at 11:50 am
Are 20-Somethings in a Relational Wasteland With No Courtship? « Life Gems
March 30, 2010 at 11:09 am
People Should Marry Earlier « Enjoyment and Contemplation
October 20, 2011 at 1:09 pm
Update to ‘People Should Marry Earlier’ « Enjoyment and Contemplation
October 20, 2011 at 1:54 pm

{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Molly W February 18, 2010 at 6:04 pm

I think one important point that you touched on a little is whether or not you’re “trained” to be married early. By this I mean our grandparents generation and all those before them were “trained” to be ready for the responsibilities of marriage earlier in their lives than us modern folk. Today most people see college, and often education after that as a transition period to be adult, i.e. most 19 year olds aren’t equiped to have a full time job, pay rent, utilities, etc. where as anyone older than lets say 75 was “trained” to have these abilities earlier in their lives. As a point how many of us had to give up our earnings from a job in high school to pay our own bills or to go towards family expenses, probably not a lot (and if so it was limited, paying for a cell phone or helping towards a car, etc), whereas my grandparents did.
I’m not against young marriage as long as the people going into the marriage are capable of these responsibilities and today I would say a good percentage aren’t.
That’s where making it about “appropriate” sex gets into trouble and it’s a doulbe edged knife. Do we want irresponsible “kids” having sex out of marriage? No. Do we want irresponsible “kids” getting married just to be able to have sex and not consider the other responsibilities that come with it? No.
It’s a great and controversial topic, thanks for writing on it.

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2 Kathleen Quiring February 18, 2010 at 6:48 pm

I think you make some excellent points — different generations have been “trained” to be ready for marriage at different stages in their lives, and our generation has been trained to be ready for marriage at a much later age. I definitely want to explore this issue further in my later post about maturity/immaturity. I think your last paragraph is very worth thinking about, too. Thanks for your thoughts!

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3 Molly February 19, 2010 at 4:08 pm

Though I know you don’t want to “give advice” this might be a good topic to make a little checklist of “ready for marriage under the age of 25(?)” – in fact I have a few in mind myself if you’d like insight into a checklist for “not ready for marriage until 25 or older”.

We got married at the exact median age, 25, after two years of dating/engagement and two years of friendship and it was a perfect fit for us, especially because with our lines of work require a few years of work related near-poverty and lots of traveling to get on your feet and it was good thing that those years coincided with the dating/engagement portion instead of the newly-wed portion as its easier to spend 50% of year away from your significant other if you’re not married yet.

4 Molly W February 18, 2010 at 6:15 pm

p.s. I forgot to add that when considering the “if we marry early we’ll live in poverty” idea… sadly this is rather true as most jobs (with living wages) now require at least a 4 year degree (or a techincal program degree, training, etc.). There’s really no more getting out of high school and having a good job ready for you any more.

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5 Newlywed & Unemployed February 18, 2010 at 9:55 pm

I married young (engaged 19, married 20) hoping that we would “grow up” together. I looked forward to us developing our adult selves in complementary ways. I was excited about exploring adulthood together and becoming parents. Unfortunately, my first husband was emotionally immature and I was not socially mature enough to be assertive about his progress. He flatlined, so to speak, while I soared and then felt guilty.

But more than anything, I think the lack of financial comfort hurt us. We had no buffer. No breaks, no material security. Our lives were harried and we didn’t see enough of each other those first few years while we were working full time and I was going to school full time.

A man who cannot fill the provider role and a woman who does not feel secure won’t make it work. And at 20, who can do that?

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6 Morgan February 18, 2010 at 9:58 pm

Really interesting topic, Kathleen. I’ll have to read the article later (I’m also watching the women’s halfpipe right now) but I wanted to give you a little feedback.
As someone who is 21, and has been dating the same guy for the past 4.5 years, this is something that I can really relate to. I’ve most certainly heard it all from various people and I also have friends who have gotten married quite young.
I most certainly agree about the whole sex deal and all the points that you made. As far as objections…
I think I’m going to have to sit down and write a blog post of my own about those. I started to write them, and figured it was just going to get too long for a comment.
I really look forward to reading more about what you have to say and I love your blog! So nice to see a young and fresh perspective on marriage!

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7 Christina February 18, 2010 at 10:02 pm

Thanks for bringing up this topic, Kathy.
I think that if a person thinks they’re ready for marriage and found “the one”, then go for it.
Sometimes I wish Dave and I would’ve waited a bit longer before getting married. We had just finished Bible College (Dave 2 years, 1 1/2 for me) and got married a year later. Now, after a bit over 1 1/2 years of marriage, we have an 8 month old daughter (no thanks to the pill!), I had to quit school, we’re struggling to make ends meet and planning on Dave going back to school for 2 years starting in September just to get a better job.
Perhaps if we would’ve waited until we both completely finished school to get married, we’d be better off.
However, we got married, and there’s no looking back now! Overall, I’m glad we got married when we did, and I would’nt trade my wonderful husband or baby for anything! Sometimes life (or God) throws you curveballs and you just have to deal with it.

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8 Michael Dundas February 19, 2010 at 12:32 am

I grew up a Christian and had all the ‘values’ about sex being reserved for marriage at a very early age. The problem is it logically didn’t make sense. When I was older, I asked why sex was considered bad if it was outside of marriage. I was told because of the chance of pregnancy, because it is for two people that love each other and will be together forever, etc. etc. When asked where the evidence was to support this I was told it came from the bible.
So I asked if the line was sex, but everything else was okay? No definitive answer. Is oral sex okay, no risk of pregnancy there? The answer was well no, but then others would indicate it is okay. Based on the lack of evidence and subjective opinions I decided that I would decide based on me and my partners. I survived and I don’t regret any of it.
My point is I believe that it all comes down to interpretation. Regardless of your age, if you are in a developing relationship with someone, you emotionally, spiritually, and physically want to be exposed to that person. It makes no sense to me to allow the relationship to grow in all aspects but stop the physical at ‘some point’ which is never defined and when it is, it is subjective. Yes there is always a risk of pregnancy when having sex protected or not. There is always a risk that when you cross a major intersection you will be killed by a vehicle, yet many people assume the risk every day. Same with sex. The individuals need to assess the risk and make a decision.

Regarding marriage early or late. I think that really depends on the two people. I know people that have been married young and are still together. I know people that have married young and are now divorced with and without children. In my opinion it has nothing to do with age. It has to do with the maturity of the individuals in the relationship.

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9 Kathleen Quiring February 19, 2010 at 8:49 am

I think I agree with you, Michael. It does depend on the individual relationship. But I’m trying to argue that early marriage is a viable option for some — we shouldn’t assume that people under 25 are too young and naive to get married. Some people are ready for it at that age.

And I agree that it doesn’t make sense for a relationship to grow in every way but stop at the physical. I think the two should blossom together. That’s why I believe in marriage at a young age: when a couple is maturing and deepening in all the right ways, they should be allowed to consummate that love through sex, commitment, and deeper emotional intimacy (i.e. through marriage).

Thanks for your input!

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10 Kathleen Quiring February 19, 2010 at 10:04 am

Another thought: crossing a major intersection is putting your own life at risk, which I think is different from taking another person’s life into your own hands, which is what sex does (by creating a new human being). So in that way I would consider sex more serious.

11 Susie February 19, 2010 at 8:00 am

I agree with everything that was mentioned, but I also believe that there are dangers to getting married young. Before I got married I didn’t even know who I was as a person, and what I wanted to do with life. But because I got married young, I was forced to “find myself” along with another person in my life. This made things very difficult. Potentially, it is things like finding yourself that can cause a marriage to split. One partner may end up changing so dramatically in the course of the marriage, and the other person remaining the same that divorce happens. Or the two partners change in opposite ways. I don’t regret marrying my husband, but I do regret marrying young. Of course, just to add one other point, even if I had to do it all over again knowing the things I know now, I’m not sure if I would be able to wait to get married. I would probably marry young anyways because once you find the person you love it’s practically impossible to wait.

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12 Kathleen Quiring February 19, 2010 at 8:53 am

I think being “forced to find yourself along with another person in yourself life” is exactly what we’re supposed to do. I personally don’t think we have to have “found ourselves” separately first. I think it’s a beautiful journey to embark on with someone else. I’m sure you and your husband will continue to find yourselves together, and that’s a lovely thing.

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13 Scott February 19, 2010 at 8:35 am

You make a pretty good case here.

Here’s our story. My wife and I met in 6th grade, but didn’t start dating until our Senior year in HS. We married at 22, just days after both of us graduated from college. Is that young in your book? Our parents felt strongly that we needed to finish college first, and I’m glad they did. But we weren’t going to wait a minute longer. It’s been a delightful, sometime challenging ride as we both grew up into who we are. We’re still deliriously happy together after 27 years.

There is a definite risk/reward equation to this debate. I guess I would have put myself slightly into the “if you aren’t completely sure, then wait” camp. But I have an open mind and will read with interest all you have to say on the topic.

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14 Molly February 19, 2010 at 3:59 pm

I think you bring up a good point even though you “married young”, waiting until at least one person is done with college/vocational training/etc. seems to be generally sound advice for young couples. Having at least one person (man or woman) able to make some kind of living can help to releave a lot of starting out stress.

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15 Scott February 19, 2010 at 6:20 pm

I should add that I went on to grad school, though with a stipend. My wife, meanwhile, worked two jobs to see us through. Even though those were lean years, we look back on it without regrets.

16 Sue February 19, 2010 at 9:30 am

I got married a week after I turned 21. I LOVE IT! I have been married almost three years now. Maybe we haven’t figured out exactly who we are but even if we thought we did, marriage has it’s own way of changing you. You never stop changing as a person. I think figuring out who you are with your spouse there to support you is awesome.
Also, I think if you’re in a dating relationship and you think you’re ready for sex, then you better be ready for marriage. If you decide you are mature enough emotionally and physically to handle sex and all things that could go along with it, you should be mature enough to live with someone and possibly support a baby that you might be conceiving.
I think this is a very debateable topic. But I know my husband and I love knowing that we have only been with each other. If you start having sex and it doesn’t work out, to me, thats just extra baggage in your next relationship.
I am really looking forward to reading more about this. Thanks Kathleen for being brave enough to take on this battle.

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17 Kathleen Quiring February 19, 2010 at 9:57 am

Well-said, Sue! Thanks!

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18 Michelle February 19, 2010 at 9:42 am

Very interesting! We married at 25 and 23 (after a 2 yr engagement and total 6 1/2 years together). I guess all along we knew we’d marry but there was no question about completing our educations first and at least being able to pay our own bills. Especially since the baby train arrived pretty early for us, within the first 6 months I was pregnant. If you’re married (or sexually active, which for us only occurs in marriage ;) ) you definitely have to be prepared for the possibility of conceiving no matter what family planning method you’re employing.

As far as “waiting” goes- to some extent the abstinence will always be present, so it’s a good idea to practice expressing love in other ways, and not just connecting between the sheets. When using NFP, there’s the period of abstinence during the fertile phase, and even if you’re using artificial methods, I’m sure there’s still “dry spells” due to lack of desire, illness, separation, etc. I agree our culture is such that financial independence is not often achieved before at least age 24, contributing to a later wedding date. Is an extra 4 or 5 years really a big deal considering our lifespans are in the 70s and 80s? When I was in school I enjoyed living with my friends, going out as I pleased, writing essays at all hours of the night. I sure didn’t need the stress of a potential pregnancy or of being home at 5pm to make dinner for my husband. I guess I’m trying to say, you’re only young once :) I love being married but I wouldn’t have done it sooner and lost those “carefree” university years. I’m sure it works for some people (obviously Kathleen!) but I think the vast majority of 18-24 year olds are not ready emotionally or financially for all that comes with marriage. And that’s okay.

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19 Kathleen Quiring February 19, 2010 at 10:00 am

You would still be considered young, Michelle. Remember, the average ages for marriage in American are 26 and 28. When I talk about “early marriage” I’m talking about marriage before these ages.

You make a lot of other great points! Thanks!

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20 Stephanie Ferguson February 19, 2010 at 9:44 am

I don’t have time to write a particularly brilliant response to this post, but I do want to say that I think that many of the objections to early marriage are also used against marriage in general. I think that overwhelmingly as a culture (N. American, at least) we have become “slow and lax” about marriage, not just the Christian Church. I also think that the myth of the supremacy and primacy of the individual as opposed to the collective (or partnership), has made marriage seem antiquated, and from that point of view, it is. Many people now have this idea that they need to find “happiness,” their “calling in life,” and fulfill their “own dreams.” Now, if ever there was a believer in standing on your own two feet, it’s me (just ask my husband), and as much as I think that “finding yourself” is important, I do not believe that this has to be done outside of marriage. I would actually argue that marriage makes it easier because it makes it all the more critical. The bottom line for me, I guess, is that I do wish that overall, as a culture, we put more faith and value on marriage. But for the majority of people who have seen their parents divorce, seen marriage be derided in popular culture etc…early marriage will likely not work. However, for micro-cultures of people who have had successful marriages, early or not, modeled to them, early marriage seems like a wonderful idea. I wish these micro-cultures would expand, personally. I want to teach my children about the utter importance of personal happiness and boundaries but I also will aim to model a healthy inter-dependent marriage. I will not groom them to marry early, but should they choose to, I would be delighted. I also want to say that I am in NO way religious, however, I was raised in an extremely religious and conservative Texas family and that most of my cousins married early and have some of the most successful marriages that I have ever seen.

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21 Kathleen Quiring February 19, 2010 at 10:02 am

Sounds like a pretty brilliant response to me! I love everything you say here about inter-dependence.

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22 Kathryn February 19, 2010 at 11:38 am

I’m glad you posted the objections at the end. One thing that was a red flag for me was the idea that people shouldn’t wait until they’re 28 to have sex because it goes against the Creator’s purpose for our bodies, therefore, we should look into marrying younger. If you ever get a chance to check out Christopher West’s ‘Theology of the Body’ (based on John Paul II’s teaching on the same subject) we learn that it’s selfish to get married for sex (as you mentioned at the end). All in all, if you’re getting married because you want to have sex, or need to have sex, you’re marrying for the wrong reason. On the contrary, sex is a communion with your spouse and should be completely open and unselfish. I tend to agree with that. There are lots of people who are called to marriage – and are thoroughly prepared for it and mature enough – at a young age and that’s awesome, but the idea of pushing it for everybody makes me think that we’d have more unprepared people getting married in the world. Good post, Kathleen!

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23 Lori Lowe February 19, 2010 at 1:31 pm

I particularly agree with you on:
“We should only have sex with another person if we are absolutely certain that both participants are able and willing to raise a child if one happens to result from the sexual encounter.”
Way to stand up for and explain your core beliefs, Kathleen.

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24 Alisa Bowman February 25, 2010 at 8:17 am

I think this is one of those hypothetical arguments that just doesn’t hold up when you bring it into real life situations. Some people meet the right person young. Some people don’t. I don’t think it matters a heck of a lot whether you get married at 18 (as a happily married couple I know did) or 29 (as I did) or much later. What matters is that 1) you are both ready to commit 2) you are both ready to accept those unfortunate aspects of each other that will never change but that will always be annoying. I didn’t meet my husband until I was 26, and all I can say is THANK GOD I didn’t marry any of the boyfriends I’d met when I was younger. Holy recipe for disaster.

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25 Loren C. Klein February 28, 2010 at 7:26 pm

I’m with Alisa on this.

Perhaps it’s because I’m 28, single, and even if I were to meet my future wife tomorrow chances are we wouldn’t get married until I were 30, but I’m not buying the bliss of marrying early and its advantages. Would my life be better now if I had met and married someone when I was 18-21? Absolutely not! Considering the stuff I went through well into my mid-20′s (99% of which was none of my doing), the last thing I would have needed was a wife (and probably a kid or two) to worry about as I went through all of that.

Of course, the comments about, erm, having guilt-free sex at a time when humans are most fertile is a very powerful argument, and it’s something I’ve personally dealt with on many occasions. I’d love to have my own ankle biter of my own and frankly I get jealous of my peers because I’m the only one in my circle of friends that isn’t married, much less have a kid, but what am I to do?

Sorry, but this just reads like yet another “Marriage is great! And you suck if you’re not married, especially if you’re older than us!” post.

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26 Kathleen Quiring March 1, 2010 at 10:58 am

Thanks so much for your honesty, Loren. I appreciate it. Sorry if this did come across as a “you suck” kind of post — that’s the last thing I would want.

One thing I want to emphasize, though, is that I do not suggest in any way that getting married earlier makes you happier. I don’t think anything of the sort, and Mark Regnerus (the one who wrote the original article that inspired this post) says the same thing. I’m only arguing that our bodies were designed in such a way that bearing children and raising a family at a young age makes the most sense, and so we shouldn’t postpone marriage unless we have good reason. There is a strange discrepancy in our culture where we’re putting off marriage longer and longer even though our fertile years stay the same. Christian culture encourages to save sex for marriage but encourages us to get married at an older age, making it harder to save sex.

This post is mostly about young people who are in serious (especially sexual) relationships but are putting off marriage for various reasons. I’m asking the question, “What are you waiting for? You can get married now!”

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27 Vickie June 8, 2010 at 9:55 am

I’ve been reading through your posts defending early marriage and I have to say that I absolutely love it. I married at age 22 and have lots of friends who also married early right after college. It’s great to hear an organized defense for early marriage since people often think we’re all crazy. Thank you!

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28 Steph January 7, 2011 at 11:46 pm

I loved this post. I am getting married in 5 months and I am only 19, I get all of these objections ALL the time. I am also waiting till marriage to have sex so this really helps give me some peace of mind because I’m not getting it anywhere else. I appreciate this post sooooooo much, so thank you :) I can’t wait to show my fiance :)

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29 Is-za February 28, 2011 at 9:19 am

Ok so I am a year late writing this post haha. I am really glad you wrote about this topic as the arguments agaisnt early marriage is very based on opinion and inconclusive assumptions. I think it has a lot to do with the debilitating mainstream culture our country has and doing everything to live within the system. I am a Muslim and my religion carries a lot of traditions from the Chrisitan faith. We also believe in abstinence (before marriage) and early marriage with respect to a certain level of maturity and the ability to provide. There is a much debate on this topic in the American Muslim community as well (its not up to debate when it comes to sex out of marriage as that is a sin) there are arguments about who is “mature” enough and should one go after the materials of the world before entering this commitment. I think it should be known and quite obvious that life is not gauranteed. We are not guranteed to live forever, to have our health forever. ALl the money, all the jobs and “preparing”…if God wants to take it away He will and He does. So there is a risk on both ends. Also I read comments about trying to reconcile sexual relations with wanting to become closer to someone. In the Muslim community one is not suppose to come “Near” the temptation of sex as we are all humans and sex is a natural desire and hard to fight. So we don’t date, only courting for marriage when one is ready for marriage. There is less if any risk that way, less drama, and less room to transgress agasint the Almighty. So instead of saying having sex means you have to be ready for marriage, we usually say dating (kissing, spending alone time with someone, developing strong emotions with a physical component) should not occur too. This system inevitably forces you to be mature and to see life for what it is and can be. Life is a gift, and not to be taken for granted and toyed with. When you try to get to know somene for marriage you will want to look meaningful qualities such as the ability to provide, to be emotionally supportive, a sound mind and heart….etc. If the majority of Americans went about dating this way I think they would weed about 99 percent of the people and end up with more stable and sound marriages…Just my two cents!! :)

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30 Roxeanne de Luca June 18, 2012 at 10:50 pm

Just found this via an internet friend.

A few thoughts:

If you’re in your early twenties, and are not married, and wait, it’s tough – but you’re certainly not ready for kids, so it’s okay. Then your mid-twenties go by, and it’s okay because you’re more sure of yourself and find it easier to say no to men. By the time your late twenties arrive, you’re so used to waiting that your big concern is whether you’ll be able to be a wife to a man, should you ever find yourself a husband.

However, very few young evangelicals accomplish what their parents and pastors hope they will. Almost 80% of unmarried Christian young adults engage in sex – only slightly less than their non-Christian counterparts.

Oh, heavens. That’s true in a very literal sense – i.e. that similar numbers of Evangelical (and perhaps devout Catholic) young adults have premarital sex at approximately the same rate as their secular peers – but distorts the picture.

“Back in the day,” most people did not have many partners. If they had premarital sex, it was with their eventual spouse, or was with a long-term boyfriend/girlfriend, and then only with a spouse. That’s the model that young Evangelicals are following. While not ideal, it is far, far removed from what other young adults do: have sex in high school with a few people, have several partners during college, and have several partners a year until one finds a spouse. I seem to remember that the average twenty-something has sex with nine people during his/her life.

In fact, that is one of the strongest arguments against the idea that humans just aren’t designed to wait until our late twenties: the solution of early marriage may not be perfect, but it beats the “solution” of an average of almost a dozen sex partners.

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