Wednesday, January 19, 2011

#207 Marrying young


Christian culture gets married young. The reason isn't entirely clear, but the general consensus is that it drastically lowers the risk of fornication. You just can't fornicate if you're married, and that takes care of that.

Fornication is Christian culture's natural enemy. Bible colleges (aka "bridal colleges" - what did I tell you?) require students to sign a convenant stating they won't drink, swear, be gay or have premarital sex. But even Christian students at secular universities roil under biblical sex mandates. When you combine guilt with evangelical horndogs you get a lot of marriage proposals and short engagements.


Even apart from the sex issue, Christian culture highly recommends getting married. The overarching message is "once you find the person God has chosen for you then everything will fall together, your life will finally start, your ministry will really get off the ground, and your problems will be solved." The notion that your problems could really just be getting started isn't even in their frame of concept.

When your earnest Christian ass graduates college without a boyfriend or girlfriend, you are peppered with questions by family members and people at church about when exactly you will get yourself an eligible Christian companion. Then once you have a boyfriend or girlfriend you are peppered about getting married already. The peppering is combined with concern that you are not "living right" and possibly Doing It outside the confines of marriage. The unspoken message is deafening.

The ideal marrying age in Christian culture is 22, when you're fresh out of college and haven't even been to Europe, lived away from home apart from a dorm, or paid one installment on your student loan. To people outside of Christian culture this is sheer madness. But the people in Christian culture are relieved that the fornication window is finally closed and they can now set busily about writing Facebook statuses that they're married to their best friend.


Soon after the guileless, low-budget Christian culture wedding you can expect them to start popping out babies. If they're not trying to get pregnant by their second anniversary, they may not be full-fledged evangelicals.

This post originally appeared at Beliefnet. The original post and comment thread can be seen here

21 comments:

Christian Movies said...

How sweet!Actually, I think age matters for marriage. Especially when you have plans managing your future family. Family planning is a huge must here (concerning the age).

Happy couple! So cute. Congratulations!

Anonymous said...

I've known quite a few Christian couples that married young. So many split up - and these are couples who did not believe in divorce when they got together. I know a few who are still together, but they are the exception.

Anonymous said...

This really hits home. I know evangelicals who have had their lives ruined because they were pressured to marry at 20. Two kids and the ugliest divorce I've ever seen ensued.

TFC said...

Wow, today is my 27th wedding anniversary and we married young. Too bad that people have to be so bitter.

Sam said...

Oddly, I know many people, including the nonreligious, who are getting married younger and younger. I don't know whether that's just fashionable 2010s neo-modernism or old-fashioned Pasadena formalism.

maria johnson said...

Marrying young sounds peculiar to many conservative states. While younger husbands have the most unusual ideas for unusual gifts for women during the wedding anniversary. It is something to be young and hip.

Jenica Sanders said...

I am not quite a devoted Christian, but I am baptized. I do not find this acceptable since I believe that it is your free will that will lead you to the person you will spend the rest of your life with, whenever you want to be married. Normally, there is no need for any student loan for marriage. In the overseas, basing on the culture, it will never be easy to apply for a cash loan in Singapore unless you have a very valid reason to do so.

Robin Leadbetter said...

My wife and I were married at the age of 23. We do have stable jobs that time and as of now, we are already at our 15th wedding anniversary and we gave custom calendar to our family as a souvenir in our celebration. If you want to keep your marriage long-lasting and successful, be flexible in your attitudes and be open to adjustment.

Felicity Mozdzen said...

As I browse through the photos taken by our north london wedding photographer, I can't help but notice that I wasn't completely happy about being married young. I was barely fresh out of college and it was sort of a rush decision. However, I'm thankful that it happened because I couldn't be any happier now. I don't advise anyone who reads to go on an marry young because it's not always the same for everyone. Do what you have to do and be happy with it.

Louisse Campbell said...

I can’t see anything wrong with young marriage as long as they know how to live with its consequences, and besides it’s their life anyway. Actually I’ve already encountered a lot of young marriage in Hamptons bed and breakfast venues and what makes me happy about it, is they live as happy couples until now.

Nicole Foster said...

Just like any decision in life. There are pro's and con's, issues about immaturity and patience are the common problems that they will encounter. But they should keep this in mind, any problem can be solved if they compromise and accept each other.

Amelia Bentley said...

Marrying at young age isn't an advisable thing to do. Especially for people who married during their teen years, cause it'll definitely post an effect to their overall well-being.

Kai Macdonald said...

Marrying young has pros and cons. When problems arise they just have to lean to God and remember their vows during their marriage.

Ramon Baldwin said...

If you are that stable, meaning to say you have a stable life, marrying at young age is not a problem. But, if you are on the contrary, it is definitely a problem.

Philippa Cookson said...

Well, I am a believer too. I'm praying that my husband and I will stay together for an eternity. We are bound together by church and by law and I'm keen on keeping my wedding ring on my finger for the rest of my life.

Abbey Parker said...

In the law, that "young age" is enough to get legally married, but in one's religion, there are a lot of factors to consider before taking the vow. This becomes a problem to some couples, as I have observed during my working days as a court reporter.

Indiana Mansergh said...

The only reason why age is such a big deal when it comes to marriage is because they're basing maturity on age. Normally, people would think young married couples would just end in divorce, but they should put into consideration that not all young people are immature. There are exemptions. We shouldn't generalize.

Girlyngdicky SuckerGoogy said...

Having Sex Is Good for Your Health. Lets Talk About Sex.

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Anonymous said...

"The ideal marrying age in Christian culture is 22, when you're fresh out of college and haven't even been to Europe, lived away from home apart from a dorm, or paid one installment on your student loan"

And was wondering where did I go wrong, why am I almost 30 and not married, I'm sorry i did it all wrong! I'm sorry i visited Europe and lived away from home

I'm sorry I'm not sorry

Anonymous said...

It boggles my mind to think that many Christians would advocate the importance of marriage at a young age. Do they not realize they have a huge life ahead of them? Not only that, but do they not realize that self-control (of any habit) makes you strong as a person? In addition, I think that it somehow inhibits young women from achieving their dreams (such as a career goal) when they get married at a young age. Furthermore, it's just not good to rush into a marriage like that. I think it sets up for a divorce because of the great concern of getting marriage at a young age.