How Young is Too Young For Marriage?
If only I could complete a survey of all the people who have ever told someone they are too young to be getting married. Certainly there are cases where this is the truth, but I’m referring to those who believe there is a baseline age for all of humanity to be worthy of handling marriage. Twenty, twenty-five, thirty? Who knows, that’s beyond the point of today. I believe the survey would reveal an expectation of being served and made happy at all times in marriage. When two people commit their lives to each other and both are seeking to be served, rather than to serve, it should be no surprise when an eventual war ensues. Selfishness is incompatible with a joyful, fulfilling relationship.
In discussing this topic with my brilliant wife, she pointed out that people often like to point to the late development of our frontal lobes as a reason for not marrying young. The frontal lobes are “in charge of ‘executive function’ such as planning, working memory, and impulse control” (NIH.gov) and are not fully developed until around 25 years of age. The flip side is marriage clearly improves impulse control. It’s certainly much easier to impulse buy man sized Heelys for 80 bucks when you don’t have a wife to plead your case to. Also, the topic of planning. The older we are, the more likely to be planted in a routine. Not a bad thing, just not an argument for waiting to get married. What an opportunity to grow and learn together through career decisions, living situations, and everything that changes in the young adult years.
Without a doubt marriage is one of the most important decisions that could ever be made. Just because we can get married young doesn’t mean we have to. But I certainly can attest to experiencing tremendous benefits and growth in the last two years as a young married man. Don’t get married to someone just because you don’t think it’ll get better. Set your standards high enough because you are valuable, and then wait. The rest of your life is too long to commit to “good enough”. Just don’t wait for the sake of waiting. Find someone that shares your values, isn’t wrongfully jealous, is kind to your friends and family, and maybe even shares your sense of humor. Then find some wedding bands and make it work.
The purpose of marital intimacy is to create the best reflection of God’s character and Christ’s sacrificial love for us, his creation, his church,. A tangible representation for today’s society of God’s love and sacrifice for his people. We are able to do that through loving each other well and displaying this in action through sacrifice, giving, humility, hugs, selflessness, laughter, and forgiveness, to name a few ways. There is no age limit on these expressions. If you are already married, I pray you know the benefits of this type of abundant life.
We recently heard of a husband who makes it known that he “doesn’t touch a dish” at home because “housework is for women”. If you catch wind of these sorts of ideas from a potential spouse, do yourself a favor and make a break for it. In marriage, our own selfishness needs to be viewed as the root of every problem. We should always be looking for ways to better love and serve our spouse, not for how they can make our lives easier. Ease and peace should be the outcome at times, but this is only achievable if the goal to serve one another is mutually shared and carried out. Washing the dishes and doing the laundry are the simplest of tasks and exist as a means for me to regularly serve my wife. Are you ready to daily seek for ways to serve? If so, continue to seek growth emotionally and spiritually so you can be prepared for the day you find someone with the same outlook on marriage. At that point you won’t have to wonder if you’re too young.