I got engaged when I was 20, and we eloped shortly after I turned 21 (our wedding cruise was a week after my 22nd birthday). And from the second I got engaged until this very day, I have been peppered with comments about how I am just far too young to be married. How I should have waited until I was older before settling down. To this I just have to ask:
I have yet to be presented with a legitimate answer as to why I should have waited to get married. However I have what I believe are 5 very good reasons to have gotten married when I did.
- I have never been a serial dater. I do not agree with dating just to date, I believe the purpose of dating is to explore the possibility of marriage and find the person you will spend the rest of your life with. Well, I found that person when I was 19. We knew very early on we were right for each other and that we would get married. So delaying our lives together in order to shop around some more would have been a waste of our time.
- I was in a good place in life to relocate for my marriage. I had recently graduated college and had all of the necessary degrees and credentials to set me up for career success. And because my graduation was so recent, I was still working at my college job and was able to transfer. I had the flexibility to relocate with my husband and then find a better job where we were living, without having to be unemployed.
- We were both financially prepared for marriage. A lot of couples have to delay marriage to get their finances in order, but we were very blessed to already be financially stable. We had virtually no debt between us, and we both had steady incomes. We had the house, we had the cars, we had the savings accounts and retirement funds, and we had the money to pay for a wedding. So there was no need to delay on account of financial security.
- We wanted to do life completely together. No matter how you slice it, there are always restrictions on a relationship when you don’t live together. We wanted to honor and glorify God through our relationship, and felt convicted to not live together until we were married. Which meant that in order to do life together while still upholding Biblical values, the logical step to take was marriage.
- And finally, when you meet the person you want to spend the rest of your life with, you want the rest of your life to begin as quickly as possible. I don’t believe in soul mates per say, but I absolutely believe that God brought Dave and I together. We are best friends, confidants, and partners in crime. We loved, and still love, each other deeply, and there was no legitimate reason to delay our marriage. So we didn’t.
Having said all that, marriage is not one size fits all. It worked out great for me to get married when I did; I met the perfect guy at the perfect time, and things just fell into place. But what is perfect for me might not be perfect for someone else. What worked well for us might be a total disaster in a different relationship. It is ridiculous to try and fit each relationship into the same cookie cutter mold. I know amazing couples with loving marriages who get married at 18, and equally wonderful couples who got married at 48. I also know my fair share of people with failed marriages who got married at all different ages. The age doesn’t make a difference, its the timing and preparedness that matters. And above all, your love and commitment for each other and to God is what will ultimately determine the quality and success of your marriage.
How old were you when you got married?