In terms of my life so far, I'm old, the oldest I've every been. In terms of my kids' lives, I'm quite old. In terms of those 15 - 20 years older than me, I'm young. Could age really be that relative? In fact, even within my own body and experience, I have young days and old days. The more my feet hurt, the older I feel. The more energy I have, the younger I feel. Also, true with the cuter my hair is. *wink*
So, here's my question: What is the right age to marry? And how do you know when it's time (both as a parent and as a potential bride or groom)? I have to have this info because I am the parent of 23, 20 and 18 year olds. One is already engaged. Someday, I presume the other 2 will want to be.
Here's what I know based on my own experience. When you're ready to get married, you're ready to get married. It doesn't matter what else is going on in your life. Well, that was me. Every minute apart from my true love was too much. I would, sometimes literally, run from work to meet him and I worked in downtown Atlanta and wore professional-ish clothes. I wanted to be with that man every second. And by the way, we were 21 and felt like full-grown adults, not kids who didn't know a thing in the world. However, we were probably, in reality, kids who didn't know a thing in the world.
I will not suggest for a moment that we were wise about everything. I know for a fact that we weren't. I just know that others' opinions weren't all that important to us. (That could be one of the things that we weren't so wise about.) My husband was wise enough to make sure that his degree was complete before we got married... by a whole week. I was in my senior year and I (foolishly) stopped going to school to work. I know the wisdom of this was questioned greatly, but I don't question us getting married when we did and as far as me and my "career", I am convinced that I've been doing what God wanted me to do all along, so I don't know that the degree would've made that big a difference. On the other hand, I still regret not having the degree and at least once a year, I look at what it will take to finish.
Back on track: The real track is the relativity of age and the appropriate time to marry. I hear people say, and frequently at that, that their child is absolutely not allowed to marry until they finish college. I hear others insist on a one year engagement. Then again, I know of "kids" who marry while in college and they are rock solid. I even know of a girl who married at 18, her husband is working on his degree while she's very happily employed as a dental hygienist. They've been married several years now and are doing great. How do you know what's right?
I feel pretty certain that I want my kids to wait as long as possible and get as far in their growing up and education as possible. However, I believe that we're in a time where kids are putting off growing up and stretching out their irresponsible years more and more. This isn't good for society. I'm not a fan. I believe that our children need to be taking responsibility for their lives and acting like adults as soon as possible. At the same time, I want my children to have the best shot at long-lasting, God-centered marriages as possible. Are these two notions in opposition to each other?
I'm not coming with answers, but questions? How do you advise the younger ones in your lives? What did you do and how did it work out for you?
I'm almost 50 years old. I've been married almost 28 years. I am happier in my marriage than I've ever been. I was a month shy of 22 when I married and I do not feel like I missed a thing. Getting married influenced my not finishing my degree, but truthfully I could've done that numerous times over. I just haven't.
I want my children (are you listening, children?) to have healthy marriages, God-willing, filled with a steady income, full of love, joy and mutual respect. I hope that they're able to travel a bit as they get older and that they're diligent to build a savings account to help with the unexpected and at some point luxuries. I want them to come see me at the lake and bring their babies. And... I want them to finish college. I do. No one knows what the future holds. All of my kids have collegiate type brains. I want them to grow the brains God has given them and use them for His glory. BUT: I don't know that I would make this a requirement for marriage and how could I enforce that anyway? I pray that God will lead me and my husband as well as the kids involved at the time so that we all have peace about any proposed marriage (to whom and when) because goodness knows we all have to deal with the fallout if poor decisions are made.
(All because I read the beautiful blog of a young woman who married while still in college. Love you ASW! )