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Will you marry me? Yes, No or Maybe

There is nothing quite as idealized as being young and in love. From an early age, we are conditioned to view marriage as the epitome of happiness and as something that makes us more mature.

In Christian circles especially, the pressure to be in a relationship and get married can be overwhelming to young people. So many of the sermons I hear involve marriage or family life, and it’s easy to get caught up in the hype.

Whether Christians realize it or not, there is a general attitude that marriage is equivalent to spiritual maturity. How many times have singles been told that God will provide them with a partner once they are more spiritually mature? Intentional or not, we are breeding a culture where the only thing for young people to do is to get married as soon as possible in life. I find this to be a problem.

The concept of getting married young creates an unrealistic expectation that causes people to think there is something wrong with them if their lives don’t turn out that way. For this reason, plenty of young people will rush into a big decision without thinking through it thoroughly.

Sayings like “ring by spring” certainly don’t help. Nothing good comes out of being pressured to make a life-changing choice by a specific deadline.

According to statistics on divorcerate.org, 36.6 percent of women and 38.8 percent of men who married between the ages of 20 and 24 were divorced. That is the highest of all the other age groups listed.

Other studies say the brain isn’t fully capable of logical reasoning until age 25, implying that young couples don’t have the capability to be reasonable about heading into marriage.

However, as much evidence as there is that discourages young marriage, I don’t think age should be the focus of the issue. Christians shouldn’t encourage young marriage: they should encourage smart marriage.

My roommate and her boyfriend are both 20. They have been dating for three and a half years, and they plan on getting married after they are out of college. It would be inaccurate and offensive to say that they are too young to get married and/or that getting married after college is a completely bad idea because of lack of financial security. This is different. They’ve actually thought this through.

They see no need to rush into marriage, and they are planning ahead to make sure that they can have a smooth start to their lives together. Also, they have the support of both of their families, something that many young couples don’t have, which is probably a large reason why so many young marriages fail. Regardless of age, any couple who wants to get married should have people around them to help.

Age-related marriage expectations create a lot of problems, but if we concerned ourselves more with making intelligent decisions, then maybe those who are young and single will feel more at peace with their position and those who are young and desire to get married will be less likely to fail.

Source: http://divorcerate.org

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