Marriage for the Millennial
On any given day, you can scroll through your Facebook news feed or do a quick Google search and find numerous articles telling you not to get married in your twenties.
Those of us that belong to the “Millennial” generation are constantly told to wait for marriage, to stay single in our twenties, make mistakes now, and enjoy our freedom while we have it because marriage means that we no longer get to do what we want.
However, that perspective is not always accurate. I can say from personal experience that I was advised by several older people in my life to wait for marriage or to not worry about getting married at all. Thankfully, my husband and I received nothing but support from our families when we decided to get married at twenty-one and twenty-two after having dated for seven years.
We shared the opinion of many of our friends in relationships that getting married at a younger age actually meant more freedom than being single, and having a partner to go through life with makes every experience that much richer and more gratifying.
Of course, that doesn’t mean everyone should get married young. It’s up to every individual to decide if he or she is ready for marriage on their own. It’s true that some people need to be single or prefer to be single in their twenties, taking the time to discover themselves in their own way. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. It’s okay to want to wait to get married.
At the same time, getting married young shouldn’t be looked down on or considered a choice that will make a couples’ life less vibrant or take away the potential they had as single people. In fact, 1 Timothy says “let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity”.
Getting married young can have many benefits to a couple who are in it for the right reasons. Including God is the single most important thing we can do for our marriages. If we do that, then the age at which we get married doesn’t really matter. Putting God first makes every decision easier and brings clarity to difficult times in life. It also brings incredible joy to everything a couple does together.
Strength in Numbers
While some may prefer to go solo in their early adult years, those of us who are already married swear by having a partner with whom to conquer life’s toughest days. It’s easier to come home at the end of a hard day to someone who will listen and sympathize with your feelings.
It can feel like your spouse is really your teammate, and you work together to make those hard decisions that inevitably come up. Having a partner means you can bounce ideas off of each other and brainstorm together about the future. Both individuals bring qualities to the marriage that can actually bring out the best in each other.
You can accomplish more when you work together. Ecclesiastes says that:
“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor:
If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.
Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone?
Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”
A couple who include God in their marriage can accomplish so much together and do so much good in the world.
Growing and Learning Together
Another benefit of getting married young is that you both get to watch each other learn and grow into the people you’re meant to be. You experience so many changes together. You watch each other begin new careers; you make moves to new homes or possibly even new cities.
If you’ve been together long enough, you get to watch each others’ appearances change over time. Perhaps, one of the most wonderful things to witness is your spouse’s growing faith over the years. You both get to encourage each other in that faith as individuals and as a couple.
Of course, with all of those changes come many lessons to be learned, and it is easier to weather the frustrations and disappointments of those lessons when you have each other to lean on. You also have the benefit of two opinions instead of just one to consider when it comes to deciding on how best to approach certain situations so that you don’t make the same mistakes in the future.
Experiencing hardships together and learning how to fix problems or mistakes together at a young age will make your marriage much stronger in the long run.
Your relationship itself grows and changes quite a bit as well, and you get to learn how best to communicate with one another at a younger age. 1 Corinthians says:
“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;
it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”
Being able to learn all those qualities and express them toward your spouse at a younger age is truly a blessing.
More Time on Your Hands
Getting married at a younger age means you simply have more time together. When you’ve found the person you know you want to spend the rest of your life with, adding more days to your “forever” seems like the most logical and wonderful thing to do!
The earlier you begin your lives together, the more you get to experience together and enjoy one another’s company. It means you have more time to learn new things about each other, more time to conquer new challenges together, more time to work together, more time to grow and learn together, and most importantly, more time to serve God together.
In the end, the important thing isn’t the age at which you decide to get married, but the certainty with which you feel that your relationship is ready for that next big step and that God will be put first in all you and your spouse do. 1 Corinthians also says:
“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”
God asks us to love one another as he loves us. Marriage is a true expression of that commandment, and it should always be celebrated.
-Guest post by Marissa Clark