In American culture, it is unusual for a couple to be married before they turn 25, especially in the last 10 years. Maybe, the age could even be 30, but for my purposes, I will say 25 to be safe. It isn’t because marriage is frowned upon that couples wait until they are older to be married. It seems like marriage is viewed more as a “side-quest” in the game of life, but I digress. The point is not that people are getting married late, but rather they are not getting married early.
This is exactly the opposite of what happened with me. I married “early” in life. I was 21 going on 22 and my wife was 20. We were engaged when I had just turned 20 and she was still 19. So, we were engaged for a year and a half before our wedding. I set up a meeting with her father to ask for his permission and a few days later I bought the ring. By the 30th of December, we were engaged and planning out the wedding for a year and a half!
We did get married young, but is that such a big deal? We heard a lot of scrutiny during our engagement, yet none of that came from our families. When people found out our age and that we were getting married, shock would wash over them! They would ask questions like, “Is that wise?” or “Aren’t you guys worried about your finances?” or “Will one of you drop out of college to work full-time?” or “Wow, so young! Don’t you want to experience life first?” There were many other ridiculous questions brought to us, but these were the most common for me.
Let me answer that last question here today. “Don’t you want to experience life first?” Essentially, what they are asking is, “Don’t you want to experience the single life for a while before you hunker down into a monogamous marriage that will keep you from all the joys of life?” That is what they are essentially asking me. The heart of their thinking is that all marriage is is a hindrance to a good life. But, that simply isn’t true. The truth is that marriage opens a door to a good life that maybe the single life could never do for me. My wife gives me another set of eyes to see the world around me. My wife gives me another set of ears to catch the sounds of hurting people around me. But most of all, my wife spurs me on to serve the Lord with a fiery passion. I see her serving God daily in all that she does and that makes me want to serve God in all that I do. She is a godly example and will encourage me in my Christian walk whenever she can. She is a perfect counterpart for me.
You see, for me, marriage is not a hindrance, but a joy. It reminds me daily that I must be humble, servant-minded, and patient. Marriage certainly points me to Christ and how he loves the Church, his bride. I find joy in my marriage by watching my wife glorify God, which in turn helps direct my life to glorify God as well.