Three reasons you should consider supporting young marriages

In 1990 the average age of first marriage in the United States was 23 for women and 26 for men. The most recent statistics show the average age to be 27 for women and 29 for men. That’s an increase of 18% in just 20 years. If you go back to 1960 the average ages are 20 for women and 22 for men. The truth is undeniable; people are getting married later and later. Now, there is nothing inherently good or bad about marrying at a particular age. The bible takes no stance on the correct age to tie the knot. But there are at least three reasons why you should consider pushing against that trend.

jason alyse wedding

My “baby” was never going to be old enough  to get married!

In our culture and especially in the church we’ve done a poor job of teaching the covenant of marriage. There is a reason the bible chooses the marriage relationship as the picture of Christ and the church. Marriage becomes the image bearer of Christ and His bride. But sadly as we talk to more and more young people today, marriage isn’t something they anxiously look forward to in their future. As a result people are getting married later and later – if they get married at all!

God wasn’t confused. It’s God that said in Genesis 2:24, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” Remember, this is directed at Adam and Eve. Adam has no father and mother. But it immediately sets up the marriage relationship as the most important human relationship these two will ever have. Marriage is God’s idea.

It’s doesn’t mean it’s “better” to get married young. It does mean we must elevate the status and importance of marriage. If two people shouldn’t get married, then getting married earlier isn’t going to help. But if you sense this is the one – then here are three reasons why we think you should support young marriages.

1)      The principle of cornerstone rather than capstone. When you ask couples who have been married for 50 years or more, invariably you hear stories of struggles in their early years. How hard it was to make ends meet and how they grew up together. Along with Christ, their marriage became the cornerstone they built their lives on. As opposed to the idea of getting everything figured out first… my degree, my job, my house, my 401K. Don’t get us wrong. All of those things are important and good. But rather than seeing marriage as a capstone to an established life, the strongest marriages see their union as the cornerstone.

2)      It lifts up the importance of marriage. As mentioned above, we are the image bearers of Christ and His church. Encouraging young marriages helps elevate the importance placed on marriage.

3)      Marriage is better for you individually and as a culture. We want to be careful. We’re not saying married people are better. Singleness isn’t a thing to be cured. What we are saying is for some being single is what God is calling them into, at least for now. But for the rest, statistically speaking, the numbers are staggering about the positive effects of marriage on individuals, kids, families and even communities.

Please hear me. We’re not suggesting if people would get married younger it would solve our marital issues. We’re saying as we elevate the way we talk about marriage, it will include encouraging young couples to consider marriage sooner rather than later. How old were you when you got married?

15 thoughts on “Three reasons you should consider supporting young marriages

  1. Well written! Thank you for your thoughts & insights on this. I was 28 & John was 32 when we got married. I always thought I would be married no later than 25 yrs old, but God had a plan! A majority of friends & family from home were all married fairly young, 19-26. Where I live now most of our friends were married between 27-35. That seemed very odd to me when I first lived here.

  2. I was 23, my husband was 24 in 1997. We were considered really young to get married. Not sure if that sentiment was a So Cal./Los Angeles thing. I’m glad we were able to grow up together. 🙂

    • Thanks for sharing. One things for sure, from California to New York the age is trending up.

  3. I was 20 and my husband had just turned 21 the week before, 9 years ago next month! While we had the blessing of both sets of parents, there were definite concerns raised. We proved our budget and living conditions as well as church/discipleship plans. At the end of the day, both sets released us to become one! You’re right on about the cornerstone/capstone sentences. Bryan and I both agree that the struggles we’ve been through have only solidified the foundation laid those first few years. God is beyond faithful and all glory be to Him!

    • Thanks so much for sharing. Obviously marrying young doesn’t guarantee success, but when you are willing to do what is necessary to become one flesh it makes the adventure so rich. To God be the glory!

  4. I was 16 and my husband was 18. I knew very early on that he was who God intended me to marry. This summer we will be celebrating 10 years of marriage. Praise God. Things were bumpy of course in the beginning, I finished high school in 3 years and started working right away, we were living on our own at the time. But now 10 years later, we have two beautiful children, and a construction business that The Lord dropped in our lap. I would never go back and change one thing! God had an amazing plan for us, and we have been able to minister to so many young couples struggling in their marriage. Not only minister, but encourage them that God has a plan and if they can stick out the hard stuff they get to reap the fruit of a marriage fought for 🙂

    • Nancie, thanks so much for sharing. I’m sure there were many betting against you two. Way to go! It’s hard to stay married and it can be made even harder when you marry that young. But how much fun you will have as you look back and see where you both have come. You are watching each other grow up before your very eyes.

      • Thanks Prichard family! Your totally correct in saying people were betting against us! We go back to our home town and people will say ” your still married!!” And we say that’s right, let us tell you why, and we get to share that we have made God our cornerstone. So really it’s God getting all the glory, which is the truth anyways. He is so good! But In a world that is so fallen and broken people cling to the stories of Gods goodness, and our marriage has been a great tool is evangelize.

    • I think you’re probably right. The interesting thing is regardless of urban or rural, the age seems to be climbing. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  5. We were 19 & 21 when we married – exactly 4 years after we began dating. We both knew God intended us for each other, and I pray we’ve been a testimony to God’s unswerving love. The last 2 decades have shown us that when you take the oath seriously, you learn so much more about life, love, and the true nature of the God we serve. Thanks, Pritchard’s, for being the people you are – our lives are better because we know you!

  6. My wife and I were both 19 and a year out of high school when we married. That will be 35 years ago next month. We had our tough times through the years, but we had our family’s support and the fact that we were both believers before we married and had an understanding that marriage was a covenant before God made all the difference.

    • What a great story and what a great inspiration for others. Again, marrying young certainly doesn’t guarantee anything, but what great memories you have to look back upon. Congratulations! Thanks for sharing and here’s to your next 35 years.

  7. A good Marriage is the bases for a happy home.
    I love your views. My God bless our children.

  8. David and Kelli, Thank you for your wisdom and the Lord’s use of such wonderful role models. We have know each other a long time as friends and I want to share my parents thoughts that led me to my husband David and almost 36 years of marriage to my best friend. My father raised me and my sisters to pray each night for the man that God would bring into our lives as a mate. To pray for Godly characteristics, a loving heart, a steadfast never ending love. I was a faithful teen and remember praying exactly that. Even reading about the men of the bible such as Soleman (wisdom and love) David (a passion for God) even Job a man that was steadfast in his love of God. I met David at a private school I was attending (I thought by chance) and when I looked at him- within that moment- I truly knew this boy was the man I had been praying for and I was going to marry. There was never one doubt and never has been in the 37 years I have known him. I was just shy of my 18th birthday and he was 20. I know they were betting against us in Vegas that June in 1979, but here we are- survived raising two children, grand parents, cancer survivor- best friends. Sharing all the trials of money problems, child related issues, business issues as young people maturing and growing ourselves cemented our relationship and deepened our relationship with the Lord. Keep up your great work!

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