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Old 01-22-2004, 02:27 AM   #16
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Re: Christian Teenage Marriages

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Originally posted by ~*Buffalo*~
I just would like to know your ideas about this. Is there a church culture, do you think, that encourages teenagers to get married? Would they be better off waiting? How can you be sure, when you're 19, that you've found the "right" person? Have any of you been in this situation? Thanks in advance!
Hi, I'm new in this part of the forum, but it's my New Year's Resolution to check out new places.....within Interference.

Anyway, where I go to school EVERYONE is trying to pair off. I go to a smaller, Christian Reformed college in a primarily Dutch CRC community. It's common here for people to be engaged sophomore or junior year, or at least be pearled (promised) by then if they have a boyfriend.

I'm 19 and met by bf last year (freshmen year) here and we've been going out for a year. I wasn't intentionally looking for husband material, I wasn't really interested in finding a bf at all, and he was still going out with another gf of three years when we met...but things change! So yeah, we will probably get married eventually and we live in a community that would encourage it at this age (more for him since he's 22) but I don't really think about it b/c I'm in no rush at all. I'm moving into an off-campus chick pad in June and I'm going to enjoy at least a year of living on my own with all GIRLS and enjoy college and having a boyfriend at the same time. I know my boyfriend is more interested in marriage than I b/c he's older and will graduate this spring, but I don't feel obligated to settle down right away and give up the rest of my social life and the chance to live with my best friends for a while first.

I will insist on waiting, AT LEAST until I'm 21. I like to have all my ducks in a row, so I need to figure out exactly what I want to study and what career I want. I think that at least one person in the couple needs to have a career-like job in order to support them and have a house. I will not get married until we can have a house of our own. So that's my criteria : one or both of the two should be able to support the marriage financially and I MUST have a house! I don't see how 18 or 19 year old couples can meet those criteria. My ideal marriage age (for anyone) would be 22-28.

As for getting married right away b/c having sex before marriage is not right and not wanting to wait....I think that's a pretty rediculous and immature reasoning. Sure, it's hard to wait, but not impossible. As long as there's a mutual agreement to wait until marriage and not feel pressured to have sex before, or get married early b/c of the pressure, there shouldn't be a real problem. I don't feel any pressure at all b/c I have friends who aren't having sex and my boyfriend doesn't pressure me or himself so I'm content with waiting for an indefinite amount of time.
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Old 02-21-2004, 09:46 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by Axver
Buffalo, I agree. I'm just about to turn seventeen, and I can't imagine being married in two or three years. Some get married early because they don't want to wait, and why don't they want to wait? For purely selfish motives. They don't even consider the fact that marriage is a lifelong commitment - they're like "oh yes, I'll love this person all my life" but half the time you really have to wonder if they're serious. How can you know after only half a year that you're meant to be with someone forever? I'd be hesitant to marry someone I've known for three years. So in other words, I won't be married until 21 at the earliest, and personally, I'm fine with that. The years from about 13 to 21 are where people grow the most, and so I think it's dangerous to rush into something at 18 or 19 because the person you are at 22 could be quite different. I know the person I was two years ago is nothing like the person I am today.

I think a big part of things is society is, in some ways, really messed up. People aren't necessarily afraid of commitment - they just don't think about it. Things seem to be so geared towards being happy NOW and being fulfilled in the short-term that people don't sit back and look at the big picture. I'm sure this is part of the reason behind young marriages and the high divorce rate.

So yeah, there's my two cents for now.
A friend of mine is like that (she's a believer,too...though her family is *very* conservative). Every guy she meets she thinks she's going to marry. Most of the time it adds alot more drama than nessessary...Her older sis (who's 23 is getting married next month...that's around a normal age I guess. But, she's 19! With the one she was dating awhile ago the subject of how they would raise their children came up! Goodness...) I'll be 20 in July and I could not see getting married so soon. God has instilled in my heart school and career. Guys come third...a very far away third... I think if it was in His will I would have that desire now. I don't. I want to finish school and start my own life. I like being independent. I like being single

Anywho, that's only me
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Old 02-21-2004, 10:02 PM   #18
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When I was a freshman in high school, one of my classmates, age 14, left school to marry a 30 year old man. She was a Mormon and her family encouraged her. I was worried about her and never heard from her again.

But that was extreme. In most cases, I would say, if you're in love GO FOR IT at any age. So you might get divorced, and if you wait another 5 or 10 years you might also get divorced! I had a cousin who got his girlfriend pregnant and they married at 17. They stayed together until their mid 40's when SHE had a midlife crisis and slept with her boss. But how many couples who waited until they were older does this happen to? PLENTY!

I get weary of hearing the old 'you've got your whole life ahead of you!' and "you should have fun!" arguments. Did you ever think if they're really in love, they have fun and have their whole lives ahead of them TOGETHER??!! Just because the decision isn't right for you doesn't mean it wouldn't be for someone else. And if they do break up, at least they tried instead of letting everyone scare them away with what MIGHT happen. Give them a chance, if they both want it and it's not some prearranged middle ages thing.

BTW I got married to my husband when we were both 23, we have 2 teenagers, and we celebrate our 20th anniversary later this year
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Old 02-21-2004, 10:06 PM   #19
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Normal

Another thing, I wonder how many happy lives and good marriages were ruined by well meaning friends and relatives busting up young love. Both of them marry someone else years later, and that doesn't work out. Maybe the young love thing would have and they missed out. I can't count all the stories I've read in the paper about old people, I mean in their 70s and 80s, meeting back up with their first forbidden love after they got old and their other spouses had died, and finally getting hitched, wondering what they missed, full of regrets haunted by what good years they could have had together.

So what I'm saying is, if they're willing, give it a CHANCE. You never know.
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Old 02-22-2004, 04:51 PM   #20
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One of my great-aunts eloped when she was sixteen. Her parents were outraged, but more or less accepted the situation. The marriage worked. They had four children, and stayed happily married until his death. So yes, marriage in very young couples can work. But sometimes it doesn't. It's different for different people. I wouldn't say one should never marry young, because look at my great-aunt. But with other people they should wait. People don't mature at the same age. Some are very mature at sixteen or eighteen, and some people never grow up. Most people are somewhere in between.
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Old 02-22-2004, 05:39 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally posted by Seabird
I get weary of hearing the old 'you've got your whole life ahead of you!' and "you should have fun!" arguments. Did you ever think if they're really in love, they have fun and have their whole lives ahead of them TOGETHER??!! Just because the decision isn't right for you doesn't mean it wouldn't be for someone else.
I mostly agree with this. While I don't like the idea of people being "forced" into marrying very young (and I say "forced" because I don't mean literally MADE to get married, but rather put under a lot of pressure to do so) I also don't think there's anything wrong with a couple who are young deciding they want to get married.

I think if you look at how soon people were expected to "grow up" in the past, young people today are treated very differently. Even in the mid-20th century it wasn't unusual for a couple to be married and have children at the age of perhaps 18 or 20. Young people were expected to take on a lot more responsibility too and there was less of this idea that people need to "enjoy themselves while they're young" or "shouldn't think about settling down until they're older."

I guess all I'm saying is that sometimes it can be tempting to assume that all young people are too immature and irresponsible to make a commitment like marriage but it's unfair to equate being young with being irresponsible or unable to make a wise decision about marriage.
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Old 02-22-2004, 09:34 PM   #22
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I think anyone can marry whenever they please, but one of the initial concerns of the thread was that sometime's it's common for Christians to marry earlier b/c premarrital sex is a sin. So instead of waiting until early 20's, people marry when they're 18 or 19 b/c they think they are mature enough to engage in that type of relationship.

I don't think marrying young is always bad, but sometimes the reasons are the cause for concern.
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Old 02-24-2004, 08:46 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally posted by LivLuvAndBootlegMusic

I don't think marrying young is always bad, but sometimes the reasons are the cause for concern.


Agree with Seabird too.
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Old 05-22-2004, 11:03 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally posted by LivLuvAndBootlegMusic
I think anyone can marry whenever they please, but one of the initial concerns of the thread was that sometime's it's common for Christians to marry earlier b/c premarrital sex is a sin. So instead of waiting until early 20's, people marry when they're 18 or 19 b/c they think they are mature enough to engage in that type of relationship.

Yes, that's the feeling I seem to get from many of my friends who are/will be married young. I remember one Christian guy I knew - he was 21 I think - who was "accountable" to one of my (male) friends. And I was with them one day, eating lunch, and all of a sudden this guy starts saying to my friend - "I find it so hard not to sleep with my girlfriend, I can't wait until we get married so I can," etc, etc, etc. I wanted to run away and hide because that was not the kind of thing I wanted to hear! He and his girlfriend were married last year, anyway, and I've not seen them since, so I don't know how the relationship is going. But, you know, there was no mention of how much he loved her, how much he wanted to spend the rest of his life with her ... just how he couldn't wait to sleep with her "legitimately" in marriage.
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Old 05-23-2004, 06:32 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally posted by Elvis

People get married for the wrong reasons, don't know their mate... and don't know themselves.
I think that is partly true. But I think that underestimating the size of the commitment is a larger factor.

If you get married at 25 or 30, you can still grow and change in a different direction from your spouse. Its natural.

I think not recognising this and not recognising what it takes to stay the course is the big issue.
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Old 05-23-2004, 09:59 AM   #26
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Where I'm from (Kentucky), there is a huge amount of pressure amoung Christians to marry at an early age (before 20). Almost every person I knew in college was married or engaged by the time they graduated, and the church I went to in high school encouraged people to marry the first person they dated and to get married young (the teaching was that you could grow to love anyone, so it didn't matter if you weren't in love yet or that you both would change as you matured). There were several couples I knew in college who said things like 'Well, we have really strong feelings for each other, and since we've prayed about lust, we know that the fact that we still want to have sex with each other is a sign from God.'

I'm 23 (24 in September) and will be getting married in August. My fiance will be 22, and even though my friends from college have all been married for years, I still feel like I'm getting married really young.
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Old 05-23-2004, 10:24 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally posted by Elvis
People get married for the wrong reasons, don't know their mate... and don't know themselves.
If you want to wait til you know your mate or yourself, you will never be ready.

People change. We can sometimes adapt, sometimes can't. I dont view people who divorce as failures. They are people who are strong enough to admit they cannot continue in a life of unhappiness.
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Old 05-23-2004, 11:46 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally posted by Angela Harlem


If you want to wait til you know your mate or yourself, you will never be ready.


very true.

i've known my exhusband since i was 12 years old.

didnt start dating til we were 17-18.

got married at 22.

divorced 2 years ago.


you can know someone your whole life. and he/she can still change into totally someone totally different over the years.
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Old 05-23-2004, 06:10 PM   #29
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I think it's entirely possible to get married at a very young age and have it work out. My own mom and dad got married when they were barely in their 20s and they just celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. But I hate the idea of people being pressured to marry early because it's not for everyone.
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Old 05-24-2004, 01:20 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally posted by Bono's shades
I think it's entirely possible to get married at a very young age and have it work out. My own mom and dad got married when they were barely in their 20s and they just celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.
I don't think anyone disagrees. The point of the thread is that it's becoming increasingly common for Christian couples to marry either consciously or unconsciously because of sex. The couples can't have sex before marriage, and when they feel they're ready to have sex, they assume it's time to get married. This is what the thread is referring to.
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