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Old 01-11-2004, 11:29 PM   #1
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Christian Teenage Marriages

This is a topic that I'm wanting to know more about ...

I know so many people, around my age (20) who already are married, or engaged, and they're all Christians. Well, I am too and I'm neither of these things. But, I digress.

So, it seems like just about everyone from the youth groups I go to are enjoying wedded bliss. I have asked them why they chose to get married so young and the standard response is "we didn't want to wait." Of course I am aware of what it is they don't want to wait for ...

I would think there's more than that though. I myself would not feel like I'm anywhere near old enough to be married and have all those responsibilities, and know that the rest of your life, you're with this person. Most people I know have gotten engaged maybe 3-6 months after they started going out, or even after they met. That just doesn't seem like enough time to make such a huge decision.

My sister is 18, her boyfriend is 19 and he proposed. She didn't say yes (yet) but I have a feeling she is considering it. But she's still a baby! She's been with her boyfriend for about 6 months and I know they get on really well ... but the whole idea of her being married just doesn't feel right.

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!
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Old 01-11-2004, 11:51 PM   #2
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Divorce rates in the states i think are something like 60% now.....

People get married for the wrong reasons, don't know their mate... and don't know themselves.
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Old 01-12-2004, 12:06 AM   #3
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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.
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Old 01-12-2004, 08:35 PM   #4
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Axver, that's a very wise post for someone your age. I feel that when you decide to make the committment to marriage, you will do the right thing. I have been with my partner since I was 19, and I won't say how many years it's been, but it's been a long, lonnng time. It takes hard work and a level of maturity that some people, no matter how old, never seem to acquire in this age of instant gratification and short attention spans. I'm sure your faith will be a support to you in both the great times and the bad.
A great example of a very early marriage that worked out is ofcourse Bono and Ali's. They married in their early 20s, and their youngest child is now just two. That seems to be a thriving relationship. It can work, but committment and realisitic expectations are essential.
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Old 01-13-2004, 12:41 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by Elvis
Divorce rates in the states i think are something like 60% now.....

People get married for the wrong reasons, don't know their mate... and don't know themselves.

You are so right about that Elvis!
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Old 01-13-2004, 09:39 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by biff

A great example of a very early marriage that worked out is ofcourse Bono and Ali's. They married in their early 20s, and their youngest child is now just two. That seems to be a thriving relationship. It can work, but committment and realisitic expectations are essential.
Of course, I didn't think of Bono and Ali. Actually a lot of the marriages I know of involve the guy who is 24-25, and the girl who is 18-19. Bono and Ali are the same age aren't they? I don't know if that makes any difference.

Say, one married couple I know, the guy is 26, the girl is 20 (she's my friend from school) and she's still got 1 year of uni left. So he's supporting both of them until she has a job ... except that this year he is planning to go to Bible college. So my girlfriend will have to support them both with her part-time job. To me, I don't really think it's worth it. I would definitely want to have a stable, secure job and some savings to fall back on before I get married. That's partly why I can't really fathom these couples marrying so young, purely because they don't want to wait, because maybe they'd have a better life together if they were a couple of years older and had a better idea of what they want from life.
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Old 01-13-2004, 11:01 PM   #7
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I was 22 and my husband 26 when we married. We've been married for 13 years and still going strong. Marriage can work, no matter what age, if both parties are willing to work at it. If you go into marriage with a "what's in it for me?" attitude, it won't work, no matter if you're 20, 40, 60 or 80.
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Old 01-14-2004, 06:46 PM   #8
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I don't know... i'm 20 but and I'm not thinking of marriage or something like that right now, because I want to grow as an spiritual and artistic person before. aparently is a lovely idea to "grow up" with someone you love, and sometimes it happens in a good way, but I think that is important to grow personaly, with an individual identity, to have something good to give to your love one.

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Old 01-14-2004, 07:29 PM   #9
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A judgment made in haste, is bound to go to waste!!!!
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Old 01-14-2004, 10:22 PM   #10
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I don't know... i'm 20 but and I'm not thinking of marriage or something like that right now, because I want to grow as an spiritual and artistic person before.
Good point Zoogirl.
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Old 01-14-2004, 11:00 PM   #11
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Early marriage is not something taught or encouraged in most Christian churches. Some faiths or belief systems do encourage early marriage & starting of families.

One of my employees (age 27) is now engaged to a 19 year old girl - he has known her for less than 3 months. I'd love to tell him to wait and let the relationship grow, but his religion is endorsing the union.
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Old 01-15-2004, 06:46 PM   #12
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I'll tell a true story that may shed some light on *some* people:

I had a friend who was raised in a conservative Christian household, who, by 20, was already being pressured by his parents to get married and have children. After all, it's what you're supposed to do! So he did...and, after having a child with her, realized that he was more attracted to men than women and had a divorce (he's officially "bisexual").

I think my point is (so that people don't take other aspects of that story and run wild):

1) A lot of people are marrying young, out of pressure from their parents and their religion. I find that such pressure is unimaginable, considering the great lengths that St. Paul goes to to point out that Christians are not bound to the same pressures of marriage and procreation that Judaism put on its believers--e.g., being single is just as worthy of God as being married with child.

2) I think it is bad for people to marry so young, because we all remember when we were 20. There is still so much room to grow up for most of us!

I think that both ultimately show how much society really does trivialize marriage, even unintentionally. Pressuring someone to marry seems contrary to its purpose.

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Old 01-16-2004, 08:25 AM   #13
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I will be 29 next month and marriage has only started to cross my mind. I have had a few friends get married (none particularly religious in fact my one friends husband is a card carrying atheist) I still feel like a kid sometimes and I know that I would have in NO way been ready 10 years ago. I have a cousin who got married at 20 she is now 36 with 3 kids. I think in part she married to get out of her house where her father was a bir oppressive.

I would rather be solo than be witht he wrong person although I do long for a relationship that would be so I would want to marry that person.
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Old 01-16-2004, 01:21 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader
Early marriage is not something taught or encouraged in most Christian churches. Some faiths or belief systems do encourage early marriage & starting of families.

One of my employees (age 27) is now engaged to a 19 year old girl - he has known her for less than 3 months. I'd love to tell him to wait and let the relationship grow, but his religion is endorsing the union.
An update - my employee told me he was now getting married in April (it was originally scheduled for November). He will be getting married within 6 months of his first meeting this girl.

He has never said "I feel ready for marriage". In fact, he has only said "this is common in our religion". He joined this religion less than 2 years ago.

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Old 01-16-2004, 03:46 PM   #15
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I was speaking to a really great friend of mine over Christmas, her religion heavily encourages marriage at a very young age. They are pretty much taught that it's the most important thing we do in our lives and the reason we're put on this planet. Well she's only 26 and gets huge amounts of grief from her family and friends because they feel she should have at least had her first child already, but she's not even dating anyone at the time. Luckily she has no desire to rush into a decision like this.
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