Skip to content

Stir the pot

August 8, 2007

‘Cause I like to stir the pot. What say you to this article?

Grow in Faith, Don’t Date, and Marry Young

‘Course I can comment because I’m married right? It continually amazes me the number of people blown away that Steph and I got married “so young” (we were 20). When did the shift happen that Americans now think 20 is too young to get married? Why don’t we let teenagers marry like they used to? Pros, cons? What would have to change in our society for it to be acceptable again? Can it ever be again?

(For clarification’s sake, I don’t necessarily agree with everything in the article, but it was a great starting point for the discussion.  I do think that Americans should not be so freaked out about people marrying “early”)

15 Comments leave one →
  1. Joel Thomas permalink
    August 8, 2007 11:47 am

    In one of my classes this last week we were talking about how culture has affected teenagers…….there were a lot of interesting points to consider. Along these lines though was the fact that ‘adolescence didn’t really used to be very long at all. You were 12 and then at 16 you got married. The adolescent culture didn’t really begin to take root until the late 40’s/early 50’s. Up to this point teenagers were expected to work and were getting married at 16-17. Things like Rock n’ Roll helped create the youth culture and give teens a new experience of growing up. Obviously a bigger discussion but I remember thinking this was an interesting point.

  2. Molo permalink
    August 8, 2007 2:13 pm

    One of the commenters on the article you linked to provided a link to this article, which provides another interesting perspective on the debate.

    As an aside, recently in Japan (meaning the last 15 years), women have been putting off marriage until the absolute social time limit. By that, I mean 25 or 30. There are 2 phrase in Japanese, one being “Christmas Cake” and the other “New Year’s Noodle” which get applied to these women. Everyone loves Christmas Cake, until the 25th. Then it’s time to throw it out. The same is true with New Year’s Noodles, which are enjoyed up to the 31st, after which they are put in the trash. Career women who move past these dates without marrying are put into the role of office *anego*, a yakuza term for older sister. She in essence helps the younger women in the company find love and marriage material to enjoy the life she has given up for the good of the company.

    Beyond that, I have nothing to contribute to this conversation.

  3. Slothboy permalink
    August 8, 2007 4:01 pm

    I got married when I was 22. First kid at 25. I barely have enough energy to keep up with my children as it is, I can’t imagine if I had waited until later. So, I’m glad I married early, but I found the right girl. I think that would be something that would keep me waiting, if I didn’t find someone I could see myself with.

    We do have to consider life expectancy as well though. When people were getting married at 16 they were dying at 60 to 65. Now we expect people to live into their 80’s. We can afford to have longer adolescence because there is more time to grow up.

    Some people do take it to the extreme though.

  4. August 8, 2007 4:46 pm

    Quite frankly, class… *pulls up pants*

    I found myself reacting to extended adolescence. I didn’t marry at 20, because all of the women in my college either A: still little girls B: had dreams of being a missionary or C: well, ahem, as Dave Selle once subtly put it, “Ya gotta want to have sex with her.”

    Here is the big “however” – as it turns out, God had quite a journey in store for me as a single man, and I wouldn’t trade that experience for anything. I was the one who needed the growing up, apparently. And the end result is a wife who exceeds by leaps and bounds my wildest teenage crush.

    My point? Culture analysis aside, everyone has their own story. Thank God for His Spirit that guides us!

  5. Slothboy permalink
    August 8, 2007 5:37 pm

    I didn’t mean to imply that by not getting married early means you are extending your adolescence. I was commenting on the fact that the teenage mentality more frequently extends later in life than it did in the 50s.

    Anyway, you got married in your 20’s. You still qualify as “young”.

  6. August 8, 2007 6:17 pm

    That you think 28 is young to get married was probably why the article was written. Ha!

    I don’t think the the increased life expectancy plays a factor, except perhaps less urgency to care for our parents. It just sounds like procrastination for productivity. Someday, when we’re ancient, we can all live off our family and government. It shouldn’t be the years when you are most able.

  7. Molo permalink
    August 8, 2007 6:34 pm

    I blame the Harry Potter books.

  8. Slothboy permalink
    August 8, 2007 6:56 pm

    Society considers under 30 to be young to get married. That’s the whole point of this conversation… isn’t it?

  9. Slothboy permalink
    August 8, 2007 7:00 pm

    P.S. Life expectancy absolutely is a factor because in pioneer days when you didn’t live much past 40 you got married at puberty.

  10. Molo permalink
    August 8, 2007 7:12 pm

    You can’t trust those life expectancy figures. Taking out stillbirth and childhood diseases (which, if you’re dead at 12, you’re not getting married), expectancy could go up to around 60. Also, men had a higher life expectancy, short of war, due to death during childbirth. Without looking at life expectancy in either only males, or only females, you’re going to get a skewed chart.

    Also, the idea of universal education (and enforced attendance until 17-18) helped extend childhood to previously unheard of levels. Factor in the belief that everyone needs to have a college degree, and you have “children” until the age of 20-21. Or so goes the common logic.

    Of course, I have a great-great uncle, Oregonian through and through, who was a bachelor until he was 35 (unheard of!). He ended up marrying a local girl who was 12, because her family lost a lot of acreage, and couldn’t afford to have that many mouths to feed. The day after they were married, my uncle woke at 4am to work the field, and told his new bride to call him when breakfast was ready. After 4 hours in the field, no call. He found my great-great aunt on the floor of the house, playing with her dolls. (True story? I dunno. It’s been past down through the family.)

    So, maybe marrying young isn’t such a great idea.

  11. August 8, 2007 7:39 pm

    Yes, D, that’s the point. I’m just saying “young ” should be much younger.

    Molo, your point about forced education and the widespread belief that college is necessary is well made. Hadn’t thought about that. Would definitely be a shock to have sophomores in high school be married.

  12. August 9, 2007 3:57 am

    I think I’m gonna get married when I’m 26.

  13. Slothboy permalink
    August 9, 2007 10:48 am

    I got engaged when I was 18.

    That… didn’t work out.

    Good thing too.

    I think I was too young.

    Wait, did I just switch sides of the argument?

  14. August 9, 2007 9:17 pm

    @ slothboy & fogey: word up on the ‘find the right person’ front — on an individual basis that is definitely my advice for any one man / woman. and don’t jump into something just because you don’t know if you’ll ever get the chance again — be patient and allow God to do his thing.

    but on a societal / cultural basis I strongly agree that we (as a church) should be doing all we can to fight the ‘game over’ / ‘the fun’s over when you get married’ attitude that is dead WRONG and so pervasive in so many circles. even if it isn’t often said that bluntly in christian circles, the attitude persists, particularly in reference to young people. mel and I definitely get concealed gasps sometimes when we tell that we were 20 / 21 (she robbed the cradle!!) when we got married, and it never ceases to surprise me. then again when I look around at the 20 year olds I know… well, that response starts to make a little bit of sense.

    @ molo, comment #2: me too.

    @ molo, comment #3: eeewwwwwwwww.

    @ slothboy: I too was just thinking the other day about being more and more exhausted the older I get and how much worse I would be handling my life if I was any older with three young kids. the classic counter-argument is that if I had waited longer for kids I could have made more money, gotten myself to a different stage of life, and things would be easier; I can’t point to a single person I know who has been able to use their added life position to result in an easier, less stressful life by waiting to have kids.

    @ ryan: thank you captain obvious.

    and with all that, the ‘don’t date’ issue hasn’t even begun to be addressed!

  15. August 10, 2007 5:22 pm

    i was once engaged at age 17 but thankfully that did not work out…think of it allen, no bill, no scarborough circus, we would have never met!…
    i was married at 21 here (Bill was 20), parent at 24 and i thought i was “old” until my first night home from the hospital with that little bundle of joy. waaa-aaayyy back then we were regarded as being so very young by so many folks. fast forward 25 years later and when i regard my soon to be 21 year old child i shudder to imagine her getting married now….she is much too young. i know looking back that bill and i were much too young even if we were more “mature” than she is.
    having said that i conclkude this:
    #1 i have no regrest and would not change a thing
    #2 my 1st born is still too young right now even if mr right were to ring the doorbell right now…
    is that my doorbell?…
    seriously, i do believe it is a case of YMMV and one really needs to examine themselves completely and prayerfully before taking this step.
    i don’t think i have much of a point since i am rambling here.
    oh wait i do!
    hindsight is defintiely 20:20

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: