Unfortunately, as we all know, we live in a time period where society tells us to "party, make money, and travel the world before settling down". It seems like the average age to get married keeps getting pushed further and further and people are getting married at a later age. Many people tend to look down upon young adults getting married in their 20's saying that they're "too young" and may even call it an immature decision. What they fail to realize is that God calls us all to a given vocation whenever He wants and whenever He knows we are ready.
When I tell people that I'm married, I love to see their reaction. "What? You're married? How old are you?" When they ask about my love story with my husband and I say that we dated for 7 months (most of which was long distance) and had a 7-month engagement, their reaction sounds like “Whoa, that's quick didn't you want to really know your partner?” And when I say I've been married now for 4 months and we're already expecting, I get the same reaction: “Already?!”
From the moment we started dating, everyone told us to take it slow. When I got engaged it was difficult dealing with my family’s reaction because my parents kept asking me when was I going back to grad school (I moved from New York to California in the middle of my second year of school). I remember crying my eyes out in disappointment shortly after getting engaged because my dad called me to question if I was sure about getting married so soon. I was sad that he did not understand my choice, due to a worldly mentality, but I had to trust the decision I made through prayer and discernment.
But aside from these struggles of dealing with those who simply did not understand that getting married young was God’s will for us at the present moment, getting married at such a “young age” has been the greatest blessing. Of course, there are struggles in marrying young. It’s a struggle to be a grown up and no longer live with my mom because I no longer have someone to pamper me in a feminine way (I’m pregnant and rather needy now). But choosing to lay down my life for another at this age has shown me the beauty of standing out from society. In no way has my marriage made me feel “settled”. I was settled back East when I had a great job, went to a great school and had great family and friends. Getting married at 25 helped me to step out of my comfort zone because my husband has encouraged me to follow my dreams. It has helped me grow so much more professionally, personally, and spiritually as I’ve learned to care for someone other than myself making the little sacrifices worth it all. My husband has healed wounds I didn't even know existed and has shown me the Father’s love by loving me through them. It is a joy to know that I have someone, “a buddy for life” as he calls it, who I get to explore this adventure of life and grow old with.
So, to answer the question, “should you marry young?” it is honestly going to be different for everyone. There is no black and white answer because your love story will be different from my own and from everyone else you know. Some will be called to marry young and some will not. Prayer, discernment, honest communication with your partner and self-analysis will help you on your journey to making this particular choice. All in all, with whatever you are called to do, do not succumb to the mentality of this world, but rather, be transformed by the renewal of your minds and BE NOT AFRAID!
“DEAR YOUNG PEOPLE, DO NOT BE AFRAID WHEN LOVE REQUIRES SACRIFICE.” –Saint Pope John Paul II
Ilayne Murray is a high school Spanish teacher, who’s also in the middle of getting her Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. She’s a New Yorker at heart, residing in Southern California where she enjoys perfect weather days…every day. On her free time she loves to journal and do arts and crafts.
Image by: [Amauris Hernandez http://www.ahernzphotography.com]