I recall my law teacher in high school once telling my class something along the lines of, “You should be very cautious about making any major decision before age 25.” Yet here I am at 19, an engaged man. The average Canadian groom is about 31 when he gets married. Why did I get engaged so young? Here are just a few of the factors that brought me to buy the ring and bend the knee.
In our western culture, marriage often has a number of associated connotations and conditions. People seem to only consider getting married after they have obtained a bachelor’s degree (or maybe master’s), have a job in their dream field, have enough money to perhaps begin looking at a house, have been living with their significant other for a while and they feel like they are finally ready to say goodbye to their glory days and “settle down”.
I don’t want to settle down (whatever that means).
I want to get married because I believe that marriage is a relationship and not a life stage. I came across a meme which stated that “Getting married before the age of 25 sounds a lot like leaving the party before 10 pm.” Rather, I see it as entering the party early with a best friend by your side. I have found the woman that I want to spend the rest of my days with. I want her to be a part of my 20’s as we travel, pursue education, work, live out our dreams, and have memorable adventures. Her being with me does not negate from my 20’s but adds to them! I am so happy to know that the person I’m going to be with for the rest of my life will grow up with me and share my formative years. We will have shared memories of our teenage years! We will celebrate every accomplishment and milestone of our 20’s together! How special is that? Knowing that we will be there to support each other through the challenging circumstances of life is extremely comforting. Having someone with me who vows to unconditionally love me is something I see as a positive and not a negative. That being said, I realize that things will change and marriage will be difficult at times. I am going to have to sacrifice some of my goals and dreams. I no longer will have the freedom to up and move to Peru or accept every opportunity that comes my way. Any sacrifice I will have to make will be worth the joy of partnering with my wife and experiencing the day to day with her. Her dreams and my dreams will become our dreams as we pursue life together.
What better person to partner in life with than someone who has the same mission, similar dreams/goals and values! My fiancée and I have a desire to learn to wholly love God and people. We are eager to follow God’s leading wherever that may be. I want to marry her because we are stronger together. As a married couple we will be able to completely support, challenge and strengthen each other, thus growing individually as well as together.
The Meaning of Marriage and Sex
We believe that marriage is incredibly sacred. It is far more than a legal contract to be signed out of convenience, security or the desire for children. It is a holy covenant. Jesus said that in marriage, the two people become one. One flesh. We want to experience this incredibly intimate bond and partnership as we trek through life together. As a Christian, I believe that God loves sex and has given it for humans to enjoy. After all, it was given before wickedness and sin ever entered our world! However, from the Bible we see that God intended this gift to be enjoyed by those who are married, completely committed to one another without restrictions. As my fiancée and I have grown in our emotional and spiritual connection, we want to enjoy all of the benefits of marriage. Basically, we want to have sex.
Where We Are At
My fiancée has been peers and close friends with 20 something’s since she was 16. Since high school I have also been constantly around peers and friends who are older than me. It is not a strange thing for us to have friends who are married. To put it frankly, we feel older than we are. Just about every book and article I’ve read as well as married people I’ve spoken to seem to agree that you will never truly be ready for marriage until you live it out day by day as a married couple! We want to get married because we don’t think we’ll ever be more ready than we are right now. As that wise proverb states: sometimes you have to risk it to get the biscuit.
Being so young, we will also be bringing less baggage into our marriage than a couple who is marrying at a later age. Our age will also enable us to adjust and transition into married life more smoothly since we will not know any other way!
Most importantly we feel as though God has led us to this and is in favour of our marriage. God seems to really love marriage. He goes as far as to use it as a metaphor of how much he loves his children! A couple years ago I could not have imagined myself being in South Africa, much less being engaged, much less being engaged to a South African! It would appear as though God has gone before me and brought me to the circumstances I now live in. Far too many “coincidences” have led me and my fiancée to where we are today.
Although we have been well supported thus far in our engagement, many people will probably see our decision to get married so young as tragic, irresponsible, and crazy. I recognize that I am an inexperienced, naive, fairly ignorant, romantic person. I admit that I am unaware of the significance of the decision I have made. I do not think there is any way I can fully comprehend it! But in a way, I think that is the beauty of it. Venturing off into the unknown with the most exceptional woman I know. Choosing to love and be loved even when I don’t want to. Making a commitment and sticking to it. I could not be more thrilled to make such an irresponsible and immature decision!