I have been asked this question a lot, or variations of this question. And really, I am always, always surprised by it and a little taken back. The social norm these days is to wait until you are more in your thirties to get married, and well since I got married in my early 20's. I guess that is why I was asked this question so many times, but all I can usually muster is some silly short response and a laugh. So I would like to take a moment and give you a well thought out response.....before we get into it, lets start with the specifics....
(our first date.....we both didn't really know this was a "date"...we were just "hanging out"....still waiting for the skittles to rain down from the sky)
Mike popped the question our spring semester of our senior year in college, after dating for 1 1/2 years. I was 22, Mike 24.
We set a date for 8 months down the road
(This picture was taken the day Mike proposed, we are enjoying the excitement with all our friends)
......fast forward to the big day, January 5, 2008....
Because everyone loves wedding pictures....
We are finally married. I was then 23, Mike 25. We were older and so much more the wiser ;)
Okay, now that the specifics are out of the way, lets get into it the good stuff....
I married young because.......
I found "the one"! I can't take much credit for this, it just happened....there HE was. I had always known I would marry young, do not know why, just did. God just took care of me on this regard, it was in his plan for me to find my husband at a young age, and I am SO grateful. I really cannot imagine myself in the dating game right now, wow, what a jungle.
We both were "waiting" for each other, meaning we were not going to have sex until everything was "official", in order, blessed by God...until death do us part. We waited our whole lives for this, so another 8 months was not going to break us.....or was it. ha! Well, it was challenging for sure, but we believed in it enough, and leaned on God's grace to get us to that altar....unscathed =). Praise be Jesus.
Okay, so the very popular option of "living together" was not an option for us, it is just not "us" and was not what we wanted, and also our formation in our faith too brought us to a great understanding of the value of waiting to have sex (or live with a person) until marriage and we truly wanted to live out our faith, because our faith is the most important thing to both of us....we valued some serious commitment up front before bearing our souls to one another, true vulnerability and trust. SOOOO pulling off a year+++ engagement just because we were young was not happening....I mean, come on now we are not saints here, we might be trying, but definitely not there yet ;)...
This topic is the easiest for us, but seems to be the biggest reason why people wait to get married. Money.
Plain and simple, it does not really matter to us. I know it is said by many of the population to wait to get married until....
you have a job, or
wait until your career path is set out before you or
wait until you make xxx,xxx amount of money or
wait until you can afford to give her a ring that is worth 3 months of your salary pay, or
wait until you can afford a house.....it goes on.
This was our reality...
Mike and I were poor college students when we got engaged (I have a beautiful, simple ring)
We were married when Mike did not even have a job and I was working as a youth minister at our church, We could afford to rent a tiny 500 sqft apartment and loved it!
We lived off of my salary, which if you are not familiar with "ministry" pay, its, well, pays off on the backend of things....hoping to get serious brownie points in heaven! (Mike did eventually get a job right after we got married, in the golf industry)
Here's the rub....we didn't care about those things. We had each other. Whatever the future held for us, we could tackle it TOGETHER....under one roof, fully committed to each other and our life, no matter how crazy- crazy got.
I guess because I am fresh out of college and jumping right into getting married, I am either missing out on some experiences I could be having, or need to gain some kind of conventional wisdom from "life's experiences"...whatever that means. 6 years into our marriage I still do not understand this.
Something Mike and I have talked about at length is that we are so grateful we got married fresh out of college, because we were able to shape our lives right out of the shoot around US instead of "him" and "her" trying to fit together.
I feel like it is hard to be uprooted from your life when you have been used to living it as a single person for any length of time. It makes for a hard adjustment into a marriage, shared life, when you both bring to the table experience and a way of life you are used to living, breaking that, and then building a new one is so hard. Don't get me wrong, Mike and I still brought a lot of expectations to the table when we got married on how we want our lives to look like and take shape, but I feel it was just slightly less painful because we really had no "living on our own" experience after college.
All of this being said, I of course am not judging anyone of the choices they have made for themselves or the direction their lives have taken them. I am sharing from my heart, our own story of how we found each other and didn't let age stand in the way. We all have our own journey God leads us on, He has a perfect plan and it will always be good, we just need to listen, trust and walk with him.
Wedding Photo Credit: Tim Will Photography
Sharing with: Oak and Oats, Bloggers Digest