Friday, August 7, 2009

The Case for Early Marriage

If you haven't already read this article, please do so now.

Here are few paragraphs that rang especially full of truth & grace (emphasis mine):

From page 2:

Evangelicals tend to marry slightly earlier than other Americans, but not by much. Many of them plan to marry in their mid-20s.Yet waiting for sex until then feels far too long to most of them. And I am suggesting that when people wait until their mid-to-late 20s to marry, it is unreasonable to expect them to refrain from sex. It's battling our Creator's reproductive designs. The data don't lie. Our sexual behavior patterns—the kind I documented in 2007 in Forbidden Fruit—give us away. Very few wait long for sex. Meanwhile, women's fertility is more or less fixed, yet Americans are increasingly ignoring it during their 20s, only to beg and pray to reclaim it in their 30s and 40s.

This shouldn't be read as an excuse to sin. Sex outside of marriage has consequences that God wants to protect us from, as I can well attest. But understanding the strength of the urges behind it goes a long way to enhancing my ability to give grace and compassion first to myself and then to others.

From page 3:

As we finally climb toward multigenerational economic success, we advise our children to finish their education, to launch their careers, and to become financially independent, since dependence is weakness. "Don't rush into a relationship," we caution them. "Hold out for a spouse who displays real godliness." "First loves aren't likely the best fit." "You have plenty of time!" we now remind them. "Don't bank on a mate." Even those who successfully married young now find themselves dispensing such parental wisdom with little forethought.

"Dependence is weakness" is a lie/misunderstanding that permeates much of our culture and childrearing practices. Why are we in such a rush to get our babies to be "independent" before they are ready? Mr. Regnerus goes on to admonish parents not to threaten the removal of financial support to their children who seek early marriage, but instead to consider it a ministry/missionary opportunity to provide for young struggling couples.


From page 7:

Time and again, I've listened to Christian undergraduates recount to me how their relationships turned sexual. One thing I never ask them is why. I know why. Because sex feels great, it feels connectional, it feels deeply human. I never blame them for wanting that. Sex is intended to deepen personal relationships, and desire for it is intended to promote marriage.


Love this. What a healing, graceful viewpoint.

What are your thoughts or responses to the article (any part, not just what I shared here)?

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