This article, which I shared in Part 1, brings up something that I have been thinking about for the past year or so. When DH and I married, we were 20 and 21. Far too young, according to many people. And I will admit that we didn't have a proper relationship prior to our marriage. Sex was a deciding factor for us getting married before we were finished with college. We knew that we shouldn't continue dating given the way our relationship was going.
I am not saying that sex should be the sole reason a couple gets married. I certainly don't think that a couple should marry at the first tinge of attraction. But what are we doing by encouraging couples to wait for marriage (as is commanded by God in the Bible) while at the same time insisting that they complete college and perhaps even work a few years before getting married?
On issues like this, the pros and cons of each choice make it hard to know what's really right. Other than what the Bible says, I don't have a way to know what is the best choice for any situation.
What I do know is what I have done. The first few years were difficult, I admit. DH worked full-time the first year of our marriage, taking a break from college so that I could finish my last year of college. Then I worked the next three years while he finished with his college.
We would have had an easier time financially if we had waited to get married until after graduation. Things would have been even "better" if we had both then worked full-time for a few years before having BB. As it was, DH graduated college early May 2006, I finished my last year teaching late that May, and BB was born that July. We have never had a time where we have had two incomes.
Yet the financial aspect is not the only thing to consider. After all, Christians are to trust God to provide for all of our needs. There is nothing like being a broke newlywed to teach the importance of faith. Had we not married when we did, I doubt we would have still been together post-college. It is my belief that marriage was the way to redeem our relationship. Yes, God does forgive all sin. We certainly could have confessed to God our wrongs and been forgiven - which we did.
However, for us to then break up and marry other people would have created a new problem. When a couple sleeps together and then break ups because they had sex, they are not freed from that person just because they broke up. Once you have sex with a person, you're one flesh, according to the Bible. In a way, it can be argued that sleeping together, breaking up and marrying another person is very similar to divorcing and then remarrying, an act that many churches believe to be unbiblical*.
I want to be clear and say that I don't feel like I had to marry DH. I wanted to marry him, and I'm glad that I did. I believe that God used our poor choices, just as He can use anyone's choice for His purpose. He is, after all, God. He has a best plan for our lives, but that doesn't mean that our mistakes catch Him off guard or leave Him wondering what to do next. I believe He knows what He would like us to do, and He knows what we will do. God didn't plan for us to have premarital sex, but He knew that we would. He allowed the subsequent guilt and remorse to cause us to move up our plans to marry, as we decided it was better to marry early than to leave the situation open to more sinning. For us, marrying earlier was the best option.
*I am obviously not talking about marrying your rapist or anything like that. My argument is solely for couples who have both willingly engaged in premarital sex.