August 10, 2009

Why Wait? Get Married! Part 4

If you haven't read what started all of this, you can find the article here. In Part 2, I wrote about my personal experience with marrying young. In Part 3, I wrote about the financial aspect of young marriage.
If you interpret the Bible literally, as many evangelicals do, one of the primary purposes for marriage is to have children and to then raise them up in a Godly manner (Genesis 9:7; Deuteronomy 11:19; Psalm 127:4,5). Time and time again, the importance of a family is stressed in the Bible. Granted, having children to carry on the family line and to assist with the day to day was crucial in that time and culture. Yet it is also important today. After all, who better to have children than a married couple committed to following God?
More and more couples, though, are experiencing difficulties in having children. Undoubtedly, environmental factors are a big reason behind many cases of infertility. But how much of the problem is also to blame for later marriages followed by prolonging childbearing so the couple can "get to know" each other? God seems to have designed people to reproduce the best prior to their 30s. Shouldn't it stand to reason, then, that perhaps most people are meant to marry and have children at a younger age than they are currently doing?
Please don't misconstrue that I am saying infertility is some type of punishment for marrying later and waiting to have children. I know that not everyone meets their person at 20. However, I have observed many couples who have dated 5, 7 years even, then waited until 3 or 4 years before they started working on their family. Some of them have had no trouble conceiving, while others have. As someone who struggled to have a child, and is now struggling to have another child, I know how agonizing it can be each month to realize that your dream of a child isn't coming true.


  1. Good points, Heather! I also married young (1 week before I turned 21) and was told by some that I was too young. But DH and I feel that it was best for us and never regret marrying when we did.

    I also agree about the cause of some infertility. It seems to be the in thing to "wait" and have time to enjoy each other before having children. While there is certainly a place for time as a couple, it seems that women are waiting longer and longer.

  2. In this - you might have a point - I don't know... but as someone that was relatively young when I got married... infertility can't only be explained by age at marriage.

    As I said earlier - I was 23... and immediately started "trying" for a baby on our honeymoon... unfortunately at 31 - we're still trying for that same baby.

    I do remember people advocating for us to wait until we had been married a little while before having children, and I can see the benefits of that FOR SURE - we have grown so much in our marriage together... and are a true team.

    The big "IF" in this lies in the relationship of the couple - because sadly a lot of people completely submerge themselves in their children... and don't focus at all on their marriage relationship - but God intends us to raise our children to "leave and cleave" as we did... and at the end of that process - if you haven't nurtured your marital realtionship - you might be left with nothing.

    If you never knew a marriage without children - that problem might be more prevalent.

    I don't know - and I'm certainly no expert - but I do believe that God's timing is perfect, and for whatever he's planned for each of us out there - it is exactly as it should be.

    I guess I think of it like I do parenting - because there are no absolute answers for how long you should breast feed or even if you should breast feed... but you have to figure out what works best for you while looking to God for guideance.

  3. First, let me say I strongly disagree with the idea that God has designed us to reproduce best in our 30's. Allow me to cite Genesis 21:1-7, where Sarah bore Abraham a son, when Abraham was 100 years old and Sarah was well past child-bearing age. If we believe that the Bible is the Living Word, then we believe with the fullness of hope that child-bearing at any age is possible. God accomplished this great miracle in many figures in the Bible; bearing a child is not necessarily accomplished merely in biological "prime time", as in the case of Rebekah (who bore Jacob & Esau), Rachel (who bore Joseph & Benjamin; she died giving birth to Benjamin), Hannah (who bore Samuel) and Elizabeth, Mary's cousin, who bore John the Baptist. Kind David's wife Michal never bore any children.

    I believe marriage at any age is appropriate when God has clearly anointed the union. So in that sense, I agree age isn't really the matter here. It's about spiritual readiness and maturity.

    When it comes to the issue of purity before marriage, God's Word must remain at the forefront of any relationship in order to withstand the temptation. God will gave us the grace to obey if we allow Him to.

    1 Corinthians 7:8-9 says "Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I am. v9 But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion."

    In those times, Jews & Gentiles alike were divorcing and for the slightest of reasons, so it was reasonable to teach that not marrying was the more prudent path as it would enable Christians to better serve Christ, however divine wisdom ought to direct our paths. In fact, Paul goes on to teach that we have a lifeline of hope in the face of such temptation:

    1 Corinthians 10:13 says "No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it."

    My husband & I were not pure before we married, and although it was a short period of time, sin is sin in the Lord's eyes. We didn't seek a way out of the temptation, but that does not mean God wouldn't have enabled us to withstand it had we sought Him more earnestly. We prayed for forgiveness before we married and afterwards. I can't say it was repentance, because to repent is to turn away from sin, and we hadn't done that.

    I think sexual temptation is a poor excuse to marry at ANY age, when God's Word expressly says He will provide the way if we will turn to Him for help.

    The decision to marry should be based upon God's will and if both people in the relationship are being led by the Spirit to do as such. It is not a decision to be taken lightly, and again I say, not a decision to be weighed heavily against the temptation to not be pure until the Spirit leads two people to marry.

    We have to be careful to weigh our decisions against God's Word and not allow our emotions to drive. Even more, the truth of the Bible must remain as black & white, not blurred to gray for the sake of accommodating our own personal desires.

  4. Thanks for your insight from personal experience on this! My husband was ready for marriage in his early 20's but God didn't lead him to me until a decade later. Even though he had to maintain sexual purity for many years, he says I'm totally worth it. ^_^


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