Lori Alexander over at her blog, the Transformed Wife, wrote an article questioning why the Christian church at large does not seem to support young adults marrying early.
She questions why Christian parents seem to prefer sending their children to college to learn instead of encouraging them to marry young. Mrs. Alexander quotes someone on Twitter with whom she agrees:
“I would love to see: 1) Parents take more of an active role in their children’s courtships; 2) No more long engagements; 3) Teens/Young Adults chasing Christ under teaching parents, pastors, and family worship and a full dismissal of the statement ‘don’t get married till after college.’ If it be the will of the Lord for your lives: Chase Christ. Get married. Have kids. Grow. Grow. Grow. Grow. #make18adultagain”@AdamPage85 on Twitter
She says she agrees with him 100%. I only partially agree with the gentleman.
His first point is that parents should take more of an active role in their children’s courtship. According to Scripture, that is the father’s responsibility, not both parents.
Mr. Page’s second point is an either/or proposition in that there are good points on both sides. A long engagement allows for time for the young couple to see each other in good and bad situations. On the other hand, a short engagement period means it’s less likely, but by no means guaranteed, that premarital sex would take place. There are other pros and cons.
As to Mr. Page’s third point about teens and young adults should be chasing Christ under teaching parents, pastors and family worship, I would strike the “pastors” from the sentence. Fathers are the primary teachers in the family. The husband teaches the wife and they together teach their children in family worship. Pastors and rabbis are Yeshua’s servants to train the fathers, however, Yeshua remains the father’s Master.
Getting rid of the notion of “don’t get married until after college” is another either/or proposition. It is true that there are professions that require advanced education. A college degree does add greater potential to earn more money throughout a working lifetime. If a young man meets a young woman in college and they decide to marry, that will put a great deal of stress on a fledgling marriage. College requires a great deal of time and effort and for the money involved, the student should give 100%. It is also true there are ways to earn a living and provide for a family that don’t require college degrees.
I think the big problem with Mrs. Alexander and Mr Page’s position is that they are treating young men and women equally. The men are responsible to provide for their household, and the women are to assist their husbands and be home for their children.
If women are focused on building their careers, they are not focused on helping their husbands nor on raising their children. For this reason, I have no problem with young women not going to college and marrying young. This way, they don’t exit college saddled with student debt. Neither are their minds and spirits poisoned by carefully crafted appeals to their emotions. They will more readily depend on and respect their husbands.
Young men on the other hand should indeed have a close relationship with Yeshua the Messiah (Jesus Christ). If they are not ready to follow Yeshua, teach their wives, and be able to provide for young families, they need to delay marriage. Being tested in a hostile environment that today’s colleges and universities have become is a good way for the young men to become experienced in spiritual combat and practice applying the lessons they learned from their fathers. On the other hand, a young man who hasn’t been given a strong foundation can fall to the manifold deceptions on campus. Therefore, I can argue that a somewhat older, godly and financially secure man is a better choice for a young girl.
All of the above said, what I teach my sons is “jobs, marriage, babies” in that order.