getting married young
I had to write about this topic, because how could I not? In all of my vast knowledge of being married for two months (ha ha), I thought it would be best to share some thoughts.
For background, I am a "newly-wed" at the ripe age of twenty years old to my high school sweetheart who I dated for three plus years. Either you're here to read this out of mere curiosity or you are about to take the plunge yourself, and you're wondering what the hype is about. We received (and still do) a whole realm of opinions, questions coated by prior thoughts, and wise insight.
That being said, I wanted to give you some thoughts about why getting married young is the best, my thoughts on people's many opinions, and what being married young has been like so far.
People are crazy opinionated about marriage. Why?
Here's the deal- people are going to have an opinion either way. You are either too young or too old. Too dumb and poor to get married, or too well off to know what the "true world" is really like. I think there are the most opinions surrounding this topic, because it is the most sanctifying, and love representing image we have in this world. We love marriage, we fight against it, we grow in it, and we learn so much in it. We all have different stories, sore spots, and ideas of what it should look like.
If there is anything that I've learned or any wisdom I could claim, it would be this:
The decision to get married is strictly between you, your (future) spouse, and the Lord. Your marriage is your safe spot, the place where you see Christ most evident, and your home until eternity is reached. This is not a decision meant to be made or swayed by others around you; it is a choice that the Lord gave to be yours and His. Don't give people the power to influence it, for it's not their marriage to live in.
2. It's a little weird to be a pioneer.
"Pioneer" | a person who is among the first to explore or settle a new country or area.
Here's the deal, if you're getting married at a young age, chances are you're in the minority. The average age of getting married is growing constantly upwards, and 20 is no big number. Pioneers have always been in a little awkward limbo, being the first to do something no one else has entered is a little scary. With being married so young, you'll find yourself having married friends that are years above you, and non married friends that sometimes are in college. Your 20's are as awkward as they are anyways, but place a marriage certificate in your hands, and we got a whole new season of life that isn't very relatable. There's a loneliness to it, but also a whole new taste of beauty. There is an innocence, and freshness of being so young, and committing your whole life to another soul. It's by far the greatest blessing I've ever received.
3. Marriage is the absolute best, best, best, and nothing tops it.
I can't believe I get the blessing of growing up with my best friend. I seriously can't believe it. We get to maneuver things like college, budgets, careers, big life decisions, not putting the toilet seat down (not pointing fingers or anything) groceries, and hogging all the blankets at night. I praise the Lord that He knew my soul, and knew that it would be so loved on by Cody. We have so much stinking' fun together it's CRAZY!! We are constantly dancing, constantly laughing, constantly watching old tv shows, and dreaming up a storm. I'm glad people look at us like we're crazy when we explain how young we are. I'm overwhelmed that we get the blessing to point to Christ even as young, weak vessels of the Most High. There is nothing in my life that I lost in getting married; it was everything that I gained in entering marriage.
4. That being said, it's far from perfection
I'm not nor have I been oblivious to the intimacy in every way that marriage gives you. That being said, I've seen the weakness of my flesh at another level, and the sin that threatens to corrupt what is good and lovely in our relationship. Cody and I in dating always had a strength of being able to communicate well, have "frustrations" rather than arguments, and pretty much be on the same page. I remember sitting around with my friends before getting married talking about how great marriage is when one friend vulnerably said, "The fights are the hardest part. I didn't realize how selfish I was until marriage." That stood with me above the wonderful words said about how beautiful marriage was, because I knew how realistic those words were.
After getting in an argument last night (yikes), we laughed through our tears as we said, "We have never fought this much! This is crazy!" I think it's awesome that Cody, and I have a small platform where I get to speak about our relationship on social media. However, I don't want to just scream out messages that getting married young is the best, and we have no problems. Getting married young IS the best and we DO have problems. There are moments of loneliness, moments of confusion, moments of hurt, and moments of sorrow. That is the reality, yet in it, there is a love attained that trumps every bit of anguish. There is forgiveness, grace, and healing that abides. I have never seen such love in the midst of such hurt, and in that I choose to run towards it instead of away.
5. I've never seen Christ more present.
In the depths of love in marriage. In the lonely times. In the times where I wonder if I could feel loved more. In the moments where confusion of what we are to do seems to eat us alive. Getting married young means growing so close to another person, and the Lord at a young age. It means growing up while holding on to your child-like faith, and joy.
I debated whether to share this or not, because this moment was one of the most sacred I have ever experienced. The first night Cody was gone away on his job, I remember feeling such an ache of loneliness like I had never felt before. In the dead of night, with my imagination running all sorts of fears, I felt the Lord whisper,
"Remember who your true bridegroom is. I am with you always."
To any soul that has any ache of loneliness whether in singleness, marriage, or separation, I beckon you to rest in the truth that your Bridegroom remains constant, near, and always working on your behalf. If there is anything I have come to know as a newly-wed, it is that the Lord remains faithful in every season, and the Lord abides strongly in marriage.
I pray that any word I may say reflects only a heart seeking the unknown of marriage. My words are broken, penned by a broken human. Yet here I am, humbly receiving the gift of love. My prayer for us all follows:
May our view of marriage only be shaped by the Lord Almighty. May our marriages run near to the footsteps of our Christ, and may our hearts be abundantly filled with a love greater than ourselves. May our loneliness be comforted by truth of whose we are, and may our hearts never fear waters deeper than our feet can stand upon. May we run with a mind of a warrior and a soul of a seeker. May we truly seek His ways in all things above our own.