I got married at the tender age of 22. While most women at that age have just graduated from college and are figuring out life in the “real world,” I quickly had to transition from college graduate to wife in a matter of three months. I had no tools or books or friends my age at the time to truly prepare me for this new season I was entering. It just happened. And in a blink of an eye, we are now approaching our fifth anniversary this year. Whoa.
It’s a pretty common conversation piece, especially working at a Christian university. When people find out I’m married, most of the time our conversations look like this:
“What?! You’re married?! You’re so young!”
“Why did you rush into it?”
“You’re so young! There’s a lot of things you can still do.”
And my favorite:
“Did you get pregnant before you got married?”
I get it. It’s unusual these days to hear about people getting married very young. But within the Christian circle, there seems to be more talk and pressure to “find The One” and get the “ring by spring” before time runs out (which apparently seems to be before you turn 25 nowadays).
From my point of view and conversations I’ve had with married and single friends, I’ve weighed the pros and cons of marriage.
- You’re married! It’s hard to remember what life was like before marrying my husband. From the moment I wake up to the moment I go to bed, he is the first and last person I see every night. In times of trials and joys, he is always the first person I go to and confide in, to help me process, and to care about and love me.
- You get to live life with your best friend. One of my favorite things to do is hang out with my husband in our home. Every day. It doesn’t sound exciting for most people, but it’s definitely something I look forward to every day because I can.
- Life (dramatically) changes. It happens. And it’s a good change. Becoming a wife isn’t easy, and most of the time you learn as you go, from mistakes to achievements. This is where grace comes into play and is well needed for both spouses.
- Most of your friends are still single. This is not really a negative thing. However, you begin to see a difference in the weight of your conversations and in how long you hang out with them, and you realize that you can’t do everything that your friends do. As a married person, you learn to create healthy boundaries with your friends and husband, and learning to balance both can be challenging.
One of the best decisions I ever made was marrying my best friend at 22…and I’ve never regretted the decision since. This is what God wanted for me…for us. Never did I dream of getting married right after college. It wasn’t something that people pressured me to do nor did I feel pressure to get married. I was fine with my singleness in college; I even made plans after I graduated that involved my singleness (traveling, becoming a missionary in Africa, Youth With a Mission, etc.).
God knew that individually we were capable of doing His ministry. But God wanted us to be together and He needed us to be together in His purpose, in His timing. Being married has taught me to grow stronger in my faith, stronger in myself.
There is no wrong or right way to go about marriage. Each person needs to make their own decision and should never have to feel pressure to get married right away. God made us individually and has designed a unique purpose for everyone. All things will happen in His timing and His timing alone.
Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. (Psalm 27:14)