Let me be the first to acknowledge that being married for 2 months hardly makes me an expert. It hardly makes me qualified to have an opinion, really. Nonetheless, I have some honest thoughts I would like to share.
As a young girl, I always imagined myself getting married young; in my mind 18 or 19 seemed like a good age. I have always wanted to be a wife and a mother. It seemed to me that getting married at that age would give me time to wait a few years and then have a passel of children without being at an age where childbearing becomes dangerous.
My young mind thought I had it perfectly thought out. I didn’t know how much my late teens and early twenties would shape who I became as an adult though. I didn’t understand the importance of being able to explore my personality and individuality as an adult before becoming part of a marriage. I am not saying that being married younger than I was is wrong or even a bad idea. I am just saying that for many people, I don’t think it’s advisable. I know some people who have solid love filled marriages who were married at my age or younger, and people who have solid love filled marriages who were married much later. I don’t think there is an age that is the right one universally. Rather, I think there are a few questions that could be helpful.
Do you know who you are as an individual; do you know your strengths and weaknesses and dreams and goals?
Do you understand that when you marry, it is not to make you happy or fulfill all your dreams?
Are you willing to serve someone else selflessly everyday even when you don’t feel like it?
Are you ready to let someone else into every part of who you are, even the parts you are not proud of?
Do you understand that when you get married, God’s will is that your priorities will change radically?
I couldn’t have answered yes to most of these when I was 18 or 19. I was not yet developed enough within myself to be a very good marriage partner. Now at 23, I can answer yes to those questions. I am far from perfect, and there are many moments where my husband has to be patient with me as I learn to be a good wife. There are moments I have to be patient with him as he learns to be a good husband. I have a strong feeling that this process of being patient with each other as we grow as a couple is going to be a lifelong process. Perfection will likely never be a part of our marriage. Grace will definitely be a part of it though. Grace is a necessity, as are patience, forgiveness and lots of love. In my newlywed mind at least, these are many of the things that a good marriage is made of.
I am so blessed to be married to a man that I love more than words can say. He is a man who follows God. He is a man who protects and cherishes me. He is a blessing to me. I am incredibly grateful to be married to this man now.
Unexpectedly though, I am also incredibly grateful for those years that I never thought I wanted as a single adult. The five years that I had after high school allowed me to develop as an individual in a way that I wouldn’t have been able to if I had married younger. They gave me time to heal some childhood wounds that would have inhibited my ability to love and to trust. I still have scars that sometimes rear their heads and cause trouble, but the healing has happened. Those years that I never thought I wanted were a huge blessing.
So I would like to say to all my unmarried peers, don’t be in a huge rush. Maybe these single adult years (even if you, like me, don’t really want them) are going to be a huge blessing to you in the long run. Instead of worrying about when you will meet your significant other, explore yourself. Figure out who you are. Have adventures. Enjoy life. Love will find you when the time is right. I promise.