By Duncan Earley –
I have actually become so de-sensitized to this moment: ‘Oh you’re married… Sho, but you’re so young?’
In a world where getting married later on (late 20’s to 30’s) is now the norm, it often feels like being young and married places a massive target on your chest.
Being a 24 year old guy married to a gorgeous 21 year old girl, you are constantly peppered with confused looks and comments like: ‘Wow, you’re brave’; ‘I made that mistake too’ or ‘Good luck with that’… (yes, these are actual things people have said to us).
Here’s what I want to say as a young married guy, and please know I am not wanting to disrespect anyone, so please hear my heart. Yes, marriage is hard, it doesn’t have a great track record. We are imperfect people trying to reflect a perfect, God-designed, God-glorifying and God-fuelled connection between a man and wife. The odds are stacked against anyone with the courage to take it on. But here’s what a young couple and a slightly older couple have in common: Marriage brings out problems and flaws. The only difference is that your problems may be packaged differently to mine. We still have flaws, they still come out and ultimately we have to address them within any marriage. A more mature (no better word) couple may have sorted out some individual flaws through their younger years, but you can be sure marriage has a way of revealing unresolved ones you probably didn’t realize you had; ask anyone that’s married, it changes everything.
A couple who gets married later on in life does have advantages in some areas, don’t get me wrong. But here a few reasons why being young and married is absolutely amazing too:
1. Marriage is one of the most intense and most effective ways God sanctifies us.
Your spouse will be used by God to highlight where you are weak, mold where you need to grow and refine the gifts God has placed in you. Being young means I have started that process long before most of my friends. Meaning I’m not just getting a head-start, but I will be able to encourage, counsel and coach others in ways others aren’t equipped for yet.
2. I have already had the chance to speak to a lot of young people who are not in church simply because they saw my ring and wanted to know if I was actually married.
God can use me being married and young to speak into the lives of so many who I would have never had the chance to share with before.
3. One word spoken and prayed over our marriage by a number of significant people in our lives was that our marriage would be an example to many.
What better way to set up a marriage of example than starting young so that many years down the line people would see not only the hand of God in it but His faithfulness in His plan.
I absolutely love being married, it is the most rewarding experience I have ever had and I’m only a few months in. If you get anything from this post please get this: Marriage is Amazing. Please don’t ever look down on it, even if you have been hurt by it done wrong. People are messy and so trying to reflect something so good and pure (it is a God thing of course) is tough and unfortunately that means sometimes we get burned.
When you encounter someone who is young and married remember the beauty of marriage, not the mistakes of youth. Always encourage marriage, God made it, and when He is in His rightful place between two people it works. Help young people get that, understand that. Don’t let your hurt, or bad experience discourage someone else. Rather let it be a tool God has given you to build into the lives of others. If there’s one thing a young and married like me needs it’s a few more mature people to help encourage me and navigate this crazy thing called marriage.
Picture by Paballo Thekiso