Monday, 27 March 2017

Marrying Young, and Why Not to Be Afraid

For 2017, the average age people are now getting married at is 30+. After all shouldn't young people enjoy themselves and experience life to the fullest before settling down? The single life takes precedence, and the focus becomes solely on ourselves. Being 20 and planning out my future, I found myself being faced with these serious questions. My desire, as many young people have, is to experience all that I can and be prepared for marriage as thoroughly as possible  in order to give my best to my husband and children. Of course one can argue about waiting until every virtue is perfected, but marriage is just another step to gaining experience and perfecting virtue. If we consider the positives of marrying younger than 30+, maybe our thoughts will change with this idea of "world experiences,” and making sure we’re “ready.” 

First of all, what are all these world experiences people keep talking about? There are the obvious ones, learning how to manage finances, run a household, build lasting friendships, and so on, but the modern idea of experience has really turned into a pursuit of pleasure. The average person these days has the desire to spend as much time as they possibly can indulging in worldly pleasures, that they forget to focus on future goals. A lot of these pleasure are very good ones, and can be enjoyed within reason, for example traveling or relaxing with friends. But when the focus for the future becomes completely about experiencing as many pleasures as possible, we lose so much of ourselves and end up forgetting about the most important future, Paradise. Charity turns to self-love, sacrifice turns to self-indulgence, and the future is put off over and over until we are too old to even think of raising a family.

God always intended the man or woman to begin their lives together when they are ready: mentally, financially, and spiritually. Arriving at this point really doesn't take as long as people think these days. As long as the man can support his family and the obvious factors are met, then so be it! Marrying when younger not only is easier for having children, having the energy and motivation for raising these children and taking care of your spouse, but the virtues instilled in a heart when receiving the sacrament of marriage are so precious. St. Augustine once said, "What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men. That is what love looks like." So also is the role of a spouse and parent: one who gives of themselves for others ultimately for the greater glory of God. In giving of yourself so completely, the experiences and pleasures you were so desperately seeking in the world now come to you in a purer and more perfect form in marriage.

So my advice to those who are younger who are considering marriage, never rush into such a sacred union, but rather prepare carefully every day, building yourself up in the traits you will need for the future, and commit when the time is right. Waiting a longer time to experience more pleasures in the world will only keep you from experiencing the real, even greater pleasures that God wills for you. 

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