Valentine’s Day notwithstanding, some young men and women are reacting to the baby boom generation’s poor divorce record by planning not to get married. Others are waiting until their 30s before seriously considering marriage.
A dozen stories of couples who worked through problems and have been married for at least 35 years are now online at:
worldmag.com/topic/marriage_longevity. That series will continue, and we are starting another on couples who married young and are in the process of raising young children. We will usually be interviewing in person those we profile, but here’s what Robert Walter, a Navy officer in Afghanistan beyond our staff’s ready reach at the moment, wrote us recently:
“Having children tends to mature one like few other life events. My wife and I were married when she was 21 (almost 22) and I was 25 (days before turning 26). Despite doubts from friends and family bordering on disapproval, we view that decision without any regrets—in fact great gratitude to God for giving us so many happy years. We became parents 14 months later although that was not our original plan—we were going to wait for at least a decade while my wife finished medical school, residency, etc.”
Walter continued, “I know that having our son did more to ‘mature’ me than anything else in my life and thereby greatly improved our marriage. We have gone on to be blessed with eight children, which has been such a tremendous blessing (though making life complicated at times), and having such a huge family would be less likely if we waited until our 30s to have children.”
We all know, of course, that in God’s providence some folks will not find the right mates until they are older, and some are called to singleness. Let’s hope, though, that most Christians see the value of marrying when they are closer to 20 than to 40. If some couples wait and wait until they are “mature,” they may miss the experiences that would have matured them.