Why is it so odd for a couple to get married young? It’s probably related to the amount of unmarried couples already living together. I got married recently at the age of 21, the same age as my wife. We have so much left to learn in this life and haven’t even finished maturing, by some people’s standards. I will say that I fully support getting married young under the right circumstances. I will also say, it is possible to keep your relationship pure during the dating phase. I can finally say from experience and from what the Lord has shown me, just how great it is to come into marriage after a period of dating, trying to become the best friends possible.
In our culture, people are not getting married as soon as they used to. Studies show, once you are living together, and sharing every part of your life, there is not much incentive to get married. It feels strange to be married already, we did what we thought the Lord was leading us in, but when we looked around, we found it was not the norm. Jesus guides our steps and He has blessed our marriage so much already. My wife has had tons of opportunities to share our story with many college-aged girls. I have shared my part of the story with college guys and they are surprised because they didn’t realize a relationship could be done like ours. Our testimony includes the following: some long distance, no kissing before our wedding day, hearing God about our relationship, and submitting to community.
Now, let me explain some of the things our testimony includes. We did a summer of long distance as close friends and a summer of long distance as a dating couple, ready to be engaged. This taught us to love and honor each other while not physically being with each other. You have to put in an extra effort to show you are committed and just keep up with the other person’s life.
The next thing we decided to do was that we were not going to kiss (on the lips) until our wedding day. Early in dating, we had already set boundaries, but we never really decided on kissing. Kissing is something we wanted, but we didn’t feel peace from God that we should. A practical reason for not kissing is that kissing is meant to get you excited which will eventually lead to more. We didn’t want to take that risk and we wanted to honor God in every part of our relationship. So despite having kissed people in past relationships, we decided we wouldn’t kiss until our wedding day if God were to take us that far.
The third thing that played a big role in our relationship, including the above decision, was hearing from God about our relationship. We believe God is alive and speaks to people today and we couldn’t imagine dating without the Lord being in it. He spoke to us about kissing, He spoke to us about increasing our boundaries for a time, He spoke about marriage, and He spoke about when we should get married. The Lord loves relationships and wants to be a part of them as we saw in ours.
The last thing about our testimony is that we submitted to community and grew closer together in it. I got to know my wife a lot by her hanging out with my friend group, then joining my small group through the church. I was able to see her social personality and spiritual side through these things. When big issues and decisions came up, we sought wisdom from others in our community and it made a huge difference. People looking in your relationship have a unique perspective you will never have about your relationship. If we are supposed to submit sin to one another(James 5:16) then how could we not submit our relationship to our brothers and sisters in Christ?
God is using our marriage for many things in this season. It has helped us grow in the Lord, it has helped others grow, and of course, it has brought us joy! I don’t think that everyone is called to the boundaries (like no kissing) that me and my wife were called to, but the important thing is that you let let God be involved. As I try to model Jesus, I hope this post will set you free from doing what is normal, and not condemn for what you have done or will do. I urge everyone to not let people set the standards, but let God.