As soon as I saw the title to this article, “Hey Young People: Now’s the Time to Get Married and Have Kids” I assumed it was click-bait and didn’t want to read it.
But then I did read it because clearly I am not immune to catchy titles.
The thing that made me click on the link and subsequently read this article is that I didn’t know if I would ultimately agree or disagree with the premise that young people should settle down and get married (and have kids) while they are still ‘young’.
I mean, I want to disagree with it. I do. I want to scream out ‘Nooooo you have forever to get married! Have adventures while you’re still young and energetic! Don’t settle down and have kids in your 20s!’ Then I realize that I did exactly that. I had my adventures but still settled down ‘early’ (by society’s standards), getting married at 26 and having my first baby at a youthful (some would say) 28 years old. So maybe I do believe in settling down young?
Well, let me just break down the article’s the bullet points for you so you can better understand why this writer tells us all we should get married and have kids while we’re young.
See the sun setting on my youth and wild independent ways?!
1.) You don’t need money to get married.
I agree! Being married (or at least co-habitating) seems to save money, if anything. I’ve always found it a bit perplexing when a couple says they don’t have enough money saved to get married, and they aren’t referring to needing to pay for a wedding. (Please know that I’m holding myself back from going on a complete tangent about why it’s still important to be financially stable, whether you’re married or not and that marrying someone else who is financially stable is probably pretty important, in my opinion.)
2.) You aren’t your parents.
Thank goodness for this one – my parents are divorced. The author of this article instructs the reader, “You have seen a bad marriage, now go and make a better one.” I must admit, I can get on board with this, but it seems easier said than done, especially when considering the statistics that children of divorced parents are more likely to get divorced themselves.
3.) Marriage is about experiencing life with your spouse by your side.
A trillion times over – yes! I thought life was great before I got married and had a baby (because it was great), but now I realize how much better everything is since I get to experience it with Tim and even baby Clara. My husband is my greatest travel buddy and dinner partner and I’m thankful I found him as early as I did. I find life immensely easier now that my burdens are shared and my joy is doubled – I think there’s a quote out there that says exactly this, actually, so it must be true.
4.) Youth is a gift.
Here is where it gets deep. The writer of this article tells us, the readers, that our youth is a gift because with it comes health, energy, endurance, and vitality. Then he asks us, “Do we keep them [these gifts] to ourselves? Do we use them to become more passionate consumers, more fervent video game players, and more enthusiastic bar patrons? Do we devote them entirely to our employer in the name of being more perfect servants to our corporate masters? Or do we give them to our spouse and then to our children? Which is the most worthy and worthwhile cause?”
I have a feeling I know what the answer to this one should be… and I would also add that a person can be married but still do all of the ‘bad’/waste-of-time things he listed. I don’t think being married means I can’t go to bars or shop anymore, although I will say that with Clara in the picture/world I do spend more time focused on her than on any other habit I’ve previously indulged in.
5.) Family life is edifying.
I’m not even going to expand on how the writer explains this bullet point, because I completely agree with everything he writes: “You won’t miraculously turn into a better person because you got married and had kids, obviously. But, at their essence, families are built and held together through sacrificial love, and this is something that can — if you give yourself over to it — sanctify you and bring you closer to God. When you pour your energies and efforts into serving and loving your spouse, raising your children, and guiding your family, you’ll find that, inevitably, you grow and mature in the process. I’m not suggesting that anyone run out and get married as some sort of self-help strategy. I am, however, saying that your bond with your spouse and your children has the ability to change you and illuminate your life in ways that nothing else can. Best friends, siblings, parents — none of these relationships have quite the same kind of potential. Certainly, live-in girlfriends and boyfriends are no replacement for the commitment, sacrifice, and profound love of a family joined together through the sacrament of marriage.”
6.) You don’t have to wait for ‘The One.’
I do believe that God gave me Tim (and vice versa) for a reason and because it’s a part of His will and ultimate design, but I also don’t believe in ‘The One’ in terms of a ‘perfect’ person existing. I do think that people can drive themselves crazy waiting for perfection and attempting to find someone who serves them rather than finding someone they would love to serve. I must admit, after our first (and second. and maybe third) dates I wasn’t at all convinced I’d end up even dating Tim for longer than a month or so, but here we are today! So I guess I agree with the point about not turning down date after date waiting for ‘The One’ but also I don’t think people should settle as soon as they find someone who promises to put up with them forever.
7.) Biology is a thing.
This one’s a tricky one. Is it safest to be pregnant/have a baby when a woman is in her 20’s? Yes. I’m not a doctor but I feel pretty good about saying that. However, nothing is guaranteed in this life and I don’t think women (or men) should get married quickly if the sole reason is to have babies sooner. There’s nothing that put more pressure on me in my single years than the thought of really wanting kids by the time I was 30! I’ll be the first to admit that I put pressure on relationships I was in because I had an imaginary timeline in my head that needed to happen. (And yes, the timeline did end up working out, but that’s a different discussion.) I guess I agree with this point because it’s a fact, but I would hate to think that couples are rushing into having children when they aren’t emotionally ready just because they feel the biological clock ticking.
9.) It’ll be the best adventure of your life.
Oh, it’s an adventure alright.
So I guess I agree with this article, overall. I’m horribly biased because I’ve always known that I wanted to get married and have kids, so I ran into both of these life transitions full of enthusiasm! However, I do not believe that anyone should ‘settle’ into these serious commitments with someone they even think may not be the right person. I hesitate to say that everyone should get married young, because how can a person control when they meet their future spouse? Although, if a couple has been dating for quite a while and isn’t pulling the trigger on a bigger commitment (marriage, kids, etc) because they’re too busy traveling the world, spending money, ‘living the life’, I would encourage that couple to get married – if that’s in their future plans. In my personal experience marriage and kids don’t end life, if anything, they enhance it.