A couple of days ago my 9 year-old daughter said, “I am going to skip college and get married and be a stay-at-home mom.”
I’ll admit, there was a time that her declaration would have made me want to puke. I mean, what kind of self-respecting young woman would throw away her education for a barefoot and pregnant life on the homestead?
But then I started thinking. When I graduated from high school I went to college because I was supposed to. I wasn’t really passionate about any career. I knew I loved kids so I picked teaching.
A year before, I sat in my grandmother’s hospital room with my aunt and mother discussing my future. I said, “I want to marry a preacher and have six kids.” That’s what I really wanted for my future. That’s really what my daughter wants, for now anyway. But I went to college because getting married at 19 wasn’t even an option.
Why wasn’t that an option? Didn’t people in the Bible get married when they were younger than that? For that matter, didn’t people in American used to get married a lot younger than that?
Most of us were expected or are expecting our children to go to college and pursue a career before marriage. But is that really the best spiritual plan for all of us? What are the risks of putting marriage off?
- 95% of Americans have sex before marriage.
- The average age of becoming sexually active is 16.9 for males and 17.4 for females.
- Women average 4 sexual partners in their lifetime. Men average 7 partners in their lifetime.
- The average age for Americans getting married has reached a historic high 27 for women and 29 for men . That rose from the 1990 average marrying age of 23 for women and 26 for men.
Now consider this:
God created us to leave home to establish a home of our own.
For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh. Gen. 2:24
I realize that university wasn’t an option in Eden, but if God said the reason for leaving our parents is marriage, why are we in such a hurry to kick our unmarried kids out the door when they turn 18? Why do we ship them off to a college campus somewhere beyond the protection of their family and church?
Before anyone thinks I’m preaching against going to college, let me put your mind at ease, I’m not. I am really just asking the question why. Why do we do that?
Sex without marriage infuriates the Creator and puts your soul in danger.
And don’t forget Sodom and Gomorrah and their neighboring towns, which were filled with immorality and every kind of sexual perversion. Those cities were destroyed by fire and serve as a warning of the eternal fire of God’s judgment. Jude 7
I went to a state school and a private, Christian college. At both places I saw Christian kids who got away from home and indulged in immorality and sexual perversion- a lot.
Getting married at 19 or 20 isn’t the end of the world. But going to meet Jesus as a fornicator may be the end of your eternity (1 Cor 6:9-11).
If you are young, are you being honest to yourself about sexual immorality? Do you recognized lust when you see it and run away from it (2 Tim. 2:22)?
Parents, are you asking your kids about what their sexual temptations are? Or are you just crossing your fingers and hoping that your kid knows better? Know this, even when they know better, knowledge doesn’t keep your pants on.
Sexual temptation is real. Sexual sin is happening every day among us. God is still infuriated by it.
Young people can be pure.
Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity. 1 Tim 4:12
It is completely and totally possible to remain sexually pure. We need to shout that message from the roof top. We need to help our kids build hedges of protection around their purity (Hosea 2:6) and pep talk their chastity. It’s a lot more important to put a plan in place for avoiding sin than mapping out their college credits.
We need to stop expecting recreational dating to be part of the high school and college experience and act surprised when they have sex. We need to prepare their hearts and their circumstances for a life serving God whether that is in a future marriage or in current singlehood.
Check out more on Christians and Dating here.
God made purity provisions.
Yes, it is good to abstain from sexual relations. But because there is so much sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman should have her own husband. 1 Cor 7:1-2
There is an out for those of us who want to have sex. Marriage. That’s it. That’s the only time, place and purpose that God blesses us to be “naked and not ashamed” (Gen 2:25).
Getting married young is OK with God.
Rejoice in the wife of your youth. Prov. 5:18
God is totally OK with getting married young. I’m not sure when we started thinking it wasn’t.
Swear to me, young women of Jerusalem, that you won’t awaken or arouse love before its proper time! Song of Solomon 8:4
(Data collected from National Center for Health Statistics; Kinsey Institute)