Why We Should Encourage Our Kids to Marry Young

Occasionally someone ventures outside the cultural marriage norms and makes the case for getting married young, but generally, it’s ingrained deep within us all that there’s an acceptable age to marry,  and to do so before that is unwise.

But is it?

We admit there’s an epidemic of adults who are over-sized children though the full weight of it hasn’t fully been realized.  But we’re slow to admit where blame lies. And even if we did, would we be willing to shift the paradigm?

I submit two major things are causing adults to delay marriage, negatively impacting their own adulthood and maturity, and ultimately, all of us.

  • The adolescent culture
  • The worship of education

Adolescent culture

Since around 1905, when G. Stanley Hall named the adolescent period, Americans have increasingly coddled their children, protecting their “right” to childhood, long after what has formerly been called childhood, has ended. Now we have a culture of parents who protect, shield and defend to a fault. They require little work and responsibility for fear it will hamper their fun and they elevate extra curricular opportunities over the practical preparation for life.

So we have “Generation Y”, the narcissistic generation who wants a ribbon for showing up. Their parents did something wrong.

Answer? We need to balance the natural freedoms and privileges of childhood with our responsibility to help them grow in maturity and wisdom. We need to expect things–important, life things that will help them transition into adulthood when the time comes. We need to let them experience things, while guiding them and pushing them to find truth, to view the world through the lens of God’s Word, where they will find answers for everything.

We need to change our idea of the “teen years.” We are raising children into adults. Those in between years are the most potent for developing skills, learning, training, preparing and practicing for adult life. These are not years to be frittered away. These are the years where we challenge them and they rise to the challenge of womanhood and manhood, the years of their best strength and courage, where vision is best cast. Youth is where character is grown and practiced,  responsibility takes root, and self-control must reign.

Worship of Education

The first one was easy; for this one, buckle up.

We could have the talk about the unnecessary hype of college but that would take too long. If we could understand that college may be necessary for highly specialized vocations, but generally, not necessary for a good education and training in most vocations, we would begin the process of demoting the college degree from some idolized status. It is now, especially in our highly technological age, only one of many ways to a higher education, not the least of which is laborious and expensive.

Too often marriage is pushed off  until after college. First, college has taken precedence over the importance of marriage. Second, it is assumed that both can’t be done simultaneously.

Sadly, too, in many cases college extends (or worsens) the adolescent stage. Parents pay for their adult children to live (and/or party) during the time they should be assuming those responsibilities.

We’ve given the pursuit of (let’s be honest) more money precedent over the pursuit of a godly spouse.

Why We Should Support Early Marriage

Marriage is good. Marriage is a gift. Marriage makes us grow up, gives us a companion to weather the stuff of life. Announce you’re getting married before the “acceptable” age, and you’ll mostly be met with pleads of “live some life first.” And while the single state has its unique opportunities, marriage certainly doesn’t detract from the joys of life, but rather doubles them.

Are You Ready?

Waiting until we’re “ready” can be a precarious thing. What is “ready”?

Financial readiness is the primary reason caution is offered to young couples. Somehow, just having an income isn’t enough in our American idealistic dream. Mark Regnerus, in “The Case for Early Marriage” said:

“Marrying young can spell poverty, at least temporarily. Yet the mentality that we need to shield young adults from the usual struggles of life by encouraging them to delay marriage until they are financially secure usually rests on an unrealistic standard of living. Good marriages grow through struggles, including economic ones. My wife and I are still fiscal conservatives because of our early days of austerity….

Nevertheless, the economic domain remains an area in which many parents are often able, but frequently unwilling, to assist their children….This cultural predilection toward punishing rather than blessing marriage must go, and congregations and churchgoers can help by dropping their own punitive positions toward family members, as well as by identifying deserving young couples who could use a little extra help once in a while. Christians are great about supporting their missionaries, but in this matter, we can be missionaries to the marriages in our midst.”

What about ready in other ways?  Everything I was when I got married has changed. Everything I thought about life has changed. I’ve grown. I’ve learned. I’ve morphed.

Our growing and changing and morphing is best done with our life partner alongside us. Every step toward “establishing ourselves” as adults without our spouse, is a step toward stubborn independence.

We need the companion, accountability and responsibility marriage brings, and we need it earlier rather than later.

Sure there are exceptions, good reasons to wait. But our prevailing attitude should be to think differently, to love and embrace marriage, not just for “one day”, but as something to be desired, sought after and celebrated in youth.

 

200 Responses to “Why We Should Encourage Our Kids to Marry Young”

  1. Kelly L says:

    LOVE! All valid points.

    My husband is a university professor and tells people college is not for everyone. He urges people to ask God what to do through them, what His dream is for them and pursue that, not follow an image of what the world imagines for them.

    Keep challenging the acceptance of the world creeping into our worldview.

    • Thank you, Kelly. Good for your husband!

      • Kelly L says:

        I do kinda like him…. ;)

      • Marelize says:

        Kelly
        I wished to leave a comment, but can’t find a link to do it. So i have to do it in a reply.

        We were married young – I was 21 and my darling husband 23. Our love grew stronger and stronger.

        But friends of my parents got married at ages 18 and 22. Now, after 40+ years he left her for another. My parents’ response was it is because they married too young (my parents got married at ages 27 and 28 – still married after 45 years)

        I simply don’t understand why someone leave after so many years….

    • 6 arrows says:

      Thanks for sharing that about your husband, Kelly. It’s so refreshing to hear of a university professor living out his faith and challenging his students to think Biblically. The college environment is often a place that is so hostile to the faith (Christian faith I mean, of course), so it is a blessing that there are students (like your husbands’) whose faith walk is supported rather than undermined.

      • Kelly L says:

        Thanks, 6 arrows. He holds a weekly prayer he sends out to all faculty and staff.
        Most of the pieces of music he writes are based on Bible verses which he includes in his publications.
        Before the community band that he conducts, he invites members to meet early and pray.
        When students come to him for person/directional advice, he always leads with “Follow God. If there is anything in your life that you are doing that you know is wrong/sin. Stop it right now.” At the end, he always asks if he can pray with them. No one has ever refused, and they often come back to him for more advice.

        I’m not just bragging. ;) My real point is that he does all this boldly and he has never had a complaint against him or been reprimanded in the least. His yearly evaluations are glowing. I think more professors could be an open man/woman of God if they would stop letting fear rule them. He is not teaching at a Christian college, he is just trying to bring Christ into it.

        • 6 arrows says:

          Wow, that’s great! Loved your examples of how he bases compositions on Bible verses, and prays before band rehearsals. I’m a classically-trained musician, and I love the opportunities available to give glory to God through His gift of good music. And you know J.S. Bach wrote Soli Deo Gloria (to God alone be the glory) on his compositions. :-)

  2. TMichelle says:

    I really like and appreciate what you have written here. I don’t know what your experiences are of people marrying late but I know that those I am close to it wasn’t because they didn’t want to grow up, it was because God didn’t provide a spouse. I am very close to a woman in her early 40s who has yet to marry and she finds it difficult because she feels that she is often viewed as “less than” or that she didn’t want to grow up, or that she hasn’t had the opportunity to grow spiritually as many of the marrieds have.

    So I do very much agree with and see your point about not delaying and using college to extend your adolescence, but I would like to hear your thoughts on situations such as the one I mentioned above. She is to the point where she doesn’t even feel welcomed in the Christian community much of the time because she didn’t get invited to “young marrieds” activities and now that she is in her 40s she feels pretty forgotten about altogether.

    • Tmichelle,

      Obviously, my post wasn’t about situations as you described. I know more than I wish I knew of young adults who long needed to be married ;-)

      I don’t know the answer. I think often about the dilemma. Perhaps we’re too picky? Too fearful? I think there are far too many men unwilling to be men, partly buying into the cultural pressures I’ve described.

      I think when or if our thinking shifts, it will be simpler all around.

      • TMichelle says:

        Yes I agree with you. I don’t think marriage is held up to young people as something to desire as soon as possible. Therefore I think some end up missing the boat.

        • Ross says:

          Agreed – encouraging young marriage will be an excellent idea … until we hit our heads on the situations of young or not-so-young ladies in whom no-one is interested; young or not-so-young men who find that none of the young ladies want to be courted by them (not a criticism of their character, this is just the way life is); and evangelism which works much better with adult women than adult men, thus further skewing the gender ratios.

          I agree with Keri at #14, that we have to be careful not to turn marriage into an idol.

    • Rebecca says:

      We have a daughter who is 34 and has desired to marry, however she has found that the young men she knows (from her Bible study group) are just mainly interested in “hanging out” with the group. I wonder if young men nowadays are afraid of commitment or something?

      • Robert says:

        You mention “commitment”. How should a person, less than 18, be taught, or learn, what it means to commit to a lifetime of marriage?

  3. Excellent article and much more concise than most I’ve read on the topic! thank you!

  4. Deborah says:

    Marriage is like the children that come with it – a blessing! Funny we are so eager to put it off. I can just picture me telling my relatives that a child got a job early, or graduated ahead of “schedule”. The response would sure change if I passed news of a teenager’s engagement! I remember one Mom telling me of her 18 year old’s engagement. She felt she had to add “She’s not pregnant.” I was so sad. I just answered “I didn’t think she was.” I would be thrilled if my 19 year old were planning a wedding now. I think I would make a very well publicized 6 month engagement. One, to delay any rashness. Two, to keep from feeding gossips.

  5. Hayley Ferguson says:

    Absolutely love it:-D You’ve hit the nail on the head.

  6. shannon says:

    You’re hitting it hard Kelly! :) I’ve never even heard this preached yet completely agree with you. One day I was thinking about all my cousin, who are between the ages of 25-40 or so and figured it up that only 60% of them have married at all. Of that, many have divorced. That seems really low to me. I didn’t marry young but wish I would have married my husband much earlier. We’ve been married 10 years this year but together 15 years.

  7. Rachel says:

    I married 6 months shy of 21. My father was concerned that I had never slept around (to put it euphemistically). I lost my job, because my regular customers believed, to a one, that the polite age to get married was 35. That I was marrying so young clearly meant I was not a reputable young lady. I was (unfortunately) a college student. I had to leave my university, because the course load for my major was not designed for someone who lived independently AND off-campus. At least in that case, I was miserable there anyway, so leaving was a relief to me.

    Meanwhile, every. single. successful marriage I have personally witnessed was between two people who married before the age of 25. Now, at 29 (and my husband is 32), we are still the only ones among our contemporary friends who are married. It’s sad.

    It is so much easier to grow together than it is to grow separately and then combine two distinct lives.

    • Rachel says:

      I would like to clarify that it was always my hope to be a housewife, so my job loss a few months after I married was hardly a disaster. What was hard was the reasoning around it. That, and many of my regular customers I had considered friends. I enjoyed conversing with them when they came in. Their true colors really shocked me.

    • Rachel,

      Just wow. Evidence that early marriage is actually punishable in some ways, by a culture who is so confused.

    • Annie says:

      I’m going to comment on this too. While I definitely hope my children get married at a young age, and REALLY wish I’d married my husband 10 years earlier, my husband and I married 9 yrs ago at 27 and 31 and we have one of the best marriages I know of. Many of the marriages I know that started very young either ended in divorce or are full of strife now because they’re still replaying the roles of immaturity and childishness with which they started. I’m just sharing my experience. I’m happy to say that most of the people I know who married and divorced young are now happily and peacefully married to the right person. I can guarantee they will advise their children to wait till they’re at least in their early 20s for marriage. Just to say, it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution. I really, REALLY wanted to be married while in college, and prayed every day for 7 years for my future husband, but that’s NOT what the Lord had for me. Looking back, I just wish I hadn’t wasted so much angst on it.

    • zipporah says:

      That’s strange, they thought 35 was a good age to marry? I remember back before the 90s, getting married before age 30 was normal for even non-Christians.
      It has been said, that 30 was ‘just in time’ for marriage and the ability to have at least 2 kids. A women who got pregnant at 35 was considered an ‘elderly’ womb, and was at ‘risk’ for a down syndrome baby.

  8. Ross says:

    This is actually cyclical. Years ago, pastors married lots of young couples … and then, as the problems with many of these marriages became apparent, got rather gunshy and decided to be a little more careful with pushing the idea of marriages on couples who weren’t really for it. We all know couples who married young, and the marriages didn’t last – some went under in less than five years.

    I am 51 and single, for a number of reasons – some good, many not so. I wanted to be married; still do, I think; but I am glad to be in a church which doesn’t push young marriage, because I would feel, very painfully, on the outer if it did.

    • Ross,

      If your pastor/church is looking closely, they’ll see that delaying marriage certainly doesn’t increase the success rate. I am curious about the statistics. Most I’ve seen indicate that young marriages tend to fare better. Especially if look back a few years when young marriage was coupled with the strong belief of marital faithfulness.

    • SistaHope says:

      The church ought to be encouraging marriage and family as a way to walk the Christian life and reproduce “little Christians” for the world. And pastors should be encouraging men to pursue marriage-why? Simply put: If men do not pursue marriage, women cannot have it. The bottom line is, that we need children. The future depends on children ‘now’. I don’t think the church understands this today as well as she used to.

  9. Rachel says:

    I couldn’t agree more. I was married at 18 and engaged at 17. I would have gotten married at 17 if allowed. We have been married 20 years and my husband is my best friend. The article hits the nail on the head.

  10. Laura(yet another) says:

    I think this is a very accurate article. Unfortunately, parents also need to see the childhood/adolescence of their children as a training period for adulthood, not an independent phase of its own. If you read old books, mothers were so much more conscientious of preparing [their daughters] for the duties and responsibilities of marriage. Rather young girls knew how to sew the family’s clothing, how to tend the garden and preserve its produce, how to do dairying, and keep chickens, etc. They knew how to knit socks, how to make quilts, how to cook and be thrifty etc. I wonder if some of this late-marrying phenomenon has to do with the separation of the larger economy from the family. Back in the day, when society was largely agrarian, a man would have wanted and needed a woman who could be a careful manager of the home as well as a comfortable life-companion. He would have depended on her skills and ability as part of the farm economy–that is no longer the case… Men and women seem to lean more towards personality compatibility rather than practical considerations of skills, training etc… And with so many of the needs of the family being provided nowadays by earning $$, rather than the direct work of your hands, fewer and fewer people have common goals within the home as an economic unit…

  11. Emily says:

    While I agree with you that college is certainly not for everyone, I do believe that a higher education is important. This may be trade school, community college etc. Working in the mining industry, I have seem many of the older workers without a education who have worked a lifetime in their jobs and got there by working their way up with no higher education, demoted and kicked out of their jobs because of changed thinking by upper management.
    It seems that not having a higher education with a specialized skill puts a person and their families at an incredible risk.
    I do know that a general college degree in say liberal arts, especially if they have to get into debt for it, may not be a good use of time and money. However, if my child did not want to do a STEM degree then I would probably encourage them to look at a trade as an electrician, plumber etc.
    I think the role as a parent is to help pave the way of our children so they will have minimal chance of having a hard scramble to make the ends meet in adulthood.
    Maybe I am someone who likes to take a very cautious approach to living though.

    • Laura(yet another) says:

      I think some of the mindset you mention has to do with what “higher education” means. Because think about it, for a homeschool young man who say, starts to work in a retail business at age 15 or 16, and sticks with the company, he may be able to rise to “management” by 18 or 19 years old! Say at that point, he starts a 2 year business management degree, and graduates at 20 or 21. He’ll have a “degree” in his “field” AND 7 years experience in that field at the tender age of 21! Those two things combined could give him an edge that would make him very desirable to ANY retail company looking to hire. Young people don’t have to follow the “graduate at 18, then look for a job or go to college” order…And if higher standards and greater vision is cast for younger men/women at younger ages, MORE could be accomplished at younger ages. And my understanding is that in business, education isn’t as desirable as proof of profitability. If a company sees that you can manage and make good profits without that degree, they’ll be more likely to keep you, rather than the 4-year wonder who has little personal drive and no ability to manage well, and loses money…

      • Emily says:

        The problem with this is that you are not comparing the 2 sides properly. I agree that college can be started at anytime and not right after high school. In many cases this is desirable so that I person can get out into the work world and find out what they are really interested in.
        There will always be people that have both the education as well as the drive to be successful and the one with no higher education will always be at a disadvantage to those people with both.
        While the “lazy” generation Y is a prominent stereotype there are many in the generation Y subset that that are very driven.
        Of course, there are people with no higher education who are very successful but this success will become more and more difficult to obtain as the world get more technologically advanced.
        I do understand that there is no one size fits all but without a higher education of some kind people are hobbled.

  12. Kimberly White says:

    I heartily agree. My husband and I married at 20 and 22. We will be married 29 years this May. We have had ups and downs but neither of us regret our “early” marriage and are looking forward to all the years to come! We have encouraged our children to have short engagements and marriage soon when they find the spouse God has for them. Life is always better with a partner :)

  13. Lori says:

    What a family needs to do is bring their child up in the ways of the Lord and let it happen naturally. Children and youth don’t need to have thoughts of dating and marriage on their mind as they are maturing into young adults. Some are emotionally ready at young ages to marry and have lasted a long marriage but that doesn’t mean that we need to push marriage on our children. I don’t know of too many youth that are prepared to support a spouse and have the finances available to pay bills as they would leave the nest and be totally on their own. Encouraging your child to marry early just gets their mind on being with somebody rather than responsibilities.

    • Lori,

      I’m not sure you fully understand the point. I’m not advocating “pushing marriage” onto our children. I AM challenging the attitude that postpones marriage and treats early marriage as a scandal.

      Actually, you’re right; as I said in the post, youth is a time of responsibility, growing, learning and preparing. Those young people will most likely be ready for marriage earlier than those who only begin to think about it after a prolonged season of fun and squandering.

      We don’t encourage our children to “waken love” before its time. But when it’s time, it’s harmful to them to delay it.

      I thought too, after the fact, how much the recreational dating scene plays into this. If young people are given all the privileges of marries, without the responsibility, why on earth would they be eager to marry? But when young people are chaste, have waited, and have spent their years wisely, they should be more than ready and able to marry young.

      • Pam Carpenter says:

        Yes, Kelly… I agreed with Lori with her response, but at the same time I agree with you on all of that, too… Your article does refute what our “culture” is for, and I know that was your main point for writing it… It didn’t mean that you were saying that God should not be a part of it, or that it is only right for them to marry young. I guess as some of our daughters are now at the point of being called “spinsters” like they were in the old days, it makes me think this because they did not marry young, that it may not be right for them. But at the same time, I know this is not true, because all we have done is wait on the Lord to provide a husband for them, in His time, and as hard as this has been for me (because I would like to have grandchildren… :) ), it is ok, too. Raising our children to be responsible, hard working, prepared for marriage responsibilities and God fearing young people is what we choose to do, and if the Lord favors them with marriage, then it will happen when His time is right for them to do so. It’s been hard for me to wait, though… :)

        I guess one thing I see here is that we need to be using more Scripture, even for this….. there is much about marriage in the Bible, but there is also much about training our children to seek Him first in all things, and to learn to be content with whatever may come, even if that means no marriage.

        I REALLY liked what Keri had to say and also 6 arrows…. Their points were very good, and also pointed to the Lord….

        Our culture has changed things way too much, and also teaches things that are very anti-Biblical, so yes, showing the dangers of that thru this article is right. I guess because of so many different opinions and points, though, everyone just needs to return to God’s Word, and see it from His viewpoint….. “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.” Mt. 6:33 …

        Thank you for bringing this to accountability, Kelly…. I just think more Scripture needs to be used next time, for His Word has all the answers we need, as I know you know this, too… :)

        Blessings….

  14. Keri says:

    I have read quite a few articles like this, on “Encouraging our kids to marry young”.

    I read most of the other articles and testimonies of the people who wrote them. There is something missing!

    My husband and I have four adult children in their 20′s now. Two are in their late 20′s. They are hard working,loving, responsible people.They love the Lord and are faithful in church.

    One of them was even engaged to be married. They did not get married and as difficult as that broken engagement was, we can honestly say now that we know it was for the best. He had never dated anyone else and was perfectly capable of supporting a wife. He is about to turn 25.

    To be honest here, we never really encouraged our children to “marry young” for any of these reasons. We never discouraged them from marrying young.

    They all have a desire to marry and I believe they will. They haven’t not married for any of the reasons in these articles.

    They have simply not married because They Have Not Met The One That The Lord Has For Them In Marriage Yet!!

    Now I’m sure that some people are just super picky and all and just want to nit pick this subject to death.

    If we really believe that God is all knowing and Has the best for our children, our main job is to raise them in the Nurture and Admonition of the Lord. Teach Them To PUT HIM FIRST!

    If we truly believe in the Providence of God,we can know without a shadow of a doubt and they can know also that He is to be trusted and He still has a plan for them.

    I honestly think we can just try to “analyze this to know ends”. I think it’s so out of balance to try to teach this to young people from some of these perspectives.

    As a Mom to adult kids who do have the desire to marry, Who are responsible and don’t fall into the stated categories, I feel that these articles honestly are missing the valid point of “Do we trust God to Bring into the lives of our children the person he has for them” and not make Marriage an idol because sometimes this is how they come across.

    That being said, I am very much for marriage having been married almost 32 Wonderful Years Now!!

    • Ross says:

      Keri – agree completely with you that we have to be careful not to turn marriage into an idol. Too much of the time that’s how things come across.

    • Keri,

      It’s important to understand that acknowledging that early marriage is good doesn’t incriminate a young person who is still single. We can’t get personally defensive about a general idea. I have no guarantees, either, that my children will marry young. My daughter is 19 and there is no one yet on the horizon. That doesn’t change what I think.

      We’re addressing an issue that has been distorted by a culture that places value on other things and devalues what God has called a good thing.

      I take issue with comments suggesting we’ve “idolized” a certain thing (marriage, motherhood, children) when the goal is to dispel the inaccuracies of popular thought.

      God’s sovereignty always rules. But the way we think about things affects our responsibilities. One of our elders put it this way: “if I’m hungry I don’t sit in the living room hoping to find food. I go to the kitchen.” Meaning, we can be proactive about finding a spouse and rest in His sovereignty too.

    • Jennifer says:

      We’ve spent the past 2 years researching delayed marriage, and talking to hundreds of people about this subject.
      There are several popular arguments that come out when the topic of young marriage arises. Keri expressed one: “…our main job is to raise them in the Nurture and Admonition of the Lord. Teach Them To PUT HIM FIRST!”
      To which I say, “Yes of course. But how is that a reason to delay marriage?” Is putting God first and marrying young an either/or situation? Can’t one “put God first” and get married at 18 too?

      The other popular argument, noted here by Ross, is: “…we have to be careful not to turn marriage into an idol.” But that view is similar to saying that Bible translations can’t be trusted, that way when you get to a spot in the Bible you don’t like, you can say, “must not be translated correctly.” It is used by people who aren’t in favor of young marriage and need a good line to use against it, no offense ;) …believe me, we know this topic well. When did the desire and longing for marriage become equated with turning it into an idol? It was God Himself who put those desires into us, and saying “don’t turn this desire into an idol” is a smack in the face to the Creator who put that desire there for good, righteous reasons. Hunger is a feeling given by God to let us know when to eat, food is only an idol when we have too much and want more, more, more. It is not an idol to the starving people in foreign lands who haven’t eaten in 4 days. And marriage is not an idol to singles who deeply desire a spouse. Don’t call good evil and evil good.

      Third popular argument is: “trust God to bring the right person into their lives.” Where is this in the Bible? Aside from Adam and Eve, where did God *ever* bring one person to another?

      Fourth argument against young marriage: “I have no issue with marrying young. But I see no reason to encourage it either. Remaining single is not a curse.” and using 1 Cor. 7 to support this view. “Singleness” is not supported in scripture. “Celibacy” is what 1 Cor. 7 is speaking of and few people have been called to this by God, very few people. It is a life long calling, not a “season”

      All that said, there are many times when young people desire to marry, but for whatever reason, it just hasn’t happened. What’s a parent to do? I don’t know… buy the movie, http://www.unmarriedmovie.com ;)

      • Excellent rebuttals, Jennifer, thank you! You articulated things that I could not/did not. And this:

        “It was God Himself who put those desires into us, and saying “don’t turn this desire into an idol” is a smack in the face to the Creator who put that desire there for good, righteous reasons.”

        Perfect.

      • Keri says:

        “What’s a parent to do? Herein lies a MAJOR problem!!!! We are talking about adults. Christian adults!! I don’t know what else to say!!! Do you believe in betrothal or something? I never said the desire to get married was an idol. Adults people!! The video does not work and I won’t be buying it..I have seen enough of it on another site a while back to know it’s not right!!!

        • Word Warrior says:

          Keri,

          I don’t know why you’re surprised (offended?) at the notion that parents have something to do with their adult children marrying. Of course they’re adults. But again, we see a pattern in Scripture where parents pray for/counsel/find spouses.

          I still seek my own father’s advice about major life decisions and I’m 41. How foolish if our children made the most important earthly decision without our counsel.

          • Keri says:

            I completely understand that Kelly as our adult kids still seek our council often. I’m talking about those he think its proper or biblical to find a spouse for an adult child.I’m not offende actually but just trying to honestly understand why people think that they have to tell adult childen how to do this.Thanks! I do pray for my adult children and their future spouses.

            • Word Warrior says:

              Keri,

              I don’t know; I think we have a responsibility to show our children a different method from what the culture offers. I think parents have more of a role than some of us feel comfortable accepting. Abraham sent a servant to take a wife for his 40 year old son. Why? We have to ask that question.

              We don’t even subscribe to that, though the example is in Scripture. But we should recognize that parents bear the privilege and responsibility of assisting their children in the process of marriage. It may be counter-cultural, but it’s not unbiblical. Parents should be concerned, at least, about their adult children’s pursuit of marriage or lack thereof. I think that was Jennifer’s point.

              • Keri says:

                Just curious where In God’s word it says that?

                • Word Warrior says:

                  We have examples, like the one I gave of Abraham. I’m sure there are more.

                  And we have Scripture, a directive given to parents:

                  “Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease.” Jeremiah 29:6

        • Jennifer says:

          Keri, I am concerned that our film is being misrepresented. It has not been released yet, so anything you may have read about it, is probably inaccurate information as no one, aside from family and close friends have seen it :-)
          But about parents helping out choosing, we are not promoting betrothal or arranged marriages. Our target audience are the parents of teens and those barely into their 20′s who are still living at home and waiting for the perfect spouse.

          Should the parents of older single adults help pick a spouse? I would say that is the choice of each individual . Certainly as Kelly stated, parents could be consulted. Marriage is a life long commitment, why wouldn’t a son or daughter at any age want their parents input?

          • Keri says:

            Hi Jennifer,

            I decided to check out some more information in regards to this movie. I see that there is also a facebook page under “UnmarriedMovie”. I also see that you and your family have a business that makes and sells Christian Films. The one on homemaking honestly looks nice. The facebook page is interesting.

            I would honestly invite people to check it out. You will understand exactly where they are coming from and the agenda they are trying to teach. I would also encourage people to look up some of Kevin Swanson’s video’s on youtube to see where he is coming from. It is honestly off the wall.

            This is honestly why it is so important for us as Christians to Search the scriptures and not distort them.

            • Keri,

              “Off the wall?” Kevin is a long-time favorite (he’s even been to our church to speak) and he is a solid, biblical teacher as far as I’ve ever heard him. Would you care to share where he espouses distortions of Scripture?

              • Keri says:

                Well, Here are some of the Titles of the video’s that are posted on youtube. Look under his name and there are bunches of them. I honestly don’t have the time or the energy to watch them all but here are just a few. “Apostate: The Book Trailer”. “Keeping your daughter from getting Raped”. “Gays Caused Hurricane Sandy” “Little Tiny Fetuses”..2/2/2013. (all under Kevin Swanson’s name).

                I don’t really know what else to say!

                In regards to the trailer of the “Unmarried Movie”. Most of what can be seen is obviously Their Personal Opinions! When you make comments about single people not marrying yet and that it’s “A Poisionous Disaster” “Pure Foolishness” “If We Don’t Address this issue We’re Done” ” Women should be screaming bloody murder” “They are going to find solutions”. These are all quotes from the trailer.

                It is clear that they believe they are going to giving people an answer to this problem! With a lot of personal opinion thrown in with it. I honestly don’t know what else to say Kelly. We are obviously going to disagree big time on this one and you asked for examples so there you have them.

                • The comments made in the Unmarried trailer refer to a cultural shift in the idea of marriage, where people are suggesting delaying marriage on purpose and other such distortions. You have a problem with words they used to describe this “teaching”, but the Bible calls it “hypocrisy and lies.” (1 Timothy 4:2,3)

                  I don’t think they were overreacting at all. And that’s using Scripture to back up my opinion.

                  Re: Kevin Swanson and the videos you mentioned….I can’t find those. I scanned through 4 pages.

                  But I’m willing to bet, especially by a few of the titles, that those are videos someone else uploaded. Do you understand how youtube works? Anyone can upload a video of anyone. They can name it want they want, and often specifically use provocative titles because they are trying to get their video seen.

                  You need to answer this question: Have you seen Swanson speak and say things that are “off the wall”? If not, you need to be sure and come back here and correct the accusation you’ve made. I’m very sensitive to maintaining honesty on the Internet. It is full of lies about other people that are easily believed.

                  Slander is a dangerous thing. I’ve read things people have written about me (off the cuff remarks, usually) where truth is distorted and there it is out there, my reputation marred for all to see. The accuser not handling things biblically by coming to me personally with their concerns.

                  I believe we need to call out falsehood. But that means being able to give specific writings, videos, etc. and not just say someone is “off the wall” because of a title of a video that someone else probably put up. You’ve made a grave accusation against a godly man, and you need to provide proof of it.

                  • Keri says:

                    I am fully aware of the cultural shifts. Upon looking up the video’s, and yes I do understand how you tube works..Regardless of whatever Title someone posted the Title to be, What he says in several of them is Still On There in it’s entirety! He obviously put them up to share them with people but what I saw and heard was not edited.

                    Just because I said that I found it “Off the Wall”..does not mean that I have commited a “grave accusation”. I’m sorry but if you think for a moment that I haven’t picked up on some of your sarcastic tones in the way you’ve answered me, I have but I haven’t accused you of slander or a grave accusation.

                    One of the things you said back to me is this “You have a problem with the words they use to describe this teaching but the Bible calls it hypocrisy and lies”.

                    I have Never once in replying to you tried to twist it around and put words into your mouth like you have done in answering me in more then one reply.

                    You asked me for specifics so I gave them. It is easy to look up the you tube video’s and let people see them for themselves and form their own opinions regardless of what Title someone has put in front of them. That..is not slander nor is giving the opinion that things that are said are off the wall.

                    I hope that I have answered all your questions.

                  • Keri says:

                    I forgot to mention that no,I have not heard him speak in person nor do I intend to.

                    • I’m very sorry you feel that I have been sarcastic to you. That’s not my intention. I’m truly trying to have a clear, honest discussion, but I sense you are extremely emotional (the !!!) and you say things and then you don’t back them up and that is not the kind of discussion that is fruitful. And because of that, this is the last time I’ll respond if I can help it. But I urge you to re-read and consider before you speak, whether you are being fair and honest. You provided yet another example in your last comment:

                      “One of the things you said back to me is this “You have a problem with the words they use to describe this teaching but the Bible calls it hypocrisy and lies”.

                      I have Never once in replying to you tried to twist it around and put words into your mouth like you have done in answering me in more then one reply.”

                      I have not twisted your words. In fact, I’m trying to detangle them to understand them. You quoted parts of the Unmarried trailer as evidence of the “problem” you have with it. I pointed out that the Bible has strong words to say about the idea of delaying or avoiding marriage too, so the men who used strong words in the movie and spoke of the epidemic of singleness as a serious problem are not wrong.

                      Keri, I truly am not trying to difficult. I’m trying to understand you.

                      And again, you haven’t offered me a single word Kevin Swanson has said that is “off the wall.” Not one. But people here reading see that and think he’s “crazy” or “unbiblical” or whatever, just because they assume you are speaking with evidence. I think that’s very unfair. He’s a real person, he’s my friend, and he’s a godly man, in as far as anything I’ve ever read or heard him say.

                    • Why? He’s one of the most gifted speakers and biblically sound teachers I know.

                • OK…I had safety mode on on Youtube. So the title (About homosexuality) was what the person who uploaded the video named it (not Kevin Swanson).

                  What Kevin said:

                  (After discussing some major catastrophes…)

                  “I would say that the US has not been honoring God very much, am I out on a limb here? The US is more pro-abortion than ever before….more homosexual…and there is a God in the heavens, sins like homosexuality and the shedding of innocent blood have really irritated him.” (film ends)

                  Is there anything he has said here that is off the wall?

                  Now certainly we can all share differing opinion of God’s wrath and if or how he expresses it, etc. But to question the connection is not off the wall, when the Bible is full of examples of God bringing earthly catastrophe on a culture for sin.

                  • Keri says:

                    I’m not trying to put down your friend..Honestly. My problem is with the teachings that these people use. They take and use scripture from what I’ve heard and read. I’ve already given you examples. I’m sorry. I knew you wouldn’t like it.

                    I think it’s wrong that they are trying to teach these things to unmarried people and it’s wrong. I’ve already tried to explain that in past posts. The way scripture is taken and used to twist around how they want to say it.

                    I can find NO PLACE in scripture that gives these teachings on what they are trying to teach about marriage and why adults are not married and why and how they should be. Your friend was on one of those video’s and that is simply why I looked up to see if there were more.

                    I’m pretty much finished discussing it Kelly. I really don’t know what else to say.

                    • 6 arrows says:

                      Keri,

                      Sorry I am late arriving to this segment of the thread that has been reignited. I have some questions based on your February 12th and 13th posts on this thread, to which I would greatly appreciate your answers. In addition to asking these questions, I wish to make some comments, too. I do not intend to speak disrespectfully, but I will be direct, and I suspect that I will sound more blunt than usual. Watch for my post later today at the bottom of this page, where there is more space.

            • Oh an unless I missed it, did you ever explain what “isn’t right” about the Unmarried trailer? There is NOTHING at all I can find that might make a Christian say that. I’m a little baffled by your opposition.

      • Keri says:

        Jennifer, I don’t recall saying that the desire for marraige is an idol.I have written you back below Kellys comment. .

    • Tionico says:

      The concept of “finging THE ONE that God has for yuo” os nowhere supported in scruptire. It is a refugee from the Hollywood romantic schtick. Yes, two need to be “equally yoked”, compatible in the important issues of life. The idea of having to somehow discover THE ONE puts an undue burden on those seeking marriage, and an inordinate fear of choosing the WRONG ONE and thus dooming one’s self. Provided both are free, biblically, to marry (in other words, not previsouly married then divorced for cause other than adultery, and both being believers at first marriage), both “in the Lord” as Paul commands… they can marry. Marriage is not about the “deal” I get out of it, but about how our life together reflects God’s glory and nature, and matures us as we grow together, and the children we will not just bring into the world but raise up as godly seed after us. Within the broad bounds of the critical issues, any man can realise those goals together with any woman. THE ONE is a false concept and needs to be dumped.

  15. Keri says:

    When I wrote that, I honestly wasn’t writing it in defense of my children not being married. I was just honestly trying to state that WAY TO MANY of these articles are floating out there with all their “statistics and opinions”.

    I completely agree with you that this culture has distorted what God has called to be a good thing!

    When we put an emphasis on “Encouraging Our Kids To Marrying Young”…instead of encouraging our kids to Trust and wait on the one the Lord has for them, that is where I personally have a huge problem.

    My husband and I were both 21 when we married so I am not saying that marrying young is the problem.It is the emphasis in all these articles that gets me and shows that the emphasis on that can become an idol!

    You say the goal is to “dispel the inaccuracies of popular thought”. These are man’s inaccuracies. Not the Lord’s! I mean no disrespect when I say that.

    If we truly believe that God’s sovereignty always rules then we are so much better off looking to him and His word then articles written by men.

    You are correct in saying that the way we think affects our responsibilities. Yes, I suppose we can be proactive about finding a spouse. That quote from one of your elders cracked me up laughing honestly..” If I’m hungry I don’t sit in the living room hoping to find food,I go to the kitchen”. Pretty much common sense!!

    Obviously the quote was given as what..An encouragement for young people to go out looking for a spouse, right? I chuckled because of all the ways to say it, it could have been said better!!

    I think many young adults are doing the better thing by being involved in great activities with other singles of there age, getting involved in the church and serving in many different ways.Those are great ways to be proactive!

    I think this is just one of those things that we are probably going to disagree on with the ways it’s presented. Have a Great Weekend.

    • Keri,

      Try not to let the title bother you ;-)

      In journalism, it’s necessary to be clear (and perhaps provocative) about what you’re writing. So, if the problem being addressed is “opposition to marrying young”, it’s only logical to use a title like this one.

  16. Amy says:

    We wanted to get married in high school, then after we graduated, but were told by our parents that we had to finish college 1st. We prayed that God would see us as married while we were still in high school, but only He knows if that was acceptable. We secretly lived together & lived like we were married all those college years and then got married. Looking back, I believe if our parent’s goal was to honor God and help us to live without sin, they would have given their blessing.

    I think allowing our children to marry young would prevent poverty, the growing fatherless generation, abortions and a whole slew of sins. All that said, I think young marrieds need plenty of Godly support and accountability. The way to have a successful marriage is to love God 1st and obey His commands.

  17. Melanie says:

    This is excellent! Your paragraph on higher education is right on and includes some of the reasons why I wrote Chucking College: Achieving Success Without Corruption (you can take a look inside it on Amazon). It’s time for godly young people to pursue creative methods of obtaining a 21-century higher education outside of the devastating college scene.

  18. Jessica says:

    This was really interesting! I got married at 20, and got so many negative comments(which looking back on it was probably God preparing me for the negativity I’d receive when I had 5 kids in 5 years!;)

    I even remember people from church telling us we should just live together until we finished college. I really appreciate your thoughts on this! :)

    • Erin says:

      I wish I were shocked about church members encouraging you to live together first (fornication anyone?), but I’m not. I recently found out that before I was married my prim and proper grandmother kept telling my mom that I should live with my then boyfriend (now husband) until we got our finances straight. In her 90+ years she had decades of faithful church and bible study attendance. Ourconclusion as to how her ideas of right and wrong became so warped were the endless hours she spent in front of the TV as she got older. The depravity became normal and she didn’t even realize it. Now that we have had years without cable TV my husband and I are often shocked when we get a chance watch shows we used to enjoy. How could we have been so indifferent to the sin and wickedness on display? I’m not referring to anything with a mature rating, either. So called family shows or police/courtroom dramas so often glamorize or, at the very least, normalize vile behavior. We were numbed and didn’t even see it.
      I think that is the way it is with many confessing Christians today. Entertainment from Hollywood is a part of our everyday lives. We are numbed to sexual sin and see financial security as a precious virtue. Thus, living together just makes sense to far too many Christians today. So very sad.

      • Kelly L says:

        True, Erin… It is also true that many who say, “Lord, Lord” don’t know him. I know many who accept/encourage sin while CLAIMING Christ. Not sure they know Him…

  19. Courtney says:

    You never truly know someone until you see them angry (or excited).

  20. Tiffany W. says:

    I would like to challenge the idea that people should wait until after graduation to marry, which wasn’t really discussed in the article. I was a junior at university when I married my husband, who was a sophomore at university at the time. It was important to me to complete my degree before we had children. We didn’t have a lot of money, but we always made ends meet. My husband and I both worked part time and studied full-time. I graduated before my husband and then we decided to start our family. My husband pursued his B.S., then A masters degree, and finally, a PhD. He was in school for 10 years. He worked the whole time while studying and we chose not to delay our children, having four children by the time he graduated. I did not work, but instead learned how to manage on a small but adequate income. I have felt that having a family helped my husband focus on his work because so much was at stake. When he graduated with his final degree, we had very little debt, four children, and many opportunities ahead of us. I think too many people ignore the possibility of marrying while attending school and working hard. The hard work never hurt our family. I especially feel that we have learned to work together as a team in a way that few couples achieve when they are financially secure when they marry.

  21. Stacy says:

    1 cor 7

    But I speak this by permission, and not of commandment.

    7 For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that.

    8 I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, it is good for them if they abide even as I.

    9 But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.

    I have no issue with marrying young. But I see no reason to encourage it either. Remaining single is not a curse.

  22. Valerie says:

    I do wish that my husband and I had gotten married younger. We are now at the age that our parents will either not be around or will be very elderly when our kids graduate high school. It breaks my heart that my parents will very likely not be around to see my children get married. However, I completely disagree that college should be skipped, and that many vocations don’t require a college degree. If you’ve been working at a company for years then yes, you can move up. But what about when you want something different? My husband has almost 20 years of work experience and is highly skilled in many areas with a lot of management under his belt. But when the time came for him to start looking for a new job, he ran into brick walls everywhere he went because he doesn’t have a degree. His cousin who has a degree, on the other hand, rose very quickly through the ranks and was offered high paying positions that my husband was not even eligible to apply for because he didn’t have a degree. A Bachelor’s Degree is the new High School diploma. I personally believe that if a young man doesn’t feel a definite call to ministry, then he is doing himself a great disservice by not going to college. I know firsthand what a great disadvantage it can be for a man not to have a degree. He is called to be the provider, so why not do everything possible to help him be able to make the most money he can? That will also benefit his wife and children because it will make it more probable for her to be able to stay home with the kids.

    • Kelly L says:

      I think the point is that not everyone should get a degree (and the debt that comes with it). My husband was given a passion at a young age to teach college bands. He could not without 2 degrees. My brother was given a passion, didn’t follow it all the way, and has been out of work more often than he should, since he is a very hard worker. He is an Engineer.

      God gives us the desires of our hearts because it is He who put them there. Not everyone has a desire God gave them that requires college (I believe the point of this post). The point is to seek The Lord on what He made you for. There are too many switching careers mid life because they hate what they do. Follow God only, not perceived good goals for a life that God had no part in. —Not that most paths are bad, just maybe not best for a particular person.—-

      For example, our daughter has been designing clothes WELL since she was 7 (much earlier not so well). Her passion has always been this, she had an opinion of what she should wear even before she was two. Exasperating… She is also very gifted in softball. We just found out there was a college that gave scholarships to softball girls at their fashion school. She might not go to a 4 year school (or she might), but she will go to somewhere on scholarship, if that is God’s will. She has already received offers of being nationally ranked. That, of course, is appealing. We still want to wait on God. These are two passions that have nothing to do with either of us (we are musicians). It is clearly from God and, as such, must be pursued to His leading.

      I think you are right, there are some vocations that “require” a 4 year degree. I benefit from my husband’s drive out of poverty as I sit at home eating caviar and drinking champagne, lol. ;) I disagree that a bachelors is the new diploma. God is the Doctorate. Without following Him in all things, career included, we are not going to do well.

      My two cents….

  23. JJ says:

    I married at 22, 6 months after finishing my BA in 3 years (and 6 months after my husband finished his). I went on to grad school and we welcomed our first son just shy of our 1st anniversary (midway through my 2nd year of grad school), we welcomed our 2nd son a month after I graduated. I now do part-time arts ministry at a small church which gives me time to be home with our now, 3 boys. Marry young worked out great for us. But I don’t think it is for everyone, I have known plenty of young people who are not ready for marriage and for whom marriage at that time wouldn’t be a good thing. My parents were a case of that. My dad went on to marry again and that marriage just celebrated 20 years.

  24. Erica says:

    I got married when I was 19. I wouldn’t change that, but I wish we had planned a little better on finances and how to balance our college time. But we’re making it, very slowly but surely.

    That said, I had numerous people insisting that our marriage would never last, not because of him, but because I was so young that I *must* be too immature for responsibility. These were people who have known me well my entire life and knew that I was, relatively speaking, fairly mature. (And really, a person should be continually maturing throughout life.)

  25. 6 arrows says:

    Wow, this post, the article links, and the comment section here are incredibly thought-provoking! Where to begin?

    How about with the first sentence? ;-) “Occasionally someone ventures outside the cultural marriage norms and makes the case for getting married young, but generally, it’s ingrained deep within us all that there’s an acceptable age to marry, and to do so before that is unwise.”

    I certainly agree that many have a deeply ingrained idea of “an acceptable age to marry.” That bias becomes evident when you hear typical reactions to a couple where one or both of them are marrying (for the first time) at an “atypical” age.

    The daughter of a friend of mine got married this past fall. She (the daughter) and her groom had both graduated from high school last spring.

    Common reaction when 18-year-olds marry: Is the bride pregnant?

    Another friend of mine married a godly widower with two children. She was 44 when she got married.

    Common reaction: Must have been way too picky that she couldn’t find someone before that age.

    No, and no, in the case of both of those women. Their life circumstances were such that that is when they met and got acquainted with the godly men God gave them for husbands. The fact that they were both outside of the “norm”, or “acceptable”, age range for marrying for the first time should not cause them to have to justify themselves to the naysayers who regard first marriage at those ages as questionable. (And I’m not pointing fingers at anyone here.) Unfortunately, that is what people who make choices outside the mainstream cultural pattern (whether regarding marriage, childbearing, educating, etc.) frequently deal with — assumptions, questions and sometimes ridicule, as many here well know.

    Anyway, it is good that we are having this discussion on marriage (though it addresses only one of the two possibilities of going outside the “acceptable” marriage age, namely to the younger side rather than the older side). There are certainly many good things about marrying at a younger age than conventional “wisdom” dictates, and you’ve laid them out well, Kelly. (As did the authors at the links you provided.)

    However… ;-)

    …in the middle of the whole “get married younger vs. get married later” debate, the most important thing we Christians should be concerned with is not so much “marry young”, or “marry when you’ve got your ducks all in a row” (like that ever happens, LOL). I would submit it is this:

    Marry well!

    Know what the Word says. The most important verse, IMHO, that comes to mind is the command to not be unequally yoked. In other words, Bible-believing Christians need to marry Bible-believing Christians if and when they marry (and most will marry, but we just don’t always know when we will find our life mate). In some parts of the country or any given geographical area, down to the state, or city, or neighborhood, or at one’s school or workplace (and even sometimes within one’s own church), it may be difficult to find a mate who is a true believer in Christ.

    When FIRST we get the who-to-marry part right, Biblically speaking, THEN the other things (like when to marry) can be addressed in the proper light.

    Incidentally, I know a lot of people who say that at one time, they “never thought [they] would marry a person like [their] spouse”. They’re in equally-yoked, Godly marriages, but “the one” was far different than they would have ever expected.

    It’s important to remember that the ones we’re looking for may not always be as mature as we think we want them (none of us have arrived, even after years of marriage; it’s a process of growing together in Christ); they’re not always the age difference we think we’d like in a mate; there might not be that “chemistry” we believe is necessary…and so on, and so forth.

    But we should be thinking ahead of time that that relationship (the marital bond) will be the primary, foundational human relationship that we will have on this earth, and we should be praying for wisdom to recognize a Godly mate when he/she comes into our life, and not be caught up in all these externals like age, education, jobs, etc., that might cause us to miss someone (a believer) with whom we can grow in faith through the years as husband and wife. And when we find someone who would make *a* godly mate, even if he/she is quite different than what we imagined in a prospective spouse, we should get ourselves down that aisle (!) before we use our God-given gift of sexuality dishonorably.

    Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.

  26. Sarah D says:

    My husband and I were talking about this the other day. A person is never really ready to marry, until after they marry! The same can be said about parenthood. Real maturity doesn’t come ’til one is stretched. My husband and I would have liked to marry younger, but God didn’t bring us together ’til I was 24 and he was 28. We have been together/ married for close to 7 years and have children 5 1/2 yo, almost 4, almost 2, and our 4th due in June. We’re blessed. =)

  27. Leah says:

    I am so glad to read something like this. I am not quite sure why people seem to be getting upset and defending other positions. The author never said getting married older, or being single was somehow bad. It is my understanding that the article was saying we shouldn’t be so judgmental about those who do marry young. My husband and I met as 17 and 18 year old freshman in a Christian college, we married at 20 (me) and 21 (him) between our junior and senior year of college. the amount of rude comments we got was crazy. I was very unprepared for it. My family wholly supported us, but our college was very against it and we had to submit forms and request that we be allowed to marry, and we had to have a certain amount of credits or we wouldn’t be allowed to come back as married students. Faculty at this Christian college talked to me about how I should be trying to get my degree, then my Master’s, start a job, then get married. Everywhere we turned, we were put down and hearing negative comments for marrying young. I was so shocked and hurt by the behavior. So this article was a really great thing for me to read. I never thought it was putting down any other decision, just saying that marrying young shouldn’t be put down either.

  28. Nikki says:

    Ok, let the debating commence:

    I vary between passive disagreement and outright resentment between most points made. So let me get the more personal feelings of resentment out of the way…

    As a member of Generation Y, a college educated woman who married later in life (by the definition of the article, waiting until after college is late) to a man even later in life, I feel like it’s targeting me pretty directly. I have never expected a ribbon for showing up, and maybe I arrived too early compared to my generation, but I was never offered one either. Did college “extend my adolescence” while my parents paid for my partying? Nope, I would offer that any partying on my end was paid for through the debt of more years and more loans tacked on to my education. And if anything, it stunted my adolescence compared to my peers. I grew faster because I was pushed harder towards the vision of my goals. I worked full time and financed my own house in the meantime.

    So did I delay marriage for college (or for that matter home ownership or a career)? Yeah sure, and it’s because I disagree entirely with the premise that marriage makes us grow up. I don’t deny that it does, but should it? Should we do our growing at the expense of our spouse because we didn’t develop self-awareness before roping them into an eternal commitment? Not only do I feel that’s unfair, I wasn’t interested in the growing pains of a relationship with an immature person, so I sought a companion even later in life than myself.

    Here’s where I agree with the article: “We need to balance the natural freedoms and privileges of childhood with our responsibility to help them grow in maturity and wisdom. We need to expect things–important, life things that will help them transition into adulthood when the time comes. We need to let them experience things, while guiding them and pushing them to find truth, to view the world through the lens of God’s Word, where they will find answers for everything.”

    Yet in that section of mutual agreement, I don’t see a timeline of where this growth in maturity and wisdom is supposed to occur. How can our children “experience things” that will genuinely grow them, before being given the freedom to fail on occasion? The kind of failures and successes that come to mind that grew me the most were not under Mom and Dad’s watchful eye.

    So all that said, I’ll agree that if we’re viewing the world through the lens of God’s Word and submitting to His will and timing, there is no right or wrong age – whether it’s 19 or 39.

    • Candace says:

      Nikki…I hope you don’t mind my jumping in here. I think you make some great points, and clearly God has led you down a different path. I believe what Kelly is doing here, is simply challenging the notion of the *cultural norm*. Most people WILL encourage their children to wait for all the reasons listed above. There will always be exceptions to the rule, obviously because God has placed each of us on different paths. However, our current culture does place high value on college (as opposed to other methods of pursuing higher education or a trade) and waiting to marry. She’s not saying it’s “wrong”, just challenging the cultural rhetoric that says marriage at a young age is an irresponsible thing to do.

      You said, “I don’t deny that it does, but should it? Should we do our growing at the expense of our spouse because we didn’t develop self-awareness before roping them into an eternal commitment?”

      Self-awareness is a myth (I believe). We will second guess our “self” all our lives. Marriage is an avenue in which God uses to grow us in holiness. The book Sacred Marriage is an excellent example of what I mean here. My spouse needed growing every bit as much as I did, so we did it together…at a young age. I’m so thankful

    • Nikki,

      I regret that you and others read this and take personal offense.

      I am on the tail end of Generation X, whose credential aren’t much better than the next gen. I, too, delayed marriage for my college degree, worked through school and ended up marrying at the age of 26.

      I can still look upon trends of society and see where our thinking affects us negatively. Or, I could defend my choice.

      Generally, delaying marriage has not been good for us. Of course everyone’s experience is different. Of course many are glad they delayed marriage, or glad they pursued a career first.

      My points are not about personal experience. They are about trends that affect us, and mostly about the need for society not to stigmatize early marriage and why.

      I disagree with your “self-awareness” comment. From a Christian standpoint, this isn’t really an achievement. Too often “self-awareness” outside of a spouse and family just makes it difficult to put others first, sacrifice and serve, those things most needful in a good marriage.

  29. Candace says:

    I absolutely love this, Kelly! I come from a long line of “young marriages”, so when I married at 18, my parents were completely on board. Our oldest daughter married two years ago…she was 19. We are now expecting our first grandchild (I’m only 40) :) And as a result of generations of young marriages, once my daughter has her baby next month, we will celebrate the blessing of *five generations* ON BOTH SIDES of my family! So cool!

    This is something I firmly believe in for many reasons, and have made a point to encourage others along the way. Thanks for such a great post!

  30. John says:

    Couldn’t agree more with your article! My wife and I were married young, 21 for her and I was 23. I graduated with two degrees, walked at my graduation on the 1st weekend in May and the next weekend got married in 2000. She was still in school, which she faced a lot of grief for being married in college from her professors and fellow students. We both worked multiple jobs then, and now we both work multiple jobs and juggle life with four kids. It’s crazy, but a good crazy! She stays at home and home schools, she keeps two kids part-time and also caters weddings and has a few houses that she cleans. She is a real life Godly-super woman! Our decision to marry early was based on knowing God and our experience of both losing a parent as teenagers. My dad died at 46 (I was 12) and her mother died at 42 (she was 14). I knew we could do more for the kingdom together than apart. Life is too short and God’s work is at hand, the harvest is ripe but the workers are few. Thanks for writing this article!

    • John,

      THIS…

      “I knew we could do more for the kingdom together than apart.”

      That is the sum of it all. That is why the world doesn’t get it. And sadly, why so many Christians don’t either. It’s all about Kingdom work, and God created it, in the case of most, to be done together.

      Thank you.

      • You and John said it all: “it’s all about the kingdom.” But here lies the problem: most people, young ones specially, are not about the kingdom. And their parents are not either, because they are encouraging them with things that have nothing to do with the kingdom of God but with kingdom of self. I am hoping to encourage my kids toward the things of God.

  31. 6 arrows says:

    Another thing I wanted to mention that makes early marriage an important consideration has to do with women’s fertility. (I think the Christianity Today article and maybe another one linked here briefly touched on the sometimes diminished ability to conceive when women delay marriage for long.)

    It is ironic that in this day and age, when young girls tend to hit puberty earlier than their mothers and grandmothers did, they are not, generally, having babies earlier than women in previous generations. So there is this ever-widening gap between the onset of fertility and conceiving their first child.

    In previous generations, with later puberty and earlier marriage (and without using contraceptives to delay pregnancy after marriage), it is probably reasonable to believe that there weren’t much more than five, maybe ten at most years between fertility onset and first conception.

    Now, with girls often entering puberty before or at the very beginning of their teen years, and delaying marriage and childbearing until well into their twenties, even thirties, there frequently might be, not a 5-10 year gap like mentioned above, but more like a 15-20 year gap.

    That can have some serious health ramifications, breast cancer being one that comes to mind, as a woman’s risk for that disease is lessened the earlier she first bears a child. And a woman’s ability to get pregnant frequently drops off rather quickly at some point, often much earlier than we may expect.

    There are practical considerations, too, that make young parenting a good thing. They still have a lot of energy and zeal for life! I had only one baby before turning thirty, the other five being born in my thirties and forties. Cheerful, enthusiastic parenting comes much easier earlier in life than later, at least in my experience it did. I really have to make a much more conscious effort to be joyful now (not that having to exert effort on anything is a bad thing, mind you), but natural, uninhibited, spontaneous youth really helps when one is a novice in the parenting department. ;-)

    The other issue I thought worth mentioning was the sexual awakening issue. Going back to what I said about earlier puberty and later marriage, it is difficult at best, nearly impossible for most of us, to have to repress our God-given gift of sexuality for years and years and years. We have this gift written into our bodies, and we’re not able (as Bible-believing Christians) to use it to glorify God for a very long time if we’re purposely delaying marriage. It’s a recipe for disaster, and, for too many of us, disaster struck.

    Sexual sin is rampant (and yes, I realize there has always been sin of that sort), and it’s had very serious and tragic consequences in too many cases. Certainly God can and does redeem us from this type of sin just as any other, but heartache often precedes that.

    Thank you for this post, Kelly. So many good things to chew on.

    • Keri says:

      Hi 6 arrows,

      I understand what you said about the two different women and the ages that they were married and why. One at 18 and one at 44 and their life circumstances were such that is when they met and got acquainted with the Godly men that God gave them for husband. I responded to Kelly with why I believe it happens that way if you want to take a look.

      I would like to share with you some thoughts on what you have mentioned in regards to the sexual awakening issue. You said it’s difficult at best, nearly impossible for most of us, to have to repress our God-given gift of sexuality for years and years and years.

      I agree with you that sexual sin is rampant. Our kids(and us) seem to be bombarded with it..Everywhere!! It does make me sick and sometimes I just absolutely Cringe at what we all have to look at!

      I can only share with you what I have observed as a parent here and what my thoughts are on what you have said. Having had a 25 yr.old son who was in a relationship and engaged to be married, but the engagement was broken, I would like to shared with you what we observed.

      When a Christian who is truly seeking God’s will for their life has made the decision beforehand that they are going to wait until marriage for sex (and yes..I do understand that sometimes young people go to far and get caught up and make mistakes), but when someone is Truly in prayer and seeking God and has made the decision to wait..That sexuality that God has given us has not been “Awakened” yet so it is possible to be that age and not have those feelings that they are “repressing that God-given gift of sexuality”. I know because of what my son shared with me as their relationship ended. My son shared all his feelings one night and I literally cried because I saw the pureness in his heart and knew that yes..He wants that with a wife someday but He doesn’t know what he was missing because He has not had those sexual feelings awakened yet. That doesn’t mean He didn’t have desire but that it wasn’t awakened. I have also had conversations with widow friends and husbands who left and they have explained that God has given them the “Grace” to deal with it even after many years of being with their husbands..Just my thoughts on that.

      • 6 arrows says:

        Hi Keri,

        Thank you for your response. I’ve been reading your comments and others’ with great interest; I wish I had time to respond to more of them! I love a discussion where I can sit with an open Bible on my lap and look up verses that are discussed. ;-)

        There are a few things I’d like to mention regarding your post. First, I can’t speak from experience regarding what you said about those who have been widowed or divorced, but I certainly believe as you do that God gives grace in those situations, as He does for all of us believers, whatever our station in life. My (admittedly uneducated) guess is that the trauma of loss of one’s spouse would greatly inhibit a person’s natural sex drive for some period of time afterward.

        Having said that, I’d like to clarify what I meant by sexual awakening. Later in the same paragraph where I mentioned that term, I wrote that we have this gift written into our bodies. What I’m referring to are the sex hormones that become active at puberty. The testosterone in males, the combination of hormones in females that prepare a woman’s body for pregnancy and give her the desire to express herself sexually with a man, that together we are enabled to carry out God’s mandate to be fruitful and multiply, by His will — those are beautiful gifts from God that He gives us, and they “come alive” in us at puberty, and create the sexual awakening to which I refer.

        So I’m not thinking in terms of unmarried individuals who have kept themselves pure, that they have not had a “sexual awakening” yet. They did, at puberty. I was just talking about hormonal realities, not purity issues with that reference. My apologies for not being clear about what I meant by that.

        I agree with you, Keri, that we see examples of sexual sin all around us. When I talked about sexual sin being rampant, but that God can and does redeem us from those sins, I was mainly making a statement about the issues of our own hearts: lustful thoughts, for example, which have the potential to lead to sexual expression outside of the bonds of marriage.

        I think it is good to consider the admonition given in 1 Corinthians 7:5 to “Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency [lacking restraint in the sexual appetite].”

        Though this verse is obviously spoken to married couples, we see a clear picture of how sexual temptation can be a very real danger if we are abstaining from Biblical sexual expression for a long season. Since the hormones that are necessary for the desire to express oneself sexually are already present in unmarried individuals, also, I believe we should think of this, if not an imperative, at least something for singles to strongly consider a reason to be serious about pursuing marriage more proactively, rather than passively, so that sexual temptation does not have a long season to grow and be “nurtured”, so to speak, because of a long period of attempted forced abstinence (which, of course, is required of us when we are not married).

        I understand your point about purity, though, and that it is possible to remain pure during the unmarried season. Yet, typically (barring possible cases like those I mentioned above, widowhood and divorce and possibly other instances), most healthy individuals will have that God-given gift of a sex drive fully operational within themselves, and it can be very difficult to attempt to turn that off for a long period of time.

        One other verse that came to mind today (even before I had seen your reply to me) was Genesis 1:28. “And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth…”

        I believe that is a good verse for encouraging early marriage (if possible, of course — I understand not everyone will have opportunity to marry young — I myself have two unmarried children in their early 20s, and I don’t know the future). However, according to God’s design for our bodies, generally speaking, it is easier to conceive and carry to term when one is younger. As I’ve said before, fertility can drop off rapidly, sometimes at very early ages. Miscarriages are also more common as a woman ages. So “be fruitful and multiply” is often much more likely to happen in one’s youth than at more advanced ages.

        This whole discussion on this page has been a very interesting one to me! And I’ll have to admit my thinking on marriage at a young age has morphed somewhat since I first entered the discussion. I still believe who one marries is the primary consideration, but when one marries, and the good, Biblical reasons to promote early marriage, was not really on my radar. It is now. :-)

        It’s been interesting to look at the scriptures that have been discussed on this page, too, and I want to thank you, Keri, for also providing verses above (or was it below?) I forget where I am on this page. ;-)

        Have a great week, Keri, and thanks for your comment!

  32. katrina says:

    I wholeheartedly agree with this article! The problem is, I know tons of young ladies who would have been just thrilled to marry at 18, but there wasn’t anyone to marry. Not to be negative towards guys, but even most Christian guys are not interested in conservative Christian girls – they have bought into the world’s lies about women and are usually hooked on pornography. Even if they are not addicted, they usually end up marrying girls that dress like hookers and flirt with every man they see. So this sort of article can be discouraging to girls who want to get married but have never met a good guy. :(

  33. Jennifer brought up another good point that is hardly EVER even discussed….

    “Third popular argument is: “trust God to bring the right person into their lives.” Where is this in the Bible? Aside from Adam and Eve, where did God *ever* bring one person to another?”

    We are just now beginning to ask these questions as we see so many ready, marriageable young women and men “wait for God” while they enter into their 30′s still single.

    Is this biblical?

    “Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease.” Jeremiah 29:6

    • 6 arrows says:

      Good thoughts on the whole “God bringing the right person into our lives” subject. I liked this verse you shared:

      “…find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage…” (Jeremiah 29:6)

      That word “find” jumped out at me, so I checked my concordance for all the places the word could be “found” ;-) in the Bible.

      A couple applicable verses to point out, both in Proverbs:

      18:22 — Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the Lord.

      31:10 — Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.

      It’s interesting to me that in both verses, the word that precedes wife or virtuous woman is “a”. We don’t see “the”, as in, “the wife God brings”, or “the virtuous woman meant specifically for you” etc. “A” is general, whereas “the” is specific.

      I think problems occur when we believe we are waiting for “the one” that God has for us. In so doing, as I alluded to above in my January 31 post at 9:29 pm (post #25), those who believe there is one specific person out there who is “the one” might miss out on “a one” that could have made a suitable mate.

      Maybe it’s from our culture that we get the idea that God “will bring the right person into our lives.” That sounds like the “looking for Mr. Right” notion, except God “gives” us Mr. Right. Mister being singular — the one and only right one. Puts a lot of pressure on to discern whether “this is the one” or not, when we have limited ability to discern all that that person will become over the years.

      My husband and I had an interesting conversation a couple years ago after the death of one of my (male) friends from my college years. After a lot of discussion about friendships, attraction, common interests, and so on, my husband (to whom I had been married 25 years at that point) remarked that he believes that my friend and I would have made good marriage partners.

      It was an interesting thing to think about, but I believe my husband was right. He wasn’t seeing himself as “the one” God brought to me, but was “one of the ones” who could have made (and did make!) a suitable mate. Suitable being an understatement, you understand. ;-)

      Those are my two cents on the “God brings the right one” discussion.

      • Word Warrior says:

        I absolutely agree with you, C. Interesting point about “a” vs. “the.” I think we don’t know quite how inundated we really are with the culture’s ideas of romance and marriage.

        • Jennifer says:

          It’s the whole (unbiblical) soulmate idea. It * is* delaying marriages. Mostly for the girls who are just waiting for “God’s perfect mate.” The reason why so many young women have embraced this belief is because they are aging and not yet married. If they can believe that they were created for one specific man, then they have hope and can better cope with remaining single into their late 20′s or 30′s.
          We are destroying our daughters. It is heart breaking.

          • Keri says:

            Oh gracious!!!What I find heartbreaking is that Jennifer could actually think because a young woman of that age is not married but still has that desire, that she is just hoping and coping!!! We have a responsibility as Christian women to teach and encourage with truth from Gods word..This is not it!! We are NOT “Desroying our daughters”!!!!!! Kelly…. Do you honestly believe this?

            • Word Warrior says:

              Keri,

              I’m confused by your question and frustration. You are saying we need to teach truth from Scripture. Jennifer has explained that it is not biblical to teach our girls that they have “one perfect soul mate” waiting for them.

              So you seem to be contradicting yourself. You want “teaching from Scripture”, and when Jennifer does so, you disagree. I’m confused.

              • Keri says:

                Hi Kelly,

                First, I just want you to know that I am Not against marrying young. I also don’t believe in the term “one perfect soulmate”. I have never used that in my comments.

                My issue with what Jennifer said is pretty much is this..I don’t believe what Jennifer said was Biblical as she has used No scripture to back up what she has said.

                The scripture you shared from Jeremiah 29:6 “Take ye wives, and beget sons and daughters; and take wives for your sons, and give your daughters to husbands, that they may bear sons and daughters; that ye may be increased there, and not diminished.

                You also mentioned on Feb 1st and I will quote it from you “I think parents have more of a role than some of us feel comfortable accepting, Abraham sent a servant to take a wife for his 40 year old son. Why? We have to ask that question”.

                Here is what I have read in my Bible.

                Polygamy was also practiced by some Old Testament personalities.Does this mean that it should also be practiced today? Obviously not! Yes, obviously this verse from Jer.is in God’s word.

                Here is what the Bible says about marriage and doing His Will.

                Monogamy was always God’s ideal for humanity.(Matt 19:4-5,compare 1 Cor.7:2)

                Singleness-whether involuntary or voluntary-has it’s own demand, abstinence from sexual union.(Matt 19:10-12)

                Paul acknowledged that marriage is best for many; but based on his won experience, he recommended singleness to those who wanted to devote all of their energies to Christian work and could forego sexual relations.(1 Cor.7:7-9) (1 Cor.7:8-9) (1 Tim. 5:10-14)

                Woman in Bible times lived in a patriarchal society. If a woman about to be married was suspected of not being a virgin, she was required to submit to a test. If her virginity was not established, she could be stoned to death at her fathers door. (Deut.22:13-21)
                We Obviously do not abide by these laws now or believe in the practice of polygamy.

                The point here in talking about the examples in the Old Testament and the New Testament is The Old Testament represents a larger body than the English word suggests, including the larger patriarchal clan that included those persons related by blood, marriage , slaveship, and even animals.

                We no longer live in a Patriarchal society.

                Jesus, along with the NT writers, used family images to describe the nature of faith and the church.The primary relational dynamic that Jesus taught was love(agape), an unconditional accepting love known initially in the love of God(John 3:16) (1 Cor.13).

                Marriage was founded on a love bond experience by both male and female in Contrast to the arranged marriage of the OT. Women were not to be considered property by men but rather were to be loved and nurtured(Eph.5:25) Marriage was a permanent relationship between one man and one woman(Mark 10:6-8; Eph.5:31). The love bond made marriage vows sacred,not to be broken (Mark 10:11-12; Luke 16:18).

                The NT marriage union was based on an Equal and Mutual sharing, guided by love(1 Cor.7:4). The authority of the male became like the sacrificial,servant authority of Jesus Christ(Eph.5:25-33). The role and status of a woman were discovered in her faith commitment to Jesus Christ in doing the will of the Father.Women did not have to be married or have children to be important in the family of God (Gal.3:28).

                There is so much in God’s Word about how we can know his will for our lives. Do I believe it’s possible for an unmarried person to Know the Will of God for their lives. Yes! Absolutely!! Could this also include such an important this as marriage and how to deal with all of that? Absolutely!! Christians are to strive to know the will of God for their lives (Ps.143:10; Eph.5:17; Col.1:9..compare Rom.1:10.
                We are also to discern God’s will through prayer(Col.1:9).

                These are just a few verses that talk about how to know God’s will for our life. Whether one marries at 18,30 or 40, it is possible to know to whom or when if you know him, and are seeking His will for your life.

                • Wow. I really am not trying to sound condescending or difficult, but it seems with each comment, I get more confused about what point you are trying to make.

                  I’m particularly confused about all the quotes from this article (which were not properly credited) as it relates to our discussion: http://www.studylight.org/dic/hbd/view.cgi?number=T2013

                  I’m fully aware of what the Bible says concerning marriage, both in the OT and the NT and am not sure how these verses are supporting the point you are making. Of course we can know God’s will for our lives. That isn’t even part of the discussion. And of course, marrying young won’t be God’s will for everyone. That wasn’t part of it either.

                  I *think* you may not even be fully understanding Jennifer’s original comments. Or maybe even the point of my post, which is simply to say, in a culture who treats marriage as a curse, who says, “you need to do all the important things before you get married”, we need to be saying to our young people, “Marriage is good…you can live life AND be married.”

                  It really was meant to be a simple point.

                  • Keri says:

                    Well,

                    To be honest, I felt like I needed to share those scriptures Because of some of the comments that You and Jennifer made. You can’t just throw one verse out there from Jer. and expect people to think that is a mandate of what they are to do now. That’s why I felt the need to share all that. I honestly wasn’t the one trying to complicate it. I just don’t understand when someone says things like “We are destroying our daughters. It is heartbreaking”.

                    This is what Jennifer said and you basically agreed with her and said it was a Biblical response. So..that is why I wrote what I wrote. I don’t know what else to say.

                    • Keri,

                      I’m posting Jennifer’s comment here, just to make sure we are reading/commenting on the same thing:

                      “It’s the whole (unbiblical) soulmate idea. It * is* delaying marriages. Mostly for the girls who are just waiting for “God’s perfect mate.” The reason why so many young women have embraced this belief is because they are aging and not yet married. If they can believe that they were created for one specific man, then they have hope and can better cope with remaining single into their late 20′s or 30′s.
                      We are destroying our daughters. It is heart breaking.”

                      You admit yourself that the idea of “waiting on your soulmate” is unbiblical. Yet you turn right around and say Jennifer’s point, based on said *unbiblical* idea is not biblical.

                      See my confusion? She is simply saying that we are teaching our girls (and guys) the UNBIBLICAL doctrine of “soulmate” and I think you would agree that any doctrine that is unbiblical is destructive.

                      I think she’s saying this idea of “waiting for her soulmate” could cause her to turn down other acceptable men or simply expect a miraculous, Divine appointment when her husband might be right in front of her. She is only making the point that the reason they have been inclined to believe that doctrine is that it helps them “cope” with their singleness. Not that it’s ideal they are merely coping.

                      We teach our girls to embrace their single season with all the fervor they have, to be busy, to serve, to seek hard after God and to be content. We also teach them that marriage is a thing to be desired and if the opportunity avails itself through a godly, interested man, we should be thrilled.

                    • Keri says:

                      Hi Kelly,

                      I don’t understand the confusion. I said I did not agree with the world and unbiblical term “soulmate”. What I tried to say (and this will be the last time)is that I did not believe it was Biblical for Jennifer to make the rest of the comments that came after the soulmate part. I have already stated that I don’t agree with the term soulmate.

                      My Bible was published by Holman Bible Publishers. I did write back some of my explanations from the different things I looked up about family, marriage, wives, etc. It was explained beautifully so I shared them. My Bible and the verses are from the King James Version. I didn’t think that would be a problem.

                      I never said that I thought young woman should wait for “God’s perfect mate”. I simply shared the old and new testament views on marriage which by the way have NONE of Jennifers views. If you can find them..let me know because I did search for them.

                      Personally, I do believe based on what I have read in God’s word and what it says about knowing how We CAN KNOW His Will for our lives that we can pray, read his word, ask for His wisdom that we can know when and whom we are supposed to marry, regardless of what age.

                      I personally found Jennifers comments and you quoted them and you shared them again..unbiblical.

                  • Keri says:

                    Kelly,

                    I also thought you might like to know that I have never even seen that article. Every thing I wrote came straight from my Bible or the notes in my Bible. Just thought I would let you know that.

          • Keri says:

            Jennifer, I completely agree with you that the “soulmate” idea is completely unbiblical!

            The Bible does have a lot to say about the “Will of God”. I do believe that it was God’s Will for me to marry my husband. I will let you read my response to Kelly on why. I also believe based on God’s Word that we can know the will of God for our lives and that would include marriage.

            I am not against marrying young. I married at 21.I can honestly say that it was God’s will for my life.

            For you to say that because unmarried women in their 20′s or 30′s have the belief that they were created for one man and make it sound like the only reason they believe this is so they can have hope and can better cope with remaining single is not Biblical! Then, you went on to say that we are destroying our daughters and it is heartbreaking.

            It all goes back to God’s Will for our lives. I have shared some scriptures on that in my response to Kelly.

            • Jennifer says:

              Hi Keri,
              Okay, sooo, what you seem to take issue with is what I said about single women hanging onto the soulmate myth and using it to better cope with being unmarried, and you don’t understand why I said that it is destroying our daughters since it must be God’s will that they are single.
              My parents recorded a tv show about a 42 yr old woman who starved herself down to 54 pounds. She got that way because she quit eating for the most part. Was that God’s will? I wouldn’t think so. My husband and I have researched this subject in depth. Most if not all Bible verses indicate we are free to choose a spouse. Yes we pray about it and seek His will, but His will as laid out in scripture is to get mamIrried. I can give you verses if you’d like. my phone its about to sure. I will pick this up tomorrow

              • Keri says:

                Jennifer,

                I don’t honestly know why you would use the example of the woman who is starving herself and ask me “If that’s God’s Will”. Obviously not! That poor woman. People all around us who don’t know God make tragic choices everyday and suffer for it. My heart goes out to her.

                I suppose what I take issue with is people who try to teach or promote that delayed marriage is “destroying our daughters”. Something that you quoted and said! Where in scripture does it say anything along these lines.

                I have never said that I agree with the soulmate philosophy or that I’m against young marriage.I was married at 21. Do I believe that my husband was the one the Lord had for me to marry. YES! Without a doubt. (I’m not saying he was my soulmate)…I’ve had enough of that word!

                I know there are lots of verses in the Bible on marriage. I believe them. I believe it is a good thing to be married and all that goes with it. I am not against marriage, marrying young, encouraging marriage.

                In my reply to Kelly, I tried to explain the difference with the OT and the NT to explain more on where I was coming from.For the sake of not repeating it again, you may want to go back and read it.

                I am in agreement that not as many have been called to be single as married. I have read the verses and understand them.

                I know many women in their 20′s and 30′s right now who desire marriage. I’m talking about Christian women specifically right now. Not all Christian women are single right now because they are to picky, or have super high expectations for a super man.I’m talking about women who are following after God, who have a vibrant relationship with him. Who love him and trust him. Are they not capable of discerning and doing the will of God although they don’t have a husband yet? I’m just being very honest here.

                I also believe that it’s possible for young singles who desire marriage to still be single,not because they are picky etc. but because they are trusting God, actively seeking God’s will for their lives and realizing that it will include marriage in God’s time.This doesn’t mean that they are just sitting around waiting for God to drop a spouse from the sky for them. It all goes back to The Will of God for their lives. I shared many versed with Kelly and there are many more you could look up.

                These young woman are not just coping. They actually live vibrant lives for Christ and are witnesses to many! You know..we live in a sinful and fallen world. My kids have many friends who married young. Several of these marraiges ended in divorce. I’m not saying I agreed with this. Some we know the circumstances and we were horrified. Some we don’t.The parents were involved and thought they knew the one their adult kid was marrying. It happens..Sin happens..We live in such a fallen world. It is sad and very tragic. I am talking about Christian People here.

                I’m not sure how old your children are yet? I have children that are in their 20′s. I had one who was engaged. For the sake of his privacy, I won’t go into details but will say that the engagement was broken. It was difficult for all. Was it a mistake? I don’t believe so! I see the Lord’s protection over the entire situation! My son was seeking God’s will, was ready for marriage. He also can see the Lord’s protection over the entire situation. Like I said before..Even with Christians..things happen in life that can be messy. I have seen my son grow stronger in his walk with the Lord thru this. He has been able to reach out to others and help them and encourage them.

                I’m not sure if your film deals directly with Christian Men or Women. I’m not sure if it really matters.

                Maybe you see it as a coping thing for these woman but I don’t. It pretty much goes back to the “Will of God” for their lives.

                • Jennifer says:

                  Hi Keri, you are looking at this from one perspective. I am looking at it from a myriad of perspectives. I do understand what you’re saying. What I am saying is, for the girls who were raised from a young age to desire marriage and motherhood, but at the same time were raised to “wait on the Lord,” and to keep their distance from guys, etc. etc., unless they are in certain circles where the guys actually approach girls who show no interest, many of those girls are aging and remain unmarried, but very much desire to be married. So, they hold into the soulmate idea in order to cope with the fact they they’re unmarried. It is destroying them because they are believing a lie. Does that make sense?

  34. deanna says:

    Hello Kelly, I love the way you write.
    Hope you never stop.
    d

  35. Anonymous says:

    I know, but what are we to do? I would have married at 18 if I could have, but I’ve never known any Christian guy that was serious about getting married. Even in large churches, most the guys are being so “chased after” by the more worldly girls that those who would be good wives and mothers are rarely ever actually pursued by men. Do you have any suggestions for what young women are supposed to do? Because I am happy to wait as long as God wants, but as some people mentioned above, sometimes in the Bible it required action. It can be pretty discouraging when “good girls” aren’t interesting enough to today’s generation of men. And even if your “average man” showed interest, it’s not likely that he would be a strong Christian who wants the responsibility of a family – he probably just wants to date one girl after another. I know of *so* many young ladies in this position who would make fabulous wives and mothers and who have “trained” for this position for years, but what can they do?

    • Tionico says:

      Methinks you are in the wrong church. If the leadership are not dealing with this sort of thing, they are not preachiong a solid word, nor are they addressing the needs of the congregation. Find a church with plenty of healthy marriages and growing families. And where the not-yet-married relate to each other first as friends, with all purity, and don’t enegage in the “romance games”. If the culture of the church too closely resembles that of Hollywood, or that stupid show “Friends”, move on. A godly man will not rem,ain long enough in such a setting to “find” a godly woman like yourself. Seeing the games being played, he will move on.

    • Jennifer says:

      In a nutshell, our culture needs to change, at least the Christian culture. Our entire mindset and view towards marriage needs drastic change. Our pastors need to start preaching on young marriage and parents need to be training their sons to that end. Oh sure, we train our daughters to be homemakers and all, but what good is it if there are no men to make homes for?
      At some point we have to realize that there may be a problem and tackle it head on. When we focus so much on “son, you need to provide, so you’ll need a good paying job,” but fail to mention, “son you need a wife,” we are creating an issue. Girls are being raised as future wives. Boys are not being raised to be future husbands. And now we have what anonymous described above.

  36. Anonymous says:

    Another thought: In the passage where Paul says about the young women “Let them marry; it is better for them to marry than to burn with passion…”, I wonder if anyone knows how marriage arrangements in early New Testament days would have taken place? Because it almost seems a lot simpler (“let them marry”) than things are nowadays. I mean nowadays, if a girl wanted to get married, she doesn’t really have any options. Do you think that things might have been arranged back then? I am not saying that being single is a negative thing, as God can give us very blessed, happy lives if we are content in whatever season we’re in. However, there are so many *thousands* of young girls that want to be building God’s Kingdom by bearing children and raising families and being good encouragers to their husbands, but they’ve never met the type of man that wants to marry young, or often times even marry at all! If anyone has any suggestions please do share!

    • Tionico says:

      I’ve often thought about this situation myself…. two things: first, I’ve studied up somewhat on the traditional role of the Jewish “Yenta”… no, not the crackpot old woman portrayed as one in Fiddler on the Roof. Amongst those people, travel to other population centres was not frequent. If the available “pool” of possibilities was limited or non-existent, a family would approach a matchmaker…. typically a businessman who did travel widely. As he would do so in his normal course of life, he would keep in mind the different sons and daughters in need of suitable spouses. When he thought this daughter might make a good wife for that son, he would broach the subject with the fathers i future visits to the respective towns. Details of the families would be shared, the matchmaker would always have personal knowledge of the quality and character of the families involved (it was, amongst the Jews, ALWAYS a family matter), words would be spoken, and eventually a meeting of the families would be arranged. If things worked out, there would be a wedding soon. The “yenta” would be gifted something for his help.

      In considering today’s situation, I can’t hellp but think that the church leaders, who know (or SHOULD) their families well, would be the best suited to play this role. Many of them travel about attending joint or regional meetings, conferences, etc, around the country. They always have some social times with their fellows as they come together from the different parts of the country (or world). How would it be if, as this time unfolds, one might broach the subject with another, and asking of he knows of a suitable spouse of a certain sort…. if these men would take upon themselves the burden of looking out for this godly interest of their own flock, maming enquiries of others doing the same I can’t help but think not a few good matches would ensue. I keep hearing of “thousands of girls that want to be building God’s kingdom by bearing childran and raisiong families and being good encouragers to their husbands, BUT…… WHERE ARE THEY WHEN A GODLY MAN IS WANTING TO FIND ONE?

      • AllThingsNew says:

        While I am a fallen sinner, redeemed by my wonderful Savior, I by no means am unaware of my sinful humanness. Still, it is the desire of my heart to serve the Lord alongside the man He has for me. I have 4 couples, friends, marry within the last 3 years and all of them, the brides, were 20 or under. 2 of them now have sweet babies. I’m 21 and while I know that’s young in the eyes of the world, I feel very ‘old’ in my community. I know no eligible young men (I’m substantially older than all those in my acquaintance). It’s hard when I’m surrounded on all sides by happy young marriages. Especially since I’m the same age or older than some of these new mothers! I struggle with the desire for marriage (a good desire, and, I believe my parents have taught and trained me that marriage is work. Hard, messy, but oh so worth it) and that I have been out of school for 3 years now, and while I’m active in serving in my church, homeschool group, and community, I long for the day when I have a family of my own to care for. Am I supposed to just wait around hoping someday God’s going to send ‘my man’ to come ring the doorbell? That’s crazy! But how am I supposed to get to know nice young men when the available pool in my community is virtually non-exsistant? I don’t know what’s a good answer, but while praying is of first importance, it shouldn’t be detached from action of some sort. What is a God honoring solution?

        • 6 arrows says:

          AllThingsNew,

          I know that can be a frustrating situation when there are virtually no godly young men available where you’re at. These are just a few things off the top of my head that you might consider to expand your options.

          First, are you able to travel outside of your community? Maybe to Christian social gatherings — conferences, retreats, rallies, etc — that are in another part of your state, or even outside your state or region?

          Second, have you considered registering with a Christian singles online dating service? Certainly there are cautions in taking that approach, but I know two different Christian couples who met their spouses that way.

          The other thing I want to mention (if you have not already done this) is to consider men younger than you. I know that with most couples, the man is older than the woman, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be that way. I think we get so accustomed to seeing a certain pattern that we don’t always think outside that box. Even if you don’t yet see a certain level of maturity that you desire in the younger, unmarried males around you, remember that marriage itself can and often does promote increased maturity in both husband and wife. Growing together in faith and Christ-like maturity, as some have already mentioned on this thread, is facilitated more effectively, I believe, as a married couple than as singles who are hanging out or dating for extended periods of time without the benefit of marriage.

          Those are just a few thoughts I have for you, AllThingsNew. Blessings to you. :-)

          • AllThingsNew says:

            Thanks for the reply, 6 Arrow! It means a lot.

            I do not get many opportunities to meet others from different areas. Last year I did get to spend a week with 100 other like minded people of different ages and from around the States, and the world! I’m praying perhaps the Lord might bring something from that. This year I’m planning to go back again.

            I have indeed considered the young men that are younger than me. I’m far more comfortable around young men that are a year or more my junior, simply because I have very little experience talking with men my age. If they are much older than me I can carry on a conversation with them as my elders, and if they are much younger, I have an 18 year old brother who is my best friend so I spend time with him and his age friends all the time. But when it comes to young men my own age, I feel incredibly self conscious! A younger man might actually be able to get me to talk to him comfortably! :) And perhaps one of my many young friends will grow up to be the one the Lord has for me. In fact, I know one who, if he were X years older, would make a wonderful husband and father. But he is far too young at this point. My best friend married a man 2+ years younger than her, and I have watched with my own eyes as overnight her husband matured and was entirely capable of handling the responsibilities of a home, job and wife.

            • 6 arrows says:

              Your comment really blessed me, AllThingsNew! I’m glad to hear of that opportunity you had to get together with other like-minded youth last year (and will again this year). I pray that the Lord will bring blessings out of those events for you.

              I’ve seen what you see with your best friend and her younger husband. The daughter of one of my friends and the son of another friend married a few years ago. The son married right around his 21st birthday, and the daughter was either one or two years older. They’re a wonderful couple, and like you observed with your friend and her husband, I noticed how rapidly my friend’s son matured after his marriage. The couple now have two children, and though I don’t get to see them often anymore, as they have moved to a fairly distant state from where I am, when they come back to visit, I see what excellent parents they are.

              I’ll pray for you, AllThingsNew. You sound like a sweet young lady who will make a wonderful wife for someone one day. :-) May God’s richest blessings be yours.

        • Amy says:

          I think 6 arrows gave you some excellent advice! As someone who married later than many of my friends, I have an understanding of your feelings. I just have a couple other thoughts for you. If you and your family are comfortable with it, You might consider letting people you know and trust set you up with someone. That’s how my husband and I met, and it’s how my parents met many years ago!

          Also, I know this is rather cliche, and it sounds like you already know and do this, but just try to live the life you’ve been given right now. Enjoy what God has given you, and use your talents for Him. I know that I could sometimes get consumed with thoughts of the possibility of never meeting anyone, and it could make it hard to focus on the here and now for me.

          Blessings to you!

  37. Amy says:

    This has been a fascinating conversation to me! I’m not quite sure what I think about it all. There’s certainly nothing wrong with young marriage, but I don’t think there’s anything better about it, either. I realize that’s not exactly what you’re saying here, though. But it is interesting to me that people who chime in with stories of young marriage seem to be applauded for sharing their personal experiences, but people with stories that don’t match the young marriage ideal seem to be told that they can’t use personal experience to back up their opinions. I don’t quite understand that! Maybe I’m missing something…

    Reading the comments also made me consider the idea of finding “the one”. In my single days I discussed this at length with some of my friends. I find it interesting that some people think this notion comes from Hollywood and secular sources, because the vast majority of my Christian friends believed in “the one” while my nonChristian friends did not! When I was single, it wasn’t as if I had a handful of suitors and none of them were good enough to be the one. For me “the one” was someone who I could see myself being able to better serve God being married than being single. I actually think the example of Isaac and Rebekah could be used to support “the one” theory. The servant prayed that God would show him the right woman as the one who watered the camels. She was “the one”!

    I think people get defensive in these types of conversations because it rubs salt into wounds without you realizing it. Even if you are speaking to cultural norms and Christian attitudes reflecting the views of the world, and you don’t believe that marrying young is more Godly, there are people who take away from reading this that marrying young is the only way to go, the best way to go, people who don’t marry young have made bad choices, missed out on God’s best, etc. Some of the comments kind of allude to those ideas. It’s not at all surprising to me that people get a little bit hurt, offended, defensive, what have you, when reading this.

    Finally, I would have to say I most agree with 6arrows when she wrote to marry well. That makes sense no matter what your age! I would also say if you’ve found the person you are going to spend the rest of your life with, you should proceed with marriage. What reason is there to wait? Get on with life, get started with life together when God has blessed you with someone who loves Him and is committed to a life with you! That has nothing to do with age, and it is unfortunate that more people don’t understand that. Perhaps that stems from more from our desire for life to be easy than anything else.

    • 6 arrows says:

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Amy. I think it’s been a fascinating conversation, too! :-)

      • Amy says:

        Thanks, 6 arrows! I have really enjoyed reading your comments. I should add that even though I may have made it sound like I believe in “the one”, I actually prefer to think of it as finding God’s best. Once I found God’s best for me, he became “the one”, and he is “the one” no matter what!

        My husband and I discussed this at length last night. I think we have an interesting perspective because we were married at 27 and 30, but we did not do anything per se to delay marriage in our lives. We really were a case of a couple who just hadn’t found each other yet. If we had met earlier, we would have gotten married young! We have dealt with infertility issues that are entirely unrelated to our ages, but it is certainly true that fertility decreases with age. In our alternate reality, we would have married young and had a houseful of kids! In our actual life, we married later and are blessed beyond measure with one child.

        Perhaps this makes more sense to me if I think of it as “why we should not discourage young marriage.” And if so, what do we do about it? Should more people marry young? Does that really accomplish anything? What does encouraging to marry young look like? And what do we do for the people who want to marry but aren’t finding a person who would make a suitable spouse? Just a few more thoughts I had!

        • Keri says:

          It makes perfect sense Amy. Thanks for sharing that!

        • 6 arrows says:

          Amy,

          Those are good questions. I don’t have all the answers ;-) but, in answer to your question, “What does encouraging to marry young look like?”, a starting point might be to direct a young person to read this post and the comment thread. :-) It has certainly opened my eyes to a different way of thinking about marriage, and I was talking about the post and comments with my 12- and 16-year-old daughters when they were riding with me in the car the other day.

          As far as your question about what we do for the people who want to marry but haven’t found a suitable person, I gave some answers a little upthread from here to the commenter AllThingsNew. (It might work to click on this date to take you right to that response): February 2, 2014 at 5:31 pm

          Also, I would encourage people to think through what “suitable” means to them, as in finding a suitable spouse. If our definition of suitable is too narrow, we may be waiting a long time when someone entirely marriageable may have already come into our life. (And I’m not saying you or anyone else who married at X age missed someone else by marrying another at the time they did, or that any unmarried adults have similarly “missed out.”)

          Perhaps it might be good to decide what traits in a prospective spouse are absolute deal breakers, and also think about which positive character traits are absolutely vital in a person. From there, I believe one should be very open to the wide variety of personalities God builds into His people. Everyone is unique. Someone who is marriageable from a Biblical standpoint may be right there in front of us, but we may not recognize him or her as such if we’ve got unnecessarily narrow criteria for choosing a spouse.

          I say all that, knowing full well, as I’ve said earlier, that some will not have a marriageable person in their life at a young age. But for those who do, and I believe there are quite a few people in that position, then it’s good to be able to recognize who those people are who could make a fine spouse and consider beginning a relationship that could lead sooner rather than later to that blessed state we know as marriage.

          I’m not sure if that helps, but that’s what I’ve got. ;-)

          Blessings to you and your family, Amy. :-)

          • Amy says:

            Thanks for your thoughts! I guess I’m still not convinced “marry young” is a concept I want to promote 100%. I agree that having an attitude of support for young marriage is a good thing. However, when if think about myself as a younger woman, longing for marriage, reading this would not have been helpful! I already desired marriage, but I honestly did not have anyone in my social realm to marry. This would have really frustrated me and made me even sadder than I already was! I would have thought, “If this is so important, why doesn’t someone help me find a husband?!” I wonder if we are going to encourage young marriage if we should also do more introducing of like minded young people. And I would also say it would be wise to have more older couples willing to mentor young couples toward a strong, Godly marriage. We can’t throw our young people to the wolves and the divorce mentality of our culture!

            I guess it’s hard for me to get past thinking of encouraging young marriage being at the cost of waiting for God’s best in our lives. I think my marriage is pretty easy partly because I did wait for someone who is very compatible. We have more in common than that we are both Christians who grew up in similar denominations. That’s not to say that we judge marital success by easiness (and if you knew our story you would know that we have dealt with HARD things that most couples never experience). I guess I can see both sides in a way. It’s important to have high standards for a spouse, but we shouldn’t overlook someone based on superficial factors. Hmmm, maybe that’s where I can be more comfortable with this idea!

            Thanks for letting me think this out!

            • Amy,

              You said:

              “I guess it’s hard for me to get past thinking of encouraging young marriage being at the cost of waiting for God’s best in our lives.”

              Rest assured I’m not suggesting this. I’m not suggesting “marry the first person just because.”

              In fact, we have personally experienced this. Although we highly esteem marriage and hope our children are able to marry at a fairly young age, we have also said “no” to a potential (Christian) spouse who we simply felt like wasn’t God’s best for our daughter in terms of personality and compatibility.

              This article isn’t a charge for parents to “do whatever it takes to get your kids married young.” It’s an answer to the culture’s idea that marriage is a burden and therefore should be put off as long as possible. It may or may not mean that our own children are blessed with marriage at a young age.

              • Amy says:

                Thank you for saying this! I mean, I never really believed that’s what you meant by writing this, but some of the comments almost make me think people are okay with their children marrying the first somewhat compatible Christian person who is available! I honestly was not trying to challenge what you are saying.

            • 6 arrows says:

              Thank you, as well, for your thoughts, Amy. I especially liked these:

              “I wonder if we are going to encourage young marriage if we should also do more introducing of like minded young people. And I would also say it would be wise to have more older couples willing to mentor young couples toward a strong, Godly marriage.”

              There’s a lot of wisdom in those comments, especially the second sentence. Amen!

              Thank you for your part in this conversation. I would have to say the same to you as you said to me, “Thanks for letting me think this out!” With two now-grown, early 20′s children, it is good to be able to bounce these thoughts off other Christians. I appreciate your thoughtful responses, Amy. :-)

  38. Jenny says:

    Kelly,

    Your oldest is a young adult who is not married (to my knowledge). How does she feel about this article? Have you encouraged her to early marriage?

  39. I pray that my children find their spouses early. We’ll see what happens, but if I’m honest, it is my true hope for them to marry right out of high school. I met my husband and got engaged when I was 18. My mom married my dad when she was 19. How beautiful to work out the stuff of life together.

  40. I agree and Disagree. We do not live in the same time as our previous generations of parents and grandparents. We are less and less a service and manufacturing nation. In an ever tighter job market unless the person is adequately trained educated and motivated working maybe quite difficult.

    I am not a fan of the non pragmatic bachelor education. if my kid wants to study something that does not prepare for employment i would be hard pressed to encourage it. the love of learning is great, but at the graduate level after demonstrating self sufficency

    I don’t think a prescribed age of marriage is the right approach to tackle this issue.

  41. K says:

    I am curious about the exegetical steps (hopefully) taken for the author to feel confident in writing a blog post with such blatant hermeneutical application. I would need much more Scriptural evidence in support of her stance before I would personally encourage the same. Until then I will view her post as written from emotions based off of her own healthy and joyful experience.

    It is my perspective that outside of our personal relationship with Jesus Christ the biblical view of marriage is one of, if not the most, beautiful responsibilities God blesses some of His children with the opportunity to experience. I am also of the perspective that it is one of, if not the most, challenging of all relational responsibilities. I hesitate to encourage, Scripturally, the ‘when’ of this beautiful challenge.

    I am an unmarried masters student studying counselling psychology with a specific focus on marriage and family therapy at a seminary school. For thought: 1 Corinthians 7:8-9.

  42. K,

    I wouldn’t say the article is based on my own “emotions from a healthy and joyful experience”, in that I did not marry young, nor did I remain pure before marriage, nor did I approach marriage from a seeking of God’s best. Thankfully, our Father has redeemed much of that in my life.

    Rather, the post is written with two intentions: first, to counter the cultural norm of delaying marriage (and criticizing early marriage) as if marriage were a burden and other things more important (like education). We do not find this at all in Scripture.

    Secondly, to say, with God, “He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord.”

    The verse you cited (which has already been mentioned in this thread) is recognized by most commentators to refer to those who have the give of singleness AND widows. Paul was urging widows to remain single if it were possible, and also those to whom the gift of singleness had been given. That’s why he qualifies his statement with the admonition to marry.

    Taking this one verse and suggesting that it refutes, in some way, the rest of what Scripture has to say about marriage is poor exegesis.

    We conclude that “marriage is a good thing”, a “gift”, and that it represents, more fully than anything else, the picture of the gospel. We understand that prior to the last few centuries, adults were adults at much younger ages. That at the age of 18 or 19, they were fully capable and expected to carry out adult lives.

    If we keep this healthy practice of expecting our children to grow up on a similar timetable, it is perfectly reasonable then, to suggest marrying young, is a good thing. Not necessarily something all young adults will do, but certainly not something to be discouraged.

    That was the main point.

  43. Lady Virtue says:

    I definitely agree that marrying young is the better way to go. What a blessing to be spared from dating person after person, only to be heartbroken, have sexual desires stirred up but no Biblical way to fulfill them, repeated breakups, etc. Let’s face it: most people are not going to wait until their mid to late 20s to have sex. Some have even been having it nearly half their young lives when they are that age.

    It’s much better to pray to God, then go forth and find a spouse. Familial involvement, if possible, should be recruited. And I think women may need to be a bit more assertive in this matter than in the past, as many men today are shy and uncertain about approaching women.

  44. MelissaJoy says:

    Hi Kelly,
    I’ve followed your blog for a few years now; I really appreciate your insight and we have a lot in common! You are one generation up from me, so you are an “older” speaking to the younger, and what a joy to read from one who has the same beliefs but greater wisdom!

    Thank you for writing the passions God has laid on your heart with the wisdom in which God has grown you.

    I met my husband when I was a few months shy of 19. I told him that I would not “date a man unless I could see myself marrying him.” This was the grace of God, by the way, as neither of us knew at the time what it meant to follow the Lord.

    My husband knew from the beginning what my intentions were about spending any time at all with someone of the opposite sex. I wasn’t even 19 yet when we decided we would marry but even then kept quiet about our engagement until just before my 20th birthday. We married 8 weeks after our announcement; I was 20 and my husband 26.

    This August will be our 10th wedding anniversary, and we have three small children. I went through a lot of (I don’t know how else to put this) messy growth in the first four years before becoming a mother (and more growth since then). I know that if I hadn’t gone through that alongside my husband, I would have grown even more independent (whereas I should be dependent on God), or even worse: independent from God and dependent on friends. I already had some soul detox after just a few years of spending time with friends, even though I was still under my parents‘ roof!

    I could go on, but maybe I’ll save it for a blog post. :)

    Anyway, thanks Kelly!

  45. 6 arrows says:

    (Continuation of my February 14, 7:26 a.m. post farther upthread.)

    Keri,

    Regarding your posts of February 12 and 13 (nested within the #14 comments above):

    On February 12 at 5:27 p.m. you said, “I would also encourage people to look up some of Kevin Swanson’s video’s on youtube to see where he is coming from. It is honestly off the wall.”

    I fully agree with Kelly’s response to you on February 13 at 1:47 pm regarding slander and everything else she said. I will add, if you’re encouraging people to check out the videos for themselves, then why do you need to state your conclusion (“It is honestly off the wall”) before we even know what’s in the videos or what specific points you’re talking about? In so doing, you are passing judgment not only on the videos’ content, but on Kevin Swanson himself.

    On February 13 at 12:26 pm you said, “I honestly don’t have the time or the energy to watch them all [his videos] but here are just a few [titles].”

    Pardon my bluntness, but, really? You don’t have the time or energy? If there is anything I got from your commentary on this thread, Keri, especially the last couple days with the Kevin Swanson bit, it is that you are PASSIONATE about speaking out when you think someone is promoting unbiblical thinking. All the exclamation marks you use, like Kelly said; several instances of words in ALL CAPS; the numerous comments you’ve made on this post — they show how important this subject is to you!

    Please don’t come and tell us to check out his videos, and then turn around and say, “I don’t have time…” Make time! That’s what people do with their passions. They’re energized by them! If you passionately believe that Kevin Swanson is wrong in his beliefs, then you should be taking the time to listen to him speak, writing down key thoughts of his, so that you can provide exact quotes of what you heard come directly from his mouth. Then offer your biblically-reasoned commentary to refute any wrong ideas he presents.

    If this subject is important to you, and clearly it is, then I would think you would want to take the time to fully research what he has said. If you make excuses about not having time, or saying things like, “no, I have not heard him speak in person nor do I intend to” (February 13, 3:14 pm), then you appear to be more interested in smearing a person about whom you know very little (and apparently don’t care to find out any more) than doing research into exactly what he says, so that you can determine whether and to what extent he is speaking biblically, and can then make specific, informed warnings to the people you are concerned will hear his message. This general “off the wall” stuff is merely opinion, and a derogatory one at that, that tells us nothing substantive.

    On February 13 at 3:05 pm, you said, “He obviously put them up to share them with people but what I saw and heard was not edited.”

    One simple question, Keri: Approximately how many minutes (or hours) did you listen to him speak in those videos? (Him directly, not others talking about him.) And please don’t say something like, “Long enough to know he was wrong (unbiblical, etc.).” I would like real numbers, please, of the time you spent listening to him: 10-15 minutes; 2 1/2 or 3 hours; what have you. Those specifics would be very helpful to me.

    Finally, I want to comment on a recurring phrase (with slight variations) that I see in your February 13, 3:56 pm post.

    “My problem is with the teachings that these people use.”

    “I think it’s wrong that they are trying to teach these things to unmarried people and it’s wrong.”

    “I can find NO PLACE in scripture that gives these teachings on what they are trying to teach about marriage and why adults are not married and why and how they should be.”

    What are “these teachings” to which you keep referring? I would like direct quotes that you heard Kevin Swanson himself speak.

    So to summarize, Keri, this is the information I would appreciate you providing:

    1) a numerical answer to the question, “How many minutes or hours did you listen to Kevin Swanson speak before you mentioned his name on this blog?”

    2) at least one direct quote from what you heard him speak. More would be better.

    3) Biblical refutation of said quote(s), in your own words (and the words of scripture), and not other people’s commentary.

    Your providing specific responses to these three points will indeed “encourage [me] to look up some of Kevin Swanson’s videos on youtube to see where he is coming from”, as you said in your February 12 post. Thank you, Keri.

    • Thank you, 6 arrows.

      You articulated my thoughts/concerns better than I did. I want to *hear* what is being said, but I’ve really struggled with these comments that seem to be going in circles.

    • 6 arrows says:

      Keri, in rereading your recent comments on this thread, I see there is something else I should have addressed, and which really gets to the heart of why I found your February 12th/13th posts about Kevin Swanson troublesome.

      Quoting again from your February 13, 3:05 pm post: “Just because I said that I found it ‘Off the Wall’..does not mean that I have commited a ‘grave accusation’…It is easy to look up the you tube video’s and let people see them for themselves and form their own opinions regardless of what Title someone has put in front of them. That..is not slander nor is giving the opinion that things that are said are off the wall.”

      Here is how the Merriam-Webster online dictionary defines slander: “the utterance of false charges or misrepresentations which defame and damage another’s reputation.”

      You have slandered Mr. Swanson by saying his teachings are off the wall. (I take that to mean you are saying they are unbiblical — correct me if I am wrong.) You are misrepresenting him to those who don’t know that he is a Godly man who takes the Bible seriously.

      Let me put it to you this way, Keri. I’m a “regular” (frequent commenter) at two different sites, this one and one other. How would it be if I went over to the other site and told my friends there, “I would encourage you to look at some of the reader Keri’s comments at Generation Cedar to see where she is coming from. It is honestly off the wall.”

      (Please know I would never do that.) But imagine for a moment that I did.

      What are their choices? Either decide not to head over here to check out the truth of my statement about you, assuming whatever they want to about you; or, come and read some of your comments to “see them for themselves and form their own opinions”, but, with a preconceived mindset planted in their heads by my words.

      Think about it. For all the people at that site who have never heard of you (probably everybody), their first impression of you would be that you make comments that are off the wall (if they trust my word). Regardless of whether they go read a lot of your comments, or some, or few, or none, they all are first given a distorted view based on my words that they then have to try to set aside in order to get an objective view of who you actually are as revealed through the comments you personally make. (That is, if they read any of your comments.)

      You wouldn’t call what I (hypothetically) did slander? Defamation? Misrepresenting who you are as a child of the King?

      If that’s not slander, then what is it?

      Please consider how negative opinions, devoid of factual details, used to describe your beliefs, would make you feel.

      • Keri says:

        6 arrows, I just wanted you to know that I am considering and praying on how to respond to all of this. Do you think it would be best to continue on here or would you prefer email ? I don’t think I have your email anymoe but I think you could get it from Kelly. Let me know.

        • 6 arrows says:

          Hello Keri. Thank you for your prayerful consideration of my comments. I appreciate that, and am also praying that I represent Christ well in our discussion.

          I would prefer to continue our conversation right here, publically, rather than through email, since a public figure (Kevin Swanson) has been mentioned. But thank you for asking.

          Blessings on your day. :-)

    • Keri says:

      Hi 6 Arrows,

      Here is the answer to your first question: To be honest with you,the first time I checked out Mr.Swanson on youtube after watching the trailers for the unmarried movie was probably only about 1 hour.I went on the sermon audio and listened to about 2 hours of his radio program that he speaks daily on. My husband and I also looked at just a couple more video’s so I would estimate the exact total to be about 3 to 3 1/2 hours.

      The second question. You wanted at least one direct quote from what I had heard him speak. Or more would be better,you asked. Here is what he said on the trailer when addressing what they all obviously think of the problem of delayed marriage amongst Christians in their 20′s and 30′s. I will quote him since you asked. “If we don’t address this issue- We’re done”! also this..”This is hard to deal with this kind of thing, but men will stand up and say, lets find the real solution. Let’s by faith, by dependence on God, by prayer, fasting, searching scripture, we are going to find the solutions, this is what real men do”!

      There are many more quotes on this video from the other men who speak. I would actually like to address this question before I move on to the third you had for me.

      When I saw these two trailers, my first thoughts were actually that these quotes and thoughts were “off the wall”. My way of saying odd. Just all doom and gloom. I heard no scripture in the trailers of the upcoming movie. This is what led me to investigate on you tube some of Mr. Swanson’s other videos and radio recordings. I originally found some video’s that apparently other people had put up and put their own titles on. Not saying that I agreed with the bad titles but they didn’t appear to be edited. Since then(I have not relooked these back up) I have listened to at least two hours of the sermon audio ones. They don’t really appear to be sermons. They seem to be more of a commentary of the cultural issues of today and what we are all facing as Christians. He does share some scripture on there but the majority of the five I listened to seem to be a lot of quotes from different sources like the Atlantic Journal and different news sources, a lot of which are secular. I am certainly not suggesting that the news sources are inaccurate just a lot of information shared on constant cultural differences we as Christians have with this world.

      My husband and I were actually able to listen to some clips of him speaking at some home school seminars also. In one of them entitled “10 reasons we homeschool”..He seems to be making some jokes about it in naming them. All in humor..right? In one of the comments he actually makes a joke about his kids watching the school bus drive away with the inmates on it. My husband just looked at me and asked..”Why would this man make fun of these kids because they are probably lost”..In other words, my husband meant ..They don’t know the gospel!! In another video “Apostate-The Book Trailer” dated 7/12/2013 , I think that he is just trying to share what this world would be like if this particular scenario happened in life but it is really odd..Sorry.

      It is obvious from his radio programs that he loves his family,is a good father and husband. I have no intention of slandering any man. What my concern and the concern of my husband is..Some of the extreme views that he takes and some of these men on this video also.

      You were correct in saying that I am passionate about addressing this issue. Do you realize 6 arrows that there are over 290 radio posts of his on Sermon Audio? There are also countless videos on under his name. Anyone can honestly look them up.I shared with you in my first paragraph how much time I spent listening. I’m a busy mom, just like you and when I said I didn’t have the time or energy to go through them all, this is what I meant. I hope you don’t honestly expect me to but I heard five entire ones along with countless video clips.

      I have answered countless questions to the best of my ability. I do hope this helps.

      My concern with what the views I have heard from all of this..Where is the Gospel? The Glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ in all of this because it is glorious. Does that mean that we don’t have to deal with the issues(cultural and all) that we are facing as Christians? Of course we do.

      There is great Hope in the Gospel of Jesus Christ! I’m sure the Christians on here have the same Bible I do. It’s in there. If I started writing verses I could honestly go on and on for hours. I’m sure you’ve read them too! We don’t need to fear!! We know the ending right!! We can read his word, trust him with our lives if we are living for Him and move forward in every are of our lives because We Know the Ending!!

      Why spend so much time trying to deal with issues like this when the scripture doesn’t come anywhere near saying what these men are trying to promote and teach. We have one of the greatest examples of a man who was obviously “delayed” in his marriage but who followed the “Will of God” for his life and got the Blessing of God. I’m talking about the story of Ruth and Boaz. I don’t think he was fretting about why he wasn’t married at a certain age and God helped him.

      People..lost People need the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Only then can they begin to know his word and what they are to do with their lives.

      I really have to finish up now but I just want you to know that I really wish you and Kelly the best in raising your children. I hope this answers your questions. God Bless!

  46. Keri says:

    Hello 6 Arrows….obviously you are waiting for my answer. Right now all I can say is Wow! I have had a lovely day with my family and was unable to check until now.Is there anything else you have left out? I will have to get back to you..I am simply stunned..

    • Keri,

      I’m grateful you are going to respond to these same questions I’ve had all along. I think 6 arrows did a good job respectfully asking for clarification. I wish you wouldn’t say “I’m stunned” because it further complicates an already head-scratching conversation. I would just encourage you to try to remove the emotion from your response and I think it would be a lot easier to hear you.

  47. Keri says:

    Hi Kelly, After reading 6 arrows replies, especially the second one, I was actually taken by complete surprise. If you have read them both which I can assume you have from your remarks..can you not honestly see why I might be a little stunned? I actually read them both to my husband along with my reply and he thought the same thing. I can honestly assure you that I have answered every Question you have asked me so for you to imply that I haven’t, I don’t understand that.

    • Keri,

      I guess I’m surprised too ;-) Let me try to say, one more time, what is eluding us in your comments:

      If you’ll go back and read your comments, especially the ones about Kevin Swanson, you have said he’s “off the wall”, but then provided no evidence for that statement. Your first attempt was to list the title of some videos. NONE of those videos (let me say it again, NONE) were videos that Swanson named. So those titles, (which sounded off the wall, no doubt) were not his titles.

      So I asked you to tell me what he had actually said that was “off the wall to you.” You couldn’t/didn’t. And told me to go listen. I did. I didn’t hear anything off the wall. And yet, you still said you would never listen to him.

      That is bizarre and unfair.

      You said the teaching espoused on the Unmarried trailer was unbiblical. I asked you to explain what you meant. You only provided quotes that a few men said, related to the problem of an umarried epidemic. You quoted them as proof that they were spouting their own opinions and that, in your eyes, they are wrong.

      I pointed out that in the Bible, Paul says those who are forbidding to marry are “hypocrites and liars.” My point was, if the Bible calls out a “problem” with the notion that it’s *good* to delay marriage (or not marry), the men in the trailer were doing no different. So what makes *their* statements wrong when they are echoing sentiments from Scripture?

      I don’t know any other way to be more clear (on top of what 6 arrows has asked). I wouldn’t even be continuing a conversation that seems to be falling on deaf ears except that I feel godly men are being slandered (per 6 arrows definition) and I feel responsible to see that to its end.

  48. 6 arrows says:

    Keri,

    Thank you very much for taking the time to respond to my questions. You have helped to clarify some things for me, and I am grateful for that.

    Your answer to my first question, that you’ve heard approximately 3 to 3 1/2 hours of audios/videos, is, well, better than only a few minutes. ;-) I did not know, though, that there are over 290 radio posts of Kevin Swanson’s on Sermon Audio (plus the countless videos you point out that are under his name, although, as Kelly mentioned earlier, anyone could have put them up, and they may not necessarily contain much of anything Mr. Swanson himself said). In any case, just with 290+ documented audios of him, it is clear he has put out a large volume of content.

    I can understand that, as a busy mom, Keri, it would be difficult to find time to go through all his content. Please know I don’t expect you to do that. Yet I am troubled that with your extremely limited exposure to his teachings — a few hours worth of listening, when there are hundreds of audios and who knows how many videos, is a tiny, tiny percentage of the total volume of his works — you felt justified in pronouncing his teachings “off the wall” (or “odd”, as you now label them). You spoke as if you were an authority on where he is coming from. You clearly are not. You’ve barely scratched the surface in examining his teachings.

    It is patently unfair to make such a pronouncement (“off the wall”) about a man of whom you know so little, and to do it with no documentation whatsoever until enough people call you out on it (Kelly, Jennifer and I). Especially about a man whom you now admit “loves his family, is a good father and husband” and that he “does share some scripture.” Those are important details you failed to acknowledge when you went on your ill-informed rant against this godly man.

    I think most of us who are not in the public eye to a large extent probably don’t fully comprehend how a seemingly inconsequential matter to one person (labeling someone off the wall, for example) can cause a wide ripple effect. Even a small distortion by one person can become a huge misperception by many when all is said and done. It’s like the game of “telephone”, where each person in turn hears/interprets something a little differently, and by the end of the line, the final message is often so altered, it barely resembles the original.

    The only difference is that when this “game” is played on the internet with real people’s beliefs, the end result is not funny.

    Along those lines, here is an excellent article showing how these slanderous distortions affect real people: http://www.challies.com/articles/in-the-crosshairs-of-the-discernment-bloggers Everyone should read this article — it is an important caution for all of us to be wary of how we publicly use our words to speak of other people and their beliefs and lives.

    Regarding the quotes you shared to answer my second question (thank you, by the way): “If we don’t address this issue- We’re done” and ”This is hard to deal with this kind of thing, but men will stand up and say, lets find the real solution. Let’s by faith, by dependence on God, by prayer, fasting, searching scripture, we are going to find the solutions, this is what real men do”…

    I don’t see anything unscriptural in what he said, and you didn’t use any scripture (part of my #3 request) to refute those quotes. In fact, a call to prayer, to searching scripture, and other things he encouraged, is sound doctrine.

    Consider Paul’s First Letter to the Thessalonians, chapter 5, verse 17: “Pray without ceasing.” In other words, don’t stop, deciding that some things really don’t need to be prayed about. God desires our prayers in all matters of life, large and small, including regarding marriage and what He says in His word about it.

    Also look at verse 21 in that chapter: “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.” How do we prove what is the good to which we should cling? By reading the scriptures! “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” 2 Timothy 3:16

    Kevin Swanson also reminded us in that second quote of our dependence on God, which fits well with Proverbs 3:5-6. “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” Swanson’s exhortation to these things — faith, trust, prayer, scriptural study — is foundational to our lives as Christians. I think he’s speaking very biblically there.

    As far as some additional thoughts you shared in your post, Keri, I’ll try to be brief, as I’ve already gone on so long. I’m frequently unsuccessful in that endeavor, though, so…we’ll see. ;-)

    “Just all doom and gloom. I heard no scripture in the trailers of the upcoming movie.” Trailers are short. There is a lot that won’t (can’t) get covered.

    “…he actually makes a joke about his kids watching the school bus drive away with the inmates on it.” Actually, school IS like a prison, with many restrictions on children’s freedom and creativity. (See Kelly’s new post she just put up — it’s an excellent illustration of what most schools are like.) Swanson is making a statement against the typical school model, and is not “mak[ing] fun of these kids.”

    “My concern with what the views I have heard from all of this..Where is the Gospel?” I don’t think this is a legitimate question, as you have listened to so little, proportionately speaking, of Mr. Swanson’s output. Likely it is presented somewhere in the many hours of recordings you haven’t heard yet. Or perhaps you were so intent on listening for specific details to validate your opinion that you missed seeing other details, or the big picture, or the gospel, or any number of things. I don’t mean that as an insult — there are times we all get so focused on one aspect of a thing that everything else fades into the background as to be almost imperceptible. Sometimes that’s a good thing, sometimes not.

    Regarding Boaz and Ruth and his delayed marriage: this is but one story. Since scripture interprets scripture, we need to consider the whole counsel of scripture, rather than choosing one story or one passage that appears to validate our viewpoint going in.

    Finally, I completely agree with you on these statements: “There is great Hope in the Gospel of Jesus Christ!…We can read [God's] word, trust him with our lives…People need the Gospel of Jesus Christ.” Absolutely! Amen.

    My final thought for you is that I understand how important a subject this is to you, Keri. It is for me, too, as I have two children of marriageable age now, and four coming up. Okay, not the six-year-old for a while. ;-) Perhaps you might consider, as I thought about today, watching some of these videos or listening to the audios with your children at home, to become more familiar with just what is in them. (Kevin Swanson’s, and/or Jennifer’s movie when it becomes available.) Make it part of your homeschool curriculum (say, Bible, or Social Studies, or Life Skills) for the one(s) still being homeschooled (the older ones would benefit, too, of course — lifelong learning, you know). Ask questions of your children. “What do you think they’re saying there?” “Is there scriptural justification for that remark?” “Let’s search the scriptures to see ‘whether those things were so.’” (Acts 17:11) It’s a good way to teach children to think biblically, using a variety of materials and learning to view them through the eyes of scripture, which will serve them well in their adult years when they are making decisions about marriage and other important matters in life, which require biblical discernment (as do the small matters, as well, naturally).

    And now, I think I can wrap this up! Thank you for hearing me out, Keri. The topic of marriage, and also of our relationships with others in the internet age — how we speak *to* and *of* them — are of vital importance to me, and is why I was so active, and at times quite firm, on this thread. It is always my hope to represent Christ well, and I sincerely hope I have done so in this discussion.

    I want to thank you for your blessing, in wishing me the best in raising my children. And the same to you, Keri! God bless you and your family.

  49. Keri says:

    Kelly, I really feel sorry for you! I have answered every thing with complete honesty here and have never twisted my words in manipulation as you have done many times with me. Please don’t ask me to quote as I’m sure you can go back and read them. You may do well to reread the last sentence you wrote me! You just had to chime in with your smart remarks and the don’t go unnoticed.

  50. Keri says:

    Oh ..in your next remark, make sure you point out how emotional that was!!Geesh…..

    • Keri,

      I guess I’ll take down my comment. When I read your comment in my inbox, I had NO idea what “smart remarks” you were talking about. I honestly felt better about this conversation–I thought you had done a good job explaining yourself better and I was responding in kind. I had no feelings of “being emotional” or anything. I guess I’m back to square one trying to figure this thing out :-P Your comments throw me for a loop.

  51. Keri says:

    Honestly could have fooled me! I don’t believe you anymore. If you really mean it..take it down then Thankyou..

  52. Heather says:

    Kari,
    You are absolutely right. I looked up Kevin Swanson (I had never heard of him before) and listened to some of his radio shows. I agree with your “off the wall” assessment. He and his co-host seem to delight in putting others down (specifically women and gays).

    For instance, in his radio show dated 1/22/2013, he categorizes feminists into two categories—the “cute” ones and the “ugly” ones. He continues by stating that “Neither one of them [feminists and homosexuals] have a high regard for the family or for the Word of God.” And his co-host replies with, “That’s true. And they’re the ones destroying society.” Swanson also states that history will look back on feminists as “family-destroying whores.”

    How is this kind of rhetoric helpful? How does this spread Jesus’ message of love? I find it appalling that these two men have a radio show where they proclaim to be discussing things from a Biblical perspective—and instead are name-calling, for lack of a better term, and snickering about it in a way that sounds very immature.

    • Heather,

      Your references to the broadcast are both misquoted and taken out of context. The cohost made a point about feminists who “unattractiveness” made it difficult for them to have a certain kind of power so they sought it elsewhere. The allusion has more to do with being “ugly” because they’re so angry. He doesn’t say “cute” at any point.

      I couldn’t find his last comment, but it would seem a natural statement to come after some of the events he was talking about happening on campuses (orgies, etc.)

      Here’s the link: https://generationswithvision.com/broadcast/rising-college-costs-driving-prostitution-feminism-vs-family-economies/

      If you think for a minute that the “love of Jesus” doesn’t include the righteous judgement that is coming against those who reject Him, you do not know the God that you serve. His Word speaks much more fearfully about the wicked and those who do not love Him than Swanson dared to speak.

      If we don’t embrace the full gospel, we are wasting time.

      • Heather says:

        Kelly,
        No, I did not misquote or take anything out of context. At about 8:47 minutes in, Kevin says “so you have the cute feminists” and his co-host agrees with, “Right.” At 9:14 he pressures his co-host, who was talking about some feminists being attractively challenged, to come right out and call them “ugly.”

        The “family destroying whores” reference was said by the co-host at around 15:51.

        I encourage your readers to go listen to the broadcast through the link you provided, so that they can hear the both the context and the tone in which these things were said.

        I do wonder, Kelly, in what context you feel it is EVER appropriate for two men to sit around and categorize women as “cute” and “ugly”?

    • Keri says:

      Heather, Thanks for sharing that one. I actually went on the link that Kelly shared. When talking about the feminists, they do say cute.They also refer to them as “attractive deficient, “attractively challenged” and “ugly”. The sarcastic spirit in these men is so disgusting. I almost felt like I was going to throw up!

      I honestly don’t know why anyone would listen to these and believe that they are “Gospel Truth”. He and his co-host seem to remind me more of what a sarcastic Christian Rush L. would sound like.

      God’s word does speak a lot about righteous judgement and the fear of the Lord but this is not it!!

      Honestly, what is the Point of their conversations!! They are not Sermons. What this man teaches is not the “Full Gospel” It is sick and sarcastic rhetoric! Do we honestly not know the difference?

      • Heather says:

        Keri,I agree.

        I would further add that these two men are treating “feminist” as a dirty word. Feminism is simply the belief in equal rights for women. That does not exclude women from following Christ. It has nothing to do with not valuing family. It has nothing to do with being in control of your husband. It has everything to do with rejecting a worldview that women should be talked down to, made fun of (like they are in this radio program), or put in their place. Women are not second class citizens.

        Just like any movement, there are extremes. I would say that any branch of feminism that seeks to degrade men is wrong (and it considered extreme, and in the minority). I worry about extreme views in any movement or religion, Christianity included. However, they weren’t discussing men-bashing feminism, but rather included all of feminism regardless of the agenda.

        I don’t find these men credible, because they also make assertions that are completely untrue. Things like, “All of them [feminists] want to be free from the family. They want to be free from a husband.” (7:33) Really? I’m wondering if these two men have ever actually met any feminists?

        I am a Christian, a feminist, and a homeschooling mother. I have many friends who are also Christians and feminists. The two are not mutually exclusive. We love our families. If we didn’t want a husband and children, well, we wouldn’t have gotten married and had children. My faith, my husband and my children are the most important things in the world to me.

        They also assert that “Her feminist professors have told her her husband will abuse her, she will be like a slave to him.” (7:15)
        What? Have they ever taken any college courses with feminist professors? I have a master’s degree and I also attended law school. I had several feminist professors, and I can assure you that nothing like that was ever said or implied!

        All around, the broadcast was disrespectful to women, and did nothing to advance Christianity. I would say it actually hurts Christianity. Sad, because they took a relevant topic that Christians should be aware of (the Sugar Daddy trend is disturbing) and totally discredited themselves from adding anything of value to the table. Oh, and for the record, most feminists also find the Sugar Daddy trend disturbing.

        • Keri says:

          Heather, I would agree that the Sugar Daddy trend thing was completely disturbing. I had forgotten to mention that in my first comment.

        • Heather,

          I went back and listened to those places–glad I did. And you’re right, they are there. Still, the context is completely lost and IT MATTERS.

          The entire broadcast was leaning on the despicable “Sugar Daddy” thing going on at major universities, where it’s becoming OK for a young, feminist college student to provide “services” for her Sugar Daddy in order to have her degree funded. And yes, this is the mindset that spawns out of feminism, regardless of how much you would like to think it’s sweet and innocent and only about “equality.”

          So to make a reference to the family being destroyed by “whoredom” is quite accurate and nothing the Bible doesn’t say. It was spoken in earnest, too, and not in jest.

          They were also making an interesting point about there being two classes of feminism: attractive women who use that as part of their power, and unattractive women who must find other ways to wield power. You made it sound like 2 guys were just having an irrelevant conversation and making fun of women. This isn’t the case. And whether you think the host was wrong or not for saying “ugly”, it doesn’t discredit his entire belief system or testimony (which was how this original thread got started.) Goodness knows I’ve said many things that were tacky or didn’t represent Christ in the best light, but I would hope that doesn’t discredit me as a Christian or make my voice invalid.

          Frankly, I think we need to be a bit more tough-skinned about the use of language, especially when discussing things that are ripping the family apart and are the source of great righteous indignation. Christianity isn’t all butterflies and pretty skies and the love of Christ demands occasional indignation. I’ll take a leader who, in his frustration with the rejection of God’s laws speaks out of turn every once in a while, over a smiley, feel-good one who just wants everybody to be happy and feel fuzzy.

          The feminism thing, Heather, is a problem. And I don’t have time to unpack it all here. But suffice it to say, no matter how you personally feel about your feminism, the feminist influence on our country is destructive. And even in the third wave, where women are honest, there is anger, resentment and bitterness constantly raising its head against the traditional family.

          We all believe in equality. But the kind of feminism being addressed in the broadcast is the kind that is destroying us.

          Ironically, a fun link I ran across before this conversation this morning: Get Married & Be Submissive

          • Heather says:

            Kelly,

            It’s the spirit of the conversation of this broadcast that I take issue with. It is very evident that these two men were being disrespectful. It is never right to disrespect another human being. It is never right for men to categorize women as “cute” or “ugly” or “attractive deficient” or “attractively challenged.”

            So yes, this takes credibility away from the serious point they were trying to get across.
            Again, I do encourage your readers to listen to it for themselves.

            • 6 arrows says:

              Heather,

              Thanks for mentioning this broadcast. I listened to it last night and again today. I don’t hear it the way you do.

              The part from around the 8-minute mark to about the 10-minute mark (the “attractiveness” section) might be controversial to some people (though it wasn’t to me), but as a woman, I didn’t feel disrespected, “talked down to, made fun of…put in [my] place”, or treated as a “second class citizen[...].”

              Those approximately two minutes I referenced above, plus another similar, brief mention around the 19-minute mark, constitute less than 10% of the entire recording. I thought the rest of it was quite a serious discussion of a troubling current trend.

              I do not believe, as you do, that they “totally discredited themselves from adding anything of value to the table.” I didn’t know a lot about this topic, so I am thankful that they did bring these ideas to the table. It was a valuable discussion for me to listen to, and I thank you for calling my attention to it.

              • Keri says:

                Oh my goodness…lol..Polite as you may be six arrows, even my husband has asked me why you and Kelly would defend this type of teaching!

                • Oh my goodness…lol…even my husband has asked me why you would be so bent out of shape about this broadcast. (True story.)

                  It goes both ways, Keri, let it rest.

                  • Keri says:

                    I promise this will be it. It’s not about being bent out of shape about one broadcast. It’s about being concerned as a Christian over the Extreme..and it is Extreme views and teachings of this rhetoric mush. We honestly have a responsibility as Christians to teach and preach the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and this isn’t it! To also promote a movie that is based on their agenda(I know those are strong words)but when you are going to sell it as Bible truth..and it’s not..what else could one call it. All one really has to do is look on the fb pages of the movie and man mentioned and its all out there. I hope people will be discerning and search the scriptures themselves.. That’s all!!

                    • What agenda? (There wasn’t even enough in the trailer for you to get “an agenda”, except that delaying marriage is a problem. You don’t think it is?)
                      “Extreme?” You mean the way Jesus was extreme and people hated him because he used words that sounded harsh and made them feel uncomfortable? It’s all out there.” That’s vague. What is? Search the Scripture themselves. Now THAT’S good advice.

                    • 6 arrows says:

                      This will be my last comment on the thread, too, Keri, as I will be offline quite a bit in the next five weeks preparing for a piano show.

                      My concluding thought is that I’ve found it rather interesting and curious your heavy involvement on this thread, as most of your children are adults and you said (on February 1 at 4:41 pm), “What’s a parent to do? Herein lies a MAJOR problem!!!! We are talking about adults. Christian adults!! I don’t know what else to say!!! Do you believe in betrothal or something?…Adults people!!” Like you’re saying our adult children should be making their own decisions about marriage, and we parents really don’t need to be very involved in that process.

                      I would have thought that, to be consistent, you would have sent your adult children to read this post and comments (and maybe you did), but also refrained from speaking out so much yourself, letting them decide for themselves what they think of this topic of encouraging early marriage.

                      Just kind of a curiosity to me, your outspokenness to us, but your (seemingly) relatively hands-off philosophy regarding marriage decisions of your adult children. No need to explain, but I did find this whole discussion very interesting.

                      Take care.

                    • Keri says:

                      6 arrows, The next time you go to quote me, you might want to get it right. My response was to Jennifer..who said in her comments above mine on Feb.1, “What’s a Parent to Do”? Then I went on to respond to that. Yes- I completely agree that our Adult children should be making their own decisions about marriage but I never implied that we parents don’t need to be very involved in that process. Our adult children do come to us for counsel.I’m thankful for that.

                      You would have thought that for me to be consistent, that I would have Sent my adult kids to read this and that I would have refrained from speaking out so much myself letting them decide for themselves what they think of the topic of encouraging early marriage.

                      I don’t “Send” them to anything! They are adults. Just so you know and because you asked or implied things, I did tell them about it all. They watched the trailer for the movie. They are Strong Christians and can think for themselves. My 27 yr.old son did a little research on his own and I don’t think you would like what he said! He did agree from one of the comments that he does believe that to many young people are choosing to live together then get married. I think we can all agree on that.

                      I don’t know why you would make the comment about (my seemingly)relatively hands-off policy regarding marriage decisions of your adult children. I already said quite a while ago that they come to us for counsel and that we encourage them and try to help them. Being that they are adults..The choice is ultimately up to them. Doesn’t mean we don’t care or encourage and help them.. Hope this just clarifies it all for you.

                    • 6 arrows says:

                      Yes, that definitely clarifies things.

                      “6 arrows, The next time you go to quote me, you might want to get it right.”

                      Good job, Keri. You have clarified just how well you’re catching on to the art of dishing out sarcasm. See, it’s not so bad, is it? :-P

                      Oh, oops, sorry, I forgot. It’s only bad when someone else uses it.

                      My bad.

                      ;-)

  53. Keri says:

    Kelly, I really hope you don’t mind me asking this. Why do you think it would even be necessary for these two men to even be discussing the “Sugar Daddy” issue. I’m sure that this is a problem and that it really is happening, but honestly why the need to discuss it and with the way they did under the guise of a Christian Radio Show.

    I don’t think anybody here would disagree with you that there are things in this culture that are tearing our Christian Values apart.

    When the make fun of..Yes, it’s disgusting the way it was done, why would you think we need to be more tough skinned about the language.

    So, you will take a leader who talks like this? No one is saying here that the Christian life is all butterflies and skies and all of that.

    There is honestly just a better way to do it, Don’t you think? This was truly just disgusting!

    • Keri,

      Obviously people receive and process information much differently. There was nothing disgusting to me in this broadcast. They were spot on.

      To answer your question, “Why discuss it?” Why not? Why shouldn’t Christians be discussing things that are destroying the family so that we can proactively seek to remedy them?

      Why do I write things I write here? Why does any author, radio broadcaster, pastor, etc, discuss topics like this?

      I find that question odd. So odd it’s hard to answer. If we aren’t made aware of the dangers of the feminist movement (for example) and the different ways it is seeping into our lives, how are we supposed to put on the whole armor of God and stand against its forces? How many parents know about the “Sugar Daddy” activity going on in some Universities? (By the way, you misunderstood Heather’s reference to it. She wasn’t saying she was bothered by Swanson’s talk of it, but by the trend in general.)

      If we aren’t talking about these cultural things from a biblical standpoint, what good are we?

    • Keri says:

      LOL…Seriously 6arrows! I hope you feel better after saying all that..

      • 6 arrows says:

        I do. ;-) I’m finding a lot of humor in this thread.

        Did I just say, “I do” on a post about marriage? :-P

        • Keri says:

          Lol..good for you!! Now get back to your piano woman!!..rofl..

          • 6 arrows says:

            LOL! Yes, ma’am. :-D

            • Keri says:

              Good way to end it! Maybe we should go on the other page now where they are trying to harass Kelly and Bria over going on a missions trip and cheer them up…good grief.. and you all thought I was awful!! Good night now.

              • 6 arrows says:

                Good night. ;-)

              • 6 arrows says:

                Not sure if you’ll see this, Keri, almost a week after the fact, but I am now under the Holy Spirit’s conviction that the way to end my commentary on this thread is for me to apologize for my sarcasm toward you. (I’m referring particularly to my last comment before the #53 section of comments — February 20 at 1:55 pm.)

                I think sarcasm has its place — sometimes — but I believe I stepped over a line and misused it in directing it toward you.

                I am sorry.

                Peace and blessings to you, Keri.

                • Keri says:

                  I actually just caught it and was wondering if I should even look..lol. Glad I did! All is forgiven 6 arrows. I always thought you were the ” nice one” and now I really know that you are!!

                  • 6 arrows says:

                    Thank you, Keri — you are great! :-)

                    And you also set me up to get the 200th comment on this thread, which is kind of fun :-D

                    Have a wonderful rest of the week!

  54. Keri says:

    Okay, I have to just say that I find it unbelievable for you to say they were spot on.

    I knew about it(The Sugar Daddy)thing but didn’t know it had that title. What disgusted me the most was the way these men talked about it. The way they talk about these things. They are very sarcastic and don’t seem to have the discernment to go about it without constantly making fun of people.

    There is a Better Way to do it. As Christians, shouldn’t we be choosing the better way of exposing these things without sounding like worldly talk show hosts who want to make a mockery of those who don’t know Christ. We can expose those things for the grotesque ways that they are. Honestly, in my church..our Pastor manages to expose the evils around us and uses tons of scripture and explanation but doesn’t come anywhere near this.Anyone ever listened to Truthforlife by Alistair Begg. He comes on the radio daily and doesn’t come near this.

    There is a Huge Difference!!

    • Heather says:

      Yes, Keri!

      It’s the way these two were discussing things that bothered me. The sarcasm, mockery, disrespect. Seems like they just enjoy making fun of people.

      I agree, there is a better way.

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