I came across this blog by Karen Swallow Prior about marrying young, on Jill Stanek’s website, a pro-life speaker/columnist .
It’s a good read and thought I would share it:
There are costs to delaying marriage, a phenomenon that has reached a new threshold, with the average age of marriage for men reaching the historic high of 29 and women 27….
While men and women are waiting longer to marry, they aren’t waiting quite so long to have children. The average age at which a woman first gives birth (25.7) is now earlier than the average age of first marriage (26.5), a phenomenon… which brings with it all of the well-documented concerns that surround the rearing of children outside of wedlock.
Unmarried twenty-somethings are more likely to be depressed, drink excessively, and report lower levels of satisfaction than their married counterparts…
Marriage has become… “hedonistic,” based on the exponential amount of pleasure – material, emotional, sexual, familial, you name it – that can be derived from the coupling of two individuals….
Culturally, young adults have increasingly come to see marriage as a “capstone” rather than a “cornerstone” – that is, something they do after they have all their other ducks in a row, rather than a foundation for launching into adulthood and parenthood.
Interestingly… much of the pressure to delay marriage comes from parents who encourage their children to finish their education before marrying….
Looking back over a marriage of nearly three decades… [n]ow as a college-educated, doctorate-holding woman, I can attest that marrying young (at age 19) was most beneficial: to me, to my husband, and to the longevity of our marriage. Our achievements have come, I am convinced, not despite our young marriage, but because of it…. We invested the vigor of our youth not in things to bring into the marriage, but in each other and our marriage….
Such a model of marriage reflects the conclusion Regnerus drew from his research,
Marriage actually works best as a formative institution, not an institution you enter once you think you’re fully formed. We learn marriage, just as we learn language, and to the teachable, some lessons just come easier earlier in life….
Washington Post columnist Michelle Singletary also wrote a good piece on this:
But there’s a consequence to waiting to get married.
“The biggest downside to delayed marriage in America is that many young adults are now putting the baby carriage before marriage,” said report co-author and National Marriage Project director Bradford Wilcox, a U.Va. sociology professor. “What they often don’t realize is that children born outside of marriage are significantly more likely to be exposed to a revolving cast of caretakers and the social, emotional and financial fallout associated with family instability and single parenthood.”
I have maintained for some time that delaying marriage not only increases the likelihood of bringing damaged hearts to it, it also upends our biological clocks.
It’s difficult if not tortuous to promote abstinence at the same time one promotes delaying marriage. Doing so betrays the God-given and biologically proven sexual urges of youth.
Delaying marriage is a huge contributor to abortion. According to the CDC, unmarried mothers account for 84.3% of all abortions. Also according to the CDC, 29.6% of all abortion are committed between the ages of 20-24, followed by 21.6% in the 25-29 age group.
The spike in infertility problems can in part be contributed to delayed childbearing and abortion/STDs. In a piece, “Infertility: An emerging priority,” the CDC wrote:
Challenges to human fertility may arise from many conditions caused by genetic abnormalities, infectious or environmental agents, and certain behaviors. Natural aging processes also place a limit to human fertility…. Recent trends toward postponing age at first pregnancy have highlighted the natural limits of fertility and accelerated the development and use of medical technology to overcome such limits. The proportion of first births to women aged 30 years and older has increased more than fourfold since 1975, from 5% to 24% in 2006.
Lowered infertility would also bring fewer children killed by IVF. Between 44 and 60% of all children conceived for IVF die during the process. That number doesn’t include the 600,000+ “access” preborn children now living in frozen suspended animation who haven’t yet been implanted.
Well, enough of my soapbox.
What do you think?
Weep No More