Trend: Youth Saving Marriage For Later

by | Nov 20, 2012 | Man

When we were working on our workshop on purity for boys, we were surprised at some of the research we found that says that the average age of first (and hopefully only!) marriage has gone up drastically in the last generation. For men, the median age has gone up from 22 or 23 to 28 and for women, it’s gone up from 20 or 21 to 26.

The median age at the onset of puberty has dropped from 16 or 17 in the 1850’s to 11 or 12 now. That means that our sons and daughters are fighting the battles of purity without the help of marriage for much, much longer than previous generations, as long as 17 years or more!

Careers Becoming the Priority

We’ve been thinking a lot about why people are getting married so much later. There are probably many reasons: some young women feeling like they need to get a career off the ground before they marry, some young men lacking ambition and playing video games instead of getting out and getting settled in their careers, an increase in those going to college or graduate school (especially among women) and also, just the terrible economy.

The worst reason is that the culture of marriage is dwindling in our culture. In the 60s, 80% or more of 25 to 34 year olds were married, now it’s 45% or less. This is true despite research showing that married people live longer and are happier.

What is puzzling to us is that we’re seeing the same rise in median age of marriage in the Christian and homeschool community and at least anecdotally, we’re hearing lots of young women feeling ready for marriage and asking, “Where are the guys?” Of course, the economy affects all of us, and increased levels of education pretty much do, too, but we’d hope that there would be fewer couch potato guys among the Christians!

 

We think there are a couple of things behind it: unreasonable expectations and cultural bleedover.

When we first heard about courtship, we liked the idea from the start—don’t start pursuing a wife until you’re going to be able to support one and when you do, go about it honorably with both sets of parents involved. So far, so good, but we were surprised when we heard others advocate that a young man be so settled that he owns a house debt free. Wow.

Most of the people I know didn’t own a house debt free until their fifties—that kind of precludes grandchildren! In recent years, I’ve heard those views moderated, but the high expectations for young men financially have been heard loud and clear by the young men themselves. In a conversation recently with several young college men and college graduates, they expressed despair. Most were working outside their field of study and making a third what they’d expected to be making at this point.

They said, “There’s no way I can approach a father about his daughter. I may not be able to for years at this rate.” I wonder if some of the girls and their fathers might actually be willing to accept a hard-working young man who just isn’t making much, but will the young men ask when they’re afraid they don’t meet the standard.

Cultural Situation Factors In

I remember when a college graduate we know said once, “Man, I hope the Lord brings the right one around soon!” Someone immediately spoke up, “Oh no! There’s plenty of time for that. Have some fun, go to graduate school, spend time on yourself first.”

The speaker was a Christian, but it’s just the expected response these days. In fact, if a young man is going to be prepared to take his place as a husband and father, he needs some encouragement in that direction.

He who finds a wife finds a good thing,And obtains favor from the Lord. (Proverbs 18:22)

Marriage is a Good Thing

Are we telling them that marriage is a good thing? It’s probably not occurred to many of us. I mean, you talk to your girls about marriage and family life, you can hardly avoid it, they are playing and talking about it from the time they’re babies themselves. But, what about the boys? It just doesn’t come up that much. And, it’s going to come up less and less if we leave it to the culture.

Instead, we need to be teaching our boys that being a husband and father is a noble thing. We need to help them see that marrying, fathering children, and raising them in the nurture and admonition of the Lord is one of the most effective ways to change the future. That through leading a family, they will be producing a new generation of warriors for Christ.

Equip Your Boys

Teach them to follow Christ, and to stand alone when they must. Encourage them to be men, to be responsible, to handle independence well. Tell them the stories of great men and teach them not to be afraid of hardship.

When we were first married, we were so poor, we’d share a can of soup for lunch, but we wouldn’t trade those years for any amount of comfort. We need to help them get committed to the local church and learn to lead a family spiritually. We need to teach them to have courage and persistence—even in approaching a girl’s stern-looking father. It’s worth it.

After all, we want grandchildren, don’t you?

What do you think? Do we need to be teaching our sons more about the goodness of marriage or is this late marriage a good thing?

Click here for the original article at raisingrealmen.com.

Hal and Melanie Young, authors of the Christian Small Publishers Association 2011 Book of the Year, Raising Real Men, are parents of six boys and two girls. They have homeschooled through eight high-risk pregnancies, three re-locations, two decades, and 181 degrees of longitude. Hal and Melanie have served on the Board of Directors of North Carolinians for Home Education for over 14 years, including three terms as President for Hal.

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

Why America Must Adopt the Battle Cry of Isaiah

Why America Must Adopt the Battle Cry of Isaiah

A battle cry is used to summon armies to war. A loud, unified shout could intimidate the strongest of enemies. Confidence in battle often tilts the scale toward victory, whereas timidity, fear and cowardliness will surely lead to defeat. In these dreadful times, don’t...

Intentionally Raising a Godly Generation

Intentionally Raising a Godly Generation

Debbie put her faith in Christ at age 11. In fact, her whole family met Jesus at just about the same time. As her parents began growing in their faith, they nurtured growth in their children as well. Family Bible reading, prayer and talking about God’s leading in...

Dream Big: How to Cultivate Divine Revelation While You Sleep

Dream Big: How to Cultivate Divine Revelation While You Sleep

Do you have any dreams from God that you have allowed to fall by the wayside? For some of you, it’s time to dream again. For some of you, it’s time to dust off your previous dreams. For some of you, it’s important to realize God is not late; He’s always on time. For...

Prophecy: God Is Bringing About Swift Turnarounds

Prophecy: God Is Bringing About Swift Turnarounds

In the month of August, God is bringing swift turnarounds so that your hard places will become a wide-open field. God is bringing about divine connections in order to strengthen the body of Christ. He is releasing faith for radical generosity, divine strategy to...

End-Times Truth: The Rapture Reveals a Split Church

End-Times Truth: The Rapture Reveals a Split Church

There are several resurrections and raptures in the Bible. I cannot understand those who argue that because there is no mention of the word "rapture" in the Bible they do not believe in it. They only believe in the Second Coming of the Lord. Some arguments are no...

Charisma Highlights: 7 Abilities for a New Agility in This Era

Charisma Highlights: 7 Abilities for a New Agility in This Era

Following are snippets of the top stories posted on charismamag.com over the past week. We encourage you to visit the links to read the stories in full. 7 Abilities for a New Agility in This Era The Lord first began speaking to me about the release of seven abilities...

As a Believer, Have You Been Hiding During This Culture War?

As a Believer, Have You Been Hiding During This Culture War?

Many years ago, Jesus went up on a mountain, sat down, and spoke to the group he was with: “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all...

10 Traits of Effective Churches During the Global Pandemic

10 Traits of Effective Churches During the Global Pandemic

In the past few years, the global pandemic has exposed the weaknesses of many local churches. Friends from around the world have told me that many churches have closed their doors for good. Although most churches have not returned to their pre-pandemic attendance...

RECENT ARTICLES

The Supernatural Secrets of Real Revival

What does an authentic world-igniting revival look like? And, how are the seeds of revival planted? This we can learn from the life and work of William Joseph Seymour—God’s chosen vessel and apostle...
Spiritually Speaking, How Healthy Is Your Heart?

Spiritually Speaking, How Healthy Is Your Heart?

Once a year, I go to the doctor and get a check-up. And every time, one of the things they do is check my heart. A good thorough exam will reveal if there are any problems that need to be addressed before a heart condition arises. I believe we need to do the same...

Prophetic Word: The Lord Says, ‘I Am Releasing My Firebrands’

Prophetic Word: The Lord Says, ‘I Am Releasing My Firebrands’

Recently while in worship, I was talking to the Lord when this prophetic flow began to come forth. I took out my phone and pressed record. This is the transcription of that word I received: "God, I see the firebrands rising up. God, I see the firebrands rising up. I...

How You Can Begin to Heal From Unanswered Prayer

How You Can Begin to Heal From Unanswered Prayer

The best way to grow in the prophetic is to look at the past. As backwards as that sounds, Revelation 19:10 tells us, “For the testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of Prophecy.” In other translations, this is said, “For the essence of prophecy is to give a clear witness...

Living in the Tension of Two Distinct Worlds

Living in the Tension of Two Distinct Worlds

As a professional counselor, I have consoled hundreds of Christians through some of the most horrific life circumstances. Along with experiencing my own trials in life, it has caused me to deeply ponder the words of Scripture that refer to how we must learn to live in...

Kingdom Economics: Who Do You Trust?

Kingdom Economics: Who Do You Trust?

The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released its first of three estimates for second quarter Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Second-quarter inflation-adjusted (real) GDP fell at an annual rate of 0.9%, compared to a drop of 1.6% in the first quarter, and pre-report...

Pin It on Pinterest

[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]