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Dear R,

I feel honored that you have asked for my thoughts! I hope they will be a blessing to you and your wife and son and his girlfriend.

Short answer: If I had to do it over, I would still get married at 19. 🙂

Longer answer: After seven years of marriage and many years of watching friends date, get married, and after watching a few divorces, I do have a lot of thoughts about when to marry and how to marry.

My perspective is that age, in and of itself, is a neutral. Some people are ready for marriage at 19, some most definitely are not. I do believe that getting married and staying married is much easier, more enjoyable and more peaceful when the couple has had some training and if they have been intentional with their time before marriage.

I think the key is finding the balance between how long a couple can last not being married and staying pure, and how long they should know each other and experience life together before being in covenant with each other.

I have had several friends meet, get engaged to and then marry a person all in a year or less. It is probably possible to do this well, but in the relationships I have seen, meeting and marrying this quickly usually means that the people do not know each other very well and find out A LOT of stuff about themselves as individuals and as a couple, after the wedding day. From what I’ve seen this leads to a lot of drama, emotion, inability to work through things quickly and easily, etc… Its like these couples go through the phases of really getting to know each other as individuals and as a couple, after they become husband and wife which seems to really, really complicate the heart and how the heart deals with issues. Again, this is just what I have seen, I don’t know that it means it always HAS to be this way.

At the same time, we have seen a few couples date for many years and be incredibly impure and because of their impurity (the guilt from it, the bad patterns it created in their relationship, the distraction that it was that kept them from spending their time intentionally, etc.) still have the drama and the struggle after the wedding day because though they had the QUANTITY of time they might have needed, they did not experience the QUALITY of time that is needed to prepare well for a marriage relationship.

SO, all that to say- I believe if a couple pursues purity AND uses their time before marriage to get to know each other WELL, uses that time to get counsel and training from people who love them and who they love and respect, and uses that time to experience some life together (i.e.- don’t just go on dates all the time and spend all their energy trying to impress each other and romance each other but spend time LIVING LIFE together- serving, working, spending time with each others families, talking about the DIFFICULT subjects, arguing well, planning for their future, etc.), then yes, getting married at 19 can go very smoothly and be one of the best decisions that couple has ever made.

Also- there are some realities of life that may not be ideal for the timing of marriage (being in college, having to move around a lot, not having a lot of money, etc…) and can make things slightly more challenging for the early years of marriage, but I believe (based on my own experience, with Chaz being in school and with us being dirt poor!-although we didn’t really know it at the time, how poor we were, haha) that if the couple has a solid foundation and the training to deal with life’s issues, that those harder times can actually make the couple STRONGER, teach them a lot, help them to grow and make them more thankful in the long run.

I think those are all my thoughts for now. I hope they make sense and I hope they help! I know the feeling of wanting what is best for your child and wanting them to make good choices and struggling to see it their way when they don’t completely agree with you!

I hope and I pray that God gives each of you peace and wisdom during this time to know what is best and to love and be connected with each other no matter the direction all of this takes! And I pray a spirit of beauty, of Godly success, of love and vision over you, your wife, your son and his girl during this phase of life.

You all are in my thoughts and in my prayers. Please let me know if there is anything I can do or say to help during this time! I remember it so well. 🙂

Love you guys!!

~Echo~

P.S. If you can find the time, please keep me updated on this situation. You all will continue to be on my heart.

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