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    Quotables: Young and in Love

    July 13, 2011 by Brandy Vencel


    Young and in Love:
    Challenging the Unnecessary
    Delay of Marriage
    by Ted Cunningham


    I am a promarriage pastor. I believe God created marriage to be enjoyed between a man and woman for a lifetime. The only part of creation that God declared as “not good” was man’s singleness, and throughout Scripture marriage is normative, while singleness is the exception. So young men need to start approaching young women, falling in love, and getting married–it’s biblical. I believe Satan has duped our culture into believing the lie that says, “Marriage is the problem, not man.” He has convinced us that one of the best ways to prosper in life is to abstain from marriage or at least delay it as long as possible. {p. 13}

    Marrying young is not the problem. {p. 17}

    For us, marriage was a milestone at the front end of adulthood, not the back end, and we genuinely looked forward to marriage and figuring out our lives together. {p. 19}

    In truth, we were taught to honor celibacy and purity and not marriage. {p. 26}

    I would go so far as to say that encouraging young people to abstain from marriage falls into the category of a demonic doctrine. {p. 31}

    Some of you guys need to consider marrying the single moms in the church and adopting their children as your own. When you do that, do you know what you are? You are a man.

    After preaching this text from I Timothy, a man in his midfifties approached me with tears in his eyes. He said, “Ted, all morning while you were speaking, I thought about my stepdad. he married my mom and took in all seven of her children and adopted us as his own. He as the greatest man I have ever known.” {p. 62}

    Marriage and family therapist Ryan Pannell defines prolonged adolescence as having too much privilege and not enough responsibility. {p. 68}

    [T]here’s a difference between a rushed marriage and a young marriage. {p. 83}

    Professor Mark Regnerus addressed this issue: “Marrying young can spell poverty, at least temporarily…Good marriages grow through struggles, including economic ones.”

    Let me interpret that for you. Think egg-crate furniture and a mattress on the floor, not Ethan Allen or Posturepedic. Think top ramen or spaghetti at home for dinner most nights, not Applebee’s. Grab Folgers on the way out the door in the morning, not Starbucks on the way to work. {p. 103}

    Modern entitlement makes us want things now, things our parents might have spent thirty years accumulating. {p. 104}

    Consider cheaper weddings. {p. 109}

    Independence trumps oneness in a marriage. As a pastor who regularly does marriage counseling, I see independence as one of the leading causes of marital conflict. {p. 115}

    I talk to adult children all the time who are still calling home in their twenties and thirties asking their parents for money. Then they get frustrated with their “controlling” parents. My first counsel to them is to get the Star Wars bedsheets off the bed. It’s time to grow up! {p. 131}

    Moral laxity is the number one cause of divorce in this country. Debt, adultery, and broken promises are symptoms of a spouse’s lack of character. {p. 137}

    Twenty years into marriage, laziness is not cute. {p. 143}

    Money does not cause divorce, and money is not the root of all evil. It is the love of money that is evil. Just remember, when you say for richer or for poorer, you’ll probably start off poor. {p. 198}

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  • Reply Silvia July 15, 2011 at 4:49 am

    I forgot, I could write long about my previous year in Mexico, before the States… that was not frugal, it was straight on poor, but I loved it.
    My bed had a hole where I put my clothes. I had to collect a weeks worth of dirty clothes, and roll them in a luggage to the washateria, ja ja ja, lavanderia there, and I had no money for drying it, so back with the luggage and wet clothes.
    I worked at a restaurant of very poor means but great food. I used to wash a big pan, a comal, every afternoon after the second round of meals that I took by foot to different places around.
    That was a great boot camp, yes, it helped me mature, but only because I did not mature a bit at a time at home in Madrid. There is a better way to mature, like you, and no, though you are not as seasoned as with age, you and Mystie where at the point you had to be, along with your husbands, and that’s all it’s needed.

  • Reply Silvia July 15, 2011 at 4:44 am

    Oh, I agree and love your ramblings.
    And despite of being much older than you when I married, we also lived poor. A bit before I got married, I was in the right path.
    When I came to the States I had nothing at all. I lived with a room mate that had to pay rent for both, I kept a book of what I owed her which I paid till the last cent from the first payments I got.
    I slept in a sleeping bag for a year, and lived very frugally before frugal was fashion. Today’s frugal can be expensive too.
    I see that mentality permeate everywhere, not just here, in Europe too. Some have gotten so used to their parents wealth and commodities, that now they don’t marry, or if they do they totally aspire to the same things their parents have.
    And yes, I know that if their husbands are true christian men they’d be the best they can. We tell them that now, that life is easier with a God fearing and God obeying man.

  • Reply Brandy @ Afterthoughts July 15, 2011 at 3:43 am


    I think fathers are usually hesitant to relinquish their daughters, regardless! 🙂 I can’t say that my husband and I would have qualified as “mature” when we got married, but we were definitely as ready as we’d ever be. When I talk to single girls, I tell them to look for a guy who has a heart to please God. Because they all have faults, and life will insist on throwing curve balls, but a man who wants to follow God will be brought through by God, and that allows us to rest in God, too.

    One of the things I was thinking about in reading the book, and the author brought this out, is that our culture has a number of idols it values more than marriage that we parents are going to have to get over in order to let our children marry. Things like a college degree and wealth stuck out to me. My husband had a job when we got married–a real job at an advertising agency–but it paid beans, and we were pregnant three months later, so suddenly there would be another mouth to feed. What I learned through all of that is that it really isn’t a big deal to be poor, as long as the couple is prepared to *live* poor. We had no cable, no internet access, and a tiny garage apartment, etc. I think it’s when the young couples have the impression, like the author said, that they have to have all the same stuff their parents have in order to be married that it starts to be a problem.

    Now I’m rambling…Sorry!

  • Reply Silvia July 15, 2011 at 3:21 am

    I agree with you. Marring young is great, and no, don’t believe that tale about being more mature at 30! I married at 29 and 10 months… because I had been stupidly lost, and because I did not meet my husband until 28. If I could have been the same finally decent person I was at 27 before, and I would have seen my husband as I saw him when we met, I would have married him at that age for sure. I wish so much to have married earlier, but in my case it worked at the time, not because of maturity, but because of too much wandering and living a bad wasted life.
    Anyway, I’m totally pro marring young given than the couple is mature, and there is a whole lot of young mature people out there.
    I laughed hard at your boys comment. FYI, my husband said something about paying bills, and my oldest replied, paying bills? I don’t like paying bills, mommies don’t pay bills! And my youngest, whom my husband says she will be an engineer, said, no, I don’t want to be an engineer, I want to be a mom, that’s all I want, like mom. Ha ha ha. So yes, they may need a job that pay the bills!

    My dh is still a bit apprehensive about the idea of the girls marring young, but deep down there I know that if we raise them properly they should be ready early, why not? I know he’ll come along!

  • Reply Brandy @ Afterthoughts July 15, 2011 at 12:11 am

    Mystie, I totally agree about needing to grow up together. For us, reading aloud has helped us do this–we like to say it keeps us on the same page. 🙂

    Even though I didn’t marry my husband until 22, I feel like we “grew up” together in a way, too. We met at 18 (in college) and became very good friends. We weren’t interested in each other “like that” for *years*, so we just enjoyed each other’s company and spent time together in groups, etc. As we grew UP we grew TOGETHER, which is how we ended up falling in love and getting married. It was a very convenient situation. 🙂

  • Reply Mystie July 14, 2011 at 11:54 pm

    I’ve heard people suggest one shouldn’t get married until late twenties or thirties because of how much maturing and “becoming” happens in one’s twenties. It’s true that by 25 I was very different than I was at 17 (when I knew I wanted to marry the man I did marry), and I’ve done a lot of growing and maturing in the 4 years since that milestone, too. I grant that the twenties are for growing and changing. My answer is that if you marry as a late-teen (we were 19), you have to commit to growing *together* — and in a way, doing that is *much* easier than merging two solidly, habitually individual 30+ year olds.

    The real trick to marrying young (that I ponder since I have sons and I want grandchildren) is being able to secure a job that can support a family (even to be poor).

    Funny story: My second son has a girl he thinks he wants to marry. I told him he couldn’t talk to a girl about getting married until he had a job to support a family. I didn’t anticipate the miscommunication — we call their special daily chore their job and pay them 25-cents a day. My older son piped up, “Yeah, and it needs to be a *different* job, Jaeger, because Mom sometimes forgets to pay us.”

  • Reply Brandy @ Afterthoughts July 14, 2011 at 10:28 pm

    I totally understand, Amanda. And I don’t know about you, but I don’t think 22 is really all that young to get married! 🙂

  • Reply Amanda July 14, 2011 at 3:16 pm

    AMEN!!! Powerful and oh, so familiar. I am praying that the Lord will heal my sisters’ perspectives on marriage. The BEST thing I EVER did was to marry my husband at age 22! I feel so blessed to have met him and had my priorities straight at that time.

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