Dear young wife,
I know it’s not easy being in your shoes at times. You might get snide remarks more than encouragement and your friends likely think you threw away the best years of your life.
“What do you want from me, people!?”
I’ve just recently noticed that I don’t get quite as many scoffs when people put together my age and marital status. I guess that means that after three years of marriage I’ve finally reached a somewhat acceptable age to be married.
Does any of this matter?
I used to let it get me down, but let me clue you in on a little secret: it only matters if you let it matter to you. People love to look in and assume that deep down you’re miserable and wishing you weren’t missing out on the best years of your life. I think the general public thinks that most of “our kind” end up snapping at some point. Realizing all they missed out on, and ditching it all to go actually live their young adult life.
I say if you’re happy and enjoying life, let them think what they want to think. Let them speculate and hate and judge to their heart’s desire. You don’t have to prove why you got married young, why you enjoy it, or why you and your husband decided to start your lives together so young. This is your story, really God’s story for you, and the best thing you can do is ignore the judgment and simply reflect Christ’s love through your marriage.
Marriage, while a huge blessing, is hard enough as it is. You don’t need added negativity.
It’s sad that one of the most challenging parts of getting married isn’t getting married young, it’s dealing with all the comments. The haters, you might say.
Well, prove ‘em wrong.
Love each other unconditionally, never give up, and thank God for the blessings you have in your marriage. Because chances are, if you got married young, you do have added stresses. School, crappy jobs, growing up together . . . none of it’s easy, but marriage never really is. There will always be those little things pulling you in each and every direction. Those little (and sometimes big) things never go away, they just change.
I could give you tip after tip for your first few years, but it really all boils down to grace and love. Saturate yourself in Scripture—it’s got all the advice you need. You’ll learn the rest as you go, and that’s fine! Instead, I’ll leave you with just three little pieces of advice:
1. Don’t let other people’s opinions of your marriage affect your marriage. When someone makes a negative comment or tells you that you’ll regret this choice later, let it slide. (Or make a snarky remark, sometimes that’s what I do…) Just don’t let it get you down. We had people at our wedding talking about what a waste of money it was to even make the trip and attend. I shed way too many tears caring about what they thought. It’s craziness that people think God’s plans and blessings for marriage don’t apply to those under 25. Everyone’s story is different, and that’s OK! It’s quite beautiful, actually.
2. Enjoy this time. It’ll go by in a flash! Kyle and I aren’t considered newlyweds anymore, but I still find myself referring to us as being newly married. Our first three years have been full of challenges, but they’ve still gone by far too quickly. I remember complaining to my great-grandma a couple years ago about school, work, and being so busy we rarely see each other. She said “Well, I’d give anything to go back to being your age. So enjoy it!” Any advice from my wise, 97-year-old great-grandmother is worth paying attention to!
3. Last but most importantly, trust in what God is doing in your marriage. God brought you together for a reason. You got married for a reason. And he has great plans for you. Yes, you face unique challenges as a young couple. But God’s grace doesn’t only extend to married couples of a certain age. You have just as much of an opportunity to honor God through your marriage. Trust in Him and see how He uses you—and your young marriage—to glorify him!
And if it means anything, I can honestly say that three years after being a 19-year-old bride, I don’t regret a thing. I get to see (and cheer for) Kyle as he works towards his dream career. We got to start out dirt poor and grow our first little savings account towards buying a house. We’ve matured in our relationships with Christ together. It’s a beautiful story and I can’t wait to look back someday and see all we made it through.
“’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” —Jeremiah 29:11
So don’t be discouraged. Be patient, give each other (and those who question your age) grace, and glorify God through your marriage—no matter how old you are.