Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Case for Early Marriage

Bottom line: Biology is telling our young people to get married soon. Society, with its senseless expectation that everyone needs to go to college, is telling them to wait. Add to that the big corporate-inspired mobility that moves families around from place to place, forcing us to reduce the definition of the family as the "nuclear family" (sanz aunts, uncles and cousins) and you have a culture where young couples are estranged from the support of a larger family unit. The answer so far: Preach abstinence. Make virginity pledges. Have chastity balls. Push courtship.

All fine and good, but we still have the central problem: we expect these young people to wait ten, maybe fifteen years, before they can fulfill nature's call for them to marry. The answer? How about early marriage? Does everyone indeed need to go to college? Why not have apprenticeship programs that allow young people to start work and be productive as soon as possible (say, at 18 or 19)?

Maybe the economic slowdown, with peak oil and rising fuel prices, can be good for us, forcing us to live closer to our extended relatives, and providing the support needed for early marriage. If they are not called to a life of celibacy, then we should encourage some of our young people to marry soon, and facilitate, rather than get in the way of, their marriage with unrealistic expectations. That means making it possible for them to make a living that can sustain family life at a much earlier age. This will take the support of family (which will include grandma and grandpa, aunties and uncles, and a plethora of cousins, all living close by), church and community. The question is: Can, and will, our culture make such a transition?

Yes, it will mean early maturity, rather than extended adolescence.

Read the article here

Hat tip: The Young Fogey

Postscript: What might actually mitigate against early marriage is no-fault divorce.


Ø said...

Yes! This was really good, despite some of the silly buzzwords.

Tor Hershman said...

I agree 100%; WifeyWu and I were married at 19 (18 for her) didn't go to college, not for decades afterwards, and look at what I discovered.....

You're idea is a GREAT ONE!

Stay on groovin' safari,

Montag said...

I think this shows a profound understanding. It is the shape of things to come. But it is too radical for the present. We cannot give up our extended adolescences, which now often extend into our old age.