Marriage at a young age has increased in the last years, especially in minority communities. This may be due to many reasons, among which are poverty, dysfunctional families, and even lack of love. Unfortunately, many young people get married at an early age, mostly girls. The most surprising part is that parents are consenting to this type of marriage; parents are legally signing a consent for their daughters or sons to marry. Because of the reasons mentioned above, it is important to reach out to the affected communities. Marriage can be seen as a solution or as an escape. However, it is difficult to realize that problems will not end but transfer from one family to the other. The young generation needs to be educated about the importance of a career and the consequences that come with forming a family at such a young age. People should avoid getting married at a young age because of a lack of opportunity, stability, and responsibility.
First, the lack of opportunity is a result of getting married at a young age. The main goal young people have is a career; to feel fulfilled. If the parents do not have the financial resources, juveniles opt for scholarships. Most scholarships are designed for senior high school graduates that have no other responsibility but to study. Most scholarship judges look for candidates with the longest time available to study. A married person is not on their preferred list because they know that given the responsibilities of marriage, the person might have to leave school at any time. Therefore, studying a career becomes complicated for some and even almost impossible for others. Most of the time couples become parents soon after they get married; if that is the case, then the spouse and children become a priority. At this point, the challenge becomes bigger. Time, energy, money, etc., shrinks. For example, a young mother is offered a scholarship to study. This mother has a one-year-old baby. She works full time; the rest of the time she takes care of his baby and does household chores. Knowing that they offer her a scholarship, this mother will have to decide between sacrificing her family for the scholarship or sacrificing the scholarship for her family. Few would choose the first option. Therefore, opportunities are limited by the priority given to the family.
Another result of getting married at an early age is the lack of stability. Young people are economically dependent on their parents and sometimes emotionally dependent too. Although people do not want to accept it, marriage makes people independent. This Spanish saying makes sense: “the married wants house”, it means that married couples need a home for themselves because couples need to start knowing and understanding each other. Unfortunately, that is not always the case because at a young age few people are financially prepared. Young people will face the challenge of providing on their own for their families.
This means hard work and no free time. People do not become stable from one day to another. Parents do not teach their children how to become financially independent because children are not supposed to be independent. The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 3:1, “There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under the heavens…” Adulthood is the right stage to learn how to be independent. Therefore, the process of marriage should not be accelerated. Marriage will come at the right moment if we wait. Financial instability is one of the main reasons people divorce. People who have married young can attest that it is not easy. Most will agree that if they could choose again, they would not marry so young. Financial stability is a problem for adults, so it can be a bigger problem for young people.
Last, the third result of marrying young is the lack of responsibility. Young people are still learning about life and its problems. A young man or woman would not want to face the extra responsibilities that marriage represents at such an early age. The responsibility of finding a place to live is just the beginning. Some young couples decide to live with one of their parents, but it is only a matter of time before the problems begin. Although the idea was inconvenient before, in the end, it will be better to live alone. Then the responsibility of paying all the bills such as utilities, food, health care, clothes, gas, insurance, etc., makes it worse. Household responsibilities do not stay behind. The fact that a young person has to cook, shop, sweep, mop, wash clothes, and tidy up the house, can be overwhelming. If before, time abounded, now the time is not enough. Responsibilities increase with children. Doctor appointments, school activities, children’s laundry, and extra food are some examples. Most young marriage collapses under these circumstances.
Marriage, whether it is between adults or among young people, remains imperfect. It should be noted that marriage is more likely to survive when those involved have the maturity and financial preparation. On the contrary, young marriages that lack opportunities, do not have solid financial stability, and do not know how to be responsible are at the highest risk of ending up in divorce. The perfect time does not exist. However, God’s knowledge, preparation, and help are imperative to make the right decision. It is better to avoid unnecessary problems; getting married at an early age can mark the life of a young girl or boy forever. The wait is worth it.