I Was Too Young

I was too young when I got married. At twenty-one years of age I dove in headfirst. I never thought of the consequences. I never weighed the potential for failure against the possibility of success. I didn’t try to figure out what it would take to make it work. I never calculated the risks involved. I just did it.

My wife was too young when she got married.

Just barely nineteen years of age she dove in headfirst. She never thought of the consequences. She never weighed the potential for failure against the possibility of success. She didn’t try to figure out what it would take to make it work. She never calculated the risks involved. She just did it.

We were in love – but love is never enough.

Let me take that back. Love is always enough, being in love is never enough. Being in love is based on the feeling experienced during moments in time, some long, others just a flash. I’m not sure what I felt and how long it lasted but the first time I saw her I had one of those moments. I have to admit, “one of those moments” may have been no more than teenage infatuation driven by the hormones produced when a 15 year old boy sees a 13 year old girl who he thinks is hot. Sounds kind of creepy now that I think about it but that was the way it was.

The initial “one of those moments” must have had some type of lasting effect on me because I proudly announced to a friend that I was going to marry her. Young love, hormone driven desire, or childish infatuation, call it what you want but in the end it’s enough to bring two people together. It is also far too little to keep them together. Being in love is never enough.

We’ll beat the odds, we’re in love.

Statistics said that 50% of marriages end in divorce. The best I could hope for was to come down on the right side of the statistic, to fulfill the “until death do us part” section of our vows. What started off as a boyish crush, turned into young love and evolved into a lifelong commitment which is supposed to end up on the right side of the marriage statistic. The odds of that are only 50/50.

When we got married we were too young.

We were too young to know that being in love would be threatened by being alive. We were too young to realize that the road ahead was not conducive to being in love. From working long hours to raising kids, from losing eight children through miscarriage to being one day away from losing my wife and unborn son due to pregnancy complications. From financial troubles to a permanently disabling injury, from an unexpected parent’s death to chronic life changing illnesses, being in love, those moments in time, are not guaranteed to happen with any regularity.

We will always be too young.

Which one of us can predict the future? Who can calculate with any accuracy the moments of reprieve from the unexpected trials of life? What marriage councillor can equip us to navigate the unknown so that we can better and more often experience being in love? We just don’t know what is coming. From the highest of romantic highs to the lowest of life’s events, until they happen we will always be too young to know what the threats are, how they will affect us, what it will take to address them and the toll they will take on our marriage.

The kids are grown, the chronic illnesses and disabilities are, for the most part manageable, money’s tight but on the bright side I don’t have much work so there is more time, oh wait retirement is not as far away as our finances need it to be, the car is getting old, the rent is due the…

We were too young when we got married, but not too young to get married.

We were too young to see that being in love, those feelings, those moments and those extended times together without interruption would be overtaken by life. We were too young, too inexperienced to even hazard a guess as to what was around the corner. We were too young to imagine the things that would challenge our marriage to be more than just two people in love. The one thing we were not too young to do was to get married.

We probably both thought life together would be mostly about being in love with a few small interferences. We may have underestimated the depth and breadth of the things that would interfere with being in love but we both knew it would take work in the times when being in love was not possible.

Being in love is a feeling that often comes naturally before life starts to interfere.

Love is the work we put into our relationship when life interferes.

Being in love is a feeling that is preserved during life’s interferences by the hard work of love so that it can be enjoyed when life allows.

Happy 30th Anniversary

 I said I was going to marry you when I was 15, I think at that point we would have been too young to get married!

He who finds a wife finds what is good
and receives favor from the Lord. Proverbs 18:22 (NIV)

12 comments

  1. You elucidated this well. You are so right. It is unfortunate that we don’t learn these things until it is too late to put into practice. And try to tell this to a young person and a glaze sweeps over their eyes. I have a 21 yr old grandson who got married last Dec as he was going over to Afganistan as a marine two weeks later. I ask him why? Because his girlfriend wanted to – to have something to hold onto. Maybe it made him feel like a man who could say he had a wife, although she is still living at home – and he has 4 years to do. My guess she will get pregnant and he won’t be there when the baby is born. They have never lived together. She lived in another stated. Can she, at this age stay faithful to him? It is a long time to wait without some other young man show an interest in her. She is very pretty. They have only ever seen each other in 2 week splurges. They don’t know each other. They only known the faces they put on – the boy meets girl faces meant to attract someone. The real person emerges later. I see unhappiness in the making. I can’t do anything about it. He has to live his life. But I wish he would have waited until he was out of the marines, until he could have learned a few more life lessons. No one listens to anyone. They think they have it all figured out.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Totally agree – My husband and I called the “being in love” part “butterflies” and you are so right to say “Being in love is a feeling that is preserved during life’s interferences by the hard work of love so that it can be enjoyed when life allows.” Happy Anniversary – and many more!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for sharing such a personal journey. And through it all God has been constant. A great testimony on perseverance through thick and thin, both happy and sad times. Happy 30th! May He bless you both for another 30+!

    Liked by 1 person

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