This is the title of an article by Pat Archbold in the National Catholic Register which you can find here.
Here is just a bit of the article, towards the end:
Many Catholics, like society at large, encourage their children to postpone marriage. Go to college. Get a job. Get financially stable. Date around. Find out who you are first, then consider marriage. Problem is, by the time you do all these things to find out who YOU are, the one things you can count is who you are is ‘not married.’ This is why people now do not get married until they are in their late twenties, if at all. By then, society has messed them up so much by a decade of self-centeredness that they will probably make lousy spouses.
Speaking from experience, from the time I turned twenty-one until I got married in my thirties, I learned nothing other than how to be a narcissistic jerk. I learned more about who I really am in my first two years of being a husband and a father than during that entire lost decade.
Today, we treat marriage as some sort of elective class that you can drop if things don’t go well rather than the core curriculum.
If we want our children to grow up to be good wives or good husbands, good fathers and good mothers, why do we tell them to wait? What message does it send about how we value marriage?
I think that Catholics should encourage our young people to find themselves in marriage. We routinely ask our little children what they want to be when they grow up and they often respond “I want to be married. I want to be a mommy/daddy.” We think it is cute and then ask them “But what do you want to do?” As if being married and being a parent is not enough.
I think that the best thing that could happen to marriage is that people, particularly Catholics, encourage their children to get married younger. The more time they spend finding themselves, the lesser the likelihood that there will be anything worth finding.
This is one of those difficult articles.
Difficult because I do see what Mr. Archbold is saying. I see his points. I even concur with most.
My beef is that I did marry young. 19 to be exact. And now I am in my second marriage.
Did I just drop my first marriage as an elective course? Far from it!
I stayed with the father of my Babies for many, many years after I knew I should not be there. Granted my situation was quite special.
I was messed up. Allow me to correct that…I am Messed Up.
My entire life up to the time I had my Baby Girl, my Pumpkin Princess, I hated men. I wanted them all to suffer. All of them! Including her father.
Many times, he made me madder than most men because he was not like the rest of them.
He did not pressure me for sex. He did not try at every moment and opportunity to “cop a feel.” Can you believe he had the audacity to respect me, protect me and care for me?! I mean, who does that!
My family fell in love with him. They truly loved him more than me! To this day, quite a few of my relatives still prefer him over me 😉
Again, perhaps my situation because I am a pretty messed up individual is not the best “vs.” case to this article, but it still leaves me wondering…
How about you?
God Love You ♥ And may He help messed-up me 😉