A while ago my mother sent me a link to this post at Faith and Family Live and the accompanying discussion about the pros and cons of marrying young. One of the commenters posted a link to this post by Mighty Maggie (a blogger whose writing I have enjoyed for about a year and a half...did you think I linked to all my favorites on the sidebar?) Maggie has an interesting perspective on marrying young: She presents her relative lack of knowledge of what marriage entails to be a positive rather than a negative.
To give a little background on my perspective: My parents married when they were respectively 19 and 23. If Mom had waited until she was 25 to get married, neither my sister nor I would have been born. So I might be a wee bit biased in favor of young marriages. As for me, I'm 18 and I already know whom I'm going to marry. I probably won't be married when I'm 19, but I probably will be married by the time I'm 23.
There is a place for evaluating things objectively and having standards and not rushing into things. If one of my friends was dating someone who cheated/drank/abused controlled substances, then I would be very concerned. If one of my friends eloped with someone they met a few weeks before, I would also be concerned. If one of my friends married a good Catholic guy after dating him for a year, it wouldn't bother me. I wouldn't wonder "Do they know what they're getting into?"
The simple answer is that they don't. I don't. I have only the most general idea of what is required for a marriage to work and no practical experience with living such a life (I am seeing a sequel post on cohabitation...hmmm). All I know is that I told the Cobbler, "I'm not going anywhere," and I intend to stand by that statement. When we marry I'll promise formally not to go anywhere, and I won't know then what the next 50 or 60 years will hold for us. All I'll know is that I'm choosing to spend the rest of my life with him.