How old should I be to get married?

Is there biblical guidance on a minimum age for marriage?

Despite society’s whims, marriage is for life (Romans 7:2). Such a commitment, upholding such a high ideal (Ephesians 5:31, 32), demands maturity. The unselfishness that marriage requires (1 Corinthians 13:5) comes with maturity. When a couple marries too young, a crisis often comes later; one of the partners feels he or she would have chosen differently if given more experience.

An inordinate haste to be married may indicate personal problems that will produce lethal weaknesses in a marriage. This may include escaping an unpleasant family situation, filling an inordinate need for approval from the opposite gender, seeking financial independence, managing lust, fearing singleness, having unrealistic expectations for marriage, rebelling against parents, reacting to undisclosed abuse, or evading the consequences of immoral behavior.

Willingness to listen and evaluate the differing viewpoints of friends indicates maturity (Proverbs 12:15). A person who stubbornly insists he is sufficiently mature to marry, despite the disagreement of trustworthy friends, proves his immaturity. If a couple is willing to be patient, wait on the Lord, and demonstrate the wholesomeness of their relationship, their spirit may silence those who oppose them. Proverbs 3:5 & 6 is good counsel.

Rather than intervening when emotions are inflamed, parents will be more effective by forestalling such a crisis. During children’s early teen years, family discussions regarding choosing wholesome friends and marriage partners are invaluable.

D. Oliver