‘How old are you?’
‘How long have you been married for?’
‘You are too young to be married.’
I am wondering how many more years of this conversation I must endure before I become a socially acceptable age to be married….
According to internet research (cough google) the average age to get married isbetween 25 and 29….but individually woman at 28 and men at 30. Congratulations to my husband he is the correct age but I fall short of societies expectations.
I should really have a stock answer. A sarcastic one. A lie perhaps? Tell them I am 16…tell them I am 56. Or perhaps that they should mind their own business? Can I please add that these comments have always been from people I hardly know, and then never spend time getting to know them any further if I am honest.
So when did we become to cynical about marriage?
Although having moved on from Ruth, my thoughts have been with the book of Ruth when thinking of marriage. And also loyalty among family. I wonder how old Ruth was? Not too old if she had not yet had children.
Her love for her first husband must have been so strong to leave her own family and culture and country and stay with his mother in law. Not sure that is something which I would be able to do. And after moving from Moab then seeking out a new husband to look after her and also Naomi. To keep Naomi’s legacy alive some how.
Ecclesiastes tells us this also 4:9: “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone?”
What a beautiful scripture and one which perhaps Ruth too would have found inspiring. How can one keep warm alone? Two are far better than one.
Ruth and Naomi were strong women. They traveled on their own from Moab, Ruth got her self a job and begun supporting the two of them. They were coping. But what is the sense in coping when you can have someone, your own special soul mate to help you when you fall?
30 years ago the average age for a woman to be married was 23 (the age I was). Perhaps I was born 30 years too late to fit in, or perhaps this generation just has different values. More career driven, more self centered and not wanting the compromising a partnership might bring. This is not to say that if you are married aged 36 you are wrong and not led a loving and meaningful life, but it is to say that we are all on our own paths. Ruth was not welcomed when she arrived in Bethlehem, Boaz did not have to accept her, but he loved her. And they were married because that was the right thing for them. They need no explanation. Not everyone in the Bible was married, or not recorded anyway.
But marriage is something we should treasure, something to be praised and blessed with. My wedding day was the best day of my life, committing myself and making promises to my best friend. No amount of judging or sly comments will ever lessen that. I am married young by today’s standards but by the standards of our Lord we did the right thing. We made a commitment to each other and most importantly to God.