marriage is a beautiful thing, and most people can agree with that, but many live under the impression that you get married when you're done having all the fun, or simply tired of sleeping around, and finally found someone you think you can put up with for a while.

i've talked about this before, but my husband and i got married at 20 years old. we're now 22 and have been married for just over 2 years. i've lost track of the number of times people have responded to us being married young by saying. "why? you're so young!" as though to imply that marriage is not for our age group!

if you're afraid of getting married young because you think you're missing out on something, i'm here to tell you, you're not. my husband is truly my best friend and in just over 2 years, we've made lifelong friends in Macedonia, gone qifteli shopping in Kosovo, road bikes against a Venetian sunrise, roadtripped through the Rockies, got to hang out at the Grammy's, started learning new languages, acquired new skills, bought our own home, met really quality other young married couples, got more involved in ministry, started want less GIVE more, got closer to God...and so many more things.

i'm still trying to figure out what we're missing out on.

i got married young because i loved patrick, and he loved me, and we knew that we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together. there's no age restriction on that. don't let others discourage you into thinking that marriage is not for you because you are young!


Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.

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i look 12. i know.
and my sister does, too. 
people always think that we are children.
just this morning, my little sister was asked if she was 12 or under. she's 21, a college grad, has a full time job.
last year, we went to breakfast and were stopped by truancy officers trying to see if we were playing hooky from high school. i had already graduated from college and had started working with high schoolers at this point!

for the longest, i thought it was because of the way i wore my hair, which for a while was just a basic trim with no highlights or anything like that. then, i thought it was because i like to shop at forever 21 and wear things like stripes or the color teal, which might be associated with high school girls, i guess. i also thought it was because i have a very round "baby face" and it just makes me look younger.

but as i continue to get older, i'm starting to realize that it has very little to do with the way that i look or dress. it has a lot to do with:

girls dressing like grown ups.
for the people who think that i am child, i have to get them. to be fair, everyday, we all see 12 year olds who dress like 21 year olds. little girls don't dress like little girls anymore.

we have entire televisions series designed to romanticize lives of little girls who haven't even hit puberty yet wearing more makeup, hair extensions, and suggestive outfits than i would ever know.

and it's not just on television. a trip to the mall will reveal hundreds of girls dressed in clothing targeted towards late high school and college students (such a forever 21, charlotte russe), they're wearing make up, artificial nails, high heels...
i am not here to judge anyone, but i think it's something that needs to be discussed. little girls deserve the right to be little girls.

i remember when i was sixteen and my mom took me to the mall to get makeup for the first time. i remember the associates being so shocked that i was sixteen years old, already had a part-time job, about to start college, and i was just now getting makeup and highlights in my hair.
while i may not have been the coolest kid on the block, i am so thankful that my parents allowed me to preserve my youth. i am so thankful that i got to be an innocent child who didn't have to be bothered with the complex image issues women face. it's because of that preserved youth that i am confident in who i am today.
this is why i try to make it a point to be in the lives of little kids because honesty, it isn't their fault. i encourage you to to do the same. spend time with your daughters, nieces, cousins, daughters of friends...let them know that God made them beautiful just the way they are. tell them over and over and over again. 

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
Psalms 139:1
i'm curious, have you experienced this at all?

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