atl134--Why would you have kids before you put education? That's just
begging to be a 47%er.Check out this sentence. "Why would you
have kids before you put education?" This person believes that education
should come before marriage and children, but what if the education yields
little more than this?
Man, would life be better for all of us if everyone would simply choose to get
smart before they get married.
It's wonderful that some people got married young and started having kids
right out of the gate. I married young, but my wife and I had decided to
complete our education first before starting a family. Wow, are we really
grateful we did that. Turns out our first daughter has a very serious medical
condition - now that we both have jobs with good insurance, she is well taken
care of and handling her chronic condition well. Had we had a child like this
earlier we would have been ruined financially and unable to care for our
daughter, likely leaving her with a shortened life and seriously ill. There is
no one-size fits all and the decision to get married and have children needs to
be carefully considered.
I am so glad that I did not wait for career and lots in savings before I got
married. My wife was fresh out of high school and I had completed my mission
and got a low-paying job with a good company who which I could grow and advance
while attending college. My wife and I grew up with little, but we sacrificed
and worked hard to build our life as partners. After 8 years, we bought our
first item of furniture. Little by little, the borrowed stuff was replaced. We
eventually took a honeymoon, but the whole time, we wished our little kids were
with us. After 38 years of building a life together from scratch, the kids are
all fine citizens with lots of grandkids in their nests and wonderful spouses
helping them build lives together. I don't regret the path we chose
because it worked because we loved each other and were not in need of much more
than each other in order to get started.
Brent T: It's true that a prophet said we should follow that order, but in
some cultures, it is just not practical to get married and have children without
an education and a job, unless you want to beg others for the resources to
provide for your family. In 1 Timothy 5:8 we read "But if any provide not
for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith,
and is worse than an infidel." You have to be able to provide for your
family before having one.In Genesis when we are commanded to "be
fruitful and multiply", there is no time stipulation, so the decision on
when to marry and when to have kids, is between a couple and the Lord. As a
woman, I'm grateful that I got my college and grad degrees, started a great
career, got married to a wonderful man who also has his, got to spend time
together alone for a while, before having children. Also, all the knowledge we
acquire in this life, we'll have in the eternities.(D&C 130:18-19)
It's not only our families that we take with us.
my son is about to graduate from BYUI. he has dated many times but the girls in
his dating past are all perpetual daters. they want to date date date with NO
commitment unless mr wealthy, mr popular, mr bad boy, mr cool, mr 'i am
related to a general authority' . YES i am sickened by these statistics.
the young men/men are told to date and pray about eternal companion. yet the
young women/women are not being reminded of this. the importance is eternal
families NOT vacations and fancy home, expensive cars , up to date clothing !
sad sad sad.
I'm an old lady now, (66) I had just begun college at age 18 when I met my
future husband. He was 20, and had already been in the Army almost three years
having graduated from high school when he was 17. He had planned on separating
from the military but decided to marry me and stay in. Neither one of us had
much college but the Army was our niche and we were happy. We raised five
children and they're all fine people; we never went hungry, we had
everything we needed, we even wore clothes - I made some of them myself. Most
of the time I was able to stay home with the kids plus - and this is the amazing
part - I was able to do just about everything I ever wanted to do. I wrote, I
sang in choirs, I acted and directed plays, I spoke in public, and I educated
myself. My husband did very well in a career he loved and now is retired with a
good income. We have problems like everyone but we're doing fine and best
of all, we're still in love. And we have 13 grandchildren!
Yes, being old enough is important, as is education and career preparation (at
least much of it completed), before taking on family responsibilities.However, too many men delay because they are commitment phobic!And
both genders can be selfish, in wanting too much both of material things, or
finding the 'perfect' mate--or just being able to afford an expensive
honeymoon, etc. before they are willing to get married.Those
priorities have led to the huge increase in co-habitation, which too often leads
to NEVER marrying, or at least an increased likelihood of divorce. Often
that's because the co-habiting types are less willing to *work* on the
marriage if all isn't as they had hoped.To UTS, **fertility**
is fleeting, and is highest the younger the woman is! If a couple wants
children, marrying in the 20's is much safer for being able to have the
This would exemplify what the "ME GENERATION" is all about. It also
explains how Obama got elected president and other symptoms of a sick nation.
I for one am glad to see young people waiting to get married. Of course I am
not the leader of a relgious institution that sees this as a threat.When people choose a mate a little later in life and know who they are before
making that commitment then they have a better chance of understanding if the
person they choose to be with is a partner for life or not.Also, I
really believe people in their 30's generally speaking make better parents
that people in the early 20's. Not always - just on persoal observations.
As an outsider I don't think I'll ever get used to the pressure put on
young people here to get married and start producing a litter as soon as
I don't think people are addressing the elephant in the room here. People
say the economy this, and finances that, those are all smoke screens for the
reasons people really don't get married at a young age. People delay
marriage or get married young for social reasons, period. If you have good
friendships, date frequently, and are socially healthy, you are more likely to
get married at an appropriate age. If you met the love of your life, if you are
honest with yourself, you wouldn't let money stand in your way of being
with her. Let's not kid ourselves here guys. If you love each other, you
will find a way to make it work, regardless of economic reasons. People are
avoiding marriage because they don't love each other. Love used to be
simpler, but it's become convoluted. This goes beyond marriage. People are
even forgetting what it means to be a true friend. This is the real problem, but
no one wants to talk about it because there is no quick fix solution to it, and
people lack the patience for anything but quick fix solutions these days.
@C. Jensen: Work, ethics and determination don't always insure a good
marriage and a happy life. Hard times can sometimes bring a couple closer
together, but they can also leave a couple in despair and destroy the
relationship. True, divorce rates were lower during the Great Depression, but
that doesn't mean the couple was happier. Many in my family at that time
were happy, but others just stuck things out and were totally miserable. One
answer doesn't fit all.
I have been reading my grandmother's journal for 1945. It is all we have
because most of her journal books became wet and were thrown away (a sad
circumstance). She spent her days working hard with food preparation, laundry
(done with a wringer washer and clothes line), sewing, working in the garden and
sometimes fields, checking the mail for a letter from my dad, who was in Europe
during WWII, feeding guests, driving non-driving friends and relatives here and
there and dozens of other tasks. She found joy in her association with others
and her feeling of accomplishment for jobs well done. I neglected to say she
spent a lot of time in church work and the local school/parent organization. She
and my grandfather died without ever experiencing retirement, yet I don't
think either of them felt cheated. Family life and doing for others were just so
important to them that many of our expectations today never occurred to them.
Once in a great while they went to a movie! In their last years they enjoyed
several trips to mountain property they acquired late in life. I wish I were
more like them!
Fullypresent - You make it seem like it was ever easy to marry and raise a
family. I don't ever remember it being easier than today. I remember
graduating many years ago during a recession and working temp jobs till I found
something a little better which led after a few years to something a little
better, and onward. It was always hard. But it is a choice we made because we
didn't care so much about material things. We took the kids to the
playground for fun, as did others. Lots of walks with the strollers, lots of
very happy times. It was hard to make ends meet, but we did it. And it can still
be done but you have to be willing to make sacrifices. I'm not sure so many
of the current generation really know how to sacrifice...except for those who
learned from their parents. No one is saying to blindly go into marriage and
kids. You have to prepare and be willing to sacrifice.
Glass & Nunn - Times haven't changed that much. It has always been
difficult to raise a family. Perhaps you weren't around during the
difficult times in the 70s and early 80s with high unemployment, inflation, high
interest rates, some people feeling they'd never be able to buy a house.
Did that keep us from making lifelong choices like getting married or having
kids? Nope. You try to make the best long-term choices and you find a way to
make it work. You do your best to not make debts, you maximize your education or
training, and you do it. And I see people all around still doing it. I get a little tired of the wo is me crowd who like to blame everyone and
everything else. Listen, just don't get into debt. Do you really need a
student loan? Go to a cheaper school. Do you need a data plan? Do you need a
fancy car or cable? You can make do. You still can. Question is whether you want
It has become harder for kids now days to pay off student loan debt, afford a
home, and afford a family. Until that is less difficult more will likely wait
until they are in a position to do those things. The days of get married, have
kids, and have faith now clashes with the reality of making all of that actually
My grandparents were married during the Great Depression; times quite unlike our
own, granted, but perhaps an instructive part of history. They were married with
very little, but had heaps of work ethic and determination. Everything was
homemade. Children came quickly, and money did not. The harder they worked
together, the closer they became. What I see today are heightened expectations
for a big start: gorgeous receptions, good job right out of school, property
ownership and other material things. These are not necessities, they are frills.
I wonder at our collective reasoning when we think we are inadequate if some
things happen out of our preferred order, though I agree with the general order
of life events suggested by others here. I caution against thinking we should
wait to have a family. For one thing, we don't always have control about
when we will find great jobs or the spouses, or when/how many children will
come. It is important to work hard, get as much education as we can and live
worthy of all other blessings, but also leave room for the Lord's plans in
Perhaps you had that luxury, SlickMick, many, many years ago. Most
of today's generation do not have that opportunity today. And
in many cases it is affecting their decision to marry and to have children. I can't help it if you and others are out of touch with this fact.
Instead, it's always, "If only they had the ambition; if only they were
diligent; if only they weren't such derelicts." etc. How
often the proud judge the poor in error!
@SlickMick: You making a lot of assumptions with respect to those who decide to
postpone marriage until the economy gets stronger. For you, it just meant that
you weren't able to purchase a lot of fancy things. When you state it like
this, you make it sound as if those who put of marriage are doing so because
they can't indulge their materialistic fantasies. For many people, getting
married during a weak economy involves not already having a decent job and
having a great deal of student loan debt. People should not make
moral judgements about when or if people decide to get married. I am married,
but I wanted to get married. If others don't want to get married, they
shouldn't get married. There is nothing morally superior about choosing
to get married in your early twenties, so let's not pretend otherwise.
Nunn - Seriously? I don't think I gave the economy much thought when I
decided to get married or have kids. I did make a conscious decision that by
doing to I would not have a lot of fancy things at least for the first 20 years
or so and I was ok with that. Maybe someone who didn't prepare themselves
educationally or gain the necessary skills to get a decent job need to worry.
But there is plenty of opportunity out there in the US for those willing to work
hard and...heaven forbid...relocate to where the jobs are. You may even need to
get higher education. You do what you need to do to achieve anything worthwhile.
I certainly wasn't born with any sort of advantages, but I do know that if
you apply yourself you can make it work. And a spouse and kids make it all the
more enjoyable and worthwhile. I feel sorry for the folks who base their life
choices on a fickle economy.
To those businessmen and their politicians who are deliberately striving to
drive wages down by purposely abetting a flood of foreign labor both legal and
illegal ((by abuse of the H-1B system, and by abetting illegal immigration,
respectively), you should realize that this is what you are doing to your
country and to society. You'd better believe that this callous,
self-centered endeavor of driving down wages at all social costs for enhanced
profits is harming this nation by duly discouraging marriage and child-bearing.
You get married when you feel it's right. Throw away all the studies, all
the % of this or that. Don't marry because someone tells you to, don't
marry because you're desperate to not graduate without a spouse. Get
married when you feel it is right. Period. You keep your mind open about it, you
actively get involved, and more often than not, it happens. It just does. If you're locked away in your room, or just not getting involved
with things, or you have a closed mind because of your or someone else's
bad experience, or you've chosen to feel sorry for yourself...well then
you're probably up the creek as far as dating is concerned and then
you'll blame it on everyone else. Just be out and about and
live like you want to make someone else happy, and you know what...someone else
will make you very happy.
I guess another talk on this for the YSA during a fireside should be expected
soon or better yet during this upcoming April GC. LOL!
Marriage represents a very serious commitment, which - unless you're drunk
and in Las Vegas - provokes a lot of reflection and soul searching.The difference between marriage rates and child bearing among college
graduates and those who haven't achieved that level of accomplishment
clearly demonstrates that economics is the primary reason people are putting off
marriage.If it was a snap to find a job you could raise a family on,
marriage rates would increase. Instead, people are following the
signals the economy and our ethic of self-reliance sends: "Don't start
a family and start having kids until you can pay for them!"
atl134 -- married at 22 and 19. Five kids later, hitting 30, kids were no
longer possible health wise. Waiting for education or otherwise using birth
control to put off family in favor of education means two or more of these kids
wouldn't be here. It's hindsight certainly (we wouldn't know
them). But the treasure is the kids. It is not career or things we either had
or never obtained. It isn't money in the bank. It is family; and we take
our family with us into the eternities where all the riches of this world are
still ours in all that Our Heavenly Father has.A shorter answer
would be because that is the order Spencer W. Kimball told us to use in ranking
and accomplishing our priorities. And following a prophet has yielded the fruit
from exercising the faith to do so.The article was about priorities
-- and the best priority is (family equals marriage plus children) as soon as
Why would you have kids before you put education? That's just begging to be
Nature makes the desire for a mate very insistent and urgent by one's mid
to late teens. Wisdom suggests, however, that some common sense be used in
making a choice of mate and that requires a modest deferement. Decency indicates
an exclusive contract after a few years of search and good counsel.It was once understood and that in an age when divorce rates were not yet 60,
50, nor yet 40 or 30 per cent, that a young man and woman would be married at
least by their mid-twenties. Little thought was given to family planning. You
loved someone and the result was usually a succession of babies, usually
spaced two to three years apart.Now it seems that careers, money,
convenience all come before that once common goal and expectation. I look in
vain to see evidence that we are any better for the change - in any way. We are
no happier today, that is certain.
Treating marriage as the start or foundation of our adult life is wrongheaded.
Education should be finished and a good career started before taking on the
commitment. In The National Marriage Survey (2004), women who marry under the
age of 20 have a 52% divorce rate. The divorce rate was still high for those who
married between 20-23 at 34%. The rate dropped significantly for those between
24-26 at 14%. As the article suggested, that age span seems to be the sweet
spot. The rate increased to 20% between the age 27-29. The lowest divorce rate -
8% - was for those who married at the age of 30 or more. The rate for men
corresponded at about 3 years older, which means the ideal age for men was about
28. Maturity and finishing some other milestones first, guarantee a much better
chance of a successful marriage.
I would consider marriage as a foundational cornerstone rather than a capstone.
There is so much more that goes in between.
@Brent T.My life line is not meant to be taken literally. It was
more to be taken as a presentation in subtle humor. I like the
phrase "deliberate choice." Marriage can be (and should be) a deliberate
choice. But it is not like turning on a switch. I know that for some people it
may be just like opening a door, but for me marriage was something that took
more than just a deliberate choice. Short of stopping my education to find a
wife, I was forced to continue to choose to look for a girl to marry while I
went to college. It just happened that I found her after I had already been to
graduate school (after first graduating from high school of course!) I caught a
lot of flack over this. Leaders, relatives....they all wondered why I
hadn't "chosen" to get married yet (Gotta love those 'married
at 21 to first and only high school lover' people). You can choose to seek
marriage, but you usually cannot choose to get married whenever you want.
Vladhagen been trying to understand your order. If #1 precedes missionary
service... could happen. But college doesn't precede high school, and
children don't come before intimacy.I can almost work it out
backwards where one, as it seems so many these days do, had there first intimate
experience prior to high school graduation, which could lead to children outside
wedlock, getting married and obtaining higher education... then a mission at
retirement age? And then your career? Anyway -- the order I've
given was a deliberate choice. And I could have done it differently.
You're correct in that once done, it can't be changed. But, no
Here is my order for how I did my life. "Wouldn't have done it any
other way" (Wait, shouldn't that be "couldn't" have done
it any other way? I mean, how would you know your way is superior? Once you have
chosen your path, you cannot know the other path.)1. Career2.
Mission3. College Education4. Marriage5. Children6. High
School Graduation7. Intimacy.My way is far superior.
The issue is the goals set in childhood. If the #1 goal is to be old enough to
marry, to reach adulthood (18) with the first priority being to marry and start
a family, then the other (secondary) goals in life (mission, education, career,
travel) become reasons to consider some possible delay while anxiously chomping
at the bit to marry with marriage being a way to share together attaining those
goals. It has to be said, too, that desire and impatience to be intimate with
another person be approached with a value that such intimacy can and should ONLY
be fulfilled in marriage -- will drive the urge to be married.It is
has been the best way. High School graduation, mission, marriage, intimacy,
children, education and career. That order. Wouldn't have done any other
Less unhappiness and divorces, perhaps?
I can definitely relate to this. Graduating from college during a rough economic
time. It's hard to date when you can't find a decent job. Not only
that but if you were raised to provide for a family it hard to justify dating
when you can't take care of a family.