Russ Moore has written one of the best essays on marriage I have ever read, What I’ve Learned in Twenty Years of Marriage. He is one of the most thoughtful writers around, someone who often transcends the cheap applause lines of the evangelical subculture. Like my wife and I, he and his wife were married young and spent their twenties growing up together. Unlike us they also struggled with infertility and later became some of the most powerful advocates for adoption in the church. This essay looks back at twenty years of marriage and what he has learned. It is a great read for young people told that they aren't "ready" and for recently married couples that are wondering what they got themselves into.
The entire essay is full of great wisdom but I really liked this:
My grandmother wisely asked one night when I was finally going to ask “that girl from Ocean Springs” to marry me. I answered, “When I can afford it.” She laughed. “Honey, I married your grandpa in the middle of a Great Depression,” she said. “We made it work. Nobody can afford to get married. You just marry, and make it work.”
You are never ready for marriage. You can never be "mature" enough because maturity in marriage comes from being married. You can never be "financially secure" enough, it turns out people with tons of money, a nice house and retirement plans get divorced too. Being older doesn't make you ready, having already traveled to Europe doesn't make you ready. Being prepared to be married and stay married, no matter what comes, is what prepares you for marriage.
Give this essay a read and pass it on to others. They will thank you later.