Will wonders never cease?
Christian couples should marry sooner, an ethicist and a pastor with the largest Protestant denomination in the United States argue.
Andrew Walker, director of policy studies for the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, and Jon Akin, senior pastor of Fairview Church in Lebanon, Tennessee, made the argument in a column for the Baptist Press earlier this week. While not advocating a specific age for marriage and noting the diverse situations for people, young people should still look toward marriage sooner, they said.
“We do not advocate a specific age; rather, we believe that young people should make themselves ‘marry-able’ younger,” wrote Walker and Akin.
“They need to push against the cultural norm that extends adolescence for an indefinite period of time and reach maturity more quickly so they can be ready for marriage sooner than the national average.”
Walker and Akin also stated that it’s “impractical and unhelpful to advise and encourage young men and women who reach sexual maturity at the age of 12 or 13 to wait 15 years before marriage and still remain pure.”
“Ultimately, there are Southern Baptists who will agree and disagree with us, which is expected given our denomination’s size and vastness. Even some in our own churches would disagree with us,” continued Walker and Akin.
“The question of when a couple is ready for marriage is one that requires wisdom and discernment for each person considering marriage and, ideally, the involvement of a local church that seeks to shape and influence potential spouses in a way that prioritizes and mirrors the Gospel in covenantal fidelity.”
Walker and Akin are not the only SBC ethicists in recent years to advocate for marriage coming sooner. Albert Mohler, president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, also made a case for marrying early.
Al Mohler. Hmm. How about that.
Well, I guess even stopped clocks are right twice a day…