Christians have been emphasizing abstinence, says University of Texas sociologist Mark Regnerus, whereas they should be emphasizing marriage. Instead, Christians are buying into the same confused ideas about marriage that the world has been assuming.
Among both Christians and non-Christians, the marriage age has been rising, from an average in 1970 of 21 for women and 23 for men to today’s 26 for women and 28 for men. “That’s five additional, long years of peak sexual interest and fertility,” he remarks. The fertility point is often neglected. “Women’s fertility is more or less fixed, yet Americans are increasingly ignoring it during their 20s, only to beg and pray to reclaim it in their 30s and 40s.”
He also deals with objections to early marriage. For example, the higher divorce rate among those who marry in their teens. He isn’t arguing for that. He sees the optimum age as being in the early 20s. But he also suggests how Christians are uniquely positioned to make early marriages work.
Read Regnerus’s article, which eludes simple excerpting: The Case for Early Marriage | Christianity Today.