Teenage Mothers


#1

This is so bizarre that I had to share.

I have a co-worker with a sixteen-year-old niece. The niece, an honor student, graduated high school this past May. On the day following graduation, she married her 18-year-old boyfriend with the blessings of her parents and the Archbishop of her diocese (who approved so they could be married in the Church). I heard today that they are expecting their first child next March.

According to what I’ve read, the Blessed Virgin Mary was only 13 or 14 years old when she gave birth to her Son. This is the ultimate example of Motherhood and why the parents of this girl agreed to let her marry so young, so I was told.

Does this seem wrong to anyone but me?


#2

Today’s society is not prepared to have girls married at age 13,14 even 19 or 20.

But the truth of the matter is there are no mistakes in God’s world. That average age a girl starts menstrating is age 12/13. That means her body is prepared to conceive a baby, her body is ready to have intimate relations with a man. And since God does not make mistakes, then we can only assume that this was His plan as well as the fact that we have the Blessed Virgin as a prime example.

However society especially in the last 100 yrs has babyfied their children to the extend that most 25 year olds are not mature enough to consider the responsiblities of committing to another person and raising a family, never mind a 13 year old.

But like always this does not change what is true… so as a result of course, sins of the flesh are running wild, premarital sex, disease, teenage pregnancy, abortion, adultery etc. Is it no wonder that the sexual revelution seemed to be the beginning of the prolonged childhood!

Speaking as the mother of 3 teenage daughters, I would not encourage my daughters to get married until after highschool, only because society looks upon teenage marriage as something of the perverse and ridiculous but in God’s eyes it is what he intended…

Is it any wonder the state of the world, when we constantly live our lives with the notion that we know more than God.

God Who has no beginning and no end. God Who as it was, will always be. Just because man changes, does not mean God has changed.

What will happen when black becomes white and white becomes black!


#3

This is one of those areas I would hope the Church steps in and rules accordingly up front.

There are many 16/18 year olds who just ‘know’ that they want marriage and family first and are mature enough in their thinking to enter into that arrangement.

The parents of both kids here should have a strong sense of where their children are in terms of maturity so if they bless the arrangement, that would be the first hurdle.

The Church, then, is the next hurdle. As a FOCCUS advisor I would hope that these two took the inventory and were interviewed by the priest before they were given the go-ahead. The fact that they did get approval suggests the priest feels this marriage has what it takes to last.

My suspicion, however, is that down the line an annulment will be sought - and awarded - as seems to be the case these days. And that troubles me.

I know several non-catholics who married at 17 and 18, had 4-7 children and are still married. The plus side is they are still young while they’re kids are already off on their own - leaving some of the best years of their lives together in good health - for each other and for grandparenting.

I truly hope your coworker’s niece will be so blessed.


#4

I agree with the fact that biologically a 16 year old girl is mature enough to give birth. However, the women on here are correct that our society (even our families) aren’t producing mature young men and women. I was in the wedding party of two of my best friends last summer. They were both 18. Niether of them are happy with their marriage and its only been a year. Let them work and go to college at least for a few years and really hammer out their faith and calling before jumping into a marriage that early. 17 is ridiculous. I am 19 almost 20 and I know for sure I need at least 2 or three more years before I am ready for marriage. Not that I don’t wish I could marry now. These youngsters aren’t being honest to themselves and I see divorce in the future… God help them so this doesn’t happen.


#5

WOW–this is indeed a rarity! I can only say I really feel it is so much better for a young person to marry the love of their life than to live a life of promiscuity --playing the field, etc. as most young folks do today, which is really sick. Who cares about their age? It is their choice that matters. Some people marry at 30 and feel they made a mistake even still, have affairs, etc.

Give them your blessing, lead them to a good church, and may they be a Godly example!


#6

Sparkle, no offense but you seem to imply that someone our age will be able to determine whether or not the cute boy or girl we see at Church is the love of their life. I think that is not the case in our society. Obviously my friends just KNEW that they were meant for each other. Now they are miserable. I say let us young adults live chaste lives til we mature in our faith and in our careers and then we will be more fully able to discern whether or not that cute boy or gal is the right one.


#7

This is such a hard issue. I know that the statistics for a lasting marriage are not great if the teenagers marry, but that is the impulse for many, ironically if they were raised active in the faith. I have also heard that a legal marriage is a better protection for mother and child even though the deadbeat dad laws are tougher.


#8

[quote=sparkle]WOW–this is indeed a rarity! I can only say I really feel it is so much better for a young person to marry the love of their life than to live a life of promiscuity --playing the field, etc. as most young folks do today, which is really sick. Who cares about their age? It is their choice that matters. Some people marry at 30 and feel they made a mistake even still, have affairs, etc.

Give them your blessing, lead them to a good church, and may they be a Godly example!
[/quote]

I was engaged, we broke it off for several reasons, which are long tedious etc. But I’m 24, and I really wasn’t ready to get married, I felt like I had to say yes since he asked. Thankfully it never came to fruition. I still don’t feel like I’m ready to get married, I have too much left that I want to do before I’m tied to someone else and need to make decisions based on whats good for us, rather than just me. I like being selfish right now.

I also date A LOT. But apparently that makes me a trollop.


#9

one thing that concerns me about the couple mentioned above is the education issue. It doesn’t sound like the young bride will be going to college, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing, but what if something happens to her husband and she has to support herself and children? It’s pretty hard to get a decent job with just a high school education. And what about the young man? Is he planning on going to college or learning a trade? How does he plan on doing that at the same time as supporting his young family? I hope the couple has a happy marriage but getting married at that age strikes me as highly imprudent.


#10

When I think of how many parents these days are not only NOT encouraging their children to marry young, but are actually encouraging AND enabling them to cohabit and “take precautions” against pregnancy, I’m inclined to applaud a young couple who has taken the steps necessary for a sacramental marriage.

Obviously, I don’t know the maturity level of the young people involved, nor how their lives are planned out. But I have seen some young people who are far more mature than most 30-somethings who have flitted from relationship to relationship and have put off marriage and starting families for the sake of careers or the excitement of not having long-term commitments (my sister, for one.)

The majority of people I work with have either: a) allowed their child’s boy/girl friend to move into their (the parents’!) home, or b) helped their child and their “significant other” get a place of their own. Some have started their kids on artificial contraceptions before they were even old enough to date, so as to avoid “problems” down the line (nothing like holding the door WIDE OPEN to keep problems from coming in, right?) And these are the people who feel that they are helping their children to become responsible, mature adults!

So, IMHO, as long as the couple realizes that marriage is a life-long vocation and that bailing out during turbulence is not an option (my dad was in the Air Force… this is the “blessing” speech he gave me and my husband 17 years ago!) then I pray they have a happy and holy marriage.
Blue"incurable romantic:love: "Rose


#11

[quote=Minerva]one thing that concerns me about the couple mentioned above is the education issue. It doesn’t sound like the young bride will be going to college, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing, but what if something happens to her husband and she has to support herself and children?
[/quote]

We need to live our life in accordance with God. “What if’s” should not be a factor in how we make decisions. For too long now women have been concerning themselves with career and education while the most important vocation that God has intended for them has been left unanswered “Motherhood”.

The MOST Important Vocation in the World is being neglected!

Women do not concern yourself with “what if’s”. Do you have so little faith that you do not believe that God will always look after you, that His Will is what needs to be done. Do not live for this world, but for the next. Of course God will give you struggles and hardships, maybe God will leave you with many children and no support but He will never leave you. Your life will have been a success when you can say “I made little Saints for God” not for what degree you hold or how much money you made to give your children “material” goods.

Education and career choice is NOT what concerns God! It is the souls of little children that you will be held accountable for.

That hand that rocks the cradle rules the world!

What happens when no one is rocking the cradle?


#12

nucatholic,

You are implying that teenagers cannot find the love of their lives. That isn’t true either. Anything can happen and anything is possible. I met my fiance when i was 15, he was 16. We are now 20 and 21, engaged. I’m in college (he tried, but wasn’t the college type) and he now has a great full-time, good paying job. We are madly in love and i am glad to say that I have found the love of my life. Maturity is definetly a factor. Both of us are very mature because since childhood we’ve both had to raise ourselves (him not so much but for a while he did). We’ve seen the worst in the world, we know how we want to live and have a clear agreement on that. Sure not all teenagers are mature, but some are and can find what they are looking for in love. I know I did. We aren’t getting married in a year or so and probably won’t have children until after I’m doen college for financial reasons (we aren’t waiting to afford children, just until both of us have steady jobs.)


#13

I believe it is usually better to wait to marry till you are older. However I am not so certain that it can’t work when you are younger if you keep God at the center of the marriage. They have to make the commitment and remember to keep God in their marriage, but people can make life decision at a young age. It is true that most kids are not mature enough to make that kind of decision so young and most don’t even really know what they want out of life. Yet this case seems like they have both the parents and the Priests approval. That means that those who know them well believe they have what it takes to make the decision.

Education is important, but we do not know that they have not made arraingements for that. He may be planning on working part time and going to college. He may already be trained in some trade that will support his family. I do believe that God will provide. And yes something can happen to him and leave her with kids to support and no education. But she can get it and I feel that this sounds like a family that will give her the support she needs to help her get it if she needs to.

This quote bothers me though. “But the truth of the matter is there are no mistakes in God’s world. That average age a girl starts menstrating is age 12/13. That means her body is prepared to conceive a baby, her body is ready to have intimate relations with a man. And since God does not make mistakes, then we can only assume that this was His plan as well as the fact that we have the Blessed Virgin as a prime example.”

Yes, girls can phsysically carry a baby at and early age, but that doesn’t mean that they can safely carry one then. More children that have children have problems with the pregnancy and the babies are often too small or have other problems. We can carry a baby at and early age but not all girls are really able to. And girls are starting to menstrate at and earlier and earlier age. My youngest was only 9. Are you saying a 9 year old is physically mature enough just be cause she has started menstrating? Some girls physically mature quickly and others later. We need both maturity ( which I agree our society doesn’t usually provide at that age,) and physical maturity. Children and a 13/14 year old is a child, are not ready to have children even if they are physically able to do so.
I will add that I do feel sometimes that they can decide at an early age. I know of many high school sweet hearts who wait until they are older and do marry and have it work.
Debbie


#14

Truth is truth!

I am not advocating that girls get married at 13, I have a 13 year old daughter myself and the thought of her being married is just perverse to me. But why is it perverse - because society has made it perverse — NOT GOD!

My original point was - we (society) are going against the Will of God. There are NO mistakes - God is Perfect - it was not a mistake that The Blessed Virgin was 13 - the age at which the female body changes is not a mistake, it is God designed, not man made.

Society has twisted once again that which belongs to God and soceity as a whole is and will pay the price for this distortion of His Holy Will.

Before man can change, the hearts of man must change!


#15

[quote=nucatholic]Sparkle, no offense but you seem to imply that someone our age will be able to determine whether or not the cute boy or girl we see at Church is the love of their life. I think that is not the case in our society. Obviously my friends just KNEW that they were meant for each other. Now they are miserable. I say let us young adults live chaste lives til we mature in our faith and in our careers and then we will be more fully able to discern whether or not that cute boy or gal is the right one.
[/quote]

I married the love of my life when I was 18, it’s been 14 years and although it wasn’t always easy, I’m very happily married. I actually wrote in my diary back in highschool after going out a whole six weeks I knew this was the guy I wanted to marry - it seems so silly to write that so early on, but some special connection just happen when we met.

I have a dear friend who married at 17 and although they had tough times too they are very happy together.

My friend and I were both pretty mature for age in highschool. We wanted to be married and have families. We weren’t into doing the party scene. It really depends on the individuals involved. I love the fact that I have prom pic’s of my hubby and I, and we have fun memories that we share from highschool.

I would say a pretty large percentage of teens right out of highschool in our current society are not ready for marriage, but there are definately some that are.


#16

I’m more worried about the husband’s young age than the woman’s.

IF you think that “traditional marriage” is the way to go,

IF you think that marriage is for life and isn’t meant to be one long, romantic happy-happy time that is abandoned once one feels bored,

IF you think that a materialistic, consumer culture obsessed with having two SUV’s and waiting until you’ve both had all the fun you can imagine having before having your one or two children is a BAD, FALSE culture,

IF you think that God will provide and we’re not to worry about “what if”…

Then it’s probably just as well that a girl marries young.

OTOH, I think the husband should have a college degree, be out from under most of his college debts, and, frankly, should be able to buy a home (even if parents help out with this. I just think owning your own modest home is the best foundation for financial security).

This may strike some of you as weird, but many cultures with “traditional” views of marriage, or at least a sharp division between what are the masculine and femine spheres, will have a 35-year-old man marrying a 15-year-old girl. That may be a bit extreme, but I do think it could work well if a 28-year-old married an 18-year-old. Their fertilities are more in line that way, for one thing, and since an 18-year-old woman is really about perfect to begin childbearing while a 28-year-old man who has his head on strait is about ready to provide… well, I think it would be a very good arrangement.

Women sexually mature earlier than men and stop growing earlier - I think around 15 years old. Men, OTOH, can grow several inches in college.

It’s crossed my mind that if I had a traditional family, I’m not sure I would send my daughters to college. What will they learn there besides how to drink from a beer bong and a bunch of classes full of ideas that will lead her astray? I happened to love college, myself, and I think there’s a lot to be said for an education… but I have not had a happy life. I’m a recent convert and I do suspect that we are called to live a radical lifestyle that is naturally going to be quite at odds with the rest of society.

Wouldn’t it be more honest and more effective to tell your daughters that they are being raised to be good wives and mothers? Wouldn’t it be a wonderful thing for your parish if the sincere young 28-year-old men who hope to find a good Catholic wife could be encouraged to court a daughter who is still young, fresh, and innocent?


#17

There is a teenage mother who has started a thread in family life,titled please help me by sadlisa. I suggest we go and try to be supportive,God Bless


#18

I would not call the situation bizarre, counter cultural, and definitely against Church pastoral teaching, but not bizarre. Getting married only because the girl is pregnant is specifically warned against becasue it may constitute force, and so invalidate the marriage. That is the situation behind a huge portion of marriage cases being considered in tribunals for annulments, according to friends who serve there. since poster did not give any info on how stable the kids are, their relationship, even whether they are in love, what pressures are being brought to bear by family, we have no means of judging their chance for success.

that being said, I have counter cultural views of my own. there are certain mature teenage couples, who do fall in love for life at that age and by circumstances of life and character are mature enough for marriage. they are few and far between, but they do exist. the hallmark of discerning that maturity is chastity before marriage. Inablilty on the part of the boy, the girl, or the couple to control sexual desire and practice continence is a hallmark of immaturity and proof of unreadiness for the demands of marriage.


#19

OTOH, I think the husband should have a college degree, be out from under most of his college debts, and, frankly, should be able to buy a home (even if parents help out with this. I just think owning your own modest home is the best foundation for financial security).

College degree? For what? I have absolutely no intention of going to college, although I might anyway. But do you think Joseph had a college degree? No, he was a carpenter. A carpenter is our role model husband, not an “academia nut” professor or something.

This may strike some of you as weird, but many cultures with “traditional” views of marriage, or at least a sharp division between what are the masculine and femine spheres, will have a 35-year-old man marrying a 15-year-old girl. That may be a bit extreme, but I do think it could work well if a 28-year-old married an 18-year-old. Their fertilities are more in line that way, for one thing, and since an 18-year-old woman is really about perfect to begin childbearing while a 28-year-old man who has his head on strait is about ready to provide… well, I think it would be a very good arrangement.

That’s a but much. I really don’t see anything wrong with teenagers getting married (married, not just having sex). If both are mature, and ready, and they have the right ideas about marriage, why should age get in the way.


#20

[quote=Deb2of9]I believe it is usually better to wait to marry till you are older. However I am not so certain that it can’t work when you are younger if you keep God at the center of the marriage. They have to make the commitment and remember to keep God in their marriage, but people can make life decision at a young age. It is true that most kids are not mature enough to make that kind of decision so young and most don’t even really know what they want out of life. Yet this case seems like they have both the parents and the Priests approval. That means that those who know them well believe they have what it takes to make the decision.

Education is important, but we do not know that they have not made arraingements for that. He may be planning on working part time and going to college. He may already be trained in some trade that will support his family. I do believe that God will provide. And yes something can happen to him and leave her with kids to support and no education. But she can get it and I feel that this sounds like a family that will give her the support she needs to help her get it if she needs to.

This quote bothers me though. “But the truth of the matter is there are no mistakes in God’s world. That average age a girl starts menstrating is age 12/13. That means her body is prepared to conceive a baby, her body is ready to have intimate relations with a man. And since God does not make mistakes, then we can only assume that this was His plan as well as the fact that we have the Blessed Virgin as a prime example.”

Yes, girls can phsysically carry a baby at and early age, but that doesn’t mean that they can safely carry one then. More children that have children have problems with the pregnancy and the babies are often too small or have other problems. We can carry a baby at and early age but not all girls are really able to. And girls are starting to menstrate at and earlier and earlier age. My youngest was only 9. Are you saying a 9 year old is physically mature enough just be cause she has started menstrating? Some girls physically mature quickly and others later. We need both maturity ( which I agree our society doesn’t usually provide at that age,) and physical maturity. Children and a 13/14 year old is a child, are not ready to have children even if they are physically able to do so.
I will add that I do feel sometimes that they can decide at an early age. I know of many high school sweet hearts who wait until they are older and do marry and have it work.
Debbie
[/quote]

No ONE should get married BEFORE age 25. Even science has noted that the brain of humans does not fully mature emotionally until age 25.


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