June 15, 2021

Girls Can Marry at 15 in Colorado

WeddingTime.jpgIn what seems like something out of the midevil time period or earlier, a Colorado court has ruled that girls can marry at 15, provided that they go through a common law marriage. The ruling is based on the fact that Colorado acknowledges common law marriages, and the statute specifying ages references traditional ceremonial marriages. In fact,

[T]he three-judge panel stopped short of setting a specific minimum age for such marriages, it said they could be legal for girls at 12 and boys at 14.

In one way, this is incredibly amazing. In years past, it was acceptable for 14 year old guys to marry 12 year old girls. My has society changed! Taking a brief look at the history of marriage, perhaps we can explain why.

Originally, God created the first mate– a perfect match. He created Eve out of the dust of the ground as Adam’s perfect helpmeet. I could only imagine that it must have been this that encouraged the families to help plan the marriages of their children. The next time you get a glimpse of the selection process is with Isaac and Rebekah. In this case, Abraham actually sent out a servant to go find God’s choice. Isaac and Rebekah never met before they were brought together for marriage.

Down through the records, marriages were arranged, purchased, bethrothed, used to bind countries, peoples, etc. If you look at the time of Christ, they were still doing arranged marriages with brides and grooms peparing themselves for their coming wedding– keeping themselves pure, working toward the time that they would dependant on each other.

Young boys were considered men at 12 according to Jewish custom, so it’s no stretch of the imagination that they would have also have been considered responsible to marry. My, how far we have come!

We now have a culture that expects children to be able to do less and less. Our collective desire to have our young years full of play and our adversion to having our children working in mines has made it so that we really don’t grow responsible children as much as we do kids that shun responsibility. Then we wonder why, when we ask them to do something, they rebel– but I digress.

I’m sure that arranged marriages and housing with parents also had a lot to do with the ages that children married. If you knew that you had a stable surrounding, who the boy/girl was that you were going to marry, and when you would not have the situations that we are having today.

In fact, if a boy married at 14 when he was just hitting puberty and starting to develop longings– he would have had an outlet. Unwed pregancy rates would go down. There sounds like there are good reasons for the way they did things– why aren’t we still doing things this way?!

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9 thoughts on “Girls Can Marry at 15 in Colorado

  1. This drives me crazy! Way to go Colorado!
    Why is giving them permission to shack up better than giving them permission to marry? And on the marriage/age question…I doubt you could find many teens in the USA at age 15 who could make a success of marriage. But their chance for successful marriage is jeopardized even more if they begin by living together!
    It’s like the argument (one that also trips my trigger) some Christian parents rationalize that if their kids are going to have sex anyway, they might as well put them on birth control. ??? Give the green light, why don’t you? Scary, to condone something God says is sin.

  2. I think that families could start earlier, even in the U.S., if they started out living in their parents home and had that support. I think relationships would have a better chance of being stronger if we didn’t “practice divorce” through dating. I think we may have lost some things in our process of making sure people are treated equal.

  3. “practicing divorce through dating”! That’s a good one. Maybe we should plan a courtship…I have one young enough for one of yours I think…;O)
    I may be teasing you, but I so see what you mean. About dating. But are you saying that if kids married that young, they should stay in one side’s home till they were older…for added support? What about leaving and cleaving? My main reasons for them needing to wait (besides maturity) would be financial…

  4. I cannot take credit for the “practicing divorce” idea– I think it originally came from Elizabeth Elliott.

    You may be teasing?! 🙂 I think I’m going to have to speak to your husband and see how much livestock I can get (or is it I have to pay) to get one of your daughters. 🙂

    The whole leaving and cleaving thing is interesting. Certainly it’s Biblical, but if I recall the whole process correctly, the man would be preparing a place for the woman off his father’s house– on the ancestral land. Would that mean that it would be the woman that would be doing more of the leaving?

    Homeschooled kids– correct me if I’m wrong– show much more maturity at a younger age. We had a girl visit our church a couple times and I would have sworn she was 16 or 18 and yet she was only 13! (At least, I think that was the case.) Financial is definitely something to be concerned about– especially since we don’t allow children to work!

    In any case, I think that we’re going to find ourselves making interesting choices in the generations to come that may put us either back to where our forefathers had come from or following the world that’s going to practice freeform families.

  5. Interesting…to say the least. I’ve read so many wonderful courtship stories…but I don’t want to lose my daughters to someone far away? Assuming you are far away!
    You are right about homeschooled kids, for the most part. My comment was more for the kids in CO who were in question as per your original post. I married at 18…went right out from my papa’s wings to my new husband’s and for us, it was ideal. But I know others that did the same and regretted it. The candidates would definitely have to have God as #1 in their life, and know it was His will.
    And live in the bride’s home state, of course.

  6. In regards to your last parapgraph, I completely disagree. The boy should marry at 14 because he hit puberty and this would cause pregnancies out of wedlock to decrease?

    I understand that this stance comes from not wanting to use birth control, so i’m not going to address that. However, I think its equally unresponsible to encourage kids to just get married as soon as they hit puberty and have sex whenever because being married makes that ok. I don’t think two teenagers with 3-5 kids attempting to finish high school or college is a particularly good idea for the couple or the kids, but maybe im just losing it. 🙂

  7. You’re probably right– hard for me to show when I’m being satirical and when I’m being straight. Guess I need to use more smileys. 🙂 However, I am certain that when marriage occured younger you probably also didn’t have such early puberty and they definitely didn’t have the problem of unwed pregnancy.

  8. Your view is refreshing. I thought I was the only one who thinks that people are getting married too old and “practicing divorce” by dating. That’s a great way to put it. Dating is stupid and most often destructive.

    We would have better luck with arranged marriages than we do with the random romance method of today.

  9. What you said got me thinking– arranged marriages can also have the benefit of being focused on the selfless love aspect rather than the emotional feeling. We’ve gotten into a position where love is something we fall into and base one of the most important decisions of our lives on.

    Going out with friends and getting to know the opposite sex is not a bad thing, but when you combind the feelings that “I’ll never find anyone else, so I should marry her/him” and “When I’m with him/her I feel so great” (I’ve heard someone say that it might not be love, it just might be the flu!) you’re in for trouble.

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