For Gospel Today’s May/June 2012, we sat with Christian hip-hop artist Trip Lee and his wife, Jessica, to highlight the strength and maturity of their marriage, despite their ages. Make sure you check out the interview in the Youth & Young Adult column!
Trip Lee and Jessica each wrote blog posts describing their process of curiosity, courting, learning and marriage… it’s a must-read for people of all ages. The common thread through it all– submission to Christ. Take a look to see what we mean!
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(Reprinted with permission from BragOnMyLord.com)
Trip Lee’s Perspective: Why Did I Get Married So Young?
Yesterday I made a late night stop at the store to grab a few things and I had a very interesting conversation with the cashier. We made small talk as she scanned my items, and then she offered me a discount card but I told her my wife already had one. That\’s when the conversation got fun. I know this conversation all too well because I\’ve had it many times before. It goes something like thisâ€¦
Person: What!? You\’re married?
Me: Yeah I\’ve been married for two and a half amazing years.
Person: How old are you? You look like a baby.
Me: I\’m twenty three.
Person: You\’re so young! Why in the world would you do that?
Me: Why wouldn\’t I?
In 2009, I got married at the barely legal and barely respectable age of twenty one years old. During my courtship, engagement, and short marriage, I\’ve been asked time and time again questions like, â€œWhy get married so young? What\’s the rush?â€, and my personal favorite, â€œYou should have waited and enjoyed your life!â€
Some of the folks asking these questions were strangers, but some were family. Was I crazy to get married at such a â€œyoungâ€ age?
Well let me give you three reasons I decided to get married when I did.
1. I met a godly woman
As an eighteen year-old freshman in Bible college, I wasn\’t actively looking for a wife, but God saw fit to introduce me to a young woman after his heart. She was beautiful, but more importantly she loved Jesus. She was aware that she was a sinner in need of God\’s grace, and she had a humble, teachable heart. We ended up being part of the same church, so I got to watch her serve, grow, and faithfully give her time to others. I began to talk to my inner circle about her. My friends, mentors, and pastors all agreed – she is a beast! I could see myself walking with her and loving her for the rest of my life.
2. I was ready
By this time I began to think about the reality of marriage and what it means to commit yourself to someone for a lifetime. I asked myself whether or not I was mature and responsible enough. I searched through the Scriptures and thought about the responsibilities of a husband, and talked to married friends and mentors. After lots of prayer and conversation, my mentors and the pastors in my church told me they thought I was ready to pursue her. I was like, â€œAmen!â€ But I would not have pursued her if I thought I was not prepared to spiritually lead her, provide for her, and to be the head of a family.
3. Marriage is a blessing
At first I felt like I had to prove to the naysayers that getting married young is ok sometimes. But when I looked in the Scriptures I didn\’t find stuff like, â€œMarriage equals death! Flee from it!â€ or, â€œPut marriage off until you can\’t put it off any longer,â€ or, â€œOnly get married when you\’re too old to enjoy life,â€ or, â€œPlay the field for a while and then pick the best one.â€
Instead I found commands like, â€œFlee youthful lustâ€, and I read passages like Proverbs18:22Â that says, â€œHe who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the LORD.â€
So when people say, â€œWhat possessed you to get married so young?â€ my new response is, â€œYou\’re asking the wrong question.â€ I think at the root of that question is the assumption that marriage steals something away from me, as if my youth is being wasted in committed sacrificial love when it could be used for casual pleasure and flakiness.
Marriage is a beautiful gift from God! It is a means of grace. I found a wife, and that is a good thing. I don\’t agree with the logic that says, put off God\’s richest blessings as long as you can. Instead I would say enjoy God\’s good gifts and steward them for His glory.
This is not to say that everyone should get married when I did. It would have gone bad if I would have tried to get married before I was ready. Some of us do need to mature more, and others of us need to pray for contentment and trust the Lord and His timing. My goal is not to say that the younger you get married, the more holy you are. I just want to dispel the myth that we should delay adulthood and we should only consider marriage when we are thirty and older.
Last night on twitter someone asked me if I regret getting married so young. My answer? Absolutely not.
It\’s one of the best decisions I ever made. I\’m happier and holier than I was two and a half years ago, and that\’s a good thing. I don\’t want to make it seem like I\’m some super rare anomaly. I know plenty of folks who got married just as young or younger than me. They too saw marriage as a gift and they\’ve seen the fruit of that gift. Me and my wife may be young now, but I\’m praying for grace to love my wife well until the end of our lives. Until then I want to obey the wisdom of the Proverbs and â€œrejoice in the wife of my youth.â€
Jessica’s Perspective: Why I Got Married So Young
1. I found a godly manÂ
When I first met Trip, I was not planning on getting married anytime soon. But from the very first time we went out, I knew there was something different about him. He was passionate about the Gospel in a way that I had never seen before in a guy my age. I also never met someone with such a wise perspective on dating. Thanks to his discipleship before college he knew exactly what he thought a godly relationship should look like and he wasn\’t willing to compromise that.
I will admit that I struggled with this at first. It seemed too serious and excessive. But over time the Lord began to show me the wisdom in a relationship saturated with community, sexual AND emotional purity, and dating for the purpose of marriage. If you\’re not ready to be married, then its probably not a good idea to engage each others hearts. In Song of Solomon we are warned not to awaken love before its time. As women, we are very emotional beings and so when I met a man who was passionate about conducting our relationship in a way that would guard my heart, I knew I found a keeper
2. We were encouraged by the people in our livesÂ
During our courtship we asked certain people to be intimately involved in our relationship. They would keep us accountable to our boundaries and help us make wise decisions about our relationship. We also went through premarital counseling before we even got engaged. These two things allowed for us to seek the wisdom of older, wiser brothers and sisters about whether or not it was a good idea to get married. God has given us pastors and mentors from our local church for a reason. They help us think through our decisions wisely and give a godly outside perspective. Relationships that are conducted in isolation are putting couples at serious risk of sin and unwise decision making.Â I would really encourage dating couples to have other believers from your community intimately involved in their relationship.
3. The Lord showed me the beauty of marriageÂ
As a freshman in college I had what I like to call Superwoman Syndrome. I was very independent and career driven, very opposed to the idea of needing a man. I don\’t think there is anything wrong with being independent or career driven, but in my heart it was more than that. I was despising God\’s design for men and women. I would have never said that out loud, but if I was honest, I was frustrated with what I thought the Bible had to say about women. We are weaker, we can\’t teach, we can\’t lead, we aren\’t the head of the household, and my very favorite, we are to have a gentle and quiet spirit. I thought I had anything but a gentle and quiet spirit and I wasn\’t interested in changing my personality. All of these thoughts led me to think that marriage was something that would hold me back. It would keep me from pursuing all the career dreams I had and some day I would end up with 10 and half babies on a farm somewhere.
Thankfully, over the years the Lord has taught me and showed me what it really looks like to be a godly woman. Being a godly woman isn\’t defined by what you do or don\’t do. I know plenty of godly women who faithfully serve the Lord in a corporate job and countless women who serve their children and husbands faithfully at home. Biblical womanhood is about understanding God\’s unique role for us as women and delighting in the beauty of Gods design.
As a married woman I have learned so much about what it means to be a godly women and I don\’t feel chained down by my husband or my marriage. God\’s design for marriage is for our good and His glory. Knowing and believing that gave me the confidence to marry at the age of 22. Two and half years later, I don\’t have any regrets, and I can only pray that the Lord continues to bless our marriage.