In Young and In Love: Challenging the Unnecessary Delay of Marriage by Ted Cunningham, there are examples of how to prepare for marriage no matter how old you are. This book is aimed more towards young people who might be in their college years.
While the majority of our society tries to delay marriage and instead seems to push for finding success in business before worrying about getting married and making a family, Young and in Love tries to encourage the opposite viewpoint (to marry first and pursue the job while married). As someone who got married at 20, I sincerely loved this book. I wish it were around when I was engaged, honestly, because it has some amazing advice for how to better prepare for life as a married couple, and would have truly benefited me and my husband.
“This book challenges the unnecessary delay of marriage, but I’m afraid we have a bigger battle on our hands. According to the Time magazine article (‘Who Needs Marriage?‘), 39 percent of American believe that marriage is becoming obsolete. A Time/Pew poll found that 44 percent of Americans under thirty believe marriage is ‘heading for extinction.’ Apparently, some think that delayed marriage is just a stop along the way to wiping marriage out altogether.” [page 79]
Ted Cunningham is a pastor who has given examples of some of the couples he’s met with before they marry, uses some of his own personal stories of his love life, and gives cited information from society and godly people, as well as scriptures throughout this book.
At one point in the book, Mr. Cunningham brings up that many people are discouraging young couples to get married just because they are supposedly “too young” (I had many try to do that to me before I married as well, so I could completely relate and agree while reading it). While it is true that only about 2% of high school couples end up marrying, Mr. Cunningham gives hope to those who are in high school who might long to marry. He tells them to put behind their adolescence by showing their family and friends that they can take on added responsibility, to honor their parents and their discernment, and to get a job in order to gain experience, training, and responsibility.
Near the middle of the book, Mr. Cunningham talks about the important “Four Cs” to consider before you decide to marry. These “Four Cs” are character, chemistry, competency, and calling. He explains each one so that you can understand them easily. He notices that many people divorce not because marriage is the problem, but “Marriages fall apart because of deep character issues, not because of surface issues. You may like the way a person looks and behaves in public, but if he or she has no character or integrity, then you’re in trouble. Character is everything. – He or she can be a doctor, lawyer, pastor, or plumber, but if the person you marry has no character, then you’ll have problems in your marriage. He or she can have a strong personality or be fun loving, but if there’s no integrity, then chemistry doesn’t matter.” He continues on expressing how “Your character determines your commitment in marriage.” [page 138-140] There is a chapter for each C to help understand if the person you want to marry is truly worth marrying, or if they (or even you) need some work and change before settling down.
If you are wondering what portions of the Bible that were most often quoted in Young and In Love; Song of Solomon/Songs and Ecclesiastes were most used, as well as many others from throughout the Bible (Matthew & James, for instance). Everything that this book talks about revolves around scriptures so that you can try to ensure that your relationship is Biblical!
I found the book to be such an easy read, that I read it within a couple days and enjoyed the fun stories included. One thing that stood out to me was how Mr. Cunningham talked to his own daughter on different occassions, even though she is very young (not even a teenager yet). Since we at Ruby-Eyed Okapi often bring up articles on modesty, I loved the small story brought up in this book with how Mr. Cunningham handles the issue, since I don’t know of many pastors that speak out against immodesty. “I regularly tell the young women in our church that what they wear speaks directly to their character. Let your closet reflect your love for Jesus.” [Page 150]
I sincerely hope that any person who is longing to get married and are between the ages of 16-30, should certainly give this book a read! This book deserves a 4.5 out of 5 stars review/rating!!