Dom Bettinelli's blog post about an article by the Orthodox Jewish Rabbi Shmuley Boteach titled Too Young to Marry? has generated a lively discussion. Dom's follow-up post refers to an article by Orthodox Christian Frederica Mathewes-Green; Let's Have More Teen Pregnancy.
Mathewes-Green points out that the concept of marrying in one's late teens or early twenties is viewed with horror by modern liberals and conservatives alike. Why is this? A mere fifty years ago, the average first-time bride was just over twenty. Now many postpone marriage and especially childbearing into their late thirties.
As with every other attempt by prideful man to outsmart the nature that God gave us, the consequences of delaying marriage are now all too visible in our society. With no social pressure to grow up, adolescence now extends into the twenties and early thirties. Those who finally decide to settle down find that they're not as suited for the challenges of marriage and parenting as they would have been when they were younger.
The tide appears to be turning, especially among the children of the "Pope John Paul II generation", whose parents rejected contraception and the "2.2 child family", and embraced the openness to life taught by the late philosopher-pope. These kids, often homeschooled and raised to believe that marriage is a sacrament and children are a blessing, are now becoming young adults, and see no reason to put off starting families of their own.