Should one’s readiness for matrimony be judged by age only?
I’ll say the question in my own words: Is there any special age to get married?
And the answer is, all ages. It’s never too late to get married. Even elderly people should get married. לא טוב היות האדם לבדו – It’s not good to be alone.
But nobody should wait to mature; to say that this boy is immature, this girl is immature, that’s saying that you’re not going to help, that you’re going to let them remain immature. Because if they won’t marry they’ll remain exactly what they are. Marriage matures them.
People must marry however on one condition. They must marry not like gentiles. They must marry like Jews. If they marry like Jews, then it’s never too early. If you marry like Jews, it means it’s like this – you’re married forever! You’re married for good! You’re not marrying for trial and testing. No matter what! Once you take the plunge, you’re going to say all your life, “I love it.” You shouldn’t complain. Don’t look back and think you could have done something else. Don’t try to back out of it. Forget about the crazy ideals of the world – divorce, shmivorce. You’re married and that’s it!
Now, if you do that, then you’re going to mature in marriage. There might be some quarreling but there’s no use waiting because the longer you wait the harder it becomes to adjust to another person. It’s like the branch of a tree. A branch of a tree that grows bending outwards, so while it’s still pliable, you can bend it in this direction and in the other direction. But once it sets and it’s old and hard you can’t change it.
When two young people marry, they can adjust. There may be some difficulties at first, but they’ll adjust more or less. But when people who are older marry, then it’s not so easy to adjust. Each one has his own habits. He likes to keep his socks, let’s say, on the chair near his bed and she doesn’t like the socks near her bed where she’s lying. She wants the socks someplace else. And so each one has his idiosyncrasies and it’s not going to be that easy.
However, nobody should hold back because of that, because marriage in itself is rewarding. It changes character even in elderly people. When you must collaborate with somebody else, you must yield somewhat of your own stubbornness, then it’s a great benefit for the soul – it’s a great benefit besides opportunities to do kindliness to each other that a selfish bachelor won’t be able to do.
And therefore, it’s never too late to marry, but it’s certainly important to marry as early as possible.
TAPE # 503 (April 1984)