May 8, 2023

Getting Married Young

Engaged to be married at age 19, Millie Bobby Brown is showcasing what is now countercultural.

Millie Bobby Brown, best known for her role as character Eleven in the Netflix series “Stranger Things,” announced on social media that she is engaged to Jacob (Jake) Bongiovi. Jacob is the son of famous rocker Jon Bon Jovi.

Brown, who is 19, and her fiancé, who is 21, sparked a debate: Are they too young to be getting married?

Aside from the initial reaction of “Mind your business and just congratulate them,” this author then pondered about the cultural significance that this simple statement of commitment means.

What Bongiovi and Brown are doing with their engagement is countercultural and it is a beautiful thing.

Contrast this perspective with other famous celebrities. Taylor Swift and Lizzo, for example, have implicitly and explicitly expressed that they find marriage outdated.

Swift, who sadly just broke up with her boyfriend of six years, has written in her music the following opinions. In the song “Lavender Haze,” she sings: “All they keep asking me / Is if I’m gonna be your bride / The only kinda girl they see / Is a one night or a wife. … Surreal, I’m d**ned if I do give a d**n what people say / No deal, the 1950s sh*t they want from me / I just wanna stay in that lavender haze.”

Her impatience with the concept of a loving, committed marriage is evident from those lyrics alone. Her words are reflective of the general disgust that many in our younger generations have with the concept of a committed and loving marriage whose purpose is to start a family.

Singer Lizzo was more straightforward. She gave these thoughts on a radio interview: “I think a traditional relationship scares me for 10 years, but love is forever. I can love somebody forever. Monogamy, to me, is a little claustrophobic because there are rules. I think a love relationship that’s not monogamous has no rules. I think people who do poly and all that stuff — there’s still rules.”

Here she expresses that she doesn’t mean she or her boyfriend are okay with sleeping around. She then clarifies: “It just means that there are no expectations, and that way, the love gets to just be the main event. … It’s like, do what you wanna do, as long as you love me.”

This actually comes off as kind of a sad statement. She wants no rules or expectations, and yet she wants love. Ironically enough, when the interviewer questioned her more about her own relationship, Lizzo then admitted that she is in a monogamous relationship, she just doesn’t want it to have that label.

In other words, she doesn’t want what she considers the cultural stigma associated with being in a committed monogamous relationship.

Swift and Lizzo represent the mainstream cultural opinion on this subject. Their views would have been considered countercultural 50-odd years ago. But that has shifted.

This is largely due to the feminist movement, which has pushed for women in general to wait later and later to get married and start a family in favor of pursuing careers. The extreme form of liberalism that is pervasive in our culture has also convinced men that they are not needed or that commitment is a waste of time. The biggest catalyst for this anti-marriage and anti-family culture is the abandonment of religious faith. Our culture is seeing a breakdown of the family in real time. Divorce, abortion, public school indoctrination that teaches kids to lie to their parents, and environmental religion that preaches kids are a net negative when it come to saving the planet are the spoiled fruits of loving ourselves more than anyone and anything.

Then there’s this glimmer of happiness from Brown and Bongiovi. Getting married young and having the opportunity to grow up together is a gift. This sentiment is echoed by Jon Bon Jovi, Jake’s father, who said, “All of my kids have found the people that they think they can grow together with and we like ‘em all.” Jon and his wife Dorothea have been together for 40 years and were high school sweethearts. So Brown and Jake Bongiovi have that lovely example of commitment.

It is also worth noting that Millie Bobby Brown and Jake Bongiovi are both religious. Brown is from an Anglican upbringing and Bongiovi is Catholic.

And they are the counterculture.

We wish them all the happiness in their upcoming nuptial and hope that more people follow their example.

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