Putting Off College

Dear Sara,

My daughter is nineteen and is about to finish up her first year of college. She recently became engaged and wants to get married. She plans to go to college after she marries. Her husband to be has a good job and she thinks that it will be OK with him if she continues her education. I am really worried that she will quit school and have babies. How can I convince her otherwise?

Dear Francie,

Girls this age can be really naive. Does she realize that about 50% of marriages end in divorce? She might need to help support herself and her children if there is a divorce. It’s hard to finance two households on one salary. Her ability to get a good job may depend on how much education she has. If she is determined to get married there probably is no way to change her mind. Having a supportive mother may be really important to her later.
Good luck.


  1. She’s an adult and there’s no getting around that. She can do what she wants, and probably will. Not many young adults these days want to have the responsibility of having kids, so that may not be an issue. Seems like pets have replaced children in these young adult’s lives, which might be a good thing. All you can do is hope you’ve raised a responsible, mature young woman and hope getting married will be a good decision. Just be supportive and love her and her future husband. All the best!

  2. ‘…she thinks it will be okay with him if she continues her education.’ Really? She has not discussed this with her husband-to-be? What other life altering decisions have not been mentioned? Who does she think is going to pay for her education after she is married? This 19 year old sounds quite immature and hopefully her future groom will wait a good while before agreeing to step up to the alter with her.
    Good luck, Mom!

  3. Fred Bernheisel says:

    I married my wife after her first year of college, she was 19. We had children and she continued to go to school. Bachelors degree, Masters degree, PHD. AND she is still in college……….A college dean.

  4. Alice Gilbert says:

    My suggestion, after raising Four girls and three boys is this:
    Look to God. to guide you as parents and set the example for them to follow from cradle to adult hood, while they are still in your care. Teach them to look to God for leadership always.
    Raise up a child in the way it should go and when it is older it will not depart from it.
    Listen to their requests and discuss their problems helping them discern right and wrong decisions possible. Lay out choices, guide them how to decide which is the best solutions themselves. Don’t just throw them to the wind!

  5. George Phelps says:

    Dear Sara and Francie,
    My wife and I have been married for 66 years. We were married at age 20. Not very many were in favor of our marriage because ‘we were too young.’
    In addition, 6 weeks after we were married I was sent to the Korean War where I spent a year and a half overseas!! When I arrived home my wife was there to greet me, and that’s the end of the story.
    My advice to your daughter, Francie, is to go with her heart! I have grandchildren who are married and are going to college to get their degrees and they are postponing having children.
    Having children can be prevented using the many contraceptive devices on the market.
    After arriving home from the Korean War, my wife and I waited for 2 years before having our first child. We used contraceptives to prevent conception. That gave us a couple of years to enjoy our marriage and one another.
    Sooooo, go with your heart if you’re really sure you’re in love. My wife and I dated for over 2 years before we married. So when we married we pretty much knew for sure that we were in love.
    Good luck,

  6. Alton Washburn says:

    Dear Sir: I do not have a website, but I do have a sad story which should bring a warning. I live in a retirement home Morganton, North Carolina. My age is 91 (stated on my email address). It was only late last year that I an urgent call from one of my sons who lives close to Asheville. His oldest daughter had finished high school after having been quite exceptional in her studies. I gave her my car and me son paid tuition plus enough to supply her needs. About a few weeks after she was studying, my son began to wonder why there was no communication. He traveled to the college (close to Charlette) and asked to see his daughter. HE WAS TOLD THAT IT WAS IMPOSSIBLE. When he insisted and threatened to see authorities, he was told that he would be arrested. Without going into further detail, here is the crux of the problem: EMANCIPATION. Did you get that? North Carolina is one of a number of states which gives emancipation to a minor who is 18 years old or older. The law also allows her to have a lawyer establish a COMPLETE ABILITY TO BE TOTALLY FREE FROM SEEING HER PARENTS. These laws are readily available on the internet. When my granddaughter arrived at the college, she became associated with people who “know the ropes”. This was not a Christian college. Given the fact that we have a new movement called “Me-To” which demands rights for women who “get ahead” in the world. We do not have any clue concerning as to where my grandchild lives. I appreciate the opportunity to send this to someone who has a voice in dealing with the issues that are turning young people away from God.

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