Wow, do you mind my asking what school you go to? It sounds a little like Liberty or Pensacola.
I’ll give you a little background before I start in… my husband and I met at a conservative Christian (ring-by-spring) college in 2005. I was 18, he was 22. By October, we were very much "twitterpated" and went to our parents asking permission to date. They said no, not yet. Well, we pretty much did date (without going on dates, just hanging out CONSTANTLY and exclusively) until Thanksgiving/Christmas time when our parents gave their consent. We made the decision in March 2006 to transfer to a different Christian school, and made tentative plans to marry in June 2007. We got to the new place, which was a lot more restrictive in its policies. We had to make the effort to be aboveboard in the way we interacted physically, because we were always in public. At the same time, the new school offered my husband a deal that if he lived in the dorms for the rest of college (no married housing), they would handle his tuition. So we made the decision to put off marriage until graduation, which occurred in December 2008.
So there are some similarities in our situations, I think. Our roadblocks to marriage were circumstances, yours are more family oriented. What I’d like to share with you from our experience is that we feel our marriage is that much richer and better for the waiting we did and the excellent counselling we received in the waiting period. We also have SO much less to worry about with only my student loans coming due now. If we had married quickly, we would have struggled with going to school while married, having more expenses/loans to pay off, and not having as solid of a base in our relationship. Honestly, the first 6 months to a year of any relationship is the lovey-dovey phase — sure there are problems, we had LOTS of fights our first year. But if you changed who you were or did things you wouldn’t do normally for a relationship, it starts to wear off. You can’t keep it up and you revert back to everyday people instead of fairytale lovers.
So I’d say, within reason and working with your unique situation, consider letting your challenges and delays rub some of that newly-in-love sheen off. Take advantage of your parents willingness to pay for school as long as you can, and realize that you can’t have it all… even if they wanted you to get married sooner, I think it’s somewhat childish to expect them to continue paying for the education of a married child — you make that new family and everything they choose to give to you from that point on is a gift, not an obligation or duty.
As to your school, I feel you on that. Keep your chin up and know that what you do is best for your relationship. We got a lot of pressure ourselves, in school and from other Christian resources (don’t read Boundless webzine if you hate get married now pressure) that good Christians get married after knowing each other for a year. Anything after that is obviously temptation to sin. We actually had a school administrator speculate to my husband on what we were doing in private if I put my head on his shoulder in church! Don’t give anyone reason to doubt you (ie, don’t move in together), and when people ask you can always give them the pat little "We feel it’s God’s will for us to move slowly in our relationship" or "Jacob worked for Rachel for seven years." 🙂
Sorry to write a book, but I’ve been there and I know it’s tough. Hang in there!