In modern society girls as young as 12 and 14 are extremely immature and incapable of giving consent. However, in the distant past when people didn’t live as long and life was harder things were much different. I won’t say that I agree with a young girl marrying a much older man even in those times. What I will say is that girls of that age, in that time, were much more mature mentally and emotionally. They had to be in order to survive. They weren’t playing with dolls, they were helping with household chores, preparing meals and learning how to be a wife. Their entire life and goal was to a wife and to have children.
Exactly. “Childhood” lasted only a few years back then. As soon as the child was aware enough to do anything to help the family eke out their existence, they did so. This accelerated maturity to coincide with, in the case of the woman, with menses. By 14, they were fully tooled adults.
Further, the Tradition of the Early Church regarding Mary is that she was raised in the Temple, and unlike most children of the day, was well educated, being able to read, write, and had been a student of the Scriptures from the time she could think.
So, either way, you’re right. A girl of 14 back then had adult tools. If the traditions about Mary are in any way correct, she was not only tooled, but she was a formidable person.
I should also add here that those same traditions tell us that Joseph was an elderly man; that Mary had asked, when she was forced to leave the Temple after her menses, to be able to remain a virgin dedicated to God, and therefore the Temple rulers betrothed her to a widower, Joseph, who had grown children (later to be called the brothers of Jesus). You can see this tradition reflected in the iconography of the church: