Question

Posted February 14, 2013

I’m a junior in Bible college, and I’m 22 years old. Until a few weeks ago, I was well set in my ways on going to Russia as a single missionary to work with the Deaf. Several months ago, the Lord helped me finally come to the place that I could truly say that I was content with serving Him as a single, however long that were to be. But in the last few weeks, a man in my college has begun to express interest in me. He has asked to an up-coming banquet at the college, walks me to classes after chapel, and eats lunch with me. We both help at an inner city church plant, and have gotten to know one another well through serving together. The problem regarding him is his age. He is fifteen years older than I am. I have been receiving unwanted “advice” from well-meaning people about how I need to be careful or even that I should reconsider. Is the age difference really a significant matter? Are there potential problems?

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  1. annajoy

    This is a good question, which I have been wondering about myself and would really like to see some answers to.

    # February 16, 2013

  2. haleymay

    Hi,
    In many ways I feel inadequate to answer this question, but I would like to offer the few thoughts I do have on it for you to consider.

    First, Ruth married Boaz, who was quite a bit olde than her. If a man is a godly man who will make a good husband and father and lead your family, it is infinitely better to marry a good, older man than one who is young and unstable.

    Also, Debbie Pearl married her husband and he is several years we senior as well, and I think we can all see the good that came from that.

    From a worldly perspective, many people I know caution about the age gap because of the differences that occur later in life. There can be a bit of a difference in aging between 55 and 70, for example.

    But overall, pray about it with an earnest heart. You will be in the Lord’s will in this if you seek Him first and live according to his commandments.

    # February 16, 2013

  3. kelseymarie

    I think the biggest thing is if your attracted to him. If he’s too old to be attracted to, you don’t want to marry him. I personally don’t think age is really a big issue though.

    # February 19, 2013

  4. Allie

    Wow!

    Well, God’s plans are different for every person.

    Abraham was 10 years older than Sarah, my dad is also 10 years older than my mom.

    The point here is: what’s God’s plan for you?

    Is he a man that makes you to be closer to God?
    Does He exalts Jesus Christ with His life?

    Is he really pursuing you?

    Well, you say that a lot of people has been giving their “unwanted advice,” but you know, it´s very difficult to give someone an advice like this. It requires a lot of stregth and love for you. Don’t despise their advice.
    And also seek for more advice, your parents’ advice, your brothers’ or sisters’ advice, the elders’ advice.

    The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, But a wise man is he who listens to counsel. Proverbs 12:15

    Heed instruction and be wise, And do not neglect it. Proverbs 8:33

    Maybe the Lord wants you to trust Him at this moment of your life, maybe He wants you to run away before you can’t escape.

    Pray, talk with your parents, ask the Lord to give your parents and you peace if this is His will for you. Listen to counsel and seek the Lord with all your heart.

    In Christ,
    Allie

    # February 25, 2013

  5. sbalia

    Dear Sara

    I got married to a 31 year old man when I was 18. -13 years age difference.

    Back when my hubby asked for permission to court me,my parents and close friends grilled him- asking  him tons and tons of hard questions to determine his character. This is key I feel!

    Heed their advice and concerns and take it to the Lord in prayer.

    If you are still under your parents you should obey them.

    Here are a few practical things to consider.

    1. Does the age difference bother you? YOU will be the one married to him.

    2. If you don’t take good care of him in regards to cooking, exercise and so forth it may effect marital relations

    3. You may need to plan on having kids sooner rather than later so that he can still have tons of energy to play with the kids etc.

    To a large extent it does also depend on his personality -Does he act his age or is he in the frame of mind that he is still young and energetic. As a man thinketh in his heart so is he.

    4.If he has been in other relationships before as he is older- how will that effect you?

    Be open and honest with each other about the age difference and discuss things that it could effect in the future and how you would deal with it.

    To us the age difference is not a significant matter. There may be some practical matters in the future,if the Lord tarries, but this doesn’t phase us.

    We got engaged 3 months
    after we met and are happily going onto our 3rd  year of marriage with our 3 month old baby girl.

    # February 26, 2013

  6. sahara

    Hi Sara,

    First off, I want you to know that I am getting to know someone 12 years older than I am, so I know where you’re coming from. This sort of relationship raises a lot of questions, so that is why you are receiving advice from people around you. My advice to you is consider/pray about what they are saying. It will not only help you figure out what is right for you, but it will also prepare your heart for marriage to this man if that is in the future for you.

    I talked with a number of people when this man started to pursue me. I’m going to try to be as brief as possible, but here are some of the things I gathered.

    Let’s be real: 15 years is a lot.
    You could bear children until you are 45-50 years old. That would make him 60-65. If you have a child at 45, you usually support them for 18-20 years. That would make him close to 80. Most men retire about 65.

    It is said that men tend to die earlier than women. Of course no one knows when they will die, but it is good to keep in mind that if everything followed a natural course, you could be a young widow – 15 years younger than most. You might even have children in the home – Do you have enough stills/talents to be able to support a family on your own?

    He is from a different generation than you, so he is going to relate to things differently than you and your peers. That can be a good thing, but it can also create some problems.

    One friend (married to a man 11 years older) said that for the first 5 years of marriage, they spent time with married couples her husband’s age. She did just fine with that, but when they finally spent some time with couple’s her own age, she realized what she had “missed out” on. She said that in a relationship like this it is good to have friends of all ages and stages of life.

    Something that helps is if he is a “young 37” and you’re a “old 22”. Years don’t matter as much as maturity levels.

    Is this man much bigger than you? At some point you may have to take care of an infirm man. Would you be able to help him get out of bed/move around?

    Are his parents in good health? That’s usually a good sign of how he’ll do.

    Some questions a relationship like this raises: Why isn’t he married yet? Has he ever pursued anyone his own age? What did he spend his time doing? These are good things to question.

    The key advice I came away with: 1. Pray, pray, pray! 2. Trust the Lord. 3. Ultimately, if the Lord is in it, age really doesn’t matter. You may just have some extra things to work through. 4. Do not marry just because you want to be married. Marry for love, and because he is the right one for you.

    So I suggest you take these things quietly before the Lord, talk about them with your parents and see what the Lord does!

    # February 27, 2013