So I got this question from one of my Instagram followers this week and decided it would be a good question to talk about here as there might be a few others who find themselves in the same situation.
I once was in a relationship with a guy I was about a year older than and we were good while we lasted; it wasn’t so much the age difference that made me break off the relationship, but somewhere at the back of my mind, I felt like I wouldn’t be able to fully submit to him as my husband as I was more mature than he was and maturity wasn’t about the age difference.
Mine wasn’t even so ‘bad’; I have a friend whose mum is five years older than her dad and the have been married for over 25 years and still growing strong. When it comes to age and relationships, personally I think age is just a number and if you don’t mind, it really doesn’t matter.
In my opinion, age is not one of the major factors that determine whether a marriage will be successful or not. Yes it plays a significant role, however in true friendship, age does not really count. Nobody emphasizes who is the oldest. Rather, the two people involved in the friendship just relate freely, not emphasizing seniority or superiority. This should be the same in the marriage where love reigns.
What determines leadership in any situation is not always age; it is the role the individual recognized as the head plays at the time that makes him the head. For instance, think of a young man who pastors a church and most of the congregation is far older than him, yet he is the head, simply because of the role he plays in the church. The same applies to a marriage where the woman is older than the man. In this kind of marriage, the man still plays the role of a husband, while the woman plays the role of a wife. That’s just the order and no one can reverse it. No matter the age difference, no culture, tradition or people will ever give the role of a husband to the woman because she is older. Similarly, the man does not become the husband because he is older; he is the husband because he is the man of the house and that automatically makes him the head. So really, age does not determine the success of any marriage; maturity, love and understanding do.
If you’re looking at marrying a man you’re older than whether by months or years, there are some major things you need to consider.
It’s clear that maturity is not a function of age. In considering marrying a man younger than you are, one major question to ask is – “does he have the maturity to understand your needs and take care of you?” I like how vocabulary.com puts it- Some people might be physically mature, which is to say that they are fully physically grown, but don’t yet exhibit signs of emotional maturity — such as a willingness to accept responsibility, or maintain poise in serious situations — for a long time afterward. How does he relate with the people in his life; does he show a sense of responsibility; is he someone you can easily follow his leadership and not try to treat him like he’s your younger brother even if they might be the same age? Ask yourself this- “Will I be willing to submit even if his leadership is not as mature as I would like?” When it comes to marriage, the man assumes the responsibility of the head. Regardless of the age difference between both of you, he deserves respect and adoration from you.
- Consider the ‘Pros’ and the ‘Cons’
This kind of marriage has its own share of problems and its peculiarity will inevitably open it up to several challenges. One of such is how you get along with the person’s friends, because these people will also be part of your life. Also, because of the age disparity, both of you may not have many life experiences in common and this may make it challenging t to find common ground to stand on.
- Is it God’s will for you?
Every couple should seek confirmation that their relationship is God’s will. An age difference is just one factor to consider. The bigger question is “Is this God’s will?” While you both can exercise wisdom in thinking through some of the unique challenges you might face, you can also trust Him with the details. If it is His will for you to marry a man younger than you are, then you can be sure He has graced you both for it.
Finally, as with all marriages, remember that there are prices to pay, challenges to face, things to endure;therefore, critically count the cost and be sure your man is ready and willing to stay with you and remain faithful to your marital vows.