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Is the Scripture against marrying an older woman?

I’m a 34-year-old Christian man in love with a woman who is 41 years old.

By: Pastor Taiwo Odubiyi

There is nowhere in the Bible where it is said, “Thou shalt not marry an older woman.” If a man wants to marry an older woman and it pleases the woman to be his wife, that’s fine, it’s their business. Such a couple is not committing a sin or doing something wrong, unlike child marriage and same-sex marriage that are wrong in every way.

 

Though the Bible does not condemn a younger man-older woman marriage, it is a unique one. What most people consider to be normal is for a husband to be older than the wife or at least to be about the same age. The Bible also implies this. Adam was created before Eve, and in Genesis 17:17, the Bible reveals that Abraham was older than his wife, Sarah.

 

Abraham fell facedown; he laughed and said to himself, “Will a son be born to a man a hundred years old? Will Sarah bear a child at the age of ninety?” NIV

 

However, it is not wrong for a man to marry an older woman. In my latest novel, ‘With This Ring’, Ibie (a woman in her forties) didn’t mind getting married to a younger man as long as he was a Christian, good and godly. As a Christian, she knew the will and the word of God concerning marriage. A Christian marriage is supposed to typify Christ’s relationship with the Church.

 

God does not take the issue of marriage lightly and no one should go into it carelessly. The Bible has a lot to say about marriage and everyone thinking of getting married should keep the Scriptures and warnings in mind, whether it is a unique or normal marriage. Some of them are:

 

1) A Christian should not marry an ungodly person.

14 Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? 15 What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? 16 What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said, “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.” (2 Corinthians 6:14-16 NIV)

 

2) A man should leave his parents and cleave to his wife.

 

3) Marriage should be between a man and a woman.

4 “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

 

4) God does not want divorce.

“For the Lord God of Israel says that He hates divorce, (Malachi 2:16 NKJV)

 

Other unique relationships as I pointed out in this column some time ago are: interracial or intertribal; getting involved with a widow or widower; someone who has a child; long distance relationship.  

Like other unique relationships, this younger man-older woman relationship must be handled with much care. It will require a lot of love, work, wisdom, understanding, and prayer to succeed, as such, the couple involved must be very certain it is what they want and they are willing to make it work without looking back with regrets later on in life.

 

The Bible also admonishes us to count the cost.

For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it— 29 lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, 30 saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish’? 31 Or what king, going to make war against another king, does not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? 32 Or else, while the other is still a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks conditions of peace. Luke 14:28

Count the cost. What does this mean?

 

It is being sure that you will be able to finish what you start, knowing that you have what it takes to stick it out to the end. Before getting married and getting committed, it is important that you count the cost. There is no way though that someone who has not been properly counselled can accurately count the cost of getting into this unique marriage.

Quite a number of people getting into this unique relationship don’t fully realise what they are getting into. Usually, the age difference does not seem to matter so much at the beginning of the relationship because they are in love but challenges come with time. Will the love be enough? Marriage is not a bed of roses and as you lay your bed, you will lie on it.

And so, the couple in this unique relationship should carefully and prayerfully count the cost, knowing fully well that there is no turning back. They should think about the cost of commitment, staying together through thick and thin. An underestimation of the cost would end in disaster and regrets.

 

You should know that there will be some challenges. What if you meet and fall in love with a younger woman later on? Are you willing to look away from all younger women? What will happen when she begins to show signs of aging? Will you be able to handle her in marriage? Will you be able to hold on and fight for your marriage to the end? The cost might also turn out to be expensive. The older woman might not be able to have a child for some reasons.

Have you thought it out? Are you comfortable with this younger man-older woman marriage decision? Are you sure of your love for each other? Will the love be enough to see you through? Have you prayed about it? Are you willing to remain true and on course?

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