Marriage Works Best When The Man Is Older Than The Woman

by Yvonne Chase on April 23, 2017

Still Want To Be Married
Season 5 of Married, At First Sight, premiered this week and I was front and center. The show is exactly as it’s named; two strangers meet at the altar and marry at first sight. Over 40,000 singles signed up for the possibility to be matched and married so for those of you that say marriage is becoming obsolete, it’s a scam and all of the other negative things I hear, my heart is filled with joy that so many people still want to be married.

Age Won’t Be An Issue
Nate and Sheila, one of the three couples matched stood out to me and they are the subject of this post. Sheila was taken aback when she learned she’s older than Nate. She said, “He’s younger than me! Life experiences play a huge role in who you are. Twenty-five sounds young. Hopefully, he’s ready and sincere. I’m praying his age won’t be an issue.”I created a Twitter poll to find out just how much of an issue age can be in a marriage. Below is the statement along with the results:

Marriage works best when the man is older than the woman.

28% Agree

9% Disagree

63% Age is just a number

Levels Of Maturity
For Nate and Sheila, I don’t believe the numbers 25 and 30 will be the issue. I believe the issue will be their levels of maturity specifically in the area of faith. During the matchmaking special, something very important jumped out at me.

A Relationship With God
When asked about their faith by the spiritual advisor, Sheila mentioned her relationship with God. She said, “I believe in marriage and the sanctity of it. I believe in God. I love God and I have a relationship with God.” Sheila believes this entire experiment is a part of Gods plan for her life.

older
We Pray Together
Nate, on the other hand, mentioned religion; “I’ve always been involved in the church. I need somebody who’s willing to go to church. Someone who is willing to pray for me as her husband and I pray for you as my wife. We come together, we pray together.” 

Relationship And Religion
There’s a HUGE difference between relationship and religion. Nate knows what to do; go to church on Sunday, give a good offering, pray when you need to and read the Bible when you find time. What I see in Sheila is something completely different. 

The Way God Intended
Sheila seems to have a deeper understanding of what marriage means in Gods eyes. She says, “I am capable of loving someone the way God intended.” I don’t get that from Nate. Sure, he knows what to say and how to say it but I don’t sense that it goes much deeper than that. Nate doesn’t seem to be capable of leading Sheila spiritually and I believe that’s one of the key things she wants in a husband.

Going Through The Motions
In Sheila, I see a godly woman and in Nate, I see a carnal Christian; if he’s a Christian at all. Unfortunately, many people are going through the motions. They’re caught up in works; going to church and doing all the things a “good Christian” does yet none of those things ever made anyone a Christian and never will. It’s about a relationship, not religion.

In The Presence Of God
The late Dr. Myles Munroe had a lot to say about this and I agree with him. His advice to Christian single women is this:

Don’t marry a man who can’t teach you the word of God. A potential husband must be in the presence of God. The most important thing a man needs is the presence of God. In addition, he must know the word of God. He must study the word of God. He ought to know the commands of God and be able to communicate them to his family. A woman who knows the word is looking for knowledge and direction from her man from the word.

Ultimate Deal Breaker
I don’t think Nate is capable of doing any of that for Sheila and their marriage. So, while he’s younger and she’s older, I believe the differing levels of maturity in their faith will be the ultimate deal breaker in their marriage. Our level of maturity in our Christian faith has a direct impact on our maturity overall and our ability to make it in marriage. A mature Christian understands Gods plan and design for marriage. 

A Perfectly Great Relationship
A man caught up in religion won’t even understand why God matched him with the person of his choice and he will ruin a perfectly great relationship. I don’t see Sheila and Nate staying married beyond the eight-week time frame.

Authentic Relationship
Over at the website Family Talk, Dr. Tim Clinton wrote a piece titled Religion Without Relationship.  In this paragraph directed at men, he says;

It is important for men to recognize God’s calling on their lives and to have great expectations of what He will do. However, it is equally important to recognize that none of us can do anything worth doing without Him. When we attempt to accomplish God’s work, or even live the Christian life, apart from an authentic relationship with Him, we get burned out, frustrated, and fail. It amounts to religion without relationship. But God created us for relationship.

older
On The Fence
In closing, I will say this, while I’m on the fence about whether he needs to be older, I am not on the fence about maturity in his faith. For me, a Christian man must be mature in his faith and be capable of doing everything Dr. Myles Munroe mentions above otherwise there could be challenges ahead.

Something to think about…

What say you? Does marriage work best when the man is older than the woman? How important is it for the man to be mature in his Christian faith? Can a Christian marriage work if the man is less mature in his faith than his wife?

Here are 2 things I’d like you to do now:

1. Leave a comment below

2. Share this post if you like it

{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

Keri April 24, 2017

I have seen that when a couple is grounded in Christ, they are able to grow together. While it doesn’t make things easy, it does help you to fight through the struggles together! I am constantly remembering to grow in my relationship with God and my marriage as we get older.

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Yvonne Chase April 24, 2017

@Keri,

Keyword; grounded. Both people must be grounded in Christ. He must occupy first place in both lives. It becomes a problem when he’s first place in one and mixed up with other things in the other person’s life. For me, he must have at least an equal relationship with God. A stronger relationship with God than mine would be even better.
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Kelly April 24, 2017

I’ve seen some people though, specifically men, not able to express their true thoughts. I appreciated the fact that he understands the importance of prayer in a relationship. A lot of men aren’t even to THAT point. He may have similar views as Sheila – he just may not have expressed them in the same way. I would definitely need a deeper conversation from Nate to dig a little deeper into his heart to determine whether he understands that being a Christian is about a relationship and not just a tradition of attending church. Thank you for sharing!

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Yvonne Chase April 24, 2017

@Kelly,

I want to change my mind about Nate but I’ve seen so many guys like him that I could spot him in my sleep.

And this has little to do with what I see in him but look at how he celebrated his bachelor party with strippers, alcohol and getting intoxicated with his boys while throwing out one cuss word after the next! His boys definitely don’t strike me as strong men of God either.

I seriously don’t get a sense that he is truly walking with God. He may want to and he may think he is but I don’t see it. I’ll be watching and writing…
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Dionte Betts April 24, 2017

The man should be at minimum equal to the woman in faith. Me personally I believe the man should be more mature in the faith than woman and I don’t mean to sound sexist but I don’t recall in the Bible where God spoke to the woman concerning the way the family should go. Not only that but if his wife hits a rough point in life he has to have the faith and ability to pray her through her stormy season. I believe the woman needs to have some power too to pray for her husband. This is my personal thinking no one else should be able to get a prayer through concerning me like my wife. In order to make the marriage work we have to walk together and I believe the walk together starts with walking with Christ. How shall two walk together except they agree?

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Yvonne Chase April 24, 2017

@Dionte,

I agree with you 1000%. How can you lead me if you don’t know where you’re going?

Dr. Myles Munroe echoed your sentiments when he said, God spoke to the man concerning the direction of the family. The man ought to be able to communicate with his family what he hears from God. He can’t if he’s not hearing from God.

And he absolutely must have the faith and the ability to pray her through any stormy season…that’s a must!
Yvonne Chase recently posted…Slouchy Pants Men Are Too Weak To Lead Strong WomenMy Profile

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Jeanne Takenaka April 25, 2017

Yvonne, what an interesting post. Though I think life experiences can impact a relationship, I agree with you, the relationship each member of a couple has with Jesus will have the greatest pull in the success of the relationship. As a woman, I needed a man who is strong in his faith to lead in our marriage. When faith is the foundation for the marriage, the couple has a better chance of surviving, even thriving through those hard seasons. My husband has been a calming influence when life goes wonky for me. And, God’s given me the opportunity to be a stabilizing factor when things get crazy for him.

**I’m your neighbor over at Testimony Tuesday today. It’s so nice to “meet” you!

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Yvonne Chase April 25, 2017

@Jeanne,

Very nice to “meet” you too.

While I have my own strong relationship with God, I need a man who is strong in faith. Nothing less will do.

Sounds like you and your hubby have a great balance of faith in your marriage.

God bless you!
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Lori Schumaker April 25, 2017

Yvonne, I am loving these last few posts so much! They make me smile but speak such TRUTH! So, not many people know this, but my husband is 6 1/2 years younger than me! It made me refuse to date him for awhile. But his maturity was what made me give in. I’d met so many men older and way less mature. Well, that was almost 19 years ago ♥ It’s worked well. At the time, though, we both believed in God but didn’t fully get what having a relationship with Christ meant. We were not followers of Him. Praise God He changed all that!
Blessings and smiles,
Lori
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Yvonne Chase April 25, 2017

@Lori,

Thanks, Lori!

Both you and your husband were on equal footing. You were not Christians. Equal footing makes the difference whether both are walking with God in a relationship or religious. I believe the challenge presents itself when the scales are imbalanced.
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Mari-Anna April 28, 2017

A couple who love God first and each other second stay together, no matter what else. Blessings to all of you!
Mari-Anna recently posted…Less Is More in SpiritualityMy Profile

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Donna Reidland April 28, 2017

Yvonne,

What a great post! I’m sorry I didn’t get over here to read it sooner.

My thoughts:

Because, women are called to respect their husbands and husbands are to love, cherish and protect their wives, I do think there are some advantages in that area when the man is older. But I completely agree with you that the spiritual issues are the ones that really matter.

Not being unequally yoked is more than simply both being professing Christians. First, there is the issue you pointed out about relationship versus religion. I love the quote by Dr. Munroe, by the way! Second, as women we should look for a man who has a hunger for the things of God and can truly lead us.

Several years ago, I met with a couple who were planning to get married. There was a large age difference. In fact, he was closer to her children’s ages than to hers. I have to admit, I expected to be able to help them see this was not a wise choice. But as I met with them and saw their mutual commitment to God, I came to believe they had a much better chance of having a great marriage than most of the pre-marital couples I’ve met.

As I reflected on that, I thought about marriage in the Bible and the fact that age is not mentioned. In fact, we would have to assume that when there was a levirate marriage (one in which the brother of a deceased man is obliged to marry his brother’s widow), the man would have often been younger.

On a side note, I’m not familiar with the show. If I understood correctly there is an “8-week trial.” Since there are only 2 biblical reasons for divorce, this would make me concerned about Sheila’s level of trust in God if she would be willing to enter into marriage with that option. Admittedly, I haven’t seen the show and may have misunderstood. While it’s a good thing to want to be married, it can also be an idol if we’re willing to sin the have it. Marrying and then divorcing because “it didn’t work out” or “we’re not compatible” would be sin. We need to remember that people in the Bible were often matched and didn’t know each other ahead of time (i.e. Rachel and Jacob, Isaac and Rebekah).

Anyway, loved your post. Keep encouraging people to do things God’s way, whether single or married. Blessings, sweet sister!
Donna Reidland recently posted…“What Would They Call You?” April 28My Profile

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Yvonne Chase April 28, 2017

@Donna,

You opened my eyes today to something I never thought about and I am now writing a blog post and tagging you in it.

And by the way, you did not misunderstand at all. The show is exactly what you think it is; divorce if it doesn’t work or we feel we’re not compatible. There’s an out clause for any reason possible.

A man who hungers for the things of God and can truly lead us is exactly what we should seek. Nothing less will do.
Yvonne Chase recently posted…Slouchy Pants Men Are Too Weak To Lead Strong WomenMy Profile

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Donna Reidland April 28, 2017

BTW, I’m pinning and sharing.
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Christy April 28, 2017

I guess I’ve been under a rock. I’ve never heard of this program. Personally, especially as a Christian, I would never be able to leave my future to a t.v.show. Yikes!

As for age differences? I’m 9 years older than my hubby. It was a little difficult in the early days because he was only 20 when we married. I had more life experience, but he was (and still is) so much wiser than his years (and me). I can’t imagine life any other way!

Found you from the FMF link up.
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Yvonne Chase April 28, 2017

@Christy,

To be very honest with you, when the show first premiered, I actually applied to be matched. They didn’t choose me and I’m glad about it because as Donna says in her comment, it’s no place for a Christian.

God hates divorce. Putting it on the table as an option at the start of the marriage sets it up to fail. As long as divorce is an option, that option can and will be exercised.

God bless you and your marriage!
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Edith Ohaja April 28, 2017

Hi! Glad to connect with you via the Dance With Jesus Linkup. I think you’are right. Chronollogical age is not as important as spiritual maturity but love can make improbable relationships work too. Both love for God and the spouse can be the glue that holds the marriage together irrespective of age or whatever other differences exist. Thanks for sharing.
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Yvonne Chase April 28, 2017

@Edith,

Chronological age is not important unless it’s something outrageous like he’s 20 and you’re 50. That could pose a bit of a challenge don’t you think?

Spiritual maturity, hungering after God as Donna said and the ability to lead, I believe are what’s really important. And like you said, a deep love for God and spouse can’t hurt.
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Bella April 28, 2017

My husband is five years younger than me, and it doesn’t really cause much of an issue. I think the important thing is that he’s spiritually mature and able to encourage and strengthen me in my faith. For me, that was an essential.

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Yvonne Chase April 29, 2017

@Bella,

Like you, spiritual maturity along with his ability to encourage me and strengthen me in my faith is much more important than his age. That is essential for me too.
Yvonne Chase recently posted…Slouchy Pants Men Are Too Weak To Lead Strong WomenMy Profile

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Ann April 28, 2017

I married a man 15 years my junior when I was 41. People laughed, talked, predicted doom. We are still married while they’re on their third marriage. It wasn’t always sunshine and roses but what marriage is? I think what kept us together was the commitment we both had to the union and each other. Strange, I thought it would be the love but it was not. I deeply care about him as a person and his well-being and he has shown the same for me. I’m 55 now and he’s 40…No longer that 27 year old young man and he appreciates me more now than he did years ago, and shows it.

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Yvonne Chase April 29, 2017

@Ann,

I’ve often heard it said that love is not enough to keep a marriage going. Liking the person and like you said, deeply caring about him as a person and his well-being are super important.

God bless you and your marriage…
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Ruth May 3, 2017

Spiritual maturity in both spouses makes for such a better marriage, and if the husband is mature enough to lead his wife in spiritual things, that is the way God has prescribed it, so that is the best way. However, if the wife is more mature spiritually, but her husband really does love the Lord, over time he can become what she needs him to be. She just needs to pray for him in faith and patiently wait for God to do His work in him. This is not the ideal, but it can work out with God’s help.

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Yvonne Chase May 3, 2017

@Ruth,

Yes, if she is more mature spiritually and her husband truly loves the Lord, over time, he can absolutely become what she needs him to be. Well said…
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