Very often, when talking with Christian singles, the subject of age differences when dating comes up. There seem to be socially accepted norms such as what a couple should look like together (the man should be slightly taller than the woman), what the ideal age difference between a man and woman should be (the man should be just a couple years older than the woman) and being of similar economic status (otherwise one may be after the other’s money. But do all of these factors really matter if both parties really are of pure motive, similar spiritual status, have real common ground and are truly in love? Does society really have the right to judge a relationship by what it looks like?
While it may be difficult to rise beyond the superficial social expectations by which many people measure relationships, there is the consideration of maturity and life experience which often transcends the idea of age.
So what does it matter, exactly, if a woman is older than her dating partner? If the relationship works, why limit yourself to a certain age group? One has to question the norm if the norm doesn’t work. With a fifty-percent success rate in marriage (Christian marriages, included), any advice that isn’t Bible-based really shouldn’t be a factor now, should it? And, I truly can’t recall one scripture telling us what a match between two people has to look like.
The Bible speaks about not being joined with someone with whom we are spiritually incompatible. So that means, as a Christian, we shouldn’t date and marry those of other faiths. This parameter isn’t even a commandment. It is a guideline in order that we wouldn’t find ourselves in a difficult living situation with someone we cannot garner spiritual support in the best and worst of times.
Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? (2 Corinthians 6:14)
So, the next time you meet someone new, and they don’t seem to match the societal norms of what a relationship “should” look like, look again. Perhaps, if the two of you are on the same level spiritually, and you get to know the person truly, you will find that you have more in common than you previously thought.
This is especially true for those of us who, getting on in years, start to lose hope in ever finding a match with someone at all. When you start to limit yourself in terms of relationships because of societal norms, you may end up looking past someone who God has brought across your path because they don’t match your ‘idea’ of the package your potential match should come in.
So what questions should we ask when interested in other Christian singles?
- Is he/she a born again, spirit-filled Christian?
- Are you attracted to him/her?
- Do you have anything in common with him/her?
- Can you look past the differences between you?
- Do you think you can build a lasting relationship with him/her?