Too Old To Get Married???

Too Old To Get Married???

I received the following comment via email and wanted to share my answer with everyone in case there are any other readers who have the same assumptions.

I am 27.  Am I too old to get married in your worldview?  Because I’m also very well educated and an accomplished author and my themes are about women in politics.  So I’m just wondering if I’m not marriage material in your book.  Sorry to sound cynical but I do feel I was lied to that if I waited around Prince Charming would come.  That said Jesus is the solution to all our problems and no husband can ever fill that longing in one’s heart.

Dear —–

Thank you for taking the time to express your questions and concerns and I am sorry for the delay in getting back with you.  Due to our family being overseas for 6+ weeks, I am still trying to catch up on correspondence!  To answer your question, I do not know of any age at which a person is “too old” to get married.  I also am not aware of any statements on our website that would lead you to make this assumption, but if there are any, please enlighten me!  I believe that people should marry when the Heavenly Father directs them to do so by providing the spouse that He has planned for them since before the foundations of the world, regardless of whether they are 18 or 88 or anywhere in between!  I would never, ever say that someone is too old to get married!

Too Old To Get Married???

In regard to your question about if you are marriage material in my book, my first reply would be: does it matter?  Is my opinion so important that you would shape your decisions and lifestyle around it?  I hope not!  My second reply would be: it’s not my place to determine whether someone is marriage material or not!  And I certainly don’t think that because a person is 27, well-educated and an accomplished author, she isn’t fit to be married!  Again, I don’t think we have ever expressed such sentiments on this website but feel free to correct me if I’m wrong.

I am sorry that you feel you were lied to but I’m unclear as to what the lie was.  That if you waited around, Prince Charming would come?  What do you mean by “waiting around”?  Just by definition, all of us who are not married are “waiting” for our husbands, but that doesn’t mean that we are “waiting” to live our lives.  Maybe what you are referring to is the concept that life doesn’t really start until you’re married?  I would agree that this is an incorrect and dangerous perspective to hold.  Regardless of whether or not we are married, we should be waking up each day with the determination to serve our Father in heaven and bless those around us.

In reply to your last sentence, I agree that we can find hope and answers to our problems through our relationship with our Savior, but there are certain longings in a woman’s heart that will never be fulfilled outside of marriage and family.  If the Heavenly Father desires for a woman to wait many years before He brings her husband, He will provide the comfort and sustenance that she needs, but there are still unmet longings and desires … and there is nothing wrong with admitting that!  No, we don’t need to get married and yes, our Savior provides everything we need – but we were created to be wives and mothers.  Not everyone is called to that role but the majority of us are.  The question is: how can we live today so that we can be like the virtuous woman of Proverbs 31, doing our husbands good all the days of our lives? (v.12)  And yes, even when we don’t know who they are!

Too Old To Get Married???

Thank you again for writing and feel free to let me know if I need to clarify anything I have said.  With love in our Messiah, Hannah

12 thoughts on “Too Old To Get Married???

  1. I also believe that no age is too old to get married at–and I also believe it’s very, very useful to learn to be a happy single person–it sets you up well for learning to be a happy married person. Yet I also see women among my friends who say that they want to be married and yet don’t seem to do anything that would remotely help them get married. Some of my friends are in their 30s and seem to avoid all conversation with single men, and could definitely be seen as “rude” in their interactions with men. My Mom taught me that simply being friendly, generous, and kind can go a long way if you desire to get married. It’s just a silly anecdote, but years ago I baked a batch of cookies for my Bible study group–a young man ate 7 cookies during Bible study and asked if he could take the leftovers home, so I gave him the leftovers since he enjoyed them so much. And, yes, now that young man is my husband of nearly 4 years….

    1. I think that women sometimes are afraid of coming across as flirtatious, over-friendly, or trying to “make a catch” … and they go to the other extreme of almost being unfriendly. Finding the balance is the key!

      And I love the cookie story 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  2. I can identify with the young woman who wrote this quest, because I was once in a similar place – and the problem, for me at least, was legalism. I expected that God would “give me the desires of my heart” and answer my prayers for a spouse, while I was still quite young. The church and many of my peers also sent the message loud and clear that marrying young is vastly preferable to becoming a “spinster” – and that being a single woman over a certain age (I’m now 29) meant you weren’t doing something right. It was treated, never overtly, but much more subtly, as a curse. (I actually wrote a blog post about it – http://modernishliving.blogspot.com/2013/09/please-stop-treating-singleness-as-curse.html) . . . .

    In any case, it came to the point that my feeling/impression/belief was that I was still single because I was being punished. That I was not “holy” enough to deserve a spouse and family, and I would be “stuck” as a well-educated spinster for the rest of my life if I didn’t take matters into my own hands. Fortunately, I was able to eventually realize that both the church’s subtext and my own legalism were WRONG, wrong, wrong. First of all, God isn’t a genie in a lamp that grants me wishes in exchange for good behavior. Secondly, being single – for however long – is NOT a punishment. It’s just a different life stage and one that is VERY useful to the community and local church (and if your church does not hold this biblical view and wants to keep you on the sidelines – then find a new church!). It’s not better or worse than marriage and/or motherhood, just different. And God absolutely has a plan to use it!

    I still struggle daily with holding my desire to be a wife and mother with an open hand . . . knowing that God will fulfill that desire only in His will and in His time . . . . and knowing that waiting doesn’t mean I’m broken or less useful NOW – I have important things to be doing even while I’m single – and perhaps esp. while I’m still single.

    (sorry, that got longer winded than I intended at the outset)

  3. I understand this woman’s frustrations. I feel that, in general, the church in our nation does a poor job of addressing prolonged singleness.
    I wish I had answers, but all I know is that God is faithful and good. I was in my late 20s when I met my husband (and I wondered if I was getting too old!). We married at age 28 and now are blessed to be expecting our first child!
    Though I wanted to get married at a younger age, I’m so glad I didn’t marry until I found Preston (my husband). He’s the most amazing man of God. He’s wise and patient and an amazing provider.
    I pray God brings a wonderful, Godly man into this woman’s life.

  4. One of the worst non-Biblical ideas to come out of the Christian Church is that a woman must be married by her early 20s at the latest . It makes women feel worthless and perpetrates the idea that a woman must be desirable to be someone. It also put immense pressure on men to marry before they are fully mature.

  5. Hannah, I found this blog through Wise Woman Builds Her Home. I enjoyed reading this post because I’ve been writing to young women about relationships for six years, and these questions always come up! You answered very well: that yes, we are ‘waiting’, but we aren’t… waiting. We live our lives to the glory of God, and he will bring the right person at the right time. That is exactly what happened with me and my husband.

    In case you are interested, I’ve written the below posts that girls seemed to really enjoy.
    Can Girls Have Guys as Friends? http://phyliciadelta.com/can-girls-have-guys-as-friends/
    Why I Didn’t Marry My Type: http://phyliciadelta.com/why-i-didnt-marry-my-type/
    Why My Boyfriend Called My Dad: http://phyliciadelta.com/why-my-boyfriend-called-my-dad/

    God bless!

  6. I have just gotten married a year and a half ago. I was 54 years old and my husband was 58 years old. I just simply told God if He had that in mind for me He’d have to send the man to me. And I spent the rest of the time becoming the best Christian I was capable of being and Tom just came into my life. God does a good job picking husbands.

  7. I married for the first time at 39 – very happily. I enjoyed Christian single life, and I love being married. My aunt (a widow) married for the second time at 80. I think we can assume that Ruth of the Bible might have been older than average when she married Boaz.

    I went to a conference when I was young with Jack & Carol Mayhall of Navigators. They said that a person should not focus on finding another person to complete them, but should focus on becoming complete in Christ, and then we will be suited to become a good spouse. I thought that was great advice!

    I DO think we’re missing out on something that previous generations had – which is more parental & community involvement in making matches.

  8. Oh but Hannah, perhaps you don’t realize this but you add to the hurt and confusion when you say “No, we don’t need to get married …. but we were created to be wives and mothers. Not everyone is called to that role but the majority of us are.”

    So…we don’t have to be married (or assumingly, be a mother)…but if we’re not, (either because we haven’t found our ideal match or because we don’t feel called to marriage) then, by your wording, we’re not fulfilling the role God made us for. Your word choice (and that of many Christian women) implies that women such as the letter writer have no purpose in life – that they’re not doing what the Creator made them for.

    This mentality of “we’re created to be wives and mothers” also hurts women who struggle with fertility. The implication is that if they cannot bear children, they must be failing their created purpose.

    I wish more Christian women could express their love of marriage and motherhood in way that doesn’t imply that single women or childless women somehow lack a purpose God-driven life. It hurts to have it implied that I’m failing God simply because I have neither a ring on my finger nor a baby on my hip.

    1. Dear Jill,

      I apologize for anything that I said that was hurtful to you. Believe me, I know full well the feeling of wondering where I’ve gone wrong because I “have neither a ring on my finger nor a baby on my hip”. Deep down, I know that I haven’t gone wrong and that I’m just where my Heavenly Father wants me, but that doesn’t always prevent the mental battles.

      However, I would maintain that women were created to be wives and mothers – or according to Scripture, helpmeets. Some women embrace this role earlier in age than others … some never embrace it at all. I would never say that a woman is failing in her purpose because she isn’t married or doesn’t have children.

      You wrote that my word choice implies that women such as the letter writer have no purpose in life – that they’re not doing what the Creator made them for. These are two totally different things. We all have a purpose in life: to glorify our Creator in everything we do, regardless of marital/relationship status. That doesn’t mean that all of us are currently fulfilling the “role” for which we, as a human being, have been created. The same goes for men … not all men are subduing the earth, being fruitful and multiplying.

      We live in a less than perfect world (and that’s an understatement!) and things aren’t always “how they were created to be”. You mentioned those who struggle with fertility. Unfortunately there are many couples who cannot have children. Just by definition, they are not “being fruitful and multiplying” – one of the roles for which married couples were designed. But this doesn’t mean that it’s their fault or that they have failed in some way. People have suffered for ages, and will continue to suffer, and they are not to blame. It’s a fact of life.

      Single/childless women should never ever lack purpose in their lives, or feel that they’re failing or being “punished”. But I do maintain that marriage/motherhood is the role for which women were created (our bodies should show us that if nothing else!) and one that we all should embrace in the Father’s perfect timing. And I don’t deny that those of us who aren’t in that role are missing out on something very special – not through any fault of our own, but because our ancestors messed up this world and all too often we suffer the consequences.

      I can only encourage all women (including myself at times) who are hurting over their relationship status to remember that our Savior knows pain and knows how to comfort us. We can always turn to Him because He will never leave us or forsake us.

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