This week I will be celebrating my husband’s birthday. On Wednesday he will turn 26. I, on the other hand, am 29. And I turn 30 in March.
To be perfectly honest, I was very insecure about our age difference for a long time. In fact, I avoided the topic for the first several months that we dated. I felt so weird about it, plus I always thought I would marry someone older. The age difference consequently led me to drag my feet for quite awhile.
But eventually Ike won me over with his character. There was nothing about his maturity or wisdom that indicated he was any younger. He consistently impressed me and cared for me with excellence. Throughout the course of our dating relationship, he conducted himself like a total gentleman.
Eventually, my hang-ups about the age difference began to seem silly. After all, if Demi Moore could do it why not me? KIDDING! But seriously, for all the times I had heard that women date older men because women mature much faster, Ike broke the mold. He was more mature than a lot of women I knew.
As a result of my own experience, I came up with a tongue-in-cheek rule that I have started telling my single friends: Most guys are about as mature as they’re going to become by the time they reach the age of 24. If they haven’t matured by that point, then they probably won’t mature a WHOLE lot more. That’s why some 25 year-old men act like wise-beyond-their-years adults, while some 35 year-old men act like middle-schoolers.
Now please don’t take the above “rule” too seriously. I say it mostly in jest. But there is also some truth to it. At a time when women in the church outnumber men by a ratio of 3 to 2, women are too quick to rule out younger men because of preconceived notions about age difference. What women should instead look for is godliness, wisdom, and responsibility.
However, the burden is not on women alone. To my single guy readers, don’t be afraid to ask out a woman if she is older. I have a cousin who is the same age as me, and she recently married a man 4 years younger. Another one of my friends is in an amazing relationship with a man 3 years younger. If you act like a man, women will treat you like one.
I would also encourage you to consider older women for the same reason that women like older men: there can be a real difference in maturity. I am certainly a different woman than I was 5 years ago, and my husband has benefited from that growth. Our relationship would have probably been rockier had we met when I was younger. Of course women mature at different rates, as do men, but it is certainly something to consider. Plus, all my husband’s friends think he’s a total STUD for marrying an older woman! (Ok I promise that’s my last terrible argument for the day) 🙂
All of that to say, I didn’t marry a younger man because he is younger. Age really had nothing to do with it. I married him because he loves Jesus and he makes me a better woman, as well as a stronger follower of Christ. He is good and kind and smart and strong, and on this week of his birthday I praise God that he was born…no matter what year it was.