Just A Number or A Prejudice?

He simply caught my eye, but given the circumstances I thought it best not to take even a second glance. Yes, I felt he was within an acceptable younger age range; well that’s how I estimated him!  I shifted my chair closer to a male friend seated next to me assuming that would rule out any suspicions of the purpose of me being there in the first place.  Ignoring him didn’t help.  I was to find out later that in his eyes I had stood out across the room as much as he stood out in my eyes.  The feeling had been mutual.

He always found ways of communicating with me, as brief as they had to be more often than not.  We connected on all levels – it was unique.  We laughed, we bantered but we also had meaningful conversations…We shared a passion for the Lord and to serve Him with all we had.  The physical attraction was strong too.

However, as we got talking we shared more details about ourselves – including the dreaded NUMBERS!  Nope, not the phone numbers but our ages.  I’m using the adjective ‘dreaded’ here as it turned out Prince Charming was way much younger than I thought.  Perhaps he thought I was much younger.  He claimed he had estimated me just a few years younger than I really was.  Well, that hadn’t stopped him from trying to get my attention whenever the situation permitted!   We never felt the age difference.  In fact he insisted that no one in his age category could match my elegance and beauty.

I had sleepless nights after these numbers decided to haunt me.  We connected so well, the feelings were mutual but this age factor had to prop up.  Is it yet again a prejudice or is it based on a valid reason?  I began to explore the concept of age – and thus my previous blog materialized.

What came to my mind first was a book I read years ago co-authored by Derek Prince and his second wife Ruth.  Derek had been led across the seas to Jerusalem and to his future (first) wife Lydia who was 25 years his senior. (Lydia was born in 1890 and Derek in 1915). I remember cringing when I read that.  How can someone marry a woman so much older than him?  It was yucky.  I couldn’t understand how GOD would ordain such a marriage.  Surely it couldn’t be ethical, I reasoned.  However God had also shown Lydia too which was confirmation.  When Lydia died, Derek had taken care of her adopted children and Ruth later stepped in.  I enjoyed the testimony despite not being keen on the age factor.

When I found myself in a similar situation, I had to repent for my judgmental reaction to Derek & Lydia’s testimony.  It was almost like God warning Peter not to call what He had created as ‘unclean’.  God convicted me of living life based on a value system that is not all based on His ways but rather a result of cultural and social expectations.

What would the Bible say about such marriages?  Tamar came to mind.  She had waited for her late husband’s youngest brother to grow and come to age so that she could establish an heir to her husband’s name.   What happened next was history, but the fact is that such marriages were a common practice in the Hebrew / Jewish cultures.  Did God have anything to say against them?

I also was reminded of Alan and Barbara Pease’s books.  The sexual peak for an average male is in his late teens while this occurs in an average female in her 30s.  Males and females at their peaks tend to get drawn to each other.  An explanation given for females having their peaks at a ‘later’ age was that it could be warning that the chances of the womb conceiving is getting lower; to make hay while the sun shines so to speak.

Someone else warned me that the age difference isn’t really an issue but the chances of him going astray when my age begins to show are high.  I grinned as I know youthfulness is a gift from God and the Bible does say those who look to Him are radiant.  Will my ‘age’ show?  Well at the current rate of looking younger, I’m sure it will take a while to look older.  Besides, is it about looks?  Aren’t men who are older than their wives straying anyway?  I can’t help think of Prince Charles leaving his young graceful wife at home to have an affair with the older (visibly much older too) Camila!  As far as I am concerned if a man wants to have an affair, he will.  However if a man is led by God, he will have the fruit of the Spirit – one of which is self-control!

I was convinced that if this guy would have the strength to stand up and go against the flow, then I will definitely say yes, trusting God is upholding us in His righteous right hand.  I saw how our ministries could complement each other and thus enlarge if we were to become a couple.  Prince Charming however decided to tell me that he is calculative and has the will power to shed off anything that comes in the way of his plans – which included his love for me.  Well, I couldn’t help letting out a sigh of relief as the controversy wasn’t something I was looking forward to.  However, I do miss him much.

Despite him being so much younger I felt so secure with him and I was able to be myself with him, youthful and energetic.  It would be hard to grow old soon with him around!  His passion for God, his testimony plus his ability to analyse every conversation and apologise when the need arose made me respect him much!  He was a man who was transparent – a rare commodity in today’s day and age.

Yes, there are regrets due to the break up but I do thank God for this experience as God has used it to make me a better person.  He showed me prejudices based on age and helped me resolve accepting someone from a different culture too.  This guy (despite age and culture) is God’s special creation too…

Why do we resist God and insult God with our narrow mindedness and thus reject what He has for us?  Do we think we know better than God?  Did God not knit us in our mother’s wombs and know each day for us even before they came to pass?  Wouldn’t HE know who is compatible for us?

Well, today I stand convicted that ‘age’ is a prejudice… and no, I’m not saying just marry anyone who is younger no matter what age.  What I am saying is don’t let that be a deciding factor to stop you from obeying God, to marry the person that God brings to you for you.

It is crucial that we hear from GOD first and foremost for His PERFECT will for our lives…

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