We need to understand that God created marriage. God is the source and originator of marriage, marriage wasn’t Adam’s idea or any man’s idea. Marriage was created by God and the only way to enjoy marriage is to build it on the principles of God’s word.
“And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach.”
In the older generation, the age difference between the average couple was ten years and usually, the man is older. In those days there were no clear cut guidelines as regarding marriage especially in terms of submission and respect. In order to achieve this, the idea of a wide age difference between couples came up. When the man is fifteen years older than the lady, submission is a bit easier. The age also allows for other things. Most likely the man would have finished schooling, and will be working so he will be better placed financially and ready to meet the woman’s needs at the level where her needs are. Also, when he is older, chances are that he should be smarter. This kind of setting usually makes respect and submission quite easy. It is easier for the woman to serve her husband in ways that show and communicate respect readily.
However, we are in a time and generation where it is possible for a woman to be older, richer and smarter. Things have changed drastically now, the average woman cannot wait for a 10-15 age difference. A lot of people want to marry people who are closer in age to them. The main reason is because usually, most people want to marry their friend, people with whom they can identify with in several ways. With a wide age difference, the two people become individuals flowing in different generations and this can make communication difficult. Presently, we are in a dispensation where the women are now older and economically independent than most guys.
Scripturally, there is nothing wrong with a woman being slightly younger, better placed financially or more educated than a guy she is in a relationship with. There is nowhere in the bible God condemns this. The major reason people frown against this type of relationship is because, it is not everyone that can cope with situations like this. Most men especially, are uneasy with the idea of being married to a woman who is older, richer and smarter especially in this part of the world because they are insecure. Insecurity is a serious issue in this part of the world, and a major reason why the success rate is low. As individuals especially as a man, insecurity is a big issue. There is NOTHING WRONG SCRIPTURALLY with a man marrying a woman who is older, richer and smarter. And this is the reason why as a believer, you need to keep renewing your mind daily so it is constantly in-tune with God’s words and his principles not tradition or societal values and expectations.
“But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.”
Men are not in anyway superior to women. Women and men are equals. Women are not rewards given in exchange for hard work. Women are female beings with vision and purposes. They are not in anyway inferior to men. This scripture talks about the spiritual order God has instituted for marriage. The woman is meant to submit to the man she is married to, the man is the head of the home, he leads and then he in return also submits to God. Some men, however believe that they can extend this command outside of their home. That is wrong. The man is the head of his OWN wife only. As a man you have no right to tell another woman or someone else’s wife what to wear or how to look or act. You are head in your home only.
Ephesians 5: 22
“Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.”
What this means is that the woman understands that whatever age the man is, no matter how dull or how smart he is, no matter how rich or broke he is, he is the HEAD. That means that from the moment you agree to marry him, you have agreed to submit to him. If you cannot submit to him, then don’t bother getting married. Some women who are richer, older and smarter, tend to just get married for the name and title ‘Mrs’, once they get this, every other thing becomes secondary. This is not right. If as a lady you must get married, do not ‘hire’ a husband just because you think you don’t stand a chance any longer or because you are desperate for a name and title, marry because you love the man and you are ready to submit to him. If you don’t love him and you are not willing to submit, wait. Wait till a man you love, respect and can submit to finds you. As a man, do not marry a woman ,if you are not comfortable with her being more educated, earning more or older. Importantly, never ever marry that woman because of her money. Money only does so much, on the long run you will get tired. Marriage is not something that can be run or sustained by greed. Marriage is a covenant. If you are going in with unclean intentions, you will get tired eventually.
A few conditions you should look out for:
- As a woman, if you notice that there is a likelihood of a relationship happening between you and a man who is slightly younger, ensure you lay out the facts of who you are clearly and plainly. Tell him your age. Do not lie. Don’t hide your age either. Tell him upfront. Don’t build your relationship on a lie because of fear. Trust is an essential part of friendship, relationship and marriage. There is NO relationship in the world that can survive without trust. Without trust, there is no marriage. Don’t decieve the man. Lieing shouldn’t even be an option. It wasn’t your age that made him like you in the first place so why should it make him stay. If he cannot handle it, let him go.
“They were both naked and not ashamed.”
In marriage, you cannot hide things. There has to be openness and transparency.
- Check for basic things like security and confidence.
This is so important because a lot of men are insecure. The problem with an insecure man is he won’t let you grow. Anytime you want to do something that makes you seem more better positioned than him, he begins to complain
‘you are too independent’
‘you are too ambitious
‘you are too concerned about making something out of your life’. Watch out for statements like that. They are pointers and signals of insecurity. You want to have another degree, he says no, anything that can seemingly make you a better person, he always demeans and objects; watch out. The thing about insecurity is, no man openly admits he is insecure, but if you are wise, you can spot an insecure man. You can tell from little traits like fear; he is scared when he sees you with other men because he believes those men are better than him, he is always trying to brag, will constantly try to win an argument or seem smarter in a conversation because he believes that will validate him, he is always trying to prove a point because he needs to believe he is a man or that he is man enough to be worthy of you; when both of you go out and you meet other men that look wealthier or are older, he starts acting inferior, he struggles to act like a man among them.
An insecure man usually cannot handle the greatness you carry. RUN!!!!
Prov 31: 28-29
“… Her husband also, and he praiseth her. Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.”
The proverbs 31 man allowed his wife be all that she can be. He was her chief supporter. He always encouraged her. The proverbs 31 woman was into a lot of things, she was a multi-talented business woman alongside being a wife and a mom And her husband was NOT INTIMIDATED. He even went ahead to praise her and push her to do more. Some men in this part of the world will get their wives to resign from their jobs once they notice she is going to earn more and that is because they still have that wrong mindset, that belief that they can use money to control a woman. As a man, you should lead NOT because of money. Develop your leadership skills, don’t seek to control, instead seek to influence. As a woman, look out for security. Make sure that man is a secure man. Make sure he can handle the fact that you earn more.
Marriage is a covenant. Who makes more money matters only when you are not married, once you are married, the money becomes ‘ours’. There is nothing like ‘my money’ in marriage. As a woman the man’s money is not ‘our money’ and the money you earn, ‘your money’. There is nowhere in the bible God said only the man should provide. Nowhere. It is not even insinuated that the man should provide. Many believers just read a scripture in the bible without understanding it and then use it to justify their beliefs.
The scripture 1timothy 5 has been used over the years to justify the belief that providing is a man’s responsibility/ a man must be the sole provider in the home. The thing with interpreting scriptures is that you can’t interpret a verse in isolation. Check out the verse that comes before and the verse that comes after.
“Rebuke not an elder, but intreat him as a father; and the younger men as brethren;The elder women as mothers; the younger as sisters, with all purity. Honour widows that are widows indeed. But if any widow have children or nephews, let them learn first to shew piety at home, and to requite their parents: for that is good and acceptable before God. Now she that is a widow indeed, and desolate, trusteth in God, and continueth in supplications and prayers night and day. But she that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth. And these things give in charge, that they may be blameless. But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel. Let not a widow be taken into the number under threescore years old, having been the wife of one man.Well reported of for good works; if she have brought up children, if she have lodged strangers, if she have washed the saints’ feet, if she have relieved the afflicted, if she have diligently followed every good work. But the younger widows refuse: for when they have begun to wax wanton against Christ, they will marry. Having damnation, because they have cast off their first faith. And withal they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not. I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully. For some are already turned aside after Satan. If any man or woman that believeth have widows, let them relieve them, and let not the church be charged; that it may relieve them that are widows indeed.”
This message was written by Paul to his son Timothy, a young pastor on how to relate with people in the church. This scripture has nothing to do with marriage, it was talking about widows. And it states in vs 16 that any MAN OR WOMAN who have widows in the church should provide for them. This scripture has nothing to do with husbands providing for their family. Infact, it doesn’t state or even suggests in any way or form that a man should or must provide.
Marriage is a partnership. So provision should be mutual. Money earned by the two of you, irrespective of who is bringing in more belongs to you both. As a family, you should have visions and goals in terms of finances. The basic understanding is, money, wherever it is coming in from either from the man or the woman, should be used to fuel those goals. This could mean at times, the man bends his financial needs so his wife can get something or the woman bends her financial needs so her husband gets something all for the betterment and progress of the family. Marriage is not an association or just a union, it is a covenant. If both parties are willing to be covenant minded and put the principles of God above all, then they can enjoy a good marriage.
- Ensure that he is hard working.
Don’t marry a man who is always ‘planning to’.
‘I am planning to start a business’
‘I am planning to get a job’
‘I am planning to start a company’
If he is always planning to, that is a sign that he is lazy. He believes that you are rolling in money so his intention is to help you plan how to spend your money. If he is not doing well on his own, he will not do well when he is with you. Don’t marry a jobless man. If he is into business and the business is not moving, wait for the business to move before you marry. Otherwise, tendencies are that business will not move after marriage and that is because he will keep depending on you to invest in the business before anything substantial can come out of it. Be careful not to be too quick to start throwing money around especially if the man is not at a place in his finances where he can stand by himself. If you start giving him money now, and the man is not hard working, you are fueling his drive to depend on you. Make sure he is hard working. Yes, he might not be rich yet, but you must see that he is taking steps to becoming better, you must see fruits that he is truly committed to putting in efforts to get himself a better life. Don’t marry a loafer.
- Look out for maturity and intelligence.
Watch out for a man who is always blaming people, a man who never takes responsibility for his decisions. He is still at a point where he still believes someone should help him or the world owes him something.
‘I have a brother in Germany’
‘My brother lives on the island and I am here suffering’
‘My father cannot give me a loan’
‘My mother is not good to me’
Do not marry an immature man. Maturity of the mind ESPECIALLY for a man is so key. Also, ensure he is intelligent. You might be more educated and have higher qualifications but is he intelligent?? He doesn’t have to be Einstein but does he have basic intelligence? Can he carry on a normal conversation? Can you learn from him? Intelligence is not a gift. It is not about academics, not everyone is gifted academically but everyone can be intelligent, because intelligence is not about going to school; intelligence is about development. As a man, groom yourself, read books, embrace knowledge. Usually when you are young, people are checking the school you went to, what you had in JAMB, what you finished school with. When you become older, people are checking your life, they are checking to see if the decisions you have made for yourself is paying off. They are checking the quality of your life. Make sure you set the foundation for a worthy future now. Embrace knowledge
- As a man, check for submissiveness.
Does she look up to your counsel and wisdom? Does she listen to you? Is she WORD ruled? Does she understand that the man must be the head of the home irrespective of her age? Does she allow you make the final decision even when both of you don’t agree? Marriage doesn’t mean the man will always be right, but the word has given the man the right to make the final decision. Don’t marry a rebellious woman. She is always fighting her father, her brother, her boss, her pastor; she cannot handle authority, don’t marry her, she will fight you too.
Phew!!! If you are anything like us, you probably also wished this never ended. But no worries, we will be here again next week with another amazing topic to blog about on relationships.
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