Is a 20 year gap between couples a problem?


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Question: Is a 20 year gap between couples contemplating marriage a problem? What does the Bible say?

Answer: While the Bible doesn’t specify age ranges in marriage, it teaches the basic principle that we should count the cost before entering into any important relationship (Luke 14:28). Age differences are one of several important compatibility factors associated with successful marriages.

Will these couples with 20 years age gap be able to sustain their relationship through the good and bad times? Through health and sickness…? Couples have to realistically assess long-run matters. There are many factors to consider such as: biological clock, death, sickness, kids, child rearing and finances.

Therefore, couples need to seek guidance from the church, family members, relatives and good friends before entering marriage “Without counsel plans go awry, but in the multitude of counsellors they are established” (Proverbs 15:22).

The Bible provides several examples of marriage by people with a difference in age gap, and one of them is between Ruth and Boaz. Ruth is one of the few people in the Bible with no recorded sin, and she goes down into history following the genealogical line of our Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 1:5). In Ruth 3:9-11 (NAS):

    He said, “Who are you?” And she answered, “I am Ruth your maid. So spread your covering over your maid, for you are a close relative.” Then he said, “May you be blessed of the LORD, my daughter. You have shown your last kindness to be better than the first by not going after young men, whether poor or rich. “Now, my daughter, do not fear. I will do for you whatever you ask, for all my people in the city know that you are a woman of excellence.

From these verses, it is concluded that there is a gap in the difference between the age of Boaz and Ruth. Boaz calls Ruth “my daughter” and commended her for not “going after young men.” Yet this marriage was successful. Marriage is not about age differences, it is a love relationship and a desire to please the Lord.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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