Worried about finding that special someone? Don’t be. God has a plan
June 22, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — It seems that whenever I scroll through Twitter these days I notice someone talking about the importance of “marrying young” and having “as many kids as possible.” I’m simultaneously happy and somewhat sad whenever I see that.
I’m happy because it indicates young Christians are rebelling against the lies feminists and liberals have been telling our nation’s youth since the 1960s. They’re beginning to recognize that modesty and family life are more fulfilling and more important than having a career and multiple sexual partners.
Secondly, I’m sad (even though I shouldn’t be — coveting other people’s goods is a sin) because even though I agree with it, I’m 35 years old. Marrying “young” isn’t an option anymore. I missed the boat!
When I was in my early 20s, I wasn’t all that Catholic. I stopped attending Mass and didn’t think the Church had all the answers. I eventually moved to Chicago for grad school and slowly came back to the faith.
With help from St. Alphonsus when I was 27, I had a reversion to Tradition, at which point I started to think I had a vocation. For the next five or so years, I believed I was going to officially enter the seminary after having briefly visited it on two separate occasions.
It wasn’t until a year and a half ago that I realized I’m not going to become a priest. Since then, I’ve been praying about whether God wants me to be a husband and father.
Earlier this week, I had a pleasant conversation on Twitter about marriage and what it entails.
Brandon “Bug” Hall is a former child actor who famously played the role of Alfalfa in the 90s remake of The Little Rascals. He’s now a traditional Catholic who speaks out about pedophilia in Hollywood and the importance of family life.
“Marry the holiest and most faithful Catholic person of the opposite sex you can find before your mid 20s (at the latest),” he tweeted.
“This is good advice,” I said in response. “But some of us didn't come back to the Church until our late 20s. Now, only in our mid-30s (after having pursued a vocation and only being financially stable today) are we in a position to look for someone. Many times, the holiest/modest ones are 7-13 yrs. younger.”
He agreed that the ideal wasn’t always possible but that “having missed the opportunity to apply this advice doesn’t disqualify anyone from moving forward from their current state.”
“The issue that arises now,” I further replied, “is, to what extend does the ‘age gap’ matter in selecting someone. What’s too much? There’s no Church teaching on this.”
Bug noted that his wife is 9 years younger than him but that “she’s my best friend, a faithful devoted bride, and a wonderful mother. I learn much from her every day.”
Whenever the topic of dating and age difference comes up among my circle of friends (and priests that I know), there’s not much agreement.
My 20-something buddies recently out of college think even a 5-year gap is too much. Some of my single bachelor friends in their late 30s believe any woman over 18 is a possible partner.
My own opinion on the matter is that God made each of us unique. We’re endowed with certain qualities and traits. So long as the man and woman are satisfied with each other’s physical, intellectual, spiritual, and emotional characteristics, does age really matter that much? Isn’t the ultimate goal of a relationship to get each other to heaven?
It seems to me that if a particular pair realizes this and can fulfill their deepest desires, then a 5-, 10-, or 15-year difference may not be too much. St. Joseph, after all, was believed to be in his 30s and Mary only a teenager when they were betrothed.
What is for certain is that marriage shouldn’t be entered into lightly. Just like the priesthood, it requires a training period. You’re not just marrying the person, you’re marrying their faults, their imperfections, and, perhaps what many people forget, their family.
For those looking for a significant other, God has sent us saints to help us along the way. St. Raphael is perhaps the best-known saint single Christians can pray to. In the Book of Tobit, he helped Tobias find his wife Sara. There’s a novena you can pray to St. Raphael to help you find a spouse. Click here to pray it. I highly recommend it. There’s also a novena to St. Joseph that can help Christians find their mate.
Courtship is an exciting period in a person’s life. It’s also a time when God wants us to trust Him and be patient. Surely, He knows the timeline of our life better than us and when it’s best to send us the person who will help us get to heaven. We just need to cooperate with His plan. Whether that happens in our 20s when we’re “young,” in our 30s as we’re getting older, or even as we approach middle age in our 40s, everything is on His time.