When I was single, and each birthday edged me closer to the big 3-0, I found myself looking for hope (and tangible evidence) that a later-than-anticipated marriage would be OK. In “Single While Active,” I even talked about some of my “marriage mentors”:
“When I look at the lives of my college girlfriends, who are married with children, I can become discouraged, feeling like I’ve been left behind. I have recently discovered the importance of having marriage mentors. These are women who pursued God passionately, but didn’t marry right out of college — women like Robin.
“I met Robin on a ministry trip I took to Russia. Robin, in her 40s, is an American doctor with a passion for helping Russian orphans. As I talked with Robin, her story unfolded: She became a medical doctor, married at 32 and had three children. Robin’s oldest son, Nick, 9, was on the trip with us. As I watched Robin interact with Nick, I was impressed by her maturity and parenting ability — fruit of her life experience.”
As I kept my eyes open, God was faithful to allow me to meet women who had married in their 30s — and even 40s — and were living out their stories with purpose and joy. And I’m glad He did, because I didn’t meet my husband until I was 30; we married when I was 31.
In the spirit of offering some of that same encouragement I received, here is a list of eight notable Christians who married after 30:
- C.S. Lewis—novelist and Christian apologist—58
- Joni Eareckson Tada—author, radio host and founder of Joni and Friends—33
- Donald Miller—author and speaker—42
- William Wilberforce—politician, philanthropist, and leader of the movement to abolish the slave trade—38
- Margaret Feinberg—author and speaker—30
- Rebecca St. James—singer and songwriter—34
- Martin Luther—reformer—42
- Chris Tomlin—musician and songwriter—38
Though I couldn’t think of any “famous” Christian females who married after 40 (the men seemed to have the edge on this one — um, go, C.S. Lewis!), I have known some personally, and their stories are incredible. One woman, Mary, found herself being pursued by TWO godly, amazing men during her 40s — one of whom she married. A camp counselor I had during high school, was 44 and had been married for two years. She and her husband still acted like newlyweds, and she affirmed that he was “worth the wait.”
There are many different roads to marriage and many different types of marriage. Embracing the fact that mine might not be the “typical” story (marrying in my 20s, having children young, etc.) allowed me to be excited about what God did have in store for me. Knowing women who married later in life reminded me that my story may have been different than my already-married friends, but it was no less God-inspired.
Copyright 2019 Suzanne Hadley Gosselin. All rights reserved.