We often hear that love has no age and that God can always surprise us. But when we have retired and maybe even grandparents, do the biblical principles of singleness also apply to us?
Statistics in Quebec show that people 55 years old and over are single more than other age groups. While about 9% of women aged 30 to 35 live alone, the percentage rises to 20% for those 55 and over and even 39% for those 65 and over. Although the percentage is lower for men, the fact remains that more men are living alone after 55 years old than in other age groups. Statistics probably vary from region to region worldwide, but there are certainly a large number of retirees who are no longer in a relationship.
The word “single” is frowned upon in the world. The Oxford dictionary defines it simply as: “a person not married or having a romantic relationship with somebody”. A divorced person, or widow, is therefore single. But for some reason, many people living alone do not dare to use the title of single. As if this term were only applicable to young people who have never been married. On this principle, some churches offer services to singles (under 40) and people alone (over 40). That has no biblical basis, of course.
The major problem with the discomfort of carrying this title is that it causes many older people to put aside Bible principles that apply to unmarried people. While a large majority of retirees would like to be in a relationship, to “grow old together”, many believe that marriage is not for them. “No premarital sex… that’s for young people!” “Look for a partner who shares the same faith… this is for young people!” And many retirees get into a relationship with someone who is not in God’s plan simply because they don’t want to be alone or because they think God has no more plans for their life!
It is true that the way we meet our needs changes over time. Our need for affection will not be met in the same way in our twenties as in our sixties. But the need does not change. It is also true that God may not use us in the same way if we enter the ministry at age 20 as if we choose to start serving Him at age 60. But no matter how old we are, God wants to bless us and make us a blessing for others. And if God has a plan for us, it means that our life should be dedicated to Him, in body, soul, and spirit. We have to be a sanctified vessel for His Spirit to pass through us, and that means we have to follow what the Bible teaches us. Biblical principles apply to all, at all ages, without discrimination. Just because we are retired doesn’t mean that we have control over our life. There is no “retirement” in God. Until our physical death, our life must belong to Christ and, we must be available to do His work.
Seeking a partner of the same faith is not a principle that applies only to young people who desire to raise their children in the ways of God. Even if you are no longer of an age to have children in the flesh, you will still be surrounded by children in the Spirit, and you must show them the way through your conduct. You are bearers of wisdom! “I’m old now, they won’t tell me what to do!” That’s the wrong way of thinking! The Word of God does not change, and your submission to what God says does not change either.
So, if you want to get into a relationship, consider all the Bible advice you hear. What God asks of His singles in His word applies to all singles, regardless of age.