I recently received a question via email that I believe merits some attention and so I thought I would share a little bit of it with you. The author writes:
Do men think women over 40 are no longer potential spouse material because they may not be able to conceive?” … [Some men] say they liked my profile, but they are looking for someone younger because they are hoping to still have a family… Shouldn’t one be looking for a spouse based on their values and character?
I can very much relate to this woman’s concern and found myself in the same position as her at one point. I was getting older, myself and as a single woman, I felt I was running into the same concern at least a few times. But then, I started dating a guy I really liked and when things began to get serious, we had the talk about children because not only was I an older woman, but I had already been told by doctors that because of past medical complications, I was unable to conceive a child at all. Since he and I both came from large Catholic families, I knew this would be an issue, but his response took me by surprise; he told me he loved me and if we got married, we would let God work out the details. We could always look at adoption which was not our first desire, but we were certainly very open to the idea.
13 years and 3 natural born children later, I’m grateful for his approach to our relationship and believe it was the right way to go. I was in my early forties when I had our third child via c-section.
The doctors in my case may have been medically correct, but the simple fact of the matter is God wanted to bring forth children in our marriage. As a matter of fact, when I first became pregnant, my doctor sat me down and said, “You do realize this is a miracle, right? Someone with your medical history should not be able to conceive. And in the very rare event it happens, it wouldn’t be without years of fertility intervention.” And that’s the thing I love the most about sharing that part of my story with others: being able to show everyone that God does what He wants, regardless of science and human close-mindedness. He has a plan for each one of us. We just need to do what we’re supposed to do and trust Him with the rest.
Not only that, but medical science is extremely advanced these days and there are many older women who are having children and are being well-taken care of by doctors. The award-winning actress, Holly Hunter, had twin boys when she was 48. Please don’t mistake this example as my advocating that women should wait to have children, but please do take it as encouragement that even if you’re concerned that time is slipping away, you should continue your search for a mate who will love you for who you are. Someone who is interested in building a solid, lasting relationship first and is open to whatever God has planned for you after that.
But it is an interesting question to think about… how many wonderful relationships have you passed up based upon one small criteria that you were inflexible on, but could have become a relationship that blossomed into something truly wonderful?
To the woman who wrote the email, and to all those like her with similar concerns, don’t get discouraged in your search, just hold out for that one person who loves you exactly the way you are. I believe they’re out there and I believe God has great plans for you!
I take my coffee black, and I take your questions and comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.