Q. Hi Stan. My name is Sean. I am 45 years old and have three wives, 42, 37 and 26. My youngest wife, Miranda, has introduced a lovely 18 year-old girl who is very interested in joining our family. She's a born-again believer and committed to the Lord and seems in every way to be a 'match' for us. But I have my reservations - more about myself than about Celia (the 18 year-old) - namely the great age gap, which is nearly 30 years. It's not just the anti-polygamists who are always saying that we patriarchs just want younger women (accusing us of being lecherers and cultic) but my own personal concern. I know there are many middle aged patriarchs with younger wives and I want really to know how that works, since I know you have a much younger wife. What are the plusses and minuses? And should I be so concerned about questions of age?
Dear brother, the fact that you ask these questions shows first and foremost that you care and have a heart for Yahweh and people. It means also that you are basically a responsible person. In short, the qualities expected of a Christian/Messianic Patriarch. The anti-polygamy camp will always do their utmost to make us feel guilty about whatever we do and so my first word of counsel is ignore the evil-motivated accusations of the enemy. Ironically (and hypocritically) they don't seem to be too bothered if a much older woman marries a younger man -- I know of plenty of examples in monogamous marriage (I can think of many more 'practical' objections for the reverse situation not that age makes any difference to Yahweh).
I have asked myself similar questions that you have asked in the past - long and hard. Mostly I have been concerned about such things as
(a) Can I 'deliver the goods' to a younger bride who has matrimonial 'rights' per pro Paul's counsel:
(b) Is a young woman capable of seeing prophetically ahead in the same way as an older man or woman? Is she willing to accept that she may have to spend half of her life as a widow? Is she spiritually mature and Christ-centred enough to accept this joyfully?
"Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. And likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive [defraud] one another except with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self-control" (1 Corinthians 7:3-6, NKJV)
All of these questions become relevent or irrelevent depending on the personality and spiritual perceptions of each individual. If you are going to pass judgment using merely human eyes, you will always have unanswered questions ... and concerns. But if you both know that this marriage is in Yahweh's will and not just a projection of your mutual desires, then the questions become irrelvent.
It does no harm to go through a list of considerations, of course, and in fact I would strongly advise it so that there will be no 'surprises' later on in such a marriage. Mental preparedness for all the eventualities of marriage is most certainly a desirable thing. But ultimately all that really matters is whether a marriage is in Yahweh's will or not. And if the young woman is spiritually alert enough to know whether it is or not, and Yahweh gives you both the green light, then I would advice you to go ahead. Having other witnesses would also, I think, be desirable - firstly your other wives (with whom you will in any case as a godly man wish to have their approbation) and secondly some mature patriarchs whose judgment you trust.
The potential pitfulls in any marriage, whether it is between partners who are of similar or greatly dissimilar ages, are always numerous. But ironically the chances of pitfalls between very young wives and older husbands are actually less than if older women come into a family. The reasons are many but one of the major causes of stability is that a woman who marries young is less likely to be carrying around the emotional baggage from failed romances, flirtations, and so forth. As my youngest wife (2001) will testify, there is really no greater blessing for a woman who has only ever loved once (as opposed to crushes) and who has no 'memories' of earlier romances. She is more likely to be completely focussed on her choice and at a time when her passions are heightened to their full and not be buffetted by memories of other relationships or fall into the dangerous 'sin of comparison'.
Of all my marriages, the one to my youngest wife settled down and stabilised very quickly indeed. And this has also been my experience in getting to know other patriarchs who have married young wives. The young wives all seem deeply contented notwithstanding the age differences not just because they are truly covenant-focussed but also because they know they have settled for maturer and wiser husbands whom they can safely trust.
But as I have pointed out in other articles, younger wives do bring their own peculiar problems, but these really pale in significance when you realise the depth and passion of their committment. A patriarch marrying a younger woman must, without a shadow of a doubt, have a firm grip on reality, have a clear perception of how to gracefully 'manage' younger women who tend to swing rather more wildly in their emotions, and be prepared to give her time to grow so that she acquires the kind of depth which he has obtained through years of married life. His expectations must therefore be realistic and based on a clear vision.
Younger women, no matter how spiritually advanced for their age, are nevertheless governed by a stronger 'hormone factor' than the older wives. This must never be forgotten. More importantly, the husband must learn to adapt to that factor. Many men, as they get older, are grateful that their older wives are more 'settled' and less 'up and down' in their emotional swings because that is also their natural disposition (indeed, this is a good carnal argument for marrying partners of roughly the same age). Most of them do not want to ride the storms of youth all over again! And if you're one of those men, don't marry a younger woman! A patriarch who marries a younger woman must be young of heart otherwise he will never be able to bond adequately with her, and she will feel stiffled if the signals she continually gets are those of an 'oldie'.
And this is where the Spirit of Christ is so vitally important, because those who are truly in Him are eternally young at heart. A sure sign that the Holy Spirit is not in an older man is if he starts getting crotchety and unsympathetic to younger people and children (the same is true of older women). An older man must therefore seriously look at his heart to make sure that he is still alive in Christ and continually growing, and if I were a younger women, this is something I would be looking for. So long as that spirit of youthfulness is in a man, then it doesn't really matter about age differences because the substance of true Christian/Messianic union is first and foremost in the Spirit - it is this which is eternal and what the parties will share in the eternities.
There are plusses and minuses in every relationship and in every age range. In Christian/Messianic polygamy age really doesn't make that much difference so long as you are all deeply committed in Christ. But if the spiritual life is dead, then troubled waters definitely lie ahead.
I have been married to two younger wives with a 25 and 33 year age gap, respectively. My other wives are pretty much my own age. The first was extremely strong for a very long time but there were unforseen issues which eventually came to the surface, not related to compatibility but to spiritual matters and massive pressure from hostile parties outside, that eventually led to it resulting in a very sad and tragic break-up. But before this, she was passionately loyal and had an eye clearly on eternity.
I have since married another younger wife likewise passionately loyal and committed to both Christ, myself and the family as a whole, and who is well grounded spiritually and emotionally in what was my longest betrothal (like an engagement) ever, which lated ten years. I will grow older, which she knows and accepts, but I shall also receive a resurrected body one day, as will she, and with the troubled times that lie ahead, the Body of Christ may well find itself in a situation where marriage and raising families is not practical, given the persecution that is prophesied in the Bible. Such a time existed in Paul's day when the apostle counselled against marriage for a time (1 Corinthians 7:8-38).
So, yes, there are risks but also blessings, as is true in every marriage, no matter what the age differences or similarities. (2016)
 Older Husbands and Younger Wives: A Modern Trend
 Age Gap in Marriage: A Biblical Perspective