Aging

ENCOURAGEMENT FOR YOUNGER WOMEN

by Debbie Huber

Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.  Titus 2:3-5

Time has flown so quickly that I find myself as one of the “older women” to whom the writer of this passage is speaking. It is a passage that I read with a combination of joy and fear. Joy, in that I love to be able to encourage others to love their husbands and children and to serve God in the way He has designed. There is also a little fear mixed in because this can also bring to my mind the regrets that I have, wishing I could do some things over again. But I know that God, in His wonderful kindness to me can still use even my weaknesses for His good purposes. 

I have come to see a “flip side” blessing to this charge to older women. There is a unique and treasured benefit that a younger woman brings to this mentoring relationship. I have witnessed several younger women seek out older women to help them and I have seen beautiful relationships develop and godly fruit displayed in lives. Marriages have been strengthened, mothers have been encouraged to seek God’s word instead of the strong influences of the world, and the Word of God has been the foundation. 

God has used a young mother named Samantha in my life in ways I had not realized were important. Samantha has chosen to make it important to show her care and love for me.  Knowing my children are far away she takes the time to hug me when she sees me, ask questions about me,  include me in family events, and send me pictures of her children via text or Snapchat. These small but very meaningful gestures have helped me when I am missing my own daughters. A cherished relationship of mutual encouragement has grown.  This has also spurred me to stay involved in her life so I know about her and I can pray for her and encourage her.

So younger women, God has chosen to use older women to encourage you in Godliness but in His wisdom He will use you in their lives too!  How do you find an older woman to be mentored by?  Do not wait for an older woman to find you to mentor you. Seek out godly older women and ask questions!  Get involved in service in church or in a small group and get to know the women there. 

And older women, do not feel shy about seeking to spend time with a younger woman.  Find out about their life and care for them!   If God has made this a charge to women than His purposes in it are of eternal value.

 

HAVING A GOOD ATTITUDE FOR THE 2ND HALF OF LIFE

I was never bothered by stepping into new decades of age.

Everybody likes turning 20, because you finally think you’re an adult. Only twelve months until you are 21!

When I turned 30 I was excited, because being a pastor in your 20s seems to lack in gravitas.

My 40th birthday was the first time I could remember serious joking about my being older. The office staff decorated my office in black as if they were celebrating a wake. But I wasn’t fazed at bit.

Getting older never made me pause …that is until I turned 50.

Somehow passing that age barrier made me reflective about what my life had accomplished. For the first time my remaining years of ministry and influence felt measured. After all, turning 50 is half way to being 100 years old, which is how long my grandfather lived.

I was not depressed by turning 50, but I wasn’t excited about it either. But all that is history, because I am now closer to the decade to be unnamed that follows your fifties.

Perhaps this is why an article by Thom Rainer in which he discusses how we walk through senior years caused me to pause and actually read it.

Thom Rainer is a respected Christian writer as well as the president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources. His thoughts are helpful for any adult, but as the years add up, the perspectives he mentions are increasing important.

If you are 23, you may not be overly interested in what Rainer has to say, but all Christians will eventually face the attitudes he addresses.

Turn here to read “Five Things I Pray I Will Not Do as a Senior Adult in the Church”