As I sat in the circle of women, I marveled at the spiritual giants before me. Women who had been through the fire and came out on the other side with a deeper unshakable faith in God. There were so many stories of heartbreak and hardship written in the threads of their stores but also so much redemption and healing of various kinds. The thing they all had in common was a deep truth that God is faithful. In. All. Things.
As they laughed and recounted old stories I wondered how I got there. I almost didn’t feel worthy to sit in their circle even though I had an intentional invitation to take a seat at the table.
I was the youngest one there, holding my exhausted baby while listening to the stories of these faithful women with children decades older than mine. As they talked about their adult children, navigating the teenage years, college application processes, and praying for future sons and daughters-in-law, all of those things felt so foreign to me but I ate up every word. I found myself wanting to follow in their footsteps, leaning on God more, and knowing him deeper. I felt like I was getting a peak under the curtain of holy, mature, Christian friendships. Friends that spur one another on and pray faithfully in hard times. Friendships with roots deep enough to rival any great oak tree. And again, I didn’t feel worthy.
Then I realized, this moment- this gathering of younger and older- is the way it is supposed to be. Younger women feasting on the truth and beauty coming down from the older generation, learning their ways and practices as we navigate womanhood ourselves.
Paul mentions in Titus 2:
Similarly, teach the older women to live in a way that honors God. They must not slander others or be heavy drinkers.[a] Instead, they should teach others what is good. 4 These older women must train the younger women to love their husbands and their children, 5 to live wisely and be pure, to work in their homes,[b] to do good, and to be submissive to their husbands. Then they will not bring shame on the word of God. Titus 2:3-5 NLT
Teach the younger women to love their husbands and children.
Teach the younger women to be wise and pure.
Teach the younger women to take care of their homes.
Teach the younger women to do good and be submissive to their husbands.
Then they will not bring shame on the word of God.
Older women, we need you. You are valuable.
My generation is the first generation to grow up asking our questions to google instead of to people. Our roots run broad and shallow through the use of social media and superficial connections with people all over the world but so many of us lack relationships with substance.
Older women we need you. We need your groundedness as we learn to raise our own kids, we need your wisdom and humility learned over the course of a lifetime to combat our own sense of incompetent pride. We need your guidance and steadfastness as we seek to love the Lord more and wonder how to bring Him glory in daily tasks.
We weren’t meant to live lives solely surrounded by people our own age, how that robs us of the richness of human experience and the beauty of learning and teaching simultaneously- following some while guiding others. I fully believe the multigenerational aspect of the Church is one of the keys to human flourishing.
To all the older women, don’t shy away from building friendships with younger women. Don’t resign to keep to yourself. Don’t give in to the lies that your time, experience, and wisdom is not worth it, because it is.
In a culture superficially obsessed with youth, you are pushing back the lies of the enemy from the pit of hell by bringing your feast to the table for the rest of us to partake in. You have so much abundance to offer that we don’t have yet. Lessons learned through your life experience and wisdom from going through your own fires.
The number of friends I have who would love to sit across from you and learn from you is more than you would think. You are valued and treasured. You are a key component to the kingdom of God.
Don’t let the enemy tell you otherwise.
To the younger women looking for these older women, be willing to show up regularly in the ordinary beauty of life. Fold some laundry, sweep the kitchen floor, help the kids with homework, mentor their children, help with dinner etc.
Learn from the older women while serving them. It’s not a one-way street.
You must be willing to give in order to receive, these intergenerational friendships are just that- friendships. Friendships that are two sided- giving and receiving.
Just like a bank account or the parable of the talents, to receive blessings from interest, you must invest something first. Sow your seeds. Place yourself in a posture of serving the older women and their children and the gift you receive in return will be multiplied.