Last Sunday, I had coffee with a friend who wanted to talk about her relationship with her boyfriend. Last night, a friend stopped in on a surprise business trip to this area. This morning, a friend of my son’s stopped in to say goodbye to me before leaving on an extended trip. Tonight, I’ll be getting together with a friend who is on Athletes in Action staff at the local University. The thing that all these friends have in common, is that they’re all less than half my age.
Some of my richest relationships are with women of different generations. I desperately need young women in my life. They challenge me, clarify my thinking, energize me, and keep me from getting crusty and rusty. I also desperately need relationships with older women. They inspire me, teach me, counsel me, and help provide vision and focus.
Older women need relationships with younger women and younger women need relationships with the older ones. When, in Titus 2, Paul instructs the older to teach the younger, he knew that the benefits would flow both ways.
Here’s a testimony from Nancy Leigh DeMoss, host of Revive Our Hearts. Nancy is 52 years old (I know she wouldn’t mind me telling you that). Nancy is extremely busy with doing radio and conferences, but the past few months, she stepped out of her comfort zone and carved out the time to do a Girls Gone Wise Bible Study with a group of 20-some-year-olds. Here’s what she had to say about the experience:
For the past three months, I have had the privilege of hosting a small group of young women in my home each Wednesday evening to study Mary Kassian’s terrific book, Girls Gone Wise in a World Gone Wild. Last night was our last session. (One of the girls is due to have a baby any day now, and three of the others are expecting their first child—two of them since the study began!) I am so thankful for the sweet times of study, sharing, prayer, tears, laughter, mutual encouragement, accountability, and growth we have experienced together over these weeks.
When I first considered starting this study, I wasn’t sure how I could possibly fit another commitment into my already-full schedule. But I felt it was something the Lord was prompting me to do, so I stepped out in faith. It has been neat to see how He has cleared the way and helped me prioritize this with everything else that is on my plate. It has been more than worth the extra time and effort!
Since I had never led a small group before, I was grateful for all the helps available for group leaders on the Girls Gone Wise website. To tell the truth, I was a little nervous at the outset about how well I would be able to connect with a group of 20-somethings who are in such a different season of life than I am. But those apprehensions quickly dissipated and I found myself being greatly encouraged by the eagerness, hunger, and openness of these gals. They have blessed me at least as much as I may have been able to bless them!
I have always believed that younger women need older women in their lives. But I have come to realize that we as older women also need younger women in our lives! These young women have captured my heart and have been a rich source of encouragement and grace to this middle-aged woman! It is such a joy to see their heart to become wise, true women of God and to picture them passing the baton of truth on to the next generation.
Since Paula Hendricks was in our group, I asked her if I could chime in at the TW blog with two commercials:
- If you’ve not read Girls Gone Wise, you’ve got to do so! It is chock-full of vital, practical, biblical wisdom for women of every age and season of life. This study was not just for the “younger women”—the Lord used many insights from Mary’s book to speak to me about needs in my own life.
- Consider studying this book (or one of the many other resources we have available at Revive Our Hearts) with a small group of younger women. Or, if you’re a younger woman, ask an older woman or two if they would join your small group for a study. This doesn’t have to be a “life-time” commitment! It may just be for a season. And you don’t have to be a seasoned leader—just be available to steer, listen, pray, and share out of your own journey with those following behind. That’s the mandate (and privilege!) of Titus 2 for women!
Here’s a picture of Nancy and her group, and also a picture of the Girls Gone Wise book that Natalie’s Rottweiler ate:
You older women, I want to encourage you to take the time to initiate relationships with younger women. Invite them to your home for coffee, or for a Bible Study. You’ll bless them, and you’ll be surprised at how much you will, in turn, be blessed. It’s well worth the effort!