It gives us new life, knowing you remain strong in the Lord. How we thank God for you! Because of you we have great joy in the presence of God. Night and day we pray earnestly for you, asking God to let us see you again to fill up anything that may still be missing in your faith. 1 Thess 3:8-10
I find myself in a surprising place. I am not sure how I got here so quickly, but regardless, I am what Titus 2:3 calls an “older” woman. I have weathered many storms in life. Walked hard paths and steep mountains. I have grown through my failures and my successes. I am far from perfect. I still make mistakes.
Quite honestly it would be too easy to think I am done. And sometimes, because the areas that have caused me the greatest failure is also the voices that speak the loudest I believe I have nothing left to give. It would be easy to give into the lies that the younger women can take over. They don’t really need what I have to offer.
But, in His grace and mercy I continue to grow with the Lord. I am not done. We are not done. There is still a whole generation that needs us.
We, the older women, have a calling, an exciting calling. God is calling us to be spiritual mothers. He is calling us to pour our lives out in discipleship. Now more than any other time in our lives we have the opportunity to come along side other women to love them, train them and disciple them. We can help complete what they lack in their faith. (1 Thess 3:10) We can strengthen and encourage them as they are in the trenches of motherhood. We can help them gain a better understanding of how to be mothers, wives and sisters.
As I have processed through this, asking God what I am to do and how I am to move forward I see 4 area’s that older women that need to be evident in our life in order to meet the needs of a younger generation. We do not have to be perfect in any of these area’s but we do need to humbly be willing to admit our weakness and press on towards a deeper growth.
A Godly Example: One of the first things younger women need from older women is a godly example. They need to see a consistent growth in our desire to know God. They need to see one that runs to God, holds fast to truth and stands firms through suffering. They need to see those times when we falter and forget truth but know how to reach out to ask for help.
They need to see older women who have learned to refrain from gossip and idleness and aspire to a Christ-likeness in our character and actions. They need to see women of integrity who have learned to handle the word of God accurately. (Titus 2:3-5)
A Nurturer: A Spiritual mother needs to be a nurturer. In the fallen world we live in it is just a fact that many women have not had the opportunity to be nurtured by their own mothers. Many come in to our churches bruised and wounded. A mother’s heart is needed to perceive what is going on whether or not it’s openly shared. Mothers need to be checking for the one with the bruises because when something goes wrong or someone is hurt she needs to be able to come along side and help in the healing process.
We need to genuinely care. Be the one who will teach them how to walk, live, and pray through the hurts. Mothers need to nurture and equip their spiritual daughters to stand firm against an enemy that wants to destroy them, their families and their testimonies.
A Chastiser: I think one of the harder aspects of being a Spiritual Mother is the role of a chastiser. But older women need to be willing to come along side and help the younger woman know how to act. Some women may need to know how to set godly boundaries in their life and relationships. We need to be willing to chastise wrong behaviors, doctrine or attitudes.
Many women have not been taught properly from their own mothers and need tender correction. Older women need to be willing to do the hard task of correcting an disciplining in areas of life, but always with love and a whole lot of grace.
A Leader: In a world where more and more women are leading and the lines of what a godly leader looks like are blurred, we need to be women who lead well. We need to be women who model godly leadership that knows how to lead with humility. We need to model before the younger woman how to lead strong yet be teachable. We need to help her understand the difference between strong leadership skills and being hungry for power or desiring to do things her own way.
We need to be willing to allow younger women to come along side and lead with us. If we are in ministry leadership positions be willing to bring younger women with you and teach them about that ministry. Don’t be threatened by her youth, her ideas, or strength, instead help her see the value she has to that particular ministry. Yes someday she make take over that leadership position, but that is a good thing. A God thing, not something that should make you fearful to share your ministry.I know that they are many other areas I could talk about, but truly these four areas encompass much. One thing we need to remember is that while we do not need to have mastered all the above we do need to be growing in them. For example I am not much of a nurturer, It doesn’t come naturally to me and I have to work at it. But that is the point, I work at it. With God’s grace and the nurturing of older women in my life I am learning to be a better nurturer.
We can not give what we do not have. We can not model humility in leadership if we do not have it. We can not help younger women to be teachable if we ourselves are not teachable. Again, we do not need to be perfect, but we must be willing to grow in these areas.
We must be willing to look openly and honestly at these four areas and ask God’s Holy Spirit to show us what area’s we need to grow in. Then with love and humility begin praying that God might open our eyes to a young women who we might walk along side with and be an encouragement.
May we stop believing the lie that Satan has so easily caused us to believe, “that we are no longer needed”. Younger women do need the older women. And unless you are dead you still need an older woman too. Besides I believe that as an older women we also have a lot to learn from the younger woman too!
Bottom line is that we need each other! So let’s rise up, grab hold in one hand a younger sister and in the other hand an older sister and journey together through this life.