Discussions over unity in the church are often in regards to denominations, but what about age? Do you feel unified with those in the church who are a different age than you?
The Attitude between Younger and Older Women
It is tempting for those of us who are younger to ignore the words and ways of those who’ve gone before us. We might cast older women off as irrelevant if they don’t see as we do.
“The way they do things are outdated,” we might think.
This attitude can make older women feel like they aren’t respected.
This is not completely the fault of the younger ones. It can be challenging to adapt to new ways, and sometimes change is frowned upon. Sometimes young women really don’t know that they are invited to play a part too, or perhaps the nature of the gatherings are inconvenient for those with children in the home.
This can make the younger women feel like they aren’t respected.
It can go both ways.
This is not how God wanted his daughters to relate to each other. It must make him sad to see this divide that happens so often.
Erasing the Divide between Younger and Older Women
Paul gives us some thoughtful advice in his letter to Titus.
“But you are to proclaim things consistent with sound teaching. Older men are to be self-controlled, worthy of respect, sensible, and sound in faith, love, and endurance. In the same way, older women are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not slaves to excessive drinking. They are to teach what is good, so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands and to love their children, to be self-controlled, pure, homemakers, kind, and in submission to their husbands, so that God’s word will not be slandered.” Titus 2:1-4
God’s church is multi generational, and he designed it so that the younger might be encouraged by the older in their faithful living.
As Younger Women…
This means that as young women, we need to embrace the insight that the women who’ve gone before us have to offer. It means that perhaps we step outside of our comfort zone and attend that Ladies Night or bible class- even if we are going to be the youngest one there. We can always bring a friend with us.
When I’ve opened my heart to my older sisters in Christ, I have found welcoming arms, listening ears, mentors, help when I’ve needed it, and best of all, enduring friendship. I’ve also found that these women are usually accepting of new ideas and love to see younger ones get involved. If we are respectful of what their life experiences have taught them, we can learn quite a bit! When you see older women, go and talk to them. Invite them over to your house for coffee or tea. Bring a meal to them when they have had surgery. Offer them some baby gear to borrow when their grand babies are visiting. Listen to them. Pray for them.
As Older Women…
For any older women reading this, I ask that you not give up on us younger women. Seek us out. Ask us about our ideas. Let’s work together to blend our women’s ministry with changing generations. Offer your advice to us in loving and encouraging ways. Smile at us when our toddler is acting up in worship service. If you have it in your heart, offer to watch our kids so that we can go out with our husbands. Babysitting is very expensive these days so most of us aren’t finding alone time for our marriage. Invite us over for coffee or tea. Tell us about the struggles you faced as a young wife and mother, and share how you’ve grown in Christ. Listen to us. Pray for us.
We are All Both Younger and Older
There is always someone younger we can encourage, and there is always someone older whom we can be encouraged by. Let us strive for unity as women in the church. Let us be sisters in Christ, encouraging each other to live godly lives!
May those who don’t know Christ, see Him in our bond with each other, and want to be a part of the family. May we bring glory to God together!