Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Encouragement doesn't have an age limit

Kim started an interesting thread on Facebook yesterday. She wrote that middle-aged women need the voices of older women who have experienced the challenges we are facing now. We need their wisdom. We need their advice. I agree completely, and this got me thinking.

Our responsibilities have changed as we've grown older. A few decades ago, it was praying the baby would finally sleep through the night or that potty training wouldn't result in too many tears on either side. Now it's the reality of aging parents with failing health or grieving their loss. We aren't trying to slim down post pregnancy but wondering what this year's mammogram or colonoscopy may uncover. When we were younger, there were new opportunities and new horizons. Now that we've approached or crossed the half-way mark, life is winding down, and it may not have turned out exactly as we planned. This can get disheartening, which is why we need support just as much as the young mom or newlywed. And besides, encouragement doesn't have an age limit.

If you have an older woman in your life who can speak into your middle-agedness, praise God. These sisters are a blessing to the church. Perhaps we need to be more active in letting them know we want and need to hear what they have to say.

Of course in an ideal church in an ideal world, there would be an older for every younger no matter how old the younger person is. But often this is not the case. So what are we to do?

I would humbly submit that God does not ask us to traverse the uncharted wilds of Middle Age alone even if there isn't an older woman to lead the way. He has given us the local church.

I may not have a senior sister who can give firsthand advice on how to love and serve my aging parents long distance, but I do have a faith family. These sisters and brothers may be half my age, but they can offer encouragement in the Word and point me to Christ. They may not fully understand my middle-aged woes, but that doesn't keep them from praying. Nor does it prevent God from hearing and answering their prayers according to His good pleasure.

So if God gives you the opportunity to be discipled by an older woman, go for it! But if this is not in His current providence, seek relationships with those He has already provided - your sisters (and  brothers) in your local church.

And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
Hebrews 10:24-25

1 comment:

  1. Encouraging words for those older women to seek out younger ones and for each of us to be about encouraging one another no matter the age. I am so blessed by the younger women in my life.