Older Women: Cast a Vision!

Older Women: Cast a Vision!

Our young women need older women to cast a vision for what biblical womanhood looks like. They need to experience healthy, multigenerational relationships so that they will recognize biblical womanhood in the various seasons of life and have hope. 

Years ago, when my husband and I were newlyweds, we led a small-group Bible study for other newlywed couples in our church.  As a new believer and being new to the church, I looked forward to building friendships and having robust Christian fellowship.  While fun and lively, we sensed that our group lacked something significant—something deeper—like some sort of ballast to anchor us during this youthful adult season.

We were able to put our finger on what was missing after this young adult group abruptly dissolved during a difficult church split.  Soon after, we joined another group and I understood almost immediately what was lacking before.  In this new group, in the assortment of gray hair, middle-aged couples, men with loosened ties straight from work, toddlers at mothers’ feet, and teenagers on the periphery, I saw the Church.  Among these people, I saw the realities of each season, not just a mirrored view of my own, narrow, newlywed life. Being a part of this new small group shifted my perspective and drew me in to love and value discipleship within a multigenerational church, not just fellowship of people my own age.

That’s not to say that age-specific ministries don’t have their place within the church.  I am a coordinator for a girls’ discipleship group that meets weekly in our church.  It is a specific time set apart to disciple them according to their age and maturity.  Yet, in my ministry with our older teens, I know these young women need more than just me and each other.  They need the Church—the whole church.  They need to experience friendships from all generations.  More specifically, they need to experience the kindness and wisdom of other and older women; they need to see biblical womanhood across generational lines.  They need our older women to cast a vision for them of what living biblically looks like in each season of their lives.

God has given women a clear, multigenerational command in Titus 2:3-5.  Titus tells us that older women (literally “aged women”) have a responsibility to teach younger women to discern what is good, to love their families and households, and to live lives worthy of Christ.  This command is different from the “one another” commands of the New Testament; it specifically addresses multigenerational mentoring.

Often, because the Titus 2 verses refer to young women within the context of husband and home, we fail to think about this verse as relevant to our girls or to single women.  But just because they may not yet live within that context, it does not mean that these virtues are not relevant to them.  Titus 2:3-5 tells us that it is the duty of older women to cast a biblical vision of womanhood for them regardless of their current context. Our younger women need older women—and multiple women—to take active roles in their lives.

When we older women lose sight of our generational duty, our discipleship ministries can become siloed, which can lead to an inward, consumerist approach to church community.  Women’s discipleship becomes programmatic rather than organic.  We seek friends and connections rather than mothers, sisters, and daughters in Christ who provoke us “unto love and good works” (Heb. 10:24 KJV).

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