Especially in my teens and twenties, I was blessed with some amazing spiritual moms, aunties, big sisters—a whole bouquet of more seasoned women that blessed my steps along the journey to becoming a woman of faith. I can’t imagine my life without their fingerprints, and I am convinced that a nurturing relationship across the generations is one of the best fertilizers for our spiritual growth.
Here are 3 beautiful ways I’ve seen the Lord use older women to strengthen younger women in their faith.
1. God uses older women to nurture the faith of younger women.
God used Naomi in Ruth’s life and Elizabeth in Mary’s life—two young women with precious hearts and beautiful faith destined to join the lineage of Christ. But nonetheless, women who needed the wing of an older woman to shelter their faith as they grew through the calling and circumstances God had sifted for them.
Ruth was a widow that followed her also widowed mother-in-law to her home country (
When Ruth followed Naomi, she was prioritizing her faith over the comfort of her earthly life to care for Naomi and serve the Lord. But such a costly decision, while courageous, often leaves a person needing some reassurance. Naomi was that vessel of confidence for Ruth. She was the encourager and counselor that helped Ruth navigate faith and social customs and become all that the Lord was calling her to.
Elizabeth was the first woman Mary went to after the angel’s news of Jesus’ coming (
God is faithful, and perhaps these younger women might have laid hold of their callings from God regardless of the older women who encouraged them. But something tells me, if we could all sit down and have a chat, they would say they wouldn’t have wanted to walk those stretching miles of their faith journey without those seasoned women by their side.
2. Older women provide the wisdom of perspective.
“Wisdom is with aged men, and with length of days, understanding.” (
I was fortunate to partake in women’s ministry as a teenager. Our congregation joined another for an annual retreat, and once a girl was 14, she was encouraged to come. One of the most profound things I carried away from those retreats was that the season of life I was in then would affect me for years to come. I listened to women old enough to be my mom or grandma share how decisions they made when they were in their teens and twenties still rippled through their daily lives.
When my peers made decisions, with the exception of college choices, no one thought anything mattered beyond that moment. It was sobering to see a woman, hair salt-and-peppered with age, weep over choices she’d made in her love life so long ago; or a woman mourn a youthful, flash-in-the-pan choice she’d made that she now carried every day. It was hopeful to hear women share stories of faithful journeys that started in their younger days and how God had used them even from their teens. Their testimonies helped me see that even as a girl, my life and my choices had significance.
It was also at such a gathering that the Lord brought into my life the woman who would mentor me the most. She too was a pastor’s wife and writer who overcame an intense childhood. Her perspective, wisdom, and faith have long encouraged mine. When life would hit someone particularly hard, she would say, “You can borrow some of my faith to get through.” And she has been just that to so many: a lender of her big faith when life knocked a sister off her feet.
Seasoned testimonies are powerful and necessary as we journey in faith. Whether they come through a speaker at an event or an older sister sitting across from us in our living room, we need the perspective and wisdom of age to grow well.
3. The ministry of older women is a crucial part of the church’s testimony to the world.
“Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored.”(
We could pick apart the above verses, diagram some sentences, and debate exactly what Paul is saying, but at the end of the day, older women’s ministry to younger women appears critical to safeguarding the overall witness of the church to the rest of the world. I hope you hear that! As the freedom of retirement approaches or health and age weigh on energy reserves, seasoned women of the church cannot bow out. You are needed!
God designed a place for you, especially as you reach your golden years. It’s part of how He has always worked, and today He has an important plan to use His seasoned daughters!
April Motl is a pastor’s wife, homeschool mom, and women’s ministry director. When she’s not waist deep in the joys and jobs of motherhood, being a wife, and serving at church, she writes and teaches for women. You can find more encouraging resources from April hereand here.
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