4 Reasons Why Younger Women Want Older Women in Their Lives

A few years ago, our local church’s women’s ministry team hosted an outdoor dinner party.  We wanted to gather with the women of our church who were already investing in another woman’s life in our church, and talk about how we could equip other women to do the same.

We dragged tables and low chairs out into a grassy pasture, strung lights, and invited twenty women in our congregation to gather over barbeque and all the country sides.  These women included ten women college-aged to thirtysomething, and ten women forty and above.

As women began to spill out onto the pasture and make their way to the tables, there were college women and young professionals. Newlyweds, wives, and young moms. Empty nesters and grandmas. Singles and widows.  And as the bread was passed and drinks were refilled over the course of the night, we saw something happen across the table. Biblical mentoring was organically unfolding with each course just as God designed it in Titus 2:3-5.

“Older women…They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women…that the word of God may not be reviled.”

After dinner, the older women waved goodbye as us younger women volunteered to clean up. As conversation flowed around the kitchen and onto the couches, we began talking about how much we needed, and wanted, older women in our lives after such a refreshing night. While we all craved community with women our own age, there was something we wanted and needed that we couldn’t get from our fellow peers.

Regardless of what season of life you find yourself in, are you investing in the life of someone spiritually younger than you?  Consider these four reasons why younger women want, and need, you in their lives.

Your presence gives them a strong model of biblical femininity.

With each new wave of secular feminism, and as each new generation of women redefines what womanhood is, young women need older sisters in Christ in their local church to speak honestly and boldly about what the Bible has to say about biblical womanhood. If young followers of Christ are to become deeply rooted in God’s word and begin putting on the clothing of righteousness, (Col 3) they want more from you than a hug and a quick hello in the church bathroom. They need your consistent presence in their lives outside of the bible study classroom to share life with you.  And as you share life, the biblical models of singleness, marriage, and motherhood are on display.

Your testimony gives them a tangible model of God’s faithfulness.  

Katie and Kerri are two sisters who have walked, and are walking, a hard road of suffering. They lost their mother at an early age to a despicable terminal illness.  When my mother was diagnosed with the same disease that their mother had, I reached out to them.  Whether it was time spent sharing over guacamole and chips, over the phone after a crisis point, or just a quick facebook message, their testimony of faithfully walking with God through it all strengthened me. Also, every conversation of transparency pointed me to God’s faithfulness not only in their lives but in my own. When you invest in the life of a younger sister in Christ, you tangibly show them the power of the living and active Word of God. There is no richer gift outside of sharing the way to salvation.

Your stories give them the freedom to live by grace and not perfection.

Especially so for the millennial and generations following, living in the victorious shadows of the costly grace of God is not the message our world and their peers is sharing. Rather, cloaked under the disguise of solidarity women’s power is the struggle of comparison and the pursuit of perfection.  However, when the women of the local church begin to walk in transparency with one another, it gives the generations following confidence, and freedom, to walk in the same. Share your stories of crisis, addictions, struggles, mundane days, and victory battles because in your weakness they see God’s strength.

Your wisdom gives them an unwavering path to follow.

As you seek and follow Christ, so the younger generations are watching you. Young women need you to invite them into your homes, sit down and share a meal with them, open the Bible together on your couch, and talk about the deep, wonderful, good things of God and His Word.  As you have hidden that Word in your heart over the years, as the pages of your Bible is now etched on your heart, help them to apply those to their lives.  Sharing wisdom coupled with accountability and trust is a life-giving formula.

Are you investing in the life of someone spiritually younger than you?  The young women in your church want, and need, you to. Start by looking around you in the ministries you are already serving in.  Invite one younger lady, or ten, out to dinner and begin there. I imagine you’ll discover what we did under that big, open sky in that grassy pasture. When older women teach what is good, groves of young women rejoice and come back for more.


A version of this post was originally published at Radical.net.

One thought on “4 Reasons Why Younger Women Want Older Women in Their Lives”

  1. Amy Wallis Hood says:

    Melissa, I read your today’s article on hurting women and got so caught up in it I read this one too on organic mentoring. Everything you wrote is the path the Lord has me on in ministry. Ministry team, serving, to reading every book I can get my hands on to help hurting women to reaching out to young and older women. The Lord has revealed so much and opened unexpected doors over the past 2 years to help women bc I so desperately needed His healing and direction myself. I’ve made myself available over the years as I’ve chased after the Lord. But in the end, it has only fueled my faith like never before as He has healed me all the while as I strived to obey His calling. I forwarded this article to an older lady friend of mine saying “This is It!” I cant wait to meet my older friend for lunch to talk about your articles here. Thank you for your biblical wisdom and advice. amy
    I’d love to subscribe to your personal blog?