Older Women, Help! (by Lisa Anderson)
Older Women, Help!
Titus 2:3-5 exhorts older women to teach the younger women to, among other things, love their husbands, love their children, and be workers at home. As a younger mom, you may wonder why you need that encouragement from older moms. I can think of several reasons:
You will receive absolutely no encouragement from the world in your calling as a mother and homemaker. To the contrary, you will be ridiculed and made to feel like your calling is a waste of your education, talents, and abilities. Maggie, now a young mom, had been asked by her guidance counselor in high school what she wanted to do with her life. Maggie declared, “I want to be a mom.” The counselor replied, “That’s not good enough. You have to pick something else.” That is the perspective of the world in which we live. You need the encouragement of older moms to be reminded that your calling is worthy of your life’s focus and is an instrumental and strategic position of influence.
Older women have a “been there, done that” perspective that younger moms need. We’re past the labor-intensive part of motherhood and can give you hope and an “it’s all worth it” perspective. Scripture tells us that a woman forgets the pain of childbirth for the joy of a child once it is born. (I have to be honest, though, and tell you that I did remember James’ dramatic birth for quite some time.) I can truthfully say that I can’t even remember the hardships of early motherhood now for the joy of my grown children. Those hardships are just vague memories. It was all worth it.
If you have small children, you are in the midst of a very demanding season of life. It’s easy to think that your current status will be the reality for the rest of your life. To borrow the title of a book, motherhood is a “long obedience in the same direction.” God chose to make human babies very needy. They are unlike baby sharks (which are self-sufficient at birth) or giraffe babies (which start walking two minutes after birth.) Our babies are totally dependent on us for survival and are needy of our time and attention for a number of years—all part of God’s design. In the midst of that long obedience, it’s hard to see a light at the end of the tunnel. You need encouragement and support as you walk through this season of life.
Where there is no vision, people perish (Proverbs 29:18). That means they lose hope and want to give up. Young moms need envisioned older moms—women who are convinced of the value and worth of motherhood and homemaking—to give value and worth to the work of their hands. God-vision helps you see past the loads of laundry and dishes, sleepless nights, bone-weary exhaustion, and feelings of being overwhelmed. God-vision convinces you that all your work is instrumental in the plans and purposes of God. You are helping rebuild the foundational building block of society and the church—the family. You are part of God’s MO in the earth by raising up godly seed who will affect the seven mountains of influence in society and generations to come.
Your sacrifice and steadfastness are precious in the sight of God, dear mom. Keep going. You are doing a good job!
P.S. Rachel Naramore and her three adorable children are featured here. Rachel and her husband Brandon are pastors at Rock of Roseville church in Roseville, California, where Rachel has used Not Just a Mom in various small groups to encourage moms. One of her favorite blogs of mine is “Holiness or Happiness?” where I briefly shared vulnerably about our marriage struggles. One of the greatest gifts we, as the older generation, can give the next generation, is honesty about our failures and weaknesses. That honesty frees those who come behind us to acknowledge their own failures and struggles. Be blessed, Brandon and Rachel!
In what ways could older women be of most help to you?
Describe how lack of vision affects your day-to-day life as a mother.
How does the world’s perspective on motherhood affect you?
Explain how God-vision would help you on your motherhood journey of a “long obedience in the same direction.”
Ask God for encouragement, vision, and strength for the long journey of motherhood.
Ask God to bring envisioned older women into your lives to encourage you.
Ask Him to show you how you can bring encouragement to younger moms.