Our age is not something to be cursed; every year we are given is a gift from God.
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Happy Saturday, Sarah!

Today I invited Barbara Latta to share some biblical wisdom with us. What a joy it is to receive wise counsel from godly women who have walked a mile in our shoes. I speak with confidence when I say that my generation craves the attention and support of older generations. Don't be afraid to share your stories with us!
-Sarah Koontz

“Mimi, how old are you?”

My granddaughter asked this question as she watched the smoke rise from the burnt wicks of the five candles she had just blown out on her birthday cake.  

Her excitement to now hold up five fingers instead of four drew the subject of age to dominate the conversation.

When I told her she would need all ten fingers six times, plus a few, to find my age, her eyes grew wide.

How could anyone live that long?

As the years creep up on us, new labels cling to us. Words such as “over the hill,” “empty nesters,” or at that “retirement age” have become commonplace in our culture.

If we allow these words to identify us, we can think life is over and has no purpose any longer. This could not be further from the truth.

God has a place and a purpose for older women in the body of Christ.

He tells us in Titus 2:3-5 HCSB, “In the same way, older women are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not addicted to much wine. They are to teach what is good, so they may encourage young women to love their husbands and to love their children, to be self-controlled, pure, homemakers, kind, and submissive to their husbands, so that God’s message will not be slandered.”

Older women are to be examples and teachers to the younger generation of women who can learn from our wisdom and experience.

Here are five ways older women can cultivate relationships with those who come after them:

  1. Record memories and leave a legacy. When we tell our children and grandchildren stories of how God has blessed our lives and families, we affect their future. One of my sons almost died twice, once the day he was born, and another when he was ill as a toddler. God brought us through both of those difficult times so our son could grow up to be a missionary. When he hears these stories, it emphasizes to him that God had a call on his life.

  1. Refuse to embrace condemnation and regret. Living with regret causes stress and paralyzes our witness because we are locked into the past. But when we accept God’s forgiveness for our mistakes and live in His wholeness, we are free to be the person He created us to be. When younger women see us living in victory, it can encourage them to leave their past mistakes behind.

  1. Rehearse the life God has given us instead of wishing for years behind. Don’t say, “Why were the former days better than these?” since it is not wise of you to ask this (Ecclesiastes 7:10 HCSB). We can live today in the blessings from time with family and friends. We can find joy in service and hope in helping others. And, also, with age comes free stuff or discounts in certain venues!

  1. Relate to others by involvement. We can often find isolation easier than joining activities and functions. Sometimes it is harder to venture into uncharted territory, but when we do, we fill our souls with the fellowship of like-minded people and those we are around can also benefit from knowing us.

  1. Realize we never stop learning. God will continue to speak to us until He calls us home. Set aside time to develop and deepen your relationship with God. Make certain you are still growing, as this process will equip you to nurture growth in others.

Our age is not something to be cursed; every year we are given is a gift from God.

The physical pursuit of “eternal” youth only treats symptoms. We may cover the gray hair, lift our skin, or do a nip or tuck here and there.

But our youth springs from the inside because our spirit never ages.

And our soul can remain young in attitude, too. He satisfies you with goodness; your youth is renewed like the eagle (Psalm 103:5 HCSB).

When older women show younger women our vitality and faithfulness, we encourage them to do the same.

Someday they will be teaching the next generation. Let’s give them an example worth following!

Can you think of ways you can impact the younger generation while you enjoy the life God has given you?

“Therefore, be imitators of God, as dearly loved children. And walk in love, as the Messiah also loved us and gave Himself for us, a sacrificial and fragrant offering to God.” Ephesians 5:1-2 HCSB

- Barbara Latta
Barbara Latta shares about walking in grace and thriving in hope on her blog, Navigating Life’s Curves. She enjoys riding motorcycles with her husband where she absorbs lessons from nature and historic sites. Their rides inspired her book, God’s Maps: Stories of Inspiration and Direction for Motorcycle Riders. She has two grown sons, one daughter-in-love, and adores being Mimi to her granddaughter. You can also find Barbara on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.
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