If you give a moose a muffin, he'll need some butter with it. And if you give a mouse a cookie, he'll surely need a glass of milk. If you give a pig a pancake, he'll ask for the syrup.
But what happens if you give an older woman a question?
I've talked recently about the need for older women to mentor younger women, according to the precepts set forth in Titus 2:3-5:
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 the 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.
Titus 2:3-5 (HCSB)
Actually, I've discovered that the text more clearly reads that the older women are to live such reverent, self-controlled, pure and lovely lives that the younger women's interest is piqued and they desire to follow in their footsteps. That doesn't let us off the hook as far as older women investing in younger women. Instead it shifts the emphasis.
The older woman is to diligently guard her lifestyle, ensuring that she lives in an exemplary and godly way. The younger woman is to diligently seek out role models and investigate their lives, unearthing the source that fuels their rich and enviable marriages and homes.
So when you find such a woman...a godly, self-controlled, pure and kind woman who invests well in her husband, her children, and her home...what should you ask her? I'll tell you this much, if you give an older woman a question she's much more likely to share with you from her wisdom and experience than if you just expect her to start pouring out that information voluntarily. Few women of great character really see themselves as vaults of knowledge and wisdom. They are hesitant to share freely and without request because they don't want to encroach or annoy.
But if you give a woman a question, she'll think on it, pray on it, and then, if you're really blessed, she'll share what God has taught her.
Here are 5 great questions you might want to pose to a wiser, older woman who is just a little further down life's trail than you:
- What does your relationship with the Lord look like?
Hopefully, she'll divulge how she's managed to grow in her relationship with the Lord over the years. Maybe she'll tell you about her quiet time with Him and how she talks to Him. Maybe she'll even tell you how she manages to hear from Him.
- What is the toughest part of marriage and how have you learned to deal with it?
Maybe she'll tell you when and why she quit trying to change her man. Or perhaps she'll tackle the big "S" word: submission. And then again, she could discloses some wonderful contraption she came up with for keeping her mouth shut when everything in her wanted to keep talking!
- What has been the most surprising thing about being a woman to you?
She could tell you about the huge dreams that never came to fruition but that also don't hold a candle to the life God gave her. She might share the miraculous things she's seen God do in the hearts of her children, things beyond her wildest imagination. Or she might laugh about the way her priorities and passions have changed over the years.
- What is the most practical advise you can give me as a mother?
Sure, we all like to talk about the sweetness of motherhood. But let's get to the nitty-gritty. What works and what doesn't? Maybe she remembers. Maybe she just knows it all turned out in the wash!
- If you could, what would you tell your 25-year-old self (or 35-year-old self, or however-old self you are)?
That seems to be a popular question these days. But it all boils down to looking back and being appalled that you were so wrapped up in "x,y,z" and not nearly enough concerned about "a,b,c." And then you set yourself straight. But if she'll answer that question for you, you might be able to save yourself a little grief and precious time.
So here's the assignment. Find an older woman you admire and ask her one or more of these questions. I'd love to know what you find out!
That, ladies, is what Titus 2:3-5 is all about.
Labels: discipleship, mentoring, What's in Your Pack