We are at the end of our series now on Protecting Our Girls From Vanity. Yesterday’s installment Painting Over God’s Workmanship, Part 2 discussed exactly how we as mothers are leading our daughters astray.
Often women hide behind outward veils in order to cover those things which they do not particularly like about themselves. However, when we understand properly that our identity should be found in Christ and not the things of this world then our assessment of ourselves should drastically change. When we fail to put our faith in Christ and constantly worry about our appearance we are actually training our daughters to do the same even if unintentionally.
A Lasting Impression
I have always been eternally thankful to my own mother for never seeming concerned about aging. Now that is an accomplishment in this modern age! With all of the creams, pharmaceuticals, and surgeries out there to hide, lift, nip and tuck, anti-aging is the “in” thing.
My own mother never made a big fuss about aging, and that really made an impression on me as a child when every other woman I saw at her age was complaining about their own wrinkles and graying hair. My mother never dyed her hair and she has a gorgeous “salt and pepper” crown now which she is complimented on regularly.
What kind of impression are you leaving on your daughters concerning how they look at the aging process and how they treat those older than they?
We are consumed in our culture with evading the dreaded aging process. Almost every other commercial you watch or ad you read bombards you with information and products for how to retain your youth a little longer. It is hard not to listen. It is easy to forget what the Bible has to say about aging in the face of a society who fights against it with all its might.
Why Do We Age?
In order to grasp any of this we need to understand why we age in the first place. We age because of sin. Sin in this world breaks down the body, causes illness, and ultimately this shell that we live in comes to an end. We can approach the aging process with a bit of humbleness knowing that this sin is what Christ died for. We should also approach the aging process with joy because as “our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day” in Christ! (2 Corinthians 4:16)
That Which Comes Only With Age
The Bible speaks much to the joys that accompany age. We should not be ashamed of our age according to the Bible, attempting to cover it up and halt its process. Quite the opposite actually, we should embrace our age and see it as a life lived and a legacy left behind for the generation to follow.
“You shall stand up before the gray head and honor the face of an old man, and you shall fear your God: I am the Lord. Leviticus 19:32
We should respect those who are older than us for the experience they have gained and the wisdom they can share.
2.) Righteousness comes with age.
Gray hair is a crown of glory; it is gained in a righteous life. Proverbs 16:31
Those who are found in Christ, and are being sanctified daily by His Spirit, will with age have more to offer in the way of spiritual understanding and obedience. There is an intimacy with Christ that comes through years of trial, suffering, and affiliction that cannot be gained in youth alone.
3.) Honor comes with age.
The glory of young men is their strength, And the honor of old men is their gray hair. Proverbs 20:29
There is great honor to be had in the tenure acquired with age. Many cultures all over the world honor their elderly in great and amazing ways. It tends to be only in western cultures that the aged are despised and discarded as not being able to offer anything valuable to society. This is a very sad perspective indeed and one I believe which will be judged in eternity.
4.) Wisdom comes with age.
Wisdom is with the aged, and understanding in length of days. Job 12:12
I once heard the saying that young men are known for their passion and zeal, but old men are known for their wisdom and temperance. Both are needed to ensure the church works properly. This is so true. Youth have the ability to put some life into the old and the old have the ability to balance the young by offering good old fashioned experience. This should be treasured and not muted.
The Role Of The Older Woman
Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. Titus 2:3-5
It is vitally important that the next generation be taught. Young women very often today do not know how to keep a house, how to raise children, or how to be a wife in a God honoring way. We need those older than us, who have experienced these things, and walked this road to show us how it is done.
Just because you are older does not mean that you automatically have all of these great benefits at your fingertips. It is only by God’s grace, and by sanctification, that respect, righteousness, honor, and wisdom are attained in one’s lifetime.
It is important for the older woman not to horde these great gifts to herself but to share with those younger or less mature than she. This applies to any age, whether you are twenty-five or eighty-five. God will use you to bless another woman’s life if you but seek Him and pray for Him to offer you the opportunity.
A Plea To The Older Woman
Have you prayed that an older mentor, wife, mother would come into your life to encourage you, challenge you, and pray with and for you?
I see a very sad downward spiral in our churches of women and widows who choose to discount the Biblical mandate to train younger women.
We should not be ashamed to ask for help. We should not have to read blogs and join Facebook groups to find that Christian encouragement. At times I know this is how God has provided for me, but it shouldn’t have to be that way. Women in the church need to rise up and respond to the women around them, right in front of them.
Older ladies, please do not fail in your responsibility to train those younger than you. We are overwhelmed and need guidance. Sometimes we fight against your wisdom and are not as respectful as we should be. Please bear with us and forgive our stubborn tendencies. Help us to see the errors of our ways, and pray for us and with us that we might bend under the weight of God’s sanctification in our own lives so that we might become more Christlike.
A Plea to Mothers
Mothers you are the primary Titus 2 woman to your daughters. You are training your daughters to meet the world. Do not abandon this mission. Go at it purposefully driven by the Word of God.
When you despise your age, when you curse the body having children left you with, when you attempt to cover ever lump and bump because you are afraid of what others will think, you are not inscribing the Word of God on the heart of your daughters.
- Protecting our Girls from Vanity: Guarding Against Worldly Self Esteem
- Protecting our Girls from Vanity: Painting Over God’s Workmanship
- Protecting our Girls from Vanity: Embracing Our Age