Older & Younger Moms
"Who's teaching mothers these days anyways?!"
An older mom looked at me, wanting to roll her eyes and tear up at the same time.
We had been talking about a choice one mom had made that put the health of her infant in jeopardy; one that she was comfortable with while those around her watched with horror. The choice is hers, and she owns it.
But the exclamation from my friend turned my attention elsewhere --
Who do we learn from?
Who is teaching us younger moms, anyways?
We moms are pros at figuring things out as we go. We have to! Kids (and life in general) are unpredictable, and we have to expect the unexpected and be prepared for what we don't know how to do.
Yet Scripture gives us this mandate:
"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).
Older women are given the responsibility of teaching and training the younger women; they have had more years under their belts and typically have much wisdom for younger women to glean from.
Guess what that means for us younger women? We should listen to those who are older than us! Everything must be held against the Word of God, but that certainly shouldn't deter us from listening to those who have more life experience than we do. They may have tips for maintaining a home, or tricks for effectively disciplining a stubborn child; they may have habits they've kept for decades that have served them well in their personal lives. Each older woman has things that worked for her and things that didn't; imagine how much you could learn from even a few older moms!
My challenge to you and myself for this holiday season especially is to listen to moms older than us. We will have opportunities as we gather with family and friends to interact with women we can learn from. Even the most unlikely of people have things we can learn - whether we keep or discard their ideas.
As we sit down together, open gifts together, share meals together - don't be afraid to ask, or pay attention to a conversation that's already started. And when someone does share with you, resist the urge to be prideful. Resist cutting her off if you're not interested; resist rolling your eyes if it's something you've heard a thousand times. Hear it once more and be respectful of her opinions and methods. It will bless her, and if it doesn't bless you it will strengthen your patience and grace. Which is really still a blessing. ;)
Originally written by Amy Parsons for the Strength & Song weekly email.