Elisabeth Elliot once wrote, “The fact that I am a woman does not make me a different kind of Christian, but the fact that I am a Christian makes me a different kind of woman.” The Word of God transforms not only our hearts and minds, but also our womanhood. Therefore, when asked: “What do young women desire of the older women at Providence? And how are the young women willing to bless the older women?” my response wasn’t based on my personal conviction, but rather on the Word of God.
My calling as a younger woman is to listen and learn from the training of older women and to be encouraged by their wisdom and experience. This means that God has given you a high calling as older women within the church. In Titus 2, Paul explains that teaching sound doctrine means “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).
Again I say: what a high calling! It is through our obedience that we adorn the Gospel of our God. Therefore, as the younger women, we spur you on prayerfully to heed the call of your Maker. He designed each of us specifically and uniquely as women, and being a Christian dictates the kind of women we are and how we build up the Body of Christ.
Our desire is to learn from you the beauty of an ordered life under the Lordship of Christ—how to be godly women, wives, and mothers. You are a vital part of the body: we need godly women, women of the Word, women who love the Lord, and will teach what is good. Share with us the blessings and joys of femininity under Christ. We desire to learn from your wisdom and talents as older and more mature saints in this local church—to see how you bless your household and the people around you.
Several examples come to mind from my own life. Recently, I was personally blessed by an older woman, Shari, as we worked together to plan Coffee and Conversations. Over meals together, Shari was intentional to get to know me. She shared her story with me and her desires for women at Providence to be further unified under the banner of our risen Savior.
On another occasion, Joelle, a wife and mother of four, invited me and a friend to her home, made us dinner, taught us how to make bread, and gave us a sourdough starter. I got to see a glimpse of how she blesses her husband and children, as I experienced intentional hospitality and sweet fellowship. In Joelle’s words, “What an easy way to share and talk about the Bread of Life!” Thanks to Joelle, my mother and I make sourdough bread every week and have shared the starter with other women.
Rebekah, a younger mother, has invited me to her home for Christ-centered conversations. She speaks with thankfulness of her calling as a wife and a mother, and exhorts me to further obedience to my Lord through simple hospitality. Simple does not mean meaningless in the slightest! I have also been greatly impacted by a younger, single woman, Nia. She has continually poured into me and exhorted me to greater love and obedience to Christ, specifically in my womanhood. Nia’s dedication to praying, loving, teaching, inviting, and advising me has not gone unnoticed.
These four women represent different generations, life stages, and gifts, but they are united by one calling from the Word of God: to glorify Christ as godly women. I believe God has gifted everyone uniquely and equips us to bless those around us intentionally. Whether through your hospitality, your artistic abilities, your prayers, your teaching, (and so much more!) God has given you an important ministry to be active in His church in discipling others to be sound in mind and heart in Christ.
We as the younger women of Providence want to bless you and your families and pray for you as you teach us. We desire to use our unique giftings, sacrificing to serve you and encourage you by imitating you as you imitate Christ. We are willing to be disciplined, patient, honest, and open as we are mentored and discipled by you. Furthermore, as young women we want to teach the ones who come after us, love them, and exhort them to biblical womanhood.
When we prioritize what our King orders, we display the Gospel to an unbelieving world. Let us heed the call of our Master faithfully and willingly, as He gives us the grace and joy to go forth! Women—young and old—can be certain in this promise from Jesus: “If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full” (John 15:10-11).