I have started meeting regularly with an older woman who goes to my church. The insight gathered from our conversations has been a blessing. As I navigate being a wife, working, managing a home, and possibly raising children in the future, I see how much of a comfort it is to receive advice and a listening ear from an older woman, who has been through such seasons of life while navigating her faith journey with the Lord.
Mentorship in the Church
Mentorship between older and younger believers is an ethic of the Church. Though specifically talking about older women and younger women, Titus 2:3–5 establishes a culture in the kingdom of God where the younger generation values the wisdom of the older generation, and the older generation sees the younger generation as people in whom to invest. However, I know some of us are not in places where we can meet with believers, who are mature in age and in the faith. Maybe you attend a church where the demographic is mostly made up of millennials or young families? Or maybe you do not know any older men or women who have the capacity to mentor you? Though you may not have examples around you, God does not leave you without guidance.
The Proverbs 31 Woman
In His Word, God provides examples of old saints so that we can discover how to live in light of our salvation and in ways that honor Him. For women, we have the example of the Proverbs 31 woman. While the woman described in Proverbs 31:10—31 is most likely a figurative representation of biblical womanhood, we can still use this passage to gain practical wisdom from an older woman who was a wife, worked, managed a home, raised children, and, by God’s grace, displayed the glory of the Lord through it all.
Based on Scripture, if we met the Proverbs 31 woman for coffee, below are some insights I believe she would share with us:
The Gift of Relationships
(Verses 10–12, 23, and 28–29)
“My dear, the greatest gift in this life is the company you keep. Form deep connections with those around you. In our culture, where many hustle to achieve career success, status, and money, relationships are being neglected. As a result, more and more people are struggling with loneliness. But God created us to be in relationship with one another; relationships are the framework for a thriving society. Strive to deeply know your husband, children, family, friends, and neighbors, and let them know you. Over time, you will reap the benefit of giving your time, attention, and energy to them. And, most of all, you will mirror our Maker, who sacrificed His life so that we could have a relationship with Him.”
Seize opportunities in front of you to do good
(Verses 13—16, 18—19, 24, and 27)
“What has God placed in your path? Survey your landscape, and identify the time. If there is light in the sky, ability in your bones, and an opportunity before you, do not sit and watch the moments slip by. A woman who dedicates all her days to leisure is missing out on the creative call of Genesis 1:28. God commanded us to help steward the world for His glory. As we participate in this call through the power of His Spirit, we exercise the part of ourselves that longs for fruitfulness and productivity.”
The strength, dignity, and honor of Jesus are a woman’s adornment
(Verses 17 and 25a)
“As you dress for the day, make sure that you clothe yourself in the gospel. In the morning, before your feet touch the floor, remind yourself of God’s faithfulness, power, and majesty. Remember that you are a daughter of the King of kings and Lord of lords. Dwell on the accomplished work of Jesus Christ and stand confidently on its truth.”
Make wise decisions based on the principles of Scripture
“The beginning of wisdom rests upon the fear of the Lord (Proverbs 1:7). Fearing the Lord means to view Him with reverence, awe, and humility; it means to let His precepts and desires govern your life, while trusting that His will is best. Biblical womanhood encompasses wisdom, as women are faced with decisions every day. So, through our faith in Jesus, we must choose out of our respect for the Lord, and we must seek the Scriptures to measure our choices against what God has said.”
Use your gifts to nurture, beautify, and serve
“Who are those in your community who are without love and care? Where are areas that can benefit from creativity and a fresh perspective? How can you use your gifts to serve these people and spaces? God has uniquely gifted you, and He will continue to equip you for such a task.”
Enjoy God’s eternal favor and blessing
“Dear, do you know you the joy of the Lord? Such a joy is rooted in the assurance of salvation through Jesus Christ. Because we know that we are recipients of eternal favor and blessing in Christ, we can journey with supernatural delight. Tears may stain our cheeks, and scars may persist on our hearts. But we can still smile and laugh, knowing that God will restore all things in His time.”
Point others to the gospel
Since mentorship between older believers and younger believers is a call of the Church, I would encourage you to build a relationship with those who are outside of your age demographic. But, even if you are not able to receive mentorship from an older man or woman in the faith, you can always come to the Lord, who is the God of utmost wisdom and insight. He will help you navigate the seasons of life, and He will guide you to Christ. There, in Christ’s presence, we can study His example and reflect His character. And, by His Spirit, we can represent biblical manhood or womanhood in order to point others to the gospel.
Women in the Bible and Discipleship Resources
If you would like to study about women in the Bible or how to start discipleship in your church, check out the resources below!
Daughters of Grace: Women of the Bible study