As we get older, life can throw us some “curve balls”! I have found it very interesting as I adjust myself to the fact that all my chickies are married now. A huge part of my life has been spent teaching and training my children, and now that time at home has passed. A few tears were shed, but it is this Momma’s heart transitioning to a new phase. I loved every minute, and thank the Lord for the blessing of children, but life moves on, and a woman of God with grown children needs to look to the future with His promises in mind.
“Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she smiles at the future. She opens her mouth in wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue,” Proverbs 25:26.
First of all, look to each new day with joy! “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit dries up the bones,” Proverbs 17:22. And Proverbs 15:13 adds, “A joyful heart makes a cheerful face.” Train your heart to be contented and happy by looking for the “positives” in every day. I love Scripture pictures, so in my family room there is a large reminder from the Psalms, “This is the day that the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it,” verse 118:24.
Next, be encouraged from the women of the Word. I’m inspired by older women that chose godly ways and the Lord blessed them because of this. I think of Naomi. She had not only lost her husband while living in a foreign land, but her two sons had died there also. Returning to her home of Bethlehem, she had only one daughter-in-law by her side. She never gave up, though she was discouraged. It seems to me that she picked herself up after grieving her losses and got busy helping Ruth plan for the future. Please take time to read the beautiful love story of Ruth, (only four chapters) and notice how this story is filled with mentoring, and trusting in the Lord to work things out for the good.
I’m also encouraged by Sarai (later changed to Sarah) in Genesis chapters 12-21. At the ages of 75 and 65, Abram and Sarai were told by God to pack up and move away from their home and families. They journeyed by faith and God blessed them, even giving them a son when they were beyond child-bearing years. As Sarah is laughing at the thought of bearing a child in her old age, God simply states, “Is anything to difficult for the Lord?” Genesis 18:14.
Just as these faithful women were busy in their later years, we need to make a goal of continuing to teach and train as Titus 2:3-5 commands. When a woman has children at home, that’s where her focus is, but when they leave the nest, a godly woman can branch out and expand her realm of teaching. There are always young women to mentor, and if our prayer is that God will use us, be alert to opportunities to serve. Our congregation is bustling with Moms and their little lovies, and I love to talk to them and give advice from my memories of kids being all around me. We may never realize how far our words of encouragement will go to a Momma who has had a hard day with littles. I remember the not-so-nice looks from customers in a store when I would walk in with kids to shop. Let’s NOT be that woman! Give them a smile instead, and tell them what “precious cargo” they have in their hands.
As we go into the empty nest years, adopt an attitude of “What can the Lord accomplish through me now, and what amazing things will we do with this time of our life?” I really look forward to speaking at Ladies Days and encouraging other women. I find that I have more time to study, concentrate, and prepare lessons. Doesn’t the Scriptures support this continued work? I haven’t found any verses that hint of retirement for His teachers until we reach Heaven! Older women should be using their experiences to help train the next generation of Christian wives and mothers.
Perhaps now is a great time to go on mission trips? Our congregation oversees the work of one of the Bear Valley Bible Institute of Denver’s extension schools in Cameroon, Africa. Now that our children are grown, I am able to travel with my husband there. As he teaches the men, I am honored to teach the student wives. What an awesome experience this is! My goal is always to prepare them for life as a preacher’s wife, but honestly, I am the one who returns from Africa having learned so much from my sweet sisters from across the ocean.
So, as life marches forward and our work for the Lord “switches gears,” look with joy to the future, and find new places to teach and serve the Kingdom. “Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised,” Proverbs 31:30
By Robin Martin
Robin and her husband, Randy, work with the Lord’s church in Rosemount, Minnesota. They are blessed to have 7 children and 10 grandchildren. She is ever grateful for the grace of God and His undying love.