The first time I was ever referred to as an older woman, I was only 27 years old. I had just asked a young woman if she’d be interested in joining a small group for some weekly discipleship training at my home. With uncontainable excitement she blurted out, “I was just praying that God would send an older woman to disciple me!” Older woman? Me?
It was then that I learned a valuable lesson:
We are all an older woman.
There is always someone we can invest in, even if we’re just a step or two ahead of them. This is true not just in physical age, but also in spiritual growth and opportunities. From one-time convervations to organic and even structured relationships, investing in younger women has enriched my life in the loveliest of ways.
1. They have stretched my faith and forced me to trust God.
Again and again, investing in younger women has shown me that God can, does, and will do more through my availability than I ever could through my ability. I rely heavily on the truth of 2 Corinthians 3:5—“Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God.” Oh, what I would have missed out on if I hadn’t counted on God being enough to make up for what I lack..
2. Investing in others has caused me to go deeper with God than I otherwise would have.
Encouraging others has been a beautiful motivator to stay in God’s Word, leading me to research questions, passages and topics I probably wouldn’t have chose. The benefits for me have been Incalculable.
3. Praying for and over other women has impacted my prayer life and allowed me to take others to God.
Fighting for someone in prayer can be exhausting, but I have also seen it bring relief, healing, hope and all sorts of beautiful results. And while praying over someone when they were with me made me initially quite uncomfortable, I’ve learned that it is one of the most gracious gifts I can give, whether or not I have answers to their concerns. Never ever ever underestimate the power of praying for and over someone else.
4. The spiritual hunger of others radically inspires my own.
It’s far too easy to become complacent in my own spiritual journey, but the transparency and excitement of others who are learning is so refreshing. I want what she is having!
5. I have a lot to learn and younger women can teach me.
Besides being more tech savvy, they have fresh perspectives and unique experiences, as well as gifts and training different from my own. I find this fascinating! Reverse mentoring is not something I knew to count on, but it is a beautiful thing.
6. Redeeming hardwon lessons to benefit others has given me fresh purpose and a trusted voice.
You can google to learn just about anything these days, but there’s nothing like a real live woman to talk to and learn from. Understanding, empathy, inspiration, wisdom, discernment, encouragement, a warm hug and loving correction are gifts the experienced woman has to share. We are and always will be irreplaceable.
I have found that there are virtually countless ways to invest in other women--I don’t have to do it a certain way or like anyone else. Whether my time, talents and resources are a little or a lot, investing in another woman is both possible and a privilege.
I’ve also learned that any investment in another woman has value, whether it’s a one-time conversation or weekly appointment. Whether I’m showing a younger woman how to use the Internet to better study Scripture, praying with her over a problem in her marriage, sending her a note of encouragement or even sharing how to roast broccoli...if God leads me to do it and it ministers to her, it is of value.
Ladies, there is a woman out there who needs your encouragement and intentional investment. Whether she’s 13, 30, or the new “girl” living in your retirement center, don’t miss out on the gift of her. As Dr. Seuss would say, “There is no one youer than you.”
Please let God use your unique blend of personality, background, circumstances, gifts, and growing faith to care for another woman. There is fresh inspiration to be had and I don’t want you to miss it!
Meet the Author!
Bible teacher, author, inspirational speaker and disciple-maker, Vickey Banks is passionate about helping women connect the dots between God’s Word and their everyday lives. She loves serving as Women’s Ministry Director at Council Road, celebrating her people, playing with her puppy and getting lost in a good story.