Growing up in the church, I’ve met a lot of women who love the Lord: collegiates, young moms, career ladies, empty nesters… but one of my favorite age groups is the golden girls. A bunch of women in the 70+ category can change the world like no one else. These people have (for the most part) dealt with their fears and insecurities, their need for others’ approval. They have spent decades solidifying their faith and understand the power of prayer. My Meme, a tiny woman with arms wide open and a heart infused with Jesus, has about 130 items on her list that she prays through every day. These ladies don’t hold any delusions of having “arrived:” they know they’re far from perfect and much in need of God’s grace. But there is so much that young pups like me can learn from them.
Here are some of my favorite qualities of a mature Christian woman (gleaned from those I know and examples in Scripture):
• Courage. This can come through as either sassy or quiet, but the closer she gets to heaven’s door, the less she fears on earth. Just being around her puts things into better perspective.
• Wisdom. She hopefully learned from the mistakes of others, and undoubtedly from her own. Whether she shares it like candy or waits to be asked, you know there is a stockpile of valuable life experiences in her heart.
• Love. Abundant, extravagant, ferocious, relentless love for her Savior, her family, her church, her friends—even people she doesn’t know yet.
• Faith. This woman has been around the block enough times to know she will never be alone. God has always come through for her, and He’s not about to stop now.
• Purpose. She doesn’t believe her usefulness has ended: God hasn’t taken her home yet, so she is here for a reason. This results in keeping her eyes open for opportunities to serve.
• Hope. It drives her, knowing that she is headed home to be with her Jesus, even if it will be a while before she gets there.
• Encouragement. The people around her feel revived after being in her presence. She is a fountain in a world of wells, bubbling grace and peace and life.
• Humility. She will be the first to confess her weaknesses, the first to apologize, the first to learn something from a difficult situation.
• Generosity. Her time, money, and abilities are all given cheerfully to meet the needs around her.
Golden girls are just as fearfully and wonderfully made as newborns and twenty-somethings. Our culture makes much of the young and the beautiful, harshly pushing the wrinkled hands of those who came before us out of the way. Since Eve’s first grandbaby was born, billions of grandmothers and great-grandmothers have helped compassionately mold the following generations, leaving a legacy of value and purpose. Scripture refers to God as male, but sometimes, when my Meme laughs, I could swear I see Jesus behind her eyes. May we grow up boldly in our faith and look to the godly older women in our lives for encouragement, accountability, and strength.