Dear Seasoned Woman, I need you. There are times I pretend I know it all. I produce a show for my friends, family, and church members that I have it all together. I want them to think I know exactly what I am doing as a wife, mother, homemaker, friend, daughter, and believer. Sometimes I even scoff at advice.
Dear Seasoned Woman, the truth is I actually don’t know it all. I can gain some knowledge through Bible study and reading solid books, but there is a special kind of wisdom that comes with experience I can never fake. You have the benefit of time and experience spent reading the Bible, hearing it preached, loving your husband, raising your children, serving your friends, maintaining your home, and discerning decisions. You have something I can’t force by listening to podcasts or following Instagram accounts. You have years of witnessing the faithfulness, goodness, and grace of God. I need your wisdom applied to my life. I can read books and blog posts, but they don’t know my personal story. I need you, seasoned woman, to listen to my stories and teach me how to apply the wisdom you won through your own experiences.
Dear Seasoned Woman, it’s taken me a while to know that I need you. I’ve listened to the advice of my peers because they “know what I’m going through.” But I am realizing that to only take the advice of those my age is foolishness. My young friends have some good suggestions, but you have something we can only gain as we grow older. I no longer despise your wisdom but long for it.
Dear Seasoned Woman, Titus 2:3–5 confirms my need for you:
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.
My ignorance leads to the good news being reviled. I give my children law when they need the gospel. I dishonor my husband when I should be exemplifying the church’s relationship to Christ. I whisper unkind words about my fellow sisters when I should be uplifting them in prayer. I spend too much time on my phone rather than in the Bible. I give foolish advice because of my immaturity and pride. My life often doesn’t practically match up with my words. But Jesus died to change all of this. We both need this gospel, and I need your help to guide me into a gospel-filled life of obedience to Christ.
Dear Seasoned Woman, your work in training me does not simply build truth into one singular life. The discipleship you provide in both the practical and theological outworking of the gospel affects both my life and those I encounter. As you model and teach the gospel to me, I can in turn model and teach the gospel to them—to my husband, my children, my friends, my parents, and my coworkers.
Dear Seasoned Woman, you may feel inadequate. You may think another lady is better suited for the job, that you have made one too many mistakes to possibly teach me how to be a godly woman. But isn’t God so good that He can use even our failures to display His perfection and our need for Him? In His command to older women in Titus, He doesn’t give the qualification of “perfection.” Paul wrote that God has “chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong” (1 Cor. 1:27). Paul writes this as one who killed Christians—yet he also wrote the majority of the New Testament and planted countless churches. Despite your past mistakes, you can be used by God.
God promises to equip us for every good work with His Word (2 Tim. 3:16–17). You have the Holy Spirit living inside you, the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead (Rom. 8:9–11). You are capable, Seasoned Woman, not because you lived a good life, have a degree, or years of practice—but because of the grace of God to unworthy sinners making us able through the Word and the Holy Spirit.
Dear Seasoned Woman, you may look in the mirror and see an aging woman who doesn’t have much left to offer in the church. But though with age your outer self is wasting away, God is renewing your inner self day-by-day (2 Cor. 4:16). This is the beauty of the aging Christian—while our bodies may begin to fade, our hearts are growing ever stronger by the work of the Holy Spirit applying the Word of God to us. He will finish the good work He has begun in us—for His glory and the proclamation of the gospel.
Dear Seasoned Woman, if you do anything for me, show me how to be the seasoned woman for another. We are all an older woman to someone, and eventually I’ll be in your shoes, discipling another young woman. Teach me now so I may pass down your wisdom. One day, I’ll teach another young woman how to love her husband, care for her home, and raise children in a way that exemplifies the gospel. There are younger women trailing behind me, seeking a mentor of their own, and I want to fulfill God’s calling to me to be their seasoned woman.
Dear Seasoned Woman that I may never meet, I hope you find the younger woman who needs you.