One of my favorite authors is Martha Bolton. She’s written over 80 books, but the ones that I especially like are the funny ones where she talks about getting older in a fun way. The titles alone are enough to make you smile – Cooking with Hot Flashes: Discovering New Talents in Middle Age, Growing Your Own Turtleneck & Other Benefits of Aging, Didn’t My Skin Used to Fit?
Unfortunately, we live in a society that does not always value getting older. I seriously doubt that we’ll ever see any of these books on the movie or television screen in Hollywood. Our culture places a high value on what looks young and youthful.
Many women do not want to think about getting older. With all of the advances in plastic surgery and all of the youth-promising creams, gels and peels, they try to stop the aging process. But you know what? Time always marches on – and that’s not a bad thing.
Ancient Hebrew culture valued the elderly. As modern godly women, we can feel good about the aging process if we look at it from a Biblical perspective. Gray hair can be considered a sign of God’s favor on the woman who has lived long in pleasing Him. (Proverbs 16:31)
In years to come, I do not want to get caught up in how many gray hairs I have, how many wrinkles are on my face or how much cellulite is on my thighs. I want to keep my focus on things that matter in light of eternity. Our bodies are only clay vessels that we will shed one day. There is so much more about us that’s meaningful. For instance,
I want to grow in wisdom.
Is not wisdom found among the aged? Does not long life bring understanding? (Job 12:12)
As I grow older, I try not to repeat the mistakes of my youth. Living longer means that I have the opportunity to also grow wiser. There are things I know now at 63, that I did not know at 23. Not only is my relationship with the Lord closer but I’ve also had the benefit of my life experiences.
I want to be an example for younger women.
Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, and to be busy at home so that no one will malign the word of God. (Titus 2:3- 5)
Growing up as a young woman, I was blessed to have a mom, aunts, and cousins who prayed for me, talked to me, and guided me through my young life. I meet so many young women today who do not have this foundation and safety net. The Word says that we are to stand in the gap and I look for opportunities to mentor and serve as an example to a young woman who needs it.
I want to grow ever closer in my relationship with Christ.
I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death. (Philippians 3:10)
I want to be obedient to God’s will on a daily basis. Maturity involves making a commitment to doing what God says. As I strive to make this an everyday part of my life, my relationship with Him continues to grow closer and closer.
I want to leave a legacy for my nieces and nephews.
There was also a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old. . .She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. (Luke 2:36-38)
I do not have children but I do have nieces and nephews. I want them to see me as a godly woman. That doesn’t mean that I have to stay in church 24/7. It does mean that they need to know that Auntie is a praying woman whose heart belongs to Jesus. Prayerfully, it also means that my example will encourage them to follow Him and be the men and women God created them to be.
No matter what the world says, growing older is a blessing and as women of God, we can do it gracefully. We are beautiful in God’s eyes, no matter how many gray hairs we may have on our heads.
Gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained by a righteous life. Proverbs 16:31 (NIV)