To Christian Women Under 40: We're Sorry
Give us a chance at authenticity.
Older women recognize that as young Christians, you desire authenticity. Sadly, we need your help in honoring what that means to you. Ask us questions about our past, probe into the durability of our faith, break beneath the surface of our veneer so we don't stay superficial with you. We long to tell the truth about ourselves. Do you believe God can speak to you through us? That's really the nagging question mature women need answered.
Once when I was speaking at a women's conference, a woman in her early 20s approached me and said, "I can't believe how you are just yourself up there." That simple statement encouraged me, in mid-life with all its surprising insecurities, to keep on doing the only thing I know how to do! See yourself reaching across generational lines as bringing health to our nation. A strong society is dependent upon numerous interpersonal relationships and deep feelings of commitment.
Don't worry about doing things differently.
It's okay to remind us that we're not just like you. Christian Smith observes how American adults seem more interested in projecting their hopes and ideals for what they think young people today should be like than in actually understanding what they are like. At times, we look at young women as if you are a "blank screen" onto which we project images of our own desires.
For example, younger women talk about being less tied to "seasons" of life—they want it all at once. We need to talk openly about this concern without projecting on you the way we lived our "seasons." There's nothing biblical about formulaic answers to life. The wisdom you can receive, however, from women who love Jesus through the years is worth more than gold.
Reminding us that we're not like you is a humble way of seeing our relationship as a benefit to society, the church, family, community, and the future. We can learn from each other. Be confident about the differences that are not moral absolutes. Let mature women know how much you love being busy and don't feel guilty about it. Create extraordinary change by embracing better relationships with these resourceful women—don't be afraid to try.
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