Trashing the Stereotypes

May 11, 2020

I’ve been meeting with some younger women recently. Across from each other at Starbucks, lattes in hand, we chat about life, and I find myself sitting up a little straighter and wondering if my gray roots are showing.

I’ve been wanting a younger perspective on women’s ministry and a chance to get to know these women better, and you know what? They’re all really great: insightful, thoughtful, and God-glorifying. They want to build the kingdom of God. They want to fight sin, live holy lives, and reach people with the gospel. It’s no surprise–they’ve always been this way, but it’s just so easy for generations to mischaracterize each other. 

In our current culture, we are masters at finding people similar to ourselves and then judging everyone else. Whether it’s about politics, race, or what kind of fruit we buy, we huddle together in Facebook or friend groups and glance knowingly at the others. If we aren’t careful, this can characterize the church as well, dividing generations meant to walk in unity for the glory of Christ.  

Older women, how easy it is to wring our hands at the younger generation, those Millennials or Generation XYZ or whatever they’re called. They’re always on technology! They throw their money around. Look what they’re wearing; they’re so into themselves!  

Younger women, how effortlessly we can assess the older set. Oh, they chose that lifestyle: they’re old-school. I’m sure I know their opinion before even asking–better stick with my own tribe. And yikes, they can’t even figure out how to silence their phones! 

By God’s grace, our church is full of gracious, Christ-following women, where sisterly affection abounds. Nevertheless, we are not immune to cultural pitfalls, especially in their subtler forms. Simply buying into age stereotypes can keep us from the joy and wisdom of other generations of women who have so much to offer. The “groupthink” so common today is a convenient tool Satan uses to mar our unified witness to the world. Let’s not let him! 

The solution isn’t some fancy strategy; it’s simply living out God’s plan. (He foresees this stuff ahead of time–have you noticed?) In Titus, we see that older women should invest in younger and teach them how to live life. In Proverbs, we read that younger people should seek out the older and glean from their experience. In Joel, we glimpse a glorious scene of young and old experiencing God together with young men seeing visions and older men dreaming dreams. It’s a big, beautiful mixed up community of disciples loving God together and helping each other along: old helping young, and young helping old. Oh, how we need each other!

Our next two posts are letters written to older and younger women that outline some of the countless ways we benefit each other. Stop in on the next two Mondays to stay in the conversation.

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