Sunday’s Dallas Morning News editorial page immediately caught my eye, “Grandmas Rule the World.”
Being Nana to two girls who are three and one, I was drawn to the title. The editorial, which really had little to do with grandmothers, focused on powerful women in their fifties and sixties like Janet Yellen, Elizabeth Warren, Hillary Clinton and Angela Merkel. The author suggests that women become more powerful and acceptable as leaders as they age. Such women are at the prime age to use their influence and experience on a broader platform.
Even we ordinary women of a certain age enjoy new opportunities, and we don’t have to be mothers or grandmothers! (These days a certain age is likely the 50’s and 60’s.) We may not rule the world in the ways that these 4 women do, but there is some truth here that carries over to us as well.
First, we, too, have much experience, whether it’s as wives, professionals, mothers, or community volunteers. Most Christian women past their forties have learned much wisdom as they walked with God through hard times. We have grown spiritually in ways that we never expected as we have seen God move and experienced his presence in every situation, whether positive or negative.
Second, by the time we get to our fifties and sixties, we can generally focus more time outside the home because our children are now grown and gone. Although we have grandchildren, our children are the ones who are primarily responsible for them. We need to broaden our thinking and look out to the horizons beyond our safe and comfortable places and our families to see how God can use us in new ways.
Third, men in spiritual leadership are often more willing to seek the thoughts and advice of older women. Whether that is true because we seem less sexual and more grandmotherly or because we have proven ourselves to be women of worth is for researchers to discover, but it is a place of new influence.
So what opportunities are there for such as time as this?
Younger women are asking for mentors, not mentors in an organized program, but women who have been there, are walking faithfully with God, and are available to spend time with younger women as friends. Be in places where they are—intergenerational group Bible studies, mothering groups that include mentors, neighborhood gatherings, serving at church and in nearby mission opportunities, and find those who connect well with you. They don’t want you to tell them what to do or preach to them; they simply want older women who can share their own life experiences and love them. Will you hear God’s call in Titus 2:3-5 to women who are your daughter and sisters in the faith?
What about taking some mission trips overseas as long as your health is good? I have gone more as an empty nester than ever before. Will you give up time, comfort, money, and favorite foods to love others?
Our churches and non-profits have endless needs for administrative and leadership help. Will you give your gifts to God in your retirement instead of simply resting and enjoying your own family? Our ministry always need prayer support. Can you provide that for a person or group?
I love this life stage where I can be more flexible and open to opportunities that I never considered before. I hope you will see yourself as a woman of opportunity from God.
What other opportunities have you been given and how God has blessed your obedience, at a certain age?