Ruth and Naomi: God used Ruth to encourage Naomi in a very difficult season in both of their lives. Naomi encouraged Ruth to glean in Boaz’s field, and God blessed Ruth with a husband. In Luke 1:39-45, God sent Mary to encourage Elizabeth when they were both pregnant. Even though Mary was younger than Elizabeth, she was a great encouragement to her older cousin.
We learn two things from these biblical examples of God using different ages to comfort one another:
- God often connects women together when they are in difficult circumstances.
- God connects women of all ages to accomplish his purposes.
Our Biblical Mandate
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. – TITUS 2:3-5 ESV
Opportunities for Generational Connections:
- Lead a Bible study for young mothers
- Volunteer for child care
- Lead a group of young teens
- Give senior women rides to appointments/shopping
In order to embrace opportunities for generational connections, we must recognize that intergenerational relationships can be difficult. We must be willing to push past the difficulties and embrace new intergenerational relationships. One way to do this is to look for young women/girls in the church who seem isolated. In view of the Great Commission, it is also necessary to expand our search for hurting women outside the church (e.g., homeless shelters, book clubs and community centers).
Sadly, we often place barriers between the generations. Sometimes older women are busy complaining about the attire and behavior of younger women, and younger women believe that older women just don’t understand. Instead, Paul instructs us to “be eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Eph. 4:3). When we purposely reach across generational lines to connect with each other, this enhances the unity and peace of the church.
Prayer Points for Generational Ministry:
- Pray for God to give you opportunities to model intergenerational connections.
- Pray for God to show you specific ways you can facilitate intergenerational connections.
- Pray for God to help you equip women for healthy, intergenerational relationships.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Donna Paulk has a passion to help women pursue their passions and live a Gospel driven life. Her greatest desire is to help women overcome obstacles that keep them from pursuing their God given gifts and talents. Donna is a certified personal coach with 20 years’ experience. She has worked in the corporate world in sales and training. She currently serves in two roles, Discipleship Coordinator at the Union Mission Ministries and as the Women’s Ministry Strategist for the SBC of Virginia.