A few weeks ago I went to a bridal shower with an 80’s theme, so the room filled with a disturbing amount of blue eyeshadow, leg warmers, and side pony tails.
But the room also filled with a lot of women who had been married a long time. After we ate refreshments, we went around the room and gave the bride a piece of advice about marriage. The depth of wisdom in that room was as shocking as the host’s neon 80’s work-out costume.
So much hard-earned wisdom came from every woman, and we didn’t even know we would be asked to give it. All this goodness was off-the-cuff.
And my thought was –how do we funnel this wisdom to the people who need to hear it?
Now let me tell you of an encounter I had recently with a friend at our church harvest dinner.
“You have to encourage me,” I told her.
She is a fellow teacher, except she has 14 years’ experience under her belt, and I’m only three years in.
I shared with her about how poorly my students had done the week before and how I felt great despair.
“Listen,” she said. “This always happens –always. The week before Thanksgiving they run out of steam and hit a low. But your students will come back from Thanksgiving and fire up until Christmas. I promise. Don’t give up, and don’t expect much of them until next week.”
After talking to her, I felt so hopeful. She gave me perspective I didn’t have and encouraged me out of her own experience.
Earlier in that same dinner, I had been talking to a mother of five whose first child was just entering the middle school years. She had the same look in her eyes that I had about my students. So I encouraged her out of my own experience.
Here’s what I realized: A church that is full of women who love Jesus and who live to please him in their marriages and parenting and jobs is also a church full of untapped wisdom.
So how can you take full advantage of this great treasure?
Three Ways to Find The Wisdom You Need
First, get fully engaged in a church.
Paul writes this to the church in Colosse:
My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. (Colossians 2:2-3 NIV)
Our unity, as we come together in a church family, is where we find the full riches of complete understanding. It starts with Christ, and he uses our relationships to pass on his wisdom. You need a church family.
Second, understand that older women long to share their wisdom with younger women. Older women have experienced the same kinds of struggles you face. My mother-in-law leads a Bible study for a vibrant group of elderly women, and I’ve heard them say this very thing. They want to share what they’ve learned, but they don’t know how to make the connection.
Third, ask for help. Walk up to an older woman whom you respect and who is a devout follower of Christ and say, “Would you mind giving me some wisdom? I’m really struggling.” Watch her eyes light up when she sees her life can be valuable to you.
Your need is real.
Older women have walked the same road ahead of you. They have wisdom you need.
So be the one to make the connection and ask for help.