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How do I as a Christian woman face aging in a youth obsessed culture? That question hits me over and over as I grow older. I can’t open a magazine, turn on the TV, or the computer without seeing young and beautiful people staring back at me. Even the “old” people look young!
I’ll be honest. I’ve had my own mournful moments with the mirror. Inside I don’t feel the same age as the woman in the reflection. Part of me feels like it’s not fair or right that our “prime” time goes by so quickly.
Years ago my middle son said something that’s stuck with me. “Mom, I think God lets people get old to give them another chance.” He went on to talk about the health problems of aging being a means of grace where the unbeliever is finally at the point where they see their need for God and turn to Jesus in faith.
Can I say this to you older women in love? As we age, God is giving us, His beloved daughters, another chance, too. You see, we’ve been born into a world that values beauty above character, but as followers of Jesus we’ve been born again into a world where character forms beauty.
We are eternal beings. This body is wasting away.
The image you see forming in the mirror, the wrinkles, the lines, the failing flesh is not a disaster. It’s not. This is part of the process where the mortal is being changed to become immortal. No matter what our culture tells you, it’s not something to bewail, but embrace if you know Jesus as Savior. Growing older is the pathway to eternity, where you will be perfect, without spot, or wrinkle or sin forever.
So what’s the chance I referred to? We get the opportunity to die to our self in a new way. “Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain…” goes the Proverb. When we’re young, we might understand that to be true, but in growing old we get a chance to experience it. There comes a point in life where our charms and physical beauty have faded.
That’s where taking the chance comes in! There’s a second part to that verse: “but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” We can choose to cooperate with the work of the Holy Spirit and develop a more Christ-like character as we age. We can be inwardly renewed every day. Although we grow older, we can flourish in old age and bear lasting spiritual fruit. As we mature in our faith walk, real beauty will grow inside and glow outside.
There are many older Christian women who shine with the radiance of God’s love and grace and we can grow to be like them. I’ve had the privilege of having a great example of this in my grandmother. She loved the Lord and served Him right up until the week she passed into His kingdom. She wasn’t perfect, but she had a servant’s heart like Jesus, and her smile reflected His love. I always thought she was beautiful!
Developing a godly character isn’t supposed to stop in this life; the Christian doesn’t get to retire. Maturing in faith is like stringing pearls and as long as we’re on this earth, there are always more pearls to add to the strand. Don’t look back on what was, look ahead to all God has waiting for us, and use each day to grow in real beauty!
“Let your adornment be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a
gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.”
1 Peter 3:4