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Topics: Marriage, Womanhood

What Older Women Teach Us About Love

February 12, 2016
By Christina Fox


I have a guilty pleasure. I enjoy browsing Pinterest for new recipes, homeschooling ideas, and fun crafts (admittedly though, I never do the crafts). Almost every time I scroll through the pins, I see ones for blog posts on the topic of loving your husband. “20 Ways to Love Your Husband” “How to Truly Love Your Husband” “10 Ways to Say ‘I Love You’ to Your Husband.”

Flesh and Blood vs. Online Resources

As wives, we all desire to grow in our love for our husbands. In our internet saturated culture, we often turn to online resources when we want to learn something or when we are seeking a solution to a problem. For certain, the blog posts and articles we find online contain plenty of great ideas and tips for how to love our husbands. Many contain good reminders of things we know but often forget in the midst of our busy lives. But I do wonder if we want to learn how to love someone, should online resources be our go-to source of wisdom on how to love? Or are there other resources we overlook?

My grandfather was ill for a couple of years before he passed away last year. In his final days, I sat with my grandmother and we reflected over his long, painful illness. She shared all the hard and often messy work involved in caring for him. As we talked about it, she turned to me and said, “I took care of him because that’s what you do for someone you love.”

These last two years, I learned more from my grandmother about love than I ever could from a blog post. I learned by watching her love and serve my grandfather. I learned by watching her sacrifice for, fight for, and pray for my grandfather. I learned by talking with her about her faith and trust in the Lord during the hardest days of her life. And I continue to learn from her as she shares with me what life is like for her now as a widow.

Though an article on loving my husband can provide many helpful tips, it pales in comparison to the wisdom of learning from a real, flesh and blood person. I could read a thousand blog posts on how to love and serve a sick husband, but watching someone do it day in and day out speaks louder than a 750 word article.

Learning from Older Women

Paul wrote in Titus 2, “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” (emphasis mine, 2:3-5).

God has designed a method for our instruction as younger women: older women. Real, flesh and blood relationships. Two sided conversations. Honest and open feedback. Messy lives lived out in this fallen world. These are relationships within the family of God where those who are older in life and in faith pour into the lives of those who are younger, discipling them to live out the gospel in their lives, including their marriages.

The articles we read online are one-sided. The authors don’t know us and our situation. They don’t know where we are spiritually. They don’t know our temptations, sins, and sorrows. They don’t have a personal relationship with us. But the older women God has placed in our lives do know us and they are a far better resource for learning how to love our husbands because they can speak to us right where we are.

An older woman who teaches a younger woman how to love, doesn’t teach her apart from God’s word. At the beginning of Titus 2, Paul instructs Titus to “teach what accords with sound doctrine.” The Titus 2 relationship begins with the preached word of Christ in the older woman’s heart which then overflows to the younger woman. An older woman disciples a younger woman out of what she has learned in God’s word, reminding her of her desperate need for the gospel to enable her to love her husband well..

My grandmother isn’t the only one from whom I’ve learned about love. There are older women in my church, women who have been married for decades. I have watched them. I have learned from them. They know what it is to love in the lean years. They know what it is to love in hard times. They know what it is to love in sickness and in poverty. They have lived through the seasons of married life: the summer of the early years, the fall of the challenging years, the winter of the cold years, and have seen the buds bloom in the spring. They know that all relationships have ups and downs and they have waited out the winters, knowing that the sun would come once again.

Though the internet is filled with all kinds of information, it can never replace the wisdom of in-person relationships. God has provided the resources we need from those within the Body of Christ. Do you want to learn how to love your husband? Reach out to an older woman and learn from her.

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