Let me just say... I don't recommend starting your parenting experience with a 17 year old! Even a good one can drive you crazy! Ashley, while being a really sweet kid, was not raised the same way my mom raised me. And the old axoim "You can't teach an old dog new tricks" has come to mind many times during the last 8 months! Don't get me wrong- She's great company when she's around. And it's pretty cool having a kid sister figure, but there's definitely some things that her mom forgot to teach her, like how to do dishes or sort clothes the right way (and by the right way, I mean Donna's way)
I have tried really hard not to get mad at Ash because I know that she doesn't know any better, but some days it just gets the best of me! One particular Sunday afternoon, as I was venting to my mother about all the things she was doing to drive me crazy, mom just laughed at me. After my tirade, she quietly reminded me that I needed to go read Titus 2: 3-5.
"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 husbands, that the word of God be may not be reviled."
Was my mom calling me old???
I mean seriously... I know I'm about to hit... well, we won't even say the number, but older? As I thought about what she had to say I began to realize that she was right. So, I'm not the oldest one around, and there are still women who have something to teach me (like hopefully one day how to be a godly wife and mother), but there are definitely others who would fall into the younger women category around me these days.
Like Ashley- who is not only 17, but a new Christian. Obeying the gospel this summer made the biggest change in her attitude. And while she is very eager to share the things she's gained from a relationship with God with others, she sometimes falls back into the way of thinking that made up her former life. I sometimes have to remind myself that she didn't have 17 years of a mother like mine to shape who she is. And her tender faith serves as a reminder to me to nourish my own.
But Ashley isn't the only young woman around me! There's the teenagers who were in my Sunday school class when I first started teaching- like Kaylee and Kaylin- who are facing the challenges of high school while trying to live as Christians. And there's Bayley, Sydney, Sarah, Cece, and Olivia, whose tender hearts needs to be shaped now for the life before them! And those are just some of the ones who are younger than me age wise!
The cool thing about maturing as a Christian is that it has nothing to do with age and everything to do with devotion to God and time spent studying his word. I was lucky in this department because as a child I was surrounded by a lot of mature, knowledgeable christians- like my Grandpa and my Mom. They taught me that even as a child I could understand the scriptures and that to please God, I needed to study them. Combine that with some awesome Bible teachers and a serious competitive streak over the years and it would be sad if I hadn't achieved some level of spiritual maturity. (That's not to say that I'm fully mature by any means) But not everyone is so blessed, and all around me there are women who might be older than me in years, but far younger in Christ. That's why it's so important to make the effort to spend time together studying!
To the ladies who were in our Bible Study group this summer, thanks for the encouragement to look deeper. And to the ladies in our monthly bible study group at midway, thanks for challenging me to be an older woman!