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Something as simple as a diary shows how generations of women differ from other generations. Some generations of women write in diaries and keep them hidden away as highly personal while younger generations use Facebook or Instagram as public diaries for everyone to read.

Whether a generation records their lives in diaries or Instagram, or whether they prefer a handwritten thank you note or a “THX” text, women of different generations feel disconnected from each by their differences. How can we be intentional about getting to know women younger or older than ourselves? How can we help women of different generations connect and learn from each other in our churches?

When I think about women of different generations teaching each other, I think of Naomi and Ruth. Naomi was a daily example to Ruth, so much so that Ruth chose not only to leave her homeland and follow Naomi to Bethlehem, but she chose to follow Naomi’s God—the one true God. These two women of two different generations did life together and helped each other through so many seasons: grief, a long journey through the desert, working in the fields side by side, Ruth’s marriage to Boaz, and the birth of Ruth’s son, Obed. Naomi influenced Ruth by her actions, her belief in God, and her wisdom of being an older woman. Naomi living such a godly life every day impacted Ruth so much that it changed Ruth’s life for eternity. Titus 2:10 says, “so that in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior.” Ladies, Naomi “adorned” herself with God, and this kind of living highlights the attractiveness of the gospel. Are we adorning our lives with the gospel so our lives attract people to Jesus? Someone is always watching us, whether it’s family, friends, colleagues, or, most importantly, the Lord. Naomi and Ruth truly flourished when they came together to support and encourage each other, and remember, they were mother-in-law and daughter-in-law.

Here are a few things to communicate to the women you interact with of different generations:

  • Because you matter to God, you matter to me.

Genesis 1:27—God created mankind in His own image.

  • What you say is important, and I want to hear from you.

Often young women hear they are either too young to know much about life or have too few experiences to draw from, but 1 Timothy 4:12 says, “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in purity.” Conversely, older women often feel younger women think they are too old to be useful and the wisdom they have does not seem relevant today. But Titus 2:4 reminds them “older women are to teach the young women.”

  • Choose not to be offended by things said, worn, or done that are “generational” differences, such as ripped jeans, type of worship music, tattoos, or piercings. Instead, when you’re dealing with women in a different generation than your own, ask yourself, “Why am I offended? Is it because my personal preferences are offended, or is God offended?”

Proverbs 17:9—Whoever covers an offense seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates close friends.

  • Always stay teachable.

Psalm 25:4—Show me your ways, Lord, teach me your path.

Here are some ideas of how and where to meet women of different ages:

  • Pray and ask the Lord for opportunities to meet new women and then be obedient.
  • Look for women who do not have family support close by and be an encouragement to them.
  • If you serve in children’s or youth ministries, reach out to your students’ moms.
  • Do you have a hobby you can share like cooking, sewing, organizing, or even pickle ball?

As women, we thrive when we come together to support and encourage one another. God created us for community and Titus 2 commands us to teach and learn from each other. Life is richer when we have connections with different generations of women. We can see hope in each other during the difficult seasons and rejoice with each other during happy ones. Allow me to challenge you to find a new friend in an older or younger woman. Building these generational relationships can change our lives forever just like it did for Naomi and Ruth.