Young Married’s Class. Mothers of Preschoolers. Facebook. Twitter. Society has given us a structure where it is easy to find people who are just like us. It is somehow comforting to commiserate with others who are facing the same struggles we are. While I enjoy meeting people with similar interests and problems, there is a real danger in segregating yourself from people who are in a different place than you are in life.
The Bible tells us Joshua was Moses’ aide for many years before he began leading the Israelites himself. Ruth obviously admired Naomi and followed her council regarding Boaz. Esther depended upon Mordecai for advice as she navigated the world of the palace. The New Testament clearly instructs older men and women to train the younger ones.
The problem is no one is listening. If you talk to older women, they will tell you younger women do not want to hear their council. The younger women always seem to sigh and say they wish they knew what to do. The older women will began to teach them and the younger women immediately begin to discount their advice as “old fashioned”. Admit it. We have all done it.
I don’t know if it started when we knew to put babies to sleep on their backs before our mothers or if it hails back to the days of “don’t trust anyone over 30”, but we no longer respect our elders. Sure, those of us who were raised to have manners still give up our seats and say “yes ma’am”, but we no longer value or heed their advice.
I truely believe we are making our own lives and the lives of our children so much more difficult by not heeding their wisdom. These women (and men) have not only raised their own children, but have seen their friends raise their children. They have seen over the years what has worked and what hasn’t.
We think times have changed. Have they really though? I don’t know about you, but there were drugs in my school, girls who were having babies at 14 and competitive college admissions. Remember the old saying “the more things change the more they stay the same”? Read Ecclesiastes 1:4-11. God tells us there is really nothing new. Basic principles of godly living remain the same.
I encourage you to seek out someone who has already been where you are now. Choose someone who leads a godly life. Interview someone whose adult children are still following God’s ways. Ask them what they learned and what they would do differently. This time actually consider following their advice.
I can promise you that letting your child play for an entire summer instead of filling his schedule with camps will not prevent him from entering Harvard. Taking a season off from sports will not hurt his professional chances (honestly, is he really that talented?!). Who knows, a few extra hours sleep, some vegetables and a little cod liver oil might not be that bad. (Okay, scratch the cod liver oil! Some things are best left for the desperate!) In fact, you may find God knew what He was doing when He told us to learn from our elders.