By Teri Hiben and Linda Foody
Teri: Titus 2:3-5 says, “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.” But what does that look like in real life at College Church?
It looks a lot like Mom2Mom, a ministry where God is at work connecting older moms like me with younger moms like my friend Linda. I met Linda at one of the first Mom2Mom gatherings on the first Monday of the month. We ran into each other at those first few meetings; then at Women’s Bible Study and even in the hallways at church. With our easy connection, I asked Linda if I could visit her at her home, maybe during her son’s naptime.
Linda: I think it was a shared fondness for food and flowers that got Teri and me talking, especially about butter-filled foods. She offered to show me how to make scones, and along the way, she started praying over my family.
And while that is already worth more than its weight in gold, Teri occasionally would stop by my house with lunch from Blackberry Market. She never judged the state of cleanliness of my home and simply loved on my kids. It was easy for me to appreciate the prayers, the cooking lessons and the laughs. But what I didn’t expect was how Teri showed me the art of appreciating the little things in this stage of being a young mother. Often with my peers, we talk about how fast things go and how we need to stop and appreciate these moments, but rarely do we do anything about it. When I watch Teri take time to enjoy the little moments with my children, no doubt with a tinge of nostalgia for when she mothered her boys, I am invited to enjoy my own kids, even the tear-filled moments. There is something special about Mom2Mom that is different from most groups for young moms. To me, it’s the mentor moms who have a proven faith and are eager to seek out friendships with young moms.
Teri: You see, I remember being Linda. Parenting can be an overwhelming and exhausting responsibility. I remember trying to deepen my relationship with Jesus, yet feeling pulled and needed in so many directions. I still thank God that there were older women in my life who reminded me how to live in love and obedience to God, how to trust him in difficult moments, how to make time to read his Word and pray even if for only a moment or two, to prioritize my relationship with my husband, to teach my children to obey God and the list goes on.
Personally, I am excited to encourage Linda and other young moms to ask God for a nugget of wisdom each day, to seek it in the Bible, to meditate on that truth while teaching and serving their children and families and to find ways to share that truth with their children. It’s humbling—and energizing—to allow God to use my experience and the passions he has given me to serve the young mothers in Mom2Mom. I enjoy encouraging these women and offering a perspective from a bit down the road in life, to remind them of God’s perspective. Plus, God has blessed me with a friend in Linda and given me great joy as I come alongside and watch her sweet son and daughter grow.
I like how the Apostle Paul describes his relationship to the believers in Thessalonica, “But we were gentle among you, like a nursing mother taking care of her own children. So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us.” (1 Thess. 2:7-8)
So, what does this older woman, younger woman relationship look like? It looks like jaunts to the children’s garden at the Morton Arboretum with the kids in tow, baking lessons and lunches with one-on-one conversations. It’s discovering together what a difference a relationship with Christ makes in everyday joys and trials. It is sharing our lives together.
All links open PDF files.