Inside Out 274: Generation Gap Among Christian Women

03.20.13 | Martha Manikas-Foster

There’s a divide among women in the church, according to Inside Out guest Pamela Havey Lau:  women over 40 and women under 40 are not connecting. We can assume that there’s wisdom present in the pews, but perhaps the women who are “older and wiser” are not offering this wisdom. Or maybe they are offering, but those who are younger don’t know how to build a relationship with these older women. It’s possible, however, that the younger women don’t see much in older women’s lives that they feel could enrich their own.

In the first century, the Apostle Paul instructed the young pastor Titus to teach the older women so that they “can train the younger women” (Titus 1:4).  We have ideas about how this might have looked in the first century, but what might this look like in the 21st century—when the older woman might be a retired grandmother and the younger woman the CEO of her own company? How might women of the same faith—but in very different circumstances--connect with the goal of developing their faith? 

“The question is: are we willing to think deeply about how to do this differently?” asks Lau in our recorded interview. “Is the Church willing to listen first to what all the generations are feeling about this issue before we set up something new?”

She believes that if older and younger women are going to be able to connect, both generations are going to need to make sacrifices--though she’s asking for more sacrifices from the older of the generations.

These younger women—they don’t want become somebody’s ‘project.’ They don’t want you to look at them and think, ‘I need to be taken care of,’ or ‘I need to be fixed.’ Are we willing to make that sacrifice to stop making them be like us? To sacrifice the picture of: ‘I’ve lived the Christian life, so your life should look like mine.’”

Click on the “Listen” button above to hear what she has to say—to both generations—in this 19- minute recorded conversation about bridging the generation gap among women in the church.

To read Pamela Havey Lau’s Christianity Today her.meneutics blog post on the topic, titled “The Generation Gap Among Christian Women: An Open Letter to Women Over 40,” click here:

To read her personal blog, click here:!blog/c1xp7


Your Comments(please keep them on topic and polite)

on 03.21.13 Sandy commented

Very appropriate for today. I liked the ideas spoken about toward the end of the broadcast. Meeting and doing things with the younger women that would be of interest to both of you. We're not to be fishers of men for salvation only, but also for spiritual growth.

on 03.22.13 Martha commented

Nicely said, Sandy.




Inside Out airs Wednesdays at 12:20pm EST during the Family Life Noon Report.


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