I recently spotted a great article in Darling Magazine about the importance of diversity in your relationships—specifically generational diversity. This got me to thinking about the huge ways that I have personally benefitted from relationships with people who are much younger or older than I am, so for the next few weeks we’ll take a look at different kinds of relationships and what we can learn from them ::
Relationships with Younger Women
Because I’ve been involved in youth ministry for so long, I almost always have relationships with younger women. It’s been incredibly rewarding to spend time investing in middle school and high school aged girls—whether you’re teaching them to knit or you’re just grabbing a cherry limeade from Sonic, you can witness a very real amount of good you can do in the life of a child by showing them you care enough to spend time with them.
But recently I’ve realized that I really love my friendships with women who are just a little bit younger than I am. I have several friends who are five-ten years younger and these friendships are as genuine and life-giving as any in my life.
One thing I love about relationships with younger women is that they’re incredibly energizing. Whether it’s a middle schooler who is just discovering what it’s like to fall in love with Jesus for the first time or it’s a friend who’s setting off to plant a church in a big city, I can feel the surge of optimism emanating from them. It keeps me from getting cynical or jaded or self-righteous as I see younger women dive headfirst into the hardest and best things in life.
The second thing I love about relationships with younger women is something I already mentioned—you can do some real good in their lives. Just like I can benefit from the experience and advice of older women in my life, I can be that older women in a younger woman’s life. In all truthfulness, I’m not that wise or worldly, but it doesn’t have to be any more complicated than pointing her to Jesus in whatever situation she finds herself in.
What about you? Do you have relationships with younger women? How do you see these relationships benefitting you or them?
(Photo via The Sartorialist)