The Older Woman

When young I was married and expecting the bliss
That was penned in novels or written in scripts
I quickly discovered that marriage demanded more
Than gifts from the wedding and being carried through the door.

My husband though a blessing from the Lord up above
Couldn’t teach me to humble myself and him freely love
For that one was needed who had walked in my shoes
A woman much older was the method
God would choose.

Her hair was a white crown, her face mapped with wrinkles
Her gait was not steady but her eyes how they twinkled
She was full of the wisdom that comes from a life
That had embraced the role of a helpmeet and wife.

At times I’d call her to complain about my man
And she’d listen and question to help me understand
That I hadn’t been called to be the person in charge
But to submit to God’s purpose
which was righteous and large.

She wounded me faithfully in my unbelief
And showed me by her actions that grace was within reach
Be discreet, chaste, and sober
Love children, love husband
Be obedient to his wishes
See that godliness ne’er diminishes
So the Word of God is not blasphemed.

The day came when this older woman went to receive her reward
Weeks before we had spoken—these were her tender words
I’m leaving you, Dear, to join my Savior in heaven
Now you be the older woman. Go help six or seven.

At first I was anxious. How could I become
Like the woman God sent to help me respond
To His call on my life a worthy woman to be?
My dear friend assured that His grace was sufficient for me.

She reminded me that I had something to teach
To the keepers at home—many within reach
Be discreet, chaste, and sober
Love children, love husband
Be obedient to his wishes
See that godliness ne’er diminishes
So the Word of God is not blasphemed.

There are numbers of younger ones expecting the bliss
That’s been penned in novels or written in scripts
They know now that marriage demands so much more
Than gifts from the wedding and to be carried through the door.

I look in the mirror and what do I see
With the same set of eyes that have always been me
But a vessel of God to be used in His story
As now, the older woman,
I help others to live to His glory.

© 2009 Andrea Schwartz
July/August 2009 issue