One of my favorite relationships in scripture to study is that of Paul and Timothy. The deep love, respect, and care that they have for each other is quite clear. A verse of Paul’s that is never too far from mind is his direction to his beloved Timothy in 1 Timothy 4:12.
“Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe.” 1 Tim. 4:12 (NASB)
You and I meet up here, in this place, to be encouraged as young wives… and to be an encouragement to others. Let’s look at how our youthfulness is truly a blessing, not a hindrance.
Being Young Gives us Freedom to Grow
Have you ever watched one of those time lapse videos of a seed sprouting and becoming what it was made to be? It is really quite fascinating. And in reality, it doesn’t happen quickly at all… unless it’s a weed. But to become something of substance- something of quality- the seed takes its appointed time in its growth cycle.
The same is true in growing in our role as a wife. There are days when we feel utterly useless or hopeless. There are days when the struggle to blend together as one, which we are declared to be from the moment we said “I do”, is greater than we ever anticipated. Some days, it feels as if our seed will never sprout. Or perhaps, it feels as if we sprouted only to show ourselves to be a weed.
These feelings are simply untrue. Rather than be frustrated that our growth will never happen, or that we are somehow stunted in our growth, we can choose to view our young marriage as a place to grow freely at the pace God has appointed for it. Our youthfulness is a blessing, not a hindrance.
Being Young Gives us Room to Learn
Whether or not you loved school as a child (I did my fair share of longing for the day that I would finally be free of all of that routine and homework!), the joy of learning something new is like taking that first breath after emerging from under the waves. It feels great! It is exciting! It gives you the feeling that you can conquer anything!
As we learn something new about ourselves, our husbands, our oneness, our relationship with God, we get to experience that breath of newness again and again. When it feels as if we are failing in our role as wife; when it feels that we are not living the dream marriage we always looked forward to; we can remember the beauty in learning. The joy in taking that breath after being submerged below the waves. We can give ourselves room to learn, and the grace to be patient with ourselves and our husbands in the process. There is no shame in learning. There is no shame in being a young wife. Our youthfulness is a blessing, not a hindrance!
Being Young Gives us Opportunities to Teach
Teaching – something we assume is only possible of us after a certain age; or after many years of struggle, defeat, victory, and growth. It’s true, those who’ve been at this much longer than we have do have more to share – that’s true of anything. But as a young wife, you still have grown and learned much! I can guarantee all of us who made it through year one can testify to that! Therefore, you do have something you can teach another… even if it’s just to keep choosing to love your husband when he does something unloving toward you. That’s a lesson. That needs to be taught.
When we are young, we generally know that we don’t have it all figured out. This leaves us open to much growth and maturity. But it also leaves us open to new opportunities to encourage another; to say to her, “Hey, I get where you’re at. It’s tough. Hang in there – let me tell you my story…” That’s teaching (or another excellent term you can use in this case is mentoring). Rather than being afraid that you shouldn’t be in a place of teaching, prayerfully consider how God might want to use you to bless another young wife… or even not so young wife. If He is the one guiding, than can you really go wrong?
It Is a Blessing
Like Paul reminded Timothy not to let anyone despise (or look down on) his youth, so we too, as young wives, can take this instruction to heart. Let’s allow our speech, conduct, love, faith, and purity speak loudly of what amazing things God is doing in our lives as young wives. For our youthfulness is not a hindrance … it is a true blessing!