Subscribe to our newsletter

Save a Marriage Today

Connect with us

Women Encouraging Women

How do you find an "older woman" to encourage you?
By Barbara Rainey

A few years ago we had six children—including two high-schoolers—living at home. At times I felt overwhelmed, as if all my efforts over years of parenting were about to crash in around me. If you have teenagers, I'm sure you can relate!

In the middle of this difficult and busy time, some younger mothers approached me and asked if I would meet with them once a month to offer some encouragement and advice about parenting. I can remember thinking, Why would they want to meet with me, with all the mistakes I've made? What would I have to offer them?

Through that experience, however, I learned the significance of Titus 2:3-5, which instructs older women to "encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home ..." Younger wives and mothers need this type of "mentoring" and encouragement from older women who have walked along the same path—even if they've stumbled a few times along the way.

How do you find an "older woman" to encourage you? I'd begin by looking in your local church. Ask God to help you spot someone who is just ahead of your season of life and can give you advice from her experience. If you have young children, for example, find a woman whose youngest kids are now in junior high or high school. And be sure to look for someone who has established a track record of walking with God.

Take the initiative to ask if you can begin calling her or meeting her for coffee or lunch. Tell her that you'll bring the questions—all she needs to do is listen and interact with you. Assure her she doesn't even need to know all the answers; all you need is her time and her advice.

And by the way, if someone happens to approach you to take on the role of "mentor," don't resist. Remember that wives and mothers don't need help from Superwoman—they need a friend who has walked in their shoes.


Copyright © 2005 by FamilyLife. All rights reserved.

Meet the Author: Barbara Rainey

Barbara Rainey is a wife, mother of six adult children (plus three sons-in-law and two daughters-in-law), and "Mimi" to nineteen grandchildren.

After graduating from the University of Arkansas with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history, Barbara joined the staff of Campus Crusade for Christ in 1971. She and her husband, Dennis, whom she married in 1972, are co-founders of FamilyLife, a ministry of Cru that is headquartered in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Barbara has published articles on family-related topics and is the author of Thanksgiving: A Time to Remember and When Christmas Came.  She speaks at FamilyLife's Weekend to Remember® marriage conferences and is a frequent guest on FamilyLife Today®, a nationally syndicated, daily radio program.  She and Dennis are the coauthors of several books, including Growing a Spiritually Strong Family, Starting Your Marriage Right, Moments Together for Couples, The New Building Your Mate's Self-Esteem, Parenting Today's Adolescent, Rekindling the Romance, and Moments with You. She co-authored A Mother's Legacy with her daughter, Ashley Rainey Escue and joined Dennis and their children Rebecca and Samuel on the book So You're About To Be A Teenager. Barbara has also co-authored Barbara and Susan's Guide to the Empty Nest, with close friend Susan Yates, and A Symphony in the Dark, written with her daughter, Rebecca Rainey Mutz. And Barbara has written a series focusing on character traits for families, including the titles Growing Together in Gratitude, Growing Together in Courage, Growing Together in Forgiveness, and Growing Together in Truth.

Having faithfully served alongside Dennis for more than 30 years, both in ministry and at home, Barbara has recently launched a new endeavor called Ever Thine Home™.  This new line of products, including Christ centered ornaments for Christmas, teaching tools for Lent and Easter, and beautiful additions for your home for thanksgiving and year round makes it easy to express faith at home in a way that is both biblical and beautiful.  Her heart for Ever Thine Home is based on the familiar Old Testament instruction:

"And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates." (Deuteronomy 6:9, ESV)

You can read more about Barbara's work at

Find Barbara online on:
Twitter @BarbaraRainey and Facebook



Save a Marriage Today

Subscribe to our newsletter