Snarky. Snarky. Snarky. I heard this word from different sources recently. I was not familiar with the definition of this word, but I did not like how I identified with the context in which the word was used. Snarky is an adjective describing someone who is subject to whims, ill-temper, crankiness as well as given over to curt irritable speech. Ouch! I was convicted of having some snarky thoughts and words.
As with most sins, this one is subtle and limited. I realized I was on the brink of joining a club I did not want to be a member of—the Domineering Old Ladies Club (DOLC). This club’s members think only of themselves, want to control, and want to exert power. As life slows down, this club is easy to join. After you have been around for a while, it becomes tempting to think you know how to do things the best way.
In my twenties, I wanted to grow-up to be a godly old lady. I asked the Lord, “How can I be prepared for what you will bring in my life so that I will respond in ways that please you?” He answered, “Stay in My Word and keep seeking me.” Now that I am in my sixties, I hear Him say, “Stay in my Word, keep seeking Me, be dependent on Me, and grow in grace in community.” I love how He speaks to us in deeper, richer ways as we continue to walk with Him!
Back to this word, snarky. I sensed I was bristling when I felt replaced or marginalized by younger women (age, spiritually, mentally, or emotionally). I confessed this sin and received God’s forgiveness. God’s mercies are new every morning (maybe new means just noticed!) Lamentations 3:22-23. His mercy does not come because of what we do; however, we get more benefit by way of fruit when we repent. Repentance is an aspect of aging with grace.
Furthermore, another aspect of aging with grace is that older women have a responsibility to communicate biblical truth to younger women (not just family members) about who God is and what He has done. Verses such as “One generation shall commend your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts” (Ps 145:4), “that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn, and arise and tell them to their children” (Ps 78:6), “Let this be recorded for a generation to come, so that a people yet to be created may praise the Lord” (Ps 102:18), and “So even to old age and gray hairs, O God, do not forsake me, until I proclaim your might to another generation, your power to all those to come” (Ps 71:18) come to mind. Also, Titus 2:3-5 commands older women to live out sound doctrines (illustrated by putting off irreverent behavior, slander, and drunkenness) and teach sound doctrine to the younger women.
A recent Revive Our Heart podcast with Dannah Gresh, Sharon Betters, and Susan Hunt painted a beautiful picture of what a woman aging with grace looks like. This woman has a vision for the next generation. She takes her eyes off herself and puts them onto the next generation. She prays, encourages, and cheers the next generation on. She shows and tells the next generation of the glories of her Savior. Isn’t that beautiful?
As I interact with the next generation, I will grow more in to that godly grace-filled woman I want to be if I continue to repent of my sins and help younger ones succeed in what God has called them to do. How about you? What relationships or circumstances are you tempted to be snarky in? Join me, through God’s power, to say and live, “So long snarky thoughts and speech; hello grace-filled mind and words!”
For your consideration: Sharon W. Betters’ and Susan Hunt’s book, Aging with Grace: Flourishing in an Anti-Aging Culture, Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2021.
Image from https://www.saga.co.uk/magazine/relationships/friends/intergenerational-friendships-age-gap-friend-stories, accessed March 27, 2021.
 Sharon W. Betters and Susan Hunt, Aging with Grace: Flourishing in an Anti-Aging Culture, (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2021), 105-106.
 Dannah Gresh, Sharon W. Betters, and Susan Hunt, “Aging with Grace,” Revive Our Hearts podcast, March 24-26, 2021, https://www.reviveourhearts.com/podcast/revive-our-hearts/season/aging-grace-susan-hunt-sharon-betters/.