111: Sharon W. Betters & Susan Hunt | Aging with Grace

Sharon Betters & Susan Hunt | Aging with Grace Podcast Interview

Sharon W. Betters & Susan Hunt | Aging with Grace

Sharon W. Betters is a mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, pastor’s wife, and cofounder of MARKINC Ministries, where she is the director of resource development. Sharon is the author of several books, including Treasures of Encouragement and Treasures in Darkness, and is the writer of Daily Treasure, an online devotional.
 
Susan Hunt is the widow of pastor Gene Hunt, a mother, a grandmother, and the former director of women’s ministries for the Presbyterian Church in America. Hunt has written over 20 books, including Spiritual Mothering.

Sharon Betters and Susan Hunt join me to talk about Aging with Grace in an anti-aging culture.  We discuss Psalm 92, healthy rhythms women can establish to help as their bodies slow down, and the value of investing in younger and older women.

Questions on Aging and God’s Word Discussed During Our Conversation:

  1. (5:11) What do you mean when you say, aging with grace?
  2. (12:57) How would you encourage women in their 40’s-50’s to appreciate and press into what comes with the aging process?
  3. (18:46) What are some healthy rhythms and practices women can establish now that will help them continue to age with grace as their bodies slow down?
  4. (26:12) Let’s say a woman is listening who is 50-65 and they are in a season of helping their aging parents, spouses, and/or personal health declines.  The exhaustion is real and so is the sadness.  What would you say to encourage those women?
  5. (33:56) One way the Bible encourages older women to continue flourishing as they age is to invest in younger women.  How have you personally poured into young women and what charge do you have for others to do the same?
  6. (41:28) We draw strength and hope from God’s Word and from the testimonies of other believers.  In Aging with Grace, you include both.  When you think about older women in the Bible, which of their lives had a significant impact on you personally and why?
  7. (50:57) You write a chapter on having a Long View. As we close out, how would you encourage someone like me to have a long view of life?

Aging with Grace  Episode Quotes to Remember:

Susan: “The reality is, there’s no way to stop aging. The wrinkles and the weakness will come. So if youthfulness is our goal, first of all, that’s a pretty shallow goal, but it will also disappoint us terribly. But the gospel offers something so much bigger, so much better, something that’s eternal.”

“In Psalm 92, God holds before us, a remarkable promise, a vision for aging. Let me read verses 12 to 14, ‘The righteous flourish, like the palm tree, and grow like a cedar in Lebanon, they are planted in the house of the Lord, they flourish in the courts of our God, they still bear fruit, in old age, they’re ever full of sap and green’.”

“And by the power of the grace that is in us, because we are the righteous ones, we can flourish, and there’s no age limit on that.”

“Flourishing in Scripture is the fruit of the Spirit, the fruit of repentance, the fruit of righteousness, it’s the character of Christ being produced in us. It’s not necessarily doing more, it’s becoming more like Christ.”

Sharon:  “I started thinking about what it means to grow in grace. It was a seed that was planted and there would be other events that would start nourishing it and growing it, but it was there in my heart I had to make a choice which one was I going to be a life giver or a life taker? I’m so thankful for those life giving women way back then to this little young girl.”

“When God plants us in His house He is planting us in this incredible environment that is packed with gifts for us to open up throughout our lives. If i could talk to my younger self [I would say], those gifts are not obligations. They are not burdens to carry. They are gifts to open that are going to bless us in ways that we may not experience right [away].”

Susan: “He has bound Himself to me in covenant faithfulness. He will keep every promise.”

“Declaring the gospel to ourselves is a rhythm that should be daily. We need in the morning and evening and all through the day to remind ourselves of the gospel, of His steadfast love and faithfulness.”

“It’s God who makes us glad. So we need to turn this into a prayer. ‘Lord, make me glad with the joy of your presence’.”

Sharon: “I think that’s a rhythm of life….that we are being intentional about making sure that we are involved not just with our own age group, but intergenerational settings.”

“Each loss is a reminder that we don’t belong here. When we’re God’s children, when we know Him through Jesus, we are on our way Home. And so each loss is a memory of that and that can drive us to the cross.”

“Find scripture that you can put on a 3X5 card (10 verses), and put them all over your house, on your mirror, on your bed, on the refrigerator, in the car, to remind you of the faithfulness of God. Even though it doesn’t feel like it right, we have to go with what is true, not our emotions.”

Susan: “The teach and train words in Titus 2 call us to teach the content of the gospel, but at the same time, show them, train them to see what it looks like to be lived out in life.”

Sharon: “I mentioned earlier our 16 year old son Mark and his friend were in a fatal car accident and this was profound for me to look at this passage and apply it to my own life, because I wanted to go back. I wanted my son back. I wanted to go back to my happy life and I knew I was never going to go back, that God was not going to give me back Mark and I couldn’t imagine how I was going to ever have joy again. But here was His roadmap. Here were His instructions and later He says, ‘I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you…..So I thought what are His plans for me? And His ultimate plan is heaven so i’m on my way home.  I was in my 40s when this happened…so i’m halfway there…. God had written this roadmap for me– pour into the people around you, be a life giver, plant gardens, be fruitful. Just as Psalm 92 promises, ‘trust Me with what I have planned for you. It is good.’ Do I want my son back? Yes…and yet, God has given grace. He has given courage. He’s given wisdom every minute of the day, through His Word and through Jesus.”

Susan: “As I’m going through the mundane task of life, whether it’s changing diapers, whether it’s caring for a sick husband, whatever it is, that I see it as part of the big story. It’s part of glorifying God in every situation and in every relationship. When we do that, when we can take that long view, then the mundane becomes majestic as we see it as part of glorifying the God of heaven and earth.”

“Talk with older women, and just tell them what’s going on in your life. And ask, how do you see this?”

Scripture References

Resources Mentioned:

Related Episodes:

You can not stop aging. It's a shallow goal. Aging with Grace Quote
Each loss is a reminder that we don't belong here. We are on our way Home. Aging with grace Quotes

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