Editor’s Note: The following is an interview I did with Susan Hunt and Sharon Betters about their new book, Aging with Grace.
Christina: What prompted you to write this book?
Susan: It started with a conversation when Sharon and I realized each of us had recently spoken on aging and we both had been surprised at the interest in the topic, especially among young women. Our conversation became a conviction that we should prayerfully consider two questions: How do we think biblically about aging? How do we live covenantally as older women? These questions eventually became the format for the book. I write a chapter on Thinking Biblically about aging using Psalms 92 and 71, and then Sharon writes a chapter on Living Covenantally using women in Scripture who flourished in old age.
Christina: What do you think is/are the main challenges for Christian women as they think about aging?
Sharon: Most challenges of aging are felt by all women. The anti-aging message of culture insists we deny the losses and fight the ravages of time with expensive creams, treatments, and physical activity designed to keep us forever young. When an older woman is portrayed in movies or television, she is physically beautiful, strong, and in control. The message of advertising, entertainment, the corporate world and, sadly, sometimes the church is clear: flourishing in old age means doing more, playing more, spending more, and exhibiting youthful bodies and skin unhindered by wrinkles and gray hair. Old is out. Youth is in. As our bodies grow older and weaker, we slowly realize it is impossible to maintain this cultural expectation. As Christians, we must decide if we will embrace a scriptural or a cultural view of aging. Susan and I pray this book will be a resource to help women know that no matter how wrinkled our faces, broken our bodies, or disenfranchised we might feel, God’s Word describes aging as a time when we can flourish with the fruit of the Spirit, the fruit of repentance, and the fruit of righteousness. We may not be able to do all we could once do, but we can grow in intimacy with Jesus. By His grace, we can age with grace…