I love the analogy of seasons to describe our lives. The glories of Autumn are filling my windows with a breath-taking view right now, but in a few weeks the leaves will be gone. Middle-age is often compared to Autumn, and it has peculiar temptations like every other season of life. So I hope this little post, though targeting women who are in lower-middle, middle-middle, upper-middle or over-the-middle age, will get us thinking about some of the common bumps in the road, so we can steer clear. (Of course, women of all ages can be tempted in many of these same ways.)
These are common temptations, nothing new or tricky.
1. Over-sharing can be a sin. It’s tempting to share more than we should. We may be looking for sympathy, but we have an obligation to love our children and our husbands, and we ought to maintain a nice hedge around our family and be loyal. Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary?
2. Forgetting is a sin. We should not forget what we are called to do! This is a high-impact time of our lives, and we are to continue to affect our family culture and church culture by being focused and faithful women. We should be a powerful force for good.
3. We can become self-absorbed. Because our children are grown, we may have more time and more money to spend on ourselves. This is not a bad thing in itself if we manage it properly. But we must be good stewards of our time and resources. Working out in the gym is fine. A pedicure is great. But we must not get too absorbed in ourselves, our weight, our looks. God has important business for us to be about. If you are not a fan of the gym then you can always contact https://www.feminagirls.com/2011/10/19/middle-age-temptations/ to buy a home gym.
4. Worry is a still a sin whether we are new mothers or grandmothers. We should not pick up new things to worry over, like our health or our retirement or our finances.
5. Complacency in our spiritual duties is a sin. We can’t coast. We can’t let worldliness seep in via movies, gossip, magazines, and talk shows. We cannot let the world press us into its mold. It never lets up, no matter how old we are.
6. Distraction and discouragement. We should not listen to ourselves and get down on ourselves. That is not the Holy Spirit, but the flesh. Knock it off! Change the subject!
7. Envy is always deadly. Now more than ever we must not become envious of our friends, their successes, their travels, their husbands, their children or grandchildren, or their possessions.
8. Here’s a biggie: We cannot become fussers, wanting everything “just so” and becoming inflexible. We must open our hearts and our homes and surrender it all.
9. Discontent destroys our joy. The little things can add up. Our own hearts can lead us astray. Be content.
10. It is a sin to leave your post. To desert our homes to try and “find ourselves” is a fantasy. Stay on task. Don’t give up. Admire godliness more than worldly approval. Determine not to have any “mid-life” lurches.
Here are a few counter-measures.
1. Respect your husband more than ever. He needs it! He needs you! Obey him. In everything.
2. Continue to cultivate gratitude and loyalty.
3. Work hard. Don’t slack off.
4. Don’t be discouraged by these temptations. These are tests to prove our faith.
5. Don’t give sin any inroads.
6. Let us number our days that we might apply our hearts to wisdom (Ps. 90:12).
8. Learn something new. Volunteer to help someone.
9. Find out if your husband needs your help in a new way. He might. Be willing.
10. Feed your people. It’s simple. It takes loads of time. God likes it.
34 thoughts on “Middle-Age Temptations”
Thank you, thank you, thank you. Totally just what I needed!!
I am bookmarking this… middle-age will sure come.
This one is going on my fridge. Thank you.
I love how much of this can be applied to me too – and I’m 25!
I agree with Garstabugg:) Thank you for your faithful, strong words.
I very much appreciate this post. Copying out the counter-measure to put on my wall.
I agree, this is so applicable to my age as well. And it’s never too early to start preparing for the future!
I’m almost there and I loved this post. 🙂
As I am re-reading this article this morning, I see middle-age closer than ever, maybe it is because I am 40! 🙂
Have a beautiful day, ladies!
I’m in my middle age years, and these are definitely timely words. That being said, I think any woman could benefit from this advice!
Thank you for spelling it out so clearly! These are often “hidden” areas where we don’t realize we are sinning. With children grown-up and often moved away, we can have too much time on our hands. It’s more important than ever to saturate our minds and hearts with God’s Word, and surround ourselves with Godly friends who will keep us focused on our true calling.
Would love to read a similar post for the distractions of the raising kiddos season. I feel pretty busy and the distraction of a talk show or endless time at the gym or extra money for shopping are not mine in this season, but i know there are distractions out there for me. Would love to hear your thoughts.
Right on the mark for me. I’m older and Praying to finish well.
Thanks for this, Mrs. Wilson! I agree that it is helpful for preparing for Autumn.
Also, sorry for the aside, but Mary Flickner — I think I knew you once. Did you teach at ACTS in Annapolis a few years ago? Anyway, to answer your question, if you use the category search bar, you can find some great posts on mothering by the lovely ladies that run this blog, and Rachel occasionally posts on the Desiring God blog, and here is one of hers: http://www.desiringgod.org/blog/posts/motherhood-is-a-calling-and-where-your-children-rank
I think there’s a way on there to find her other posts. Hope this helped!
Thanks for the reminders!!
Nancy Ann, Thank you for the reminders about staying the course, maintaining our focus, and integrity. As a brain injury survivor, I must disagree with “Forgetting is a sin”. Forgetting can be due to any number of physical reasons, from fatigue to cognitive disabilities. With 3 kids with cognitive challenges, remembering and focusing are a moment by moment struggle. And, in our fallen state, we seek the Lord’s help to deal with these problems; yet until He decides to heal them, we struggle to honor and serve Him *with* our disabilities, and hope He is glorified in our weaknesses.
Oh My goodness – Thank you for this direct and Spirit driven Word – This post is getting passed on to the many “before middle-aged” “middle-aged” & “after middle-aged” women in my life – Thank you – May God continue to use you
Oh my Kathleen. Yes! And I am picturing your tall graceful self right now and your amazing mom! Tell her hi for me and thank you for the links! Need to check out Rachel’s book for sure. The title alone makes me want to read :).
Feed your people.
I love it! I still have people at home, and I still delight in having them sit down at the table and fill their tummies with good things.
I do still want to bear fruit in my old age (Ps. 92:14), and I know the key is to abide in Christ, and to be willing to serve the Master in every situation. Thanks for this.
This is really awesome, even for girls like me who are not married with kids. This reminds me that I need to remember my priorities- the God-honoring ones, and the me-honoring ones.
And it’s wonderful preparation for the times ahead, if marriage and motherhood are in God’s plan for me 🙂
Thank you for posting!
Thanks, I needed that. 🙂
I think “empty nest” side swiped me. I definitely did not prepare for it. It just seemed like, all of a sudden, I was alone. Depression set in immediately, feeling sorry for myself, and grieving for my kids who live far away. Then, the temptation of running to the computer or just sitting around crying came upon me.
Now, I realize it is harder to run a household by myself than when I had four servants…,er, I mean, children….to help me. I must apply myself even more diligently in order to keep things running smoothly.
It doesn’t get easier. There are just different ways you need to depend upon the Lord.
At an age when those around me expect me to give the good advice – it’s kinda nice to be on the receiving end. Thank you Nancy, I’m taking all of it to heart. God Bless.
As one who is in ‘middle, middle (Ahem) age’, this is an excellent reminder. Thank you so much!
Praise God that He is the author of the perseverance of the Saints. He who began a good work in me will complete it until the day of Christ Jesus. As a middle-aged woman, I am learning to long for more rest in my Father’s arms and see what HE will produce in me in the years to come. No check-lists for my fridge, thanks anyway!
I will certainly tell her hi! I’m glad I could point you in the right direction. You know, last year was my first as an English teacher for 2nd and 3rd grade, and every now and then your smiling face would flash through my head. It left me wondering if my students would ever think me as amazing as yours clearly did. My brother adored you. =) Your energy was a great example!
Thank you for being a faithful “older” woman and for offering “hearty” biblical counsel! I will take it to heart! ~Laurie
What a wonderful encouragement for older mothers. I love #10 the most.
The Legacy of Home
I’ve been reading your blog for about a month now, and even though I’m a new mom, this post still speaks volumes to me! Thank you for celebrating this important role. 🙂
Most of us don’t know what middle is! I was in nursing school, and another nurse was giving report on a “middle-aged” woman who was my patient. She was 35yrs. old. I was shocked, he called her “Midde-Aged”. Why that was my older sister’s age. I could not imagine her being middle-aged. It bothered me so much, I called my mom, another nurse, as soon as I got home to report this strange feeling I had. How could one of my older sisters be middle-aged? Mom was sooo good to let me know that if I could add, I would discover that 35+35 was 70yrs. Hence, she was certainly middle-aged. It was a revelation to me. So I always pass this on, as so many women are wasting their strength thinking they are so young? Caleb said in his 80’s, that he had the strength of a 40yr old. When I was forty, never thought I had much strength, but at fifty, I see I was wrong . . .
So on point! Just today I was pondering (worrying? – and praying) over several middle-aged acquaintances who have chosen to not stay the course, but given in to discouragement, and the repercussions in their families. I need to read this list again tomorrow morning.
If I’m middle aged, I’m going to live to be well over 100. I understand EXHAUSTED, being now in what someone recently called the ‘sandwich generation’: caring for four elderly parents in two states and being a ‘present’ mother and grandmother–all within the last year. And it’s been lovely, though I need more naps, now. My husband is an absolute jewel–and I appreciate your advice more than ever. Thank you, Nancy.
I appreciate this post so much! I’m 51, my children are grown, and my dr. tells me that hormonal changes are causing anxiety, sensitivity, and depression at this age and boy has that been true for me.
I found your website today and it is encouraging me to fight for my faith. I find it’s tough right now. So thank you so very much!!!
Interesting thoughts, but I must say that it’s a whole different level of challenges now that I am arriving at age 41. For instance, obeying my husband would require me to disobey several of the suggestions you make and do some of the things you say to avoid. Trying not to be sad about it.