Sharon W. Betters and Susan Hunt
Reviewed by: Eileen Scipione
Aging With Grace: Flourishing in an Anti-Aging Culture, by Sharon W. Betters and Susan Hunt. Crossway, 2021. Paperback, 192 pages, $12.79 (Amazon). Reviewed by Eileen Scipione, recently widowed wife of Dr. George Scipione, OP pastor.
Have you felt, as I have, that once the senior years arrive and especially once you have lost a life partner, you do not have much left to really make a difference in the kingdom? When the time comes for your children to take control of your life in the areas of your greatest weakness, do you and I panic and demand to keep the reins in hand? Do you notice that when older folks in the church get together, the topic is usually their aches and pains and latest ailments? Are you embarrassed to let others in the body of Christ know about the struggles your own children and grandchildren face in their spiritual journeys?
This little book by Sharon Betters and Susan Hunt, two women in their eighties, brings a biblically balanced approach to staying grace-filled and joyful as we age. The authors’ experiences—loss of a sixteen-year-old son, death of a husband, breast cancer—enrich their application of Scripture to the long haul of life.
Other women who have faced divorce, depression, brain disorders, and alienation have contributed to many of the chapters. The harsh mirror of reality is reflected on every page. Hunt writes honestly when she says that God’s sovereignty was not a comfort to her in the days following her son’s death.
The strongest benefit of this book comes from its diverse use of Scriptures of the Old and New Testament as well as quotes from men and women throughout the ages up to the very present. There are entire chapters on Anna, Elizabeth, and Naomi, gleaning profound and powerful lessons from these aging women. There is another invaluable chapter on Psalm 71, which is all about being “old and gray.”
Men as well as women can benefit from this easy-to-read book. Even believers in their forties and fifties can benefit because of the sense of loss that comes with reduced stamina and increased demands. We have stories to tell to our children and grandchildren, we have prayers to pray for the reformation of the church, and we have hope to demonstrate to our caregivers who need to see a trail of faith in Christ. My favorite line is this: “Old age, when life becomes quieter and slower, is prime time to reflect on the power of the gospel to change us” (67).
My appreciation is extended to the authors, two mighty women of God who still flourish in old age. You would do well to read this little gem they have written together.
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