9 No widow may be put on the list of widows unless she is over sixty, has been faithful to her husband, 10 and is well known for her good deeds, such as bringing up children, showing hospitality, washing the feet of the Lord’s people, helping those in trouble and devoting herself to all kinds of good deeds.
11 As for younger widows, do not put them on such a list. For when their sensual desires overcome their dedication to Christ, they want to marry. 12 Thus they bring judgment on themselves, because they have broken their first pledge. 13 Besides, they get into the habit of being idle and going about from house to house. And not only do they become idlers, but also busybodies who talk nonsense, saying things they ought not to. 14 So I counsel younger widows to marry, to have children, to manage their homes and to give the enemy no opportunity for slander. 15 Some have in fact already turned away to follow Satan. 1 Timothy 5:9-15
Obviously there was a distinction in that culture between young and elderly widows. The elderly were mature and responsible, but the younger widows had the potential to be more aggressive and ambitious at their new lot in life.
So, what can we take away for today? Both groups of women can derive a sense of purpose in their lives. Neither is wrong. Elderly men and women can certainly have an impact on their families and neighborhoods just by being themselves. The next generation can still use Godly advice and direction from those who have gone before. A quick email, card, or phone call to children, grandchildren, aunts or uncles can make a huge impact.
The younger generation can also have a huge impact on the next generation they are training through marriage and parenting.
The two groups of women certainly need each other.
Pray for both elderly and young women in your church. Their impact on society is larger than they realize.