I have been honest about my struggles as of late, and I don’t write about it to get sympathy or praise of any kind. I write because I love to, and it helps me so much to put it “out there.” I have been so encouraged by friends old and young who have sent me little notes. It has brought this topic back to my mind.
I have written before about mentoring. I feel that mentoring is something we Christian women in particular are not too great at. If you read Titus 2, you can not deny that although “mentoring” is a new word, it is an old concept. It is Biblical.
But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine. Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness. Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. Likewise, urge the younger men to be self-controlled. Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us. Bondservants are to be submissive to their own masters in everything; they are to be well-pleasing, not argumentative, not pilfering, but showing all good faith, so that in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior.
(Titus 2:1-10 ESV)
Paul specifically takes time to address women separately about being teachers to younger women. The younger woman can see here a list of specific things we should be DOING!
The problem I see in the current time is so often younger women don’t want to listen. We feel like we have it together, and we don’t have much to learn. We think that we are much more educated that our older counterparts. Our society has ingrained this into our mind since the rise of women’s lib. I am not saying nothing good came out of the women’s lib movement, but I do know that a lot of harm is also being done to our God given role as a woman in the home.
Another issue falls with the older women. I think the older woman often sees the younger as know-it-all little punks, who don’t deserve the wisdom that can be offered or won’t listen anyway. Also, being prepared to mentor younger women requires the older women to stay in the Word and in constant communication with the Lord. It is a lot of hard work!
I find myself in the odd place of needing mentoring and needing to mentor. I am 35 and stuck in the middle. I definitely not young, and definitely not old. Yet, I am a pastor’s wife and a mother and a teacher, and I am placed in a role of example to many. I am so inadequate for the job. I wonder what God is thinking sometimes! Who am I that he could use me and my miserable little self to reach other women?
I fail, and I fall. I struggle, and I fall. I get so discouraged. I put my focus in the wrong place. Then, I am so encouraged by those who God has put in my life. I have wonderful friends who constantly lift me up, and every so often God gives me a wonderful tidbit from places I don’t expect.
In the last two days, I have been so encouraged by three women in particular. They might cringe, but they are “Older” women in the faith. They have raised ( or nearly raised) their children. They have stood strong in their faith, and God has blessed them.
God gave me my GFN a few years ago, because He knew I needed her. She continually encourages me, and I can always count on her for wise counsel and a good laugh. What a perfect combination! She was there to encourage me.
I also got two notes from other women. Women that I have known nearly my whole life, and have seen me from childhood to womanhood. Two women that I rarely see, and two women who listened to His prompting. Two women encouraged me to stick by the stuff. Two women encouraging me to keep my focus on Him, and rely on His strength.
Isn’t that what we are called to do? Isn’t that what we are to do for our Christian brothers and sisters? Isn’t that mentoring?
I am so thankful for God leading in their hearts and in mine. I am so thankful for the encouragement straight from Him.
I need all the help I can get.