March 28, 2013

Stepping Toward Mentorship

So what’s stopping you from approaching that mom at your church? You know, the one who is several years ahead of you in this game of life, her children are volunteering in the nursery, she herself may be a Sunday School teacher or small group leader. Perhaps even the deacon’s or elder’s wife who sits peacefully in church, worshiping authentically. Or that older gray-haired lady who is always at the door greeting people as they enter? Shaking each one’s hand, saying “Welcome.”

One of the barriers we younger Christian moms face today IS our church setting. Some of you may attend a more contemporary church where everybody is in their 20’s and 30’s, and there just aren’t any older women! This could be a problem for you. If all of the women are in a similar stage of life, who is there to encourage them along? It will take that much more effort to find a wiser and more experienced woman or mother.

Now, assuming you belong to a community of believers that span generations, you are surrounded by women of all different ages, all different levels of experience, and probably many different interests. Do you see what this means for you? You very likely, have an opportunity to be the older and wiser to another. Be instructed in the Lord and take steps of obedience to be an example no matter what your age.

Just some quick tips for you as a younger woman, looking for an older friend:

  • Pray: the Lord knows your needs. Ask Him to provide you with a godly earthly example, somebody to spur you on.
  • Be available: Make mentorship a priority, so make time. Go where the mentors may be. Attend Bible study or tea times with older women.
  • Be teachable: Ask questions. If you want to learn how to do something, ask!
  • Get some common interests going: Break down some generational barriers by asking somebody an older lady to teach you a skill like cooking, baking, scrapbooking, knitting/crocheting.
  • Homeschooling? Find a mom who homeschooled her children. No longer is homescooling in its pioneer days. Many homeschool graduates are following suit with their own children.
  • Are you a pastor’s wife? Seek out an older maybe retired pastor’s wife or missionary.
  • Mother of special needs? Pray for a friend who can support you in the challenges it brings.
  • If either your own mom or mother-in-law are Christians you may have 2 “built-in” mentors right there! Seek to develop those relationships even further.
  • INITIATE: don’t wait for somebody to talk to you or ask how you are. Host a tea at your own house, or invite a lady out to a coffee shop with you. Initiate!
  • Commit to stop slandering and gossiping right now. Quit the negativity, and seek out a younger mom or wife whom you feel led to encourage and build up.
  • Keep notes about how you wish you were treated as a young wife by the older women. And in humility seek to become that older experienced one to somebody else.
If you aren’t a part of a Christian community, it will take extra effort. But God knows your needs. And He promises to supply for them. And His answers don’t look the same for each one of us.

As Paul also commanded Timothy: Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity. 1 Timothy 4:12

1 comment:

  1. Such good advice! You are encouraging me to step out in faith and see where I land. We all need spiritual mentors.