How to Choose a Mentor?
2) Look for women God has Naturally put in Your Life
God designed the family for many purposes, one of these is for mothers to teach their daughters, grandmas to teach their grand-daughters, etc… If you have a daughter, teach her, begin a relationship of teaching, otherwise it will be difficult to do it when they are older. Find projects to do with her, so she learns how to learn from you. Training children to have a teachable heart starts when they are young. It is an attitude of the heart that has to be planted, tended, and cultivated in a child’s heart through out their life or the resistance will be stronger in regards to them listening to your teaching and valuing it. So start young, be intentional. A key to children wanting to learn from you is this: balance teaching with ENJOYING ONE ANOTHER! Have fun, develop a relationship where they know you love them and enjoy spending time with them, not trying to get away for “a break.”
I wish I would have grasped this concept better myself when I was growing up. I grew up geographically far from my mother’s side of the family, like most today, but my father’s family was local. My family was very blessed that my great-grandmother was available and willing to help out wherever and whenever necessary in our family. If it meant her taking care of us over the summer, she was up for it. If it meant driving kids to soccer practice or swimming lessons, she was there. Great grandma was born in 1912, so she lived through the depression and had many skills lost today (canning, gardening, crocheting, sewing, cooking, etc), many I have had to learn from books as I go.
Great Gram died ten years ago this year. At her funeral I shared how much I appreciate all she did teach me, and what a “Titus 2 Woman” she was with me. How she was an ultimate example of faithfulness to her husband and family. How I wish I would have realized just that when I was younger. Why did I waste the time I had with her? I could have been proactive in learning from her! I wasn’t aware of the Titus 2 passage and how it related to me. I am sure I had never been taught it. Even growing up in the church, going to youth group and Sunday School. It was never taught that we ought to seek out the older generations to teach us and mentor us. I doubt biblical blessing is purposefully taught to children and youth much today. Us parents need to be intentionally teaching our young daughters and sons, to value the “elders” in our lives…. that means we need to live by example. My children know how much I love older women and learning from them, meeting with them, and being taught by them. Do you children see you making this a priority in your life? I have taught my daughters specifically through Titus 2, teaching them the awesome blessing God has in store for them as they learn wisdom and life lessons from other women’s lives; so they don’t have to experience the same mistakes… it is an important teaching, but one that takes intentionality.
As a young lady (eleven), I remember having feelings like my great gram didn’t like me as much as my brother because I was a girl. I thought she made me do all the “hard work” around the house such as washing the dishes and cooking all the time, while my brother got to watch tv. While I am sure I wasn’t looking at the bigger picture, and I was wrong in my comparative thinking. I hated it, I felt like she liked him better than me. But I just had the wrong perspective. It wasn’t until I was 21 and had my first baby that I really began to appreciate her and spend time with her during the day to learn from her. She was a strong woman who had been widowed in her twenties (or early thirties), I believe (with two sons), she had run the family business and supported herself frugally all those years and she lived to be ninety-three (lived between sixty-seventy years without a man to take care of her; she was loyal to her husband like no other I have seen). Yes, I think there were many things I could have learned from her.
Who has God placed in your family? Your Mother? Mother~in~Love? Older Sister? Sister~in~Love? Aunt? Grandmother? Great Grandmother? The list could go on.
What about in the Family of God? Are there older women in your church that you respect and could see yourself thriving learning from? Regardless, how fantastic your Mother is, or your upbringing was, there is so much you can glean from other older women as well. Paul advises the older women to train the younger. “Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled. In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching, show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that can not be condemned…” Titus 2:6-8 Paul was exhorting Titus on how to lead the church, how to train disciples, that can then teach and train. Today’s church needs to hear God’s Word and act on it. Men and Women alike need to pursue living godly lives and teaching/training the next generations. This takes Intentionality!
Most churches today have some sort of Mentoring Ministry. If you do not know an older woman in your congregation and don’t know where to start. First start by praying, then look into the ministries at the church you attend. I have been so blessed by the women I have met through Bible Studies and Mentoring Ministries.
What if you don’t come from a Christian Family or a Family you don’t desire to imitate in your own family structure? With divorce rates what they are today, most people come from broken homes, we all come from dis~functional homes since we are all sinners, right?! 🙂 However some cases are much more severe than others. In those cases, I would definitely encourage you to pursue a mentor in your church or community.
We need to understand the power of learning things from our bond as women in the Body of Christ. God designed us to be a team as the Body of Christ. His job assignment for the older women is to teach the younger women. We need to do our job older women, and we need to let the even older women do their job in teaching us. It is God’s design, regardless of how close~knit your family is. There is massive benefits in gleaning from elders outside your family. Perspectives, biblical truths, and legacies worth adopting. I hope and pray my daughters are even more intentional about learning from other women in their lives than I was and am. I am doing my best to prepare them with understanding of WHY.
Why have a mentor? You can’t learn everything from one human person. We are growing and changing, sometimes we need different mentors for different seasons in our lives.
God has blessed us with this gift in each other. I believe there is an untapped power in the Body of Christ. If we just start engaging one another intentionally, maybe we can then work together to better bring him Glory as His Embassadors within our homes. Amen?
In the Journey Together,
If you would like to read the articles in the entire series on How to Choose a Mentor/Coach Wisely go to: Mentoring