Steps on the Road to Mentoring
Okay, so you don’t think you’re old… well, you are older than someone. To be the older woman that touches the lives of the younger women we MUST be the holy women that God intended for us to be.
Step #1 – Be holy!
Get to know Jesus! Be a godly woman! Then others will naturally be attracted to you and come to you for advice. Thinking back, godly women are the ones I turned to. Did I ask for child rearing advice from the woman who had no boundaries for her children? Did I ask the woman who let her children wander up and down the pew how to get my children to sit in worship? Did I ask for advice about how to love my husband when he’s not lovable from the woman who was always putting her husband down? Or, did I ever turn to the one that seemed burdened by her Christianity and was always complaining? No, is the obvious answer to all of these questions. Strive to be Christlike.
As I continue to talk with women, older and younger alike, I am finding some of the same thoughts repeated by several of them.
Step #2 – Don’t be judgmental and critical.
(That’s not holy behavior anyway.) You don’t know where others are coming from. They need lifted up not pushed further down. I was reminded by one young mother that we must remember that so many Christian women were not raised in Christian families and are starving for help and training from the older women. Never assume that a young wife and mother knows a better way to do things and just chooses not to. She may not know at all!
Step #3 – Build relationships!
Teaching, encouraging, training will be achieved best through our relationships with one another. Most women are saying that the times they have learned the most from older women are when they were at a luncheon or after Ladies Bible class or some other gathering. I’m finding that the older women who are fulfilling this commandment are the older women that have CHOSEN to spend time with the younger women. They put out extra effort to be at fellowship activities or to have women into their homes. They are the women visiting with the younger women before and after services. They are the women building relationships. This goes for the younger women too. How can you learn from older women if you aren’t spending any time with them?
Building relationships requires two things from us. First, that we love one another. Jesus commanded his disciples in John 13:34 to love one another. Also in John 15:12-13, He tells them again to love one another just as He has loved them. He even goes on and says, “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.” If you don’t consider your Christian sisters as friends I’m afraid you are in big trouble. The world has become filled with apathy and it is now in the church. What is apathy? Webster defines it as: a lack of feeling or emotion; a lack of interest or concern. Surely that isn’t you? Surely you are following the commandment that is given many, many times in the Word that tells us to “love one another”. As I took a look at my own heart recently I was SO afraid that I was letting apathy creep in. I looked and saw someone that was giving in to the attitude of “why should I put out extra effort if no one else is,” “why should I show special caring for people who don’t seem to care.” I looked at that reflection of my heart and was SO broken by what I was allowing myself to become. What a disappointment I was to myself because I knew I was disappointing my Father!
Second, building relationships requires us to clear up our schedule. Make time for each other! Older women, surely you have a grip on some part of your schedule that you can spare an hour or two for lunch one day or dinner one evening. Young mothers, your child doesn’t need to be in every type of sports activity, learning center and whatever else type of class you have them in. Don’t even get me started on “dance classes.” (That’s another article.) We have filled our schedules with “worldly” activities—I didn’t say sinful—and now we have no time for each other. We are told in Ephesians 5:16 to make the most of our time. Don’t forget what you are here for! We must make time for the family of God.
Be holy! Be joyful! Be humble! Don’t be critical! Build those relationships!