The Webster dictionary describes mentoring as this: “someone who teaches or gives help and advice to a less experienced and often younger person” . As my pastor, Joe Canal, put it a few weeks ago:
“Mentoring is like putting your hand on the small of someones back as they’re riding a bicycle, and you gently push them along. Surprisingly, it’s an easy thing for the stronger rider to do and takes very little effort, but to the less experienced rider, it makes all the difference.” We are not meant to live this life alone, and if we listen, God will give us people to walk through this life with – whether for a season or a lifetime.
Let me be clear for a minute; some people tend to think that mentoring someone would mean spending hours and hours of time together, a huge life change on their part. On the contrary, mentoring is just being available to someone when they need to talk and checking on them so that they know that you care. As women especially, I feel like we get so wrapped up in “our” lives that we forget the command we have to speak into each other’s lives as well.
“Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.” Titus 2:3 – 5
So, right now you’re probably thinking “this girl is crazy, she obviously doesn’t understand that I have nothing to give that anyone else would want”. You are so wrong friend! I used to think that way about myself, I felt like I could barely make it through the day sometimes without losing it, how would I help someone else? But even in those times, God used me to come alongside of and listen when someone needed an ear or give advice when I had been through a similar situation. Mentoring, above all, is being available when someone needs you, and pointing them back to God. Follow me as I follow Christ. It’s that simple.
I really feel like mentoring is VERY important, especially in today’s world, because we are starting more and more to become a culture of people who are separated behind computer/phone screens and we are forgetting how to share life together. We are losing that connecting factor that we need in order to get through everyday routines, let alone tough situations. It’s very easy to go through life and be so busy, and yet feel so alone and disconnected. Mentoring brings back that one on one friendship that is vital, especially to women in today’s world. When you have little kids and you’re stuck in the house a lot, you really need that person that’s been through that before to come in and give you perspective. When your kids are teenagers and the problems seem bigger and overwhelming, it really helps to have that woman who’s gone through that to step in and help you walk through that. Trust me, I speak from experience when I say that just the advice of someone who’s “walked where I’m walking” is beyond value when I feel at the end of my rope. Never, never count yourself out and think you have nothing to give, you could be the life line that someone needs to keep them going at any minute. Just. Be. Available.
Now, what if you’re in the stage where you really could benefit from having a mentor? Is there someone in your life that you’ve watched walk through something, and you wonder how they did it? Maybe you’re walking through something similar and knowing what got them through would be a big help to you? Please, be brave, don’t hesitate to go up and share that with them! As someone who sells herself short too many times, I have to say it would be an honor to be asked something like that. Reaching out can be a very hard thing to do, but just know that the reward will be great! Be brave, be purposeful, and seek out those people who you might already have a relationship with but you want to know a little better. The greatest things in life don’t just fall into our laps, we have to seek them out and purpose to make them important. If we don’t, the busyness of life will cause these opportunities to pass us by.
I want to leave you with this quote from Kelley Matthews from crosswalk.com, “Sometimes, “I’ll pray about it” is the most appropriate way to begin your decision-making. But when it comes to mentoring, I’d have to agree with Norma Becker, member of the board of directors of Campus Crusade for Christ, Canada. When a younger woman asking to be mentored suggested they pray about it, Norma responded with assurance: “We don’t pray about commands.” Go out today and live your life a little more intentionally, the relationships that you need to get you through this stage in life God has already laid out all around you, just watch for them!
Have you mentored people in the past? Do you have any tips on how to make this connection easier? Feel free to comment in the box below!