Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Titus Two Today, Part Three: Being Mentored & Mentoring

In continuing this stretched-out series on Titus 2 mentoring, I thought I'd share some of my own experiences with mentoring- both as the younger woman, and recently, as the older woman. I hope this gives you some practical insight into where I'm at in the whole process of learning about Titus 2 mentoring.

I'll admit it, I've been one of the voices crying out for Christian mentoring and discipleship in a crooked and perverse generation. We need women who will affirm the things of God in our lives. Even if our mothers are godly, praiseworthy women (and when they are, we praise GOD!), we still need other women to teach and train us. No one women has all the answers, and as much as we can, we need to surround ourselves with wise counselors. As a young Christian woman, I have longed for and prayed for women who are ahead of me on this road of life to be willing to take me under their wing and TEACH ME!

And I must say, I've been fortunate to have not just one, but many women willing to share their lives with me and teach me.

One friend of mine, Angie, who has mentored and befriended me for over 12 years now, welcomed me into her home when she had young children. We talked about life as I watched her nurse her babies. We talked about ministry and the life of a wife and mother as she changed diapers and fixed broken toys. We talked about priorities in parenting and how to maintain a strong marriage while her daughters (now young ladies) swam in a kiddie pool. She shared her convictions with me as I shared my struggles with her. I love this woman. I can't tell you how much of an impact she and her family have had on my life. Only God knows how much.

Another woman, Christi, has taught me about grace and beauty. She takes great pleasure (and has a real, God-given talent) in beautifying the home environment. She is the woman who first piqued my interest in the MBTI personality typing. From her, I have learned to appreciate the beautifying of our homes... and learned to have grace towards people who are different from me. She has had the guts to challenge me at times when I spoke too harshly or forcefully about personal convictions, and she in turn has been humble and sought to learn things from me (for example, when I'm reading an interesting book, learning something new, etc.) . I really appreciate her friendship.

There have been others too, but these are two women who have challenged me and loved me and taught me, even though they are very different women and have gone about "Titus 2ing" me in different areas.

About three years ago, a college student approached me one night at a church fellowship and asked if I would consider setting regular time aside to mentor her. And so began what is now a precious friendship.

Lindy & I have talked and walked through various life issues together-- dating relationships and marriage, what it's like to be pregnant, how to think about and prepare for marital intimacy, what books are good preparation for womanhood, and just life issues as they come up: pride, submission, God's will and how to discern it, cloth diapering, friendships with guys/girls... all kinds of things. So much of what I've "passed on" to her have been things that were taught to me by Angie in particular. It's been such a blessing for me to have things to share, as well as to pray for her and walk alongside her as she strives for biblical womanhood in this world.

There have been other friends, too, who have taken more of a learner's posture in our friendship and might characterize our friendship as more of a mentoring situation... but Lindy is one who came to me in that capacity and who I have grown to love as a result of that specific time together.

I'm so thankful for these neat opportunities I've already had in my life to not only learn from others, but also to teach younger women about the things Titus 2 challenges us to implement into our lives. Here's that passage one more time:

"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."


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