If there is one thing I would recommend to women of all ages, it would be to cultivate mentor relationships in every stage of your life. A godly mentor – particularly in the event you do not have godly parents – is a priceless relationship, one which will guide and support you in every season.
My own journey has been colored by different people who coached, counseled, and guided me through some of my hardest seasons. Some of these people are no longer in my life simply because I left the state and we fell out of touch, but they still taught me things I use today. Too often, we over complicate mentorship, or think we have to find one person who counsels us through every life stage. Mentorship is far simpler than this! Yet as simple as it is, mentorship is a biblical principle. It is seen throughout the Bible from as early as Exodus (Moses’ father in law counseled him in his leadership of Israel) and was expected in the early church (Titus 2). Simply put: If we think we can live our lives without the counsel of those who have gone before, we are in great danger of pride. Having input from wise, godly people is essential to spiritual growth.
Though there are many passages that deal with mentorship, there are three in particular I want to point out.
- “One generation shall commend your works to another, and shall declare your wonderful acts.” Psalm 145:4
The psalmist in this verse highlights an essential part of the walk of faith: Sharing God’s faithfulness with other people. When older Christians share how God has shown up in their lives, it encourages the faith of younger believers. Declaring God’s works in our lives is a wonderful way to mentor the faith of others. This should also encourage US, the young women of God, to turn around and share God’s faithfulness with those younger than us! Everyone can mentor and disciple another person by sharing their walk with God with the person behind them. But to do so requires being in God’s Word, praying specifically, and acknowledging when God answers. This is the way to see and then share God’s faithfulness.
- “Give instruction to a wise man, and he will still be wiser; teach a righteous man and he will increase in learning.” Proverbs 9:9
Another great verse about mentorship is found in the wisdom book: Proverbs. Proverbs spends a lot of time highlighting the heart and behavior of a wise person. In this verse the author tells us that wise people only become wiser. This is because wise people are teachable! Wisdom requires humility. It requires acknowledging your own inability to figure out life all on your own, and inviting wiser people to counsel you along the way. This is why righteous, wise people INCREASE in learning. They are constantly open to the advice of those ahead of them.
- “Iron sharpens iron, And one man sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17
This verse is often used in regard to friendship, and it’s true that many mentorships begin and end as friendships! But particularly in a mentor relationship, the older (or spiritually older) person sharpens the younger by giving advice, guidance, and even a gentle rebuke. That last one is never fun to experience! But when we receive a rebuke to our choices and behavior, it directs us into change. We can only improve if we recognize the areas that need improvement.
How do you find a mentor, you might be asking? Look for a godly couple or older woman in your life. Is she grounded in the Word? Does the fruit of her life look like something you’d want to emulate? Once you’ve identified her, ask her to coffee! Then ask her if she would be willing to meet with you every few weeks, or once a month, to give you advice in your walk with God and life choices. It’s that simple. If she says no, it could be just because of time restraints. Keep looking and asking, praying for God to bring the right person – and He will.