It’s been a joy to be in a church where so many of the older women have a burden for mentorship, and are actively seeking to teach the younger women God’s Word. I’ve also watched as young women show humility in their desire to learn from the older women. This is good, and I’ve been learning from these good examples.
As I think about wisdom, I’m learning how important it is to propagate wisdom and not merely right actions. Whether I am being mentored or mentoring another (we can do both at once), I must be careful that I do not undermine a younger woman’s journey of finding wisdom in God’s Word. I must be careful that I am not lazy in how I seek the help of a mentor.
As a mentor,
- Do I give all the answers to their questions (even if the answers are biblical!)? Am I teaching women how I find the answers?
- Do I believe that raising my own children successfully gives me the wisdom to raise children in other families?
- Do I refer people to books or blogs as a source of wisdom (even biblical authors), rather than the Bible?
- Am I reproducing myself, helping other women to become mentors and encouraging them to find opportunities to grow and teach what I am teaching them?
- Am I nurturing more and more confidence within a woman to find the answers without me, or am I instead creating a greater dependence on my help in finding answers?
- Am I teaching how to find wisdom? Am I more interested in the product of wisdom, and neglecting the process?
- Can I identify different stages of independence in the mentorship process?
As one being mentored,
- Am I impatient when I don’t get the quick answers, either on my own or with a mentor?
- Do I ask my mentor for advice before searching God’s Word?
- Do I ever ask what the Bible says about my problem, or do I simply want to be told exactly what I should do (or what God wants me to do)?
- Do I have an interest in learning how to find answers from God’s Word, even when the answer is not directly stated?
- Am I interested in becoming independent of a mentor, or do I feel distressed when I don’t have a mentor?
- Do I believe that God can teach me without a mentor?
- Am I growing more confident in God’s ability to lead me?
- Am I willing to be accountable in my responsibility to seek wisdom and do what I know is right?
I’m interested in the parallels of parenting and mentorship, and this idea has been driving some of these thoughts. But I’ll talk about those parallels another day.