This Christian life is not meant to be spent in solitude. There is a reason that we don’t stay at home on Sunday morning reading the Bible by ourselves but rather gather together corporately to learn about and worship God. God created us to be in relationships with fellow believers.
Mentorship is a large part of that relationship, and sadly the church puts little emphasis on mentoring anymore. But the Bible clearly outlines that we should be in mentoring relationships with other believers both older and younger than ourselves.
Paul instructs the older women in the church to mentor the young women. Godly older women are to train the younger women how to love their husbands and children and how to care for their home.
“Older women likewise…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.” ~ Titus 2:3-5
“Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning.” ~ Proverbs 9:9
It is so important to be in mentoring relationships with older and younger men and women. Paul explicitly calls older women to teach younger women how to run their homes and love their family. At different points in our lives we may be the older instructor and at other times we are the younger student.
We each come into marriage with different roles – men are to lead and provide for their family and women are to care for their home and children. It takes hard work and practice to develop skills and grow in these areas. It doesn’t happen overnight. We must surround ourselves with older individuals that we can learn from.
“Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.” ~ Proverbs 27:17
Joining a men’s or women’s bible study is an excellent way to come together and learn from other Godly men and women. Being open and real with others can be a safe way to grow and learn together.
Then from there you should try and develop a one on one mentor relationship. Find an older man or woman who shows evidence of the fruit of the spirit. Find someone you look up to and who can teach you how to be a better leader of your home or loving wife. Ask them to be your mentor and try to meet several times a month.
This can be a time of formal bible study or simply a casual time of getting together for coffee. The point is to learn together. Bring your frustrations and anxieties to your mentor – the chances are that he/she felt the same things at one time!
As a Couple
God has given us the responsibility of caring for our families. We are to raise our children in the Lord and teach them what it means to be a Christian and love the Lord.
“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” ~ Proverbs 22:6
“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.” ~ Deuteronomy 6:4-9
God commands us to teach our children, but how do we know how to do that? By being in relationships with other couples. In our church we have a couple of families who we really look up to. Two couples in particular are a few steps ahead of us – they have several children and are diligently teaching them about the Lord. While we have not formally asked them to be our mentors (yet), whenever we are with them we soak up the wisdom and practical things they do.
We watch how they handle their children. How do they explain the world to them? How do they discipline them? How do they react when they are at someone else’s house? We watch, observe, ask questions, and soak in as much as we can. We learn how to be better parents and how to relate with each other better as a couple. There is so much wisdom and ready advice sitting just a few seats away from us in the pews.
Do you have a mentor relationship? Have you found it hard to find mentors in your life? Share your experience so we can all learn!