When You Can’t Find a Mentor…

Pick up a book

I have been richly blessed by the many “mentors” the Lord has brought into my life over the years. Some were formal, meet once-a-week type mentors. Others more casual, allowing me to walk alongside them and learn from their lifestyles and friendships.

I’ve also known sparse and dry times. People are busy, churches are busy, and sometimes you can fall through the cracks. You might find yourself feeling lonely, longing for the wisdom of an older believer.

When you just can’t find a mentor, it’s time to pick up a book.

Are you a young mom, unable to find a babysitter or get out of the house? Books are available for your {few} quiet hours.

Is your marriage floundering, the problems too personal or painful to discuss with anyone other than your spouse? Books are discreet counselors.

Do church members live too far away to meet with during the week? Books are as close as your nearest shelf.

Books have been some of the most nutrient-dense growth materials in my Christian life. Good authors with lots of life experience, Biblical wisdom, and a gift for communication have lots to offer us.

Here are a few favorite “mentors” that the Lord has especially blessed me through.

As a Christian…

  • Desiring God by John Piper. It caused me to grow in love, admiration, and understanding of God and His character, with plenty of practical wisdom on how to apply this knowledge.
  • The Discipline of GraceThe Joy of Fearing God, and Respectable Sins by Jerry Bridges. Really, anything by Jerry Bridges is worth reading. He is compassionate, extremely profound, and yet totally down to earth. I feel like he is my spiritual grandfather :).
  • Keep a Quiet Heart by Elisabeth Elliot. Another spiritual sage, Mrs. Elliot speaks with clarity and grace on a wide variety of topics applicable to the Christian life. This is a devotional collection of short snippets on every topic.

As a Single Person…

  • Let Me Be a Woman and Passion and Purity, also by Elisabeth Elliot, were my constant companions through single high school and college days. Solid encouragement to patiently wait on and trust in the Lord, being who He has called you to be.

As a Wife…

  • When Sinners Say “I Do” by Dave Harvey. Easily, hands-down, the BEST book on marriage I have ever read.
  • A Woman After God’s Own Heart by Elizabeth George. While written for women in general, this book really gave vision and inspiration to how I could best serve, love, and honor my husband, in our home and abroad. I like to read Elizabeth George anytime I am lacking motivation. Her energy is highly contagious!
  • Womanly Dominion by Mark Chanski. I could hardly put this down! Mr. Chanski is extremely well-read, and quotes a broad range of authors and materials. He infused me with passion to “play” my role as a woman. The last time I read this was before having kids, so I a re-read is definitely in order.

As a Parent…

  • Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Tedd Tripp. I’ve struggled so much with confidence as a parent, especially when it comes to discipline. Tedd Tripp quiets the many conflicting voices of our culture with the Word of God. His own experiences as a father with grown children and as a seasoned pastor make him a very reliable source.
  •  Give Them Grace by Elyse Fitzpatrick and Jessica Thompson. So good- this book challenged my own heart even more so than my parenting. Gospel-centered homes begin with gospel-centered parents.

What books have had the greatest influence on your life as a Christian?

Comments

  1. Excellent book recommendations! The only one I haven’t heard of or read is Womanly Dominion and I’m going to check it out since your other suggestions were awesome.

    A few recent books that are having a HUGE impact are Elyse Fitzpatrick’s new book Found in Him and Kimm Crandall’s Christ in the Chaos. You just cannot have too much gospel in your life.

  2. I haven’t read all of these books, but “When Sinners Say ‘I Do'” is one of the best books for married individuals. Thank you for sharing!

  3. Ah, you and me are like twins. Love all those books. Some of my top faves are there like Let Me Be A Woman and When Sinners Say I Do {I agree, THE best book on marriage}. Both have been influential in my growth in understanding how and why God made me as a woman and how He delights in the way I interact and respond to my husband. Love all of them!

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  1. […] we have had a steady couple who we consider our mentors in many ways. There is so much to be gained from having a mentor, especially in a society where marriage is under attack and divorce is more and more accepted […]