I had been married a little over four years and pregnant with our second child. Our daughter was a very active two-and-a-half-year-old toddler and I was a very busy homemaker. It was during this time my husband, George, was spending long hours at work. I did not feel I got a break to do much of anything except the typical things a young wife and mother normally do. At that time there was not a Mother’s Day Out program for my daughter. We were new to the church and therefore, I had not met any moms for setting up playdates.
It was also during this time that I had a spiritual awakening and I received Jesus as my Lord and Savior in a way I had not known before. I began attending a lady’s Bible study at our church because they provided childcare. When I first attended, I did not understand much of the Christian verbiage nor where things were located in the Bible. It was embarrassing for me to attend, but this was my daytime social outlet. I had a Bible, but with all the names I didn’t know and the “thee’s and thou’s” I just couldn’t get into it. Then one day I heard a knock on my door. I opened it and there was my pastor’s wife, Lois Marie Freeman, whose Bible study I had been attending. My first thought was, “Oh no what have I said or done?”
Toys were strewn everywhere, but I was thrilled to see her. She explained she was “led” to help me learn the Bible. She was wise to use the word “led” instead of saying the Holy Spirit had impressed this upon her, which would have caused me to question. While she was speaking, she used the word “mentor,” and as far as I knew, that applied to business. I am glad she did not say discipleship for I might have run! Once she explained that she intended to mentor me spiritually, I was in shock that she wanted to take the time to teach me. Surely a pastor’s wife didn’t have time for people like me, I thought.
As she explained the process, I recalled an embarrassing event in college when I a friend persuaded me to take a Bible class. The professor announced we would be studying Paul’s journeys and I turned to my friend and whispered, “Who is Paul?” Remembering the embarrassment, I told the pastor’s wife I really didn’t have time to be mentored. Yet, because of her kind persistence, I agreed. She began mentoring me weekly in my home, while my daughter was napping. I appreciated her persistence and obedience to not be pushed away by my insecurity. We dove into scripture each week. The love and bond that developed between us lit a fire and I hungered to know more spiritually. The Bible became alive to me. Lois Marie also answered questions concerning my role as a godly wife, mother, daughter, and friend. Every week I looked forward to being with her. Lois Marie became my spiritual mom and I looked to her for more than just godly teachings. She modeled Christian principles, mentored me in the Bible, and mentored me in life.
“In the same way, older the women are to be reverent in behavior. . . They are to teach what is good, so they may encourage the young women to love their husbands and to love their children, to be self-controlled, pure, homemakers, kind, and submissive to their husbands, so that God’s message will not be slandered” (Titus 2:3-5 HCSB).
From my positive mentoring experience, I have always believed the older women should mentor the younger women. There is much wisdom and life experience for the older women to teach and share. When I served as a women’s pastor, I encouraged older women to mentor the younger women, but I was not sure how to get this started. The younger women were coming to me asking for help and many of the older women felt they were no longer of much use to the body of Christ. As I prayed about what to do, four women were impressed by the Holy Spirit to help me start a mentoring program. They wrote mentoring curriculum and each of them began leading a group of young women.
I felt we needed one-on-one mentoring too. Another woman approached me who presented a plan to implement and oversee a one-on-one mentoring program. She had done this in a previous church. I was overjoyed. The Lord had answered my prayers abundantly over and above what I had even asked. (Ephesians 3:20) and immediately the mentoring programs were established and successful. Many years have passed since retiring from my pastoral position, but I still have women who thank me for their mentoring experiences.
As more and more women receive the wisdom of their mentors, the body of Christ is enriched. Jesus never stopped mentoring His disciples and living as an example for them to see each day. He sat with them and spoke into their lives. Paul is another great example of mentoring. He wrote letters to teach, admonish, and encourage many of the churches and individuals who went out to preach and teach. Moses mentored Joshua and sent him out with encouraging words.
Older women, let me challenge you to step out and to be creative. You are very important to the kingdom. For example, if you make quilts or enjoy cooking, ask a younger woman to join you to open the door to your ministry. Mentoring is not difficult when led by the Holy Spirit.
The time of mentoring is more important now than ever. When I listen to younger women’s needs or listen to the news, my heart breaks for the younger generations. Many are confused and yearning to be taught. If you are a younger woman, I encourage you to seek out a mentor. Whether you are young or old, the time is ripe for women to step up and reclaim their value in in the kingdom.
As the years have been added to my life, I always think back about Lois Marie Freeman, my spiritual mom. Her willingness to listen to the Holy Spirit and to mentor me changed my life forever. Maybe as an older woman, you have thought there was nothing more for you to do in God’s kingdom. Let me assure you, God is not finished with you. Your story is not over until the day of Jesus Christ. “I thank God whenever I remember you . . . for your partnership in furtherance of the Good News from the first day until now; being confident of this very thing, that he who began a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6 WEB). The opportunity of becoming a mentor to a younger woman could be sitting right in front of you. Younger women, you may know a woman with much spiritual wisdom. I encourage you to step out and inquire if they are interested. God will supply mentoring opportunities, but it is up to you.
I love the movie “Field of Dreams.” In that movie, there is a line that says, “If you build it, they will come.” If you are willing, God will give you opportunity. Lois Marie probably never thought that one day I would become a pastor, author, or leader when she sacrificially gave her time to me. Without a doubt, if you take the challenge to mentor or you are fortunate to be mentored, you will reap blessings.
Lord, I ask for your forgiveness in thinking I am not capable or useful in your Kingdom. I know that as Your child I am still here on earth to be used by You in whatever You have for me. I acknowledge the directive in Scripture to teach the younger and I am asking You to open the door for me to be obedient. I want to give out of the goodness You have poured into my life and the wisdom from following You. In faith Lord, I thank You in advance for showing me who I am to mentor. Amen.
Lord, as a younger woman I am asking you to open my eyes to a woman full of spiritual wisdom. Give me the courage to ask to be mentored. I desire to grow deeper in my understanding of Scripture and living a godly life. In faith, I am believing You will show me the next steps to take to be mentored. Amen.