Titus Two Today, Part Three: Being Mentored & Mentoring

In continuing this stretched-out series on Titus 2 mentoring, I thought I'd share some of my own experiences with mentoring- both as the younger woman, and recently, as the older woman. I hope this gives you some practical insight into where I'm at in the whole process of learning about Titus 2 mentoring.

BEING MENTORED
I'll admit it, I've been one of the voices crying out for Christian mentoring and discipleship in a crooked and perverse generation. We need women who will affirm the things of God in our lives. Even if our mothers are godly, praiseworthy women (and when they are, we praise GOD!), we still need other women to teach and train us. No one women has all the answers, and as much as we can, we need to surround ourselves with wise counselors. As a young Christian woman, I have longed for and prayed for women who are ahead of me on this road of life to be willing to take me under their wing and TEACH ME!

And I must say, I've been fortunate to have not just one, but many women willing to share their lives with me and teach me.

One friend of mine, Angie, who has mentored and befriended me for over 12 years now, welcomed me into her home when she had young children. We talked about life as I watched her nurse her babies. We talked about ministry and the life of a wife and mother as she changed diapers and fixed broken toys. We talked about priorities in parenting and how to maintain a strong marriage while her daughters (now young ladies) swam in a kiddie pool. She shared her convictions with me as I shared my struggles with her. I love this woman. I can't tell you how much of an impact she and her family have had on my life. Only God knows how much.

Another woman, Christi, has taught me about grace and beauty. She takes great pleasure (and has a real, God-given talent) in beautifying the home environment. She is the woman who first piqued my interest in the MBTI personality typing. From her, I have learned to appreciate the beautifying of our homes... and learned to have grace towards people who are different from me. She has had the guts to challenge me at times when I spoke too harshly or forcefully about personal convictions, and she in turn has been humble and sought to learn things from me (for example, when I'm reading an interesting book, learning something new, etc.) . I really appreciate her friendship.

There have been others too, but these are two women who have challenged me and loved me and taught me, even though they are very different women and have gone about "Titus 2ing" me in different areas.

MENTORING OTHERS
About three years ago, a college student approached me one night at a church fellowship and asked if I would consider setting regular time aside to mentor her. And so began what is now a precious friendship.

Lindy & I have talked and walked through various life issues together-- dating relationships and marriage, what it's like to be pregnant, how to think about and prepare for marital intimacy, what books are good preparation for womanhood, and just life issues as they come up: pride, submission, God's will and how to discern it, cloth diapering, friendships with guys/girls... all kinds of things. So much of what I've "passed on" to her have been things that were taught to me by Angie in particular. It's been such a blessing for me to have things to share, as well as to pray for her and walk alongside her as she strives for biblical womanhood in this world.

There have been other friends, too, who have taken more of a learner's posture in our friendship and might characterize our friendship as more of a mentoring situation... but Lindy is one who came to me in that capacity and who I have grown to love as a result of that specific time together.

TITUS 2 IN REAL LIFE
I'm so thankful for these neat opportunities I've already had in my life to not only learn from others, but also to teach younger women about the things Titus 2 challenges us to implement into our lives. Here's that passage one more time:
"Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They 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."

6 comments:

Terry said...

How fortunate you are to have been blessed with such wonderful, godly mentor/mentee relationships. I have pretty much had to figure out how to be a wife and mother on my own through trial and error, the word of God and prayer. I've had a few friends along the way that I certainly learned things from and I thank God for them, but nothing like what you describe. Great post.

Gina said...

As I have shared with you before, I have a burden for women because I know what it is like to long for someone to come along side me as a younger woman. My burden has grown, and the fruit of that is my blog called "Chats with an old lady". Please share with your readers that I am there. You may not agree with everything that you read on my blog, that is really okay. I am very open to correction, and the fact that I do not know everything. I pray every day that God would open my eyes to any error I am walking in. I just share what I sense God is teaching me. I would love to get to know more women through my blog. So far the connections I have made through it has been amazing!

I appreciate your heart and especially your sharing about this sooooooooooooo important subject!!!

Brenda said...

Man, I never had a mentor! I also can't think of anyone I have really mentored except just by being an example to the teens in my husband's youth group. But they were never really in my home or discussing any big topics with me.

That would be so cool.

Anna S said...

Jess - not too many coherent thoughts passing through my head today. Just wanted to tell you I love this series.

Jeannie said...

Wow! I stumbled across your blog a few weeks ago and added it to my favroites- since then I really haven't had much of a chance to stop in and read and see what you are all about. Until Yesterday. Before I "write a book" (and yes, I realize that is okay!)I should mention that I am a younger woman. I have not techincally been mentored before, but I have always embraced "mothering" relationships with older women. In fact I have been drawn to them. My best friends are all much older than me. This very topic has been deeply engraved on my heart the past several weeks (and now I realize maybe my whole life). I have been thinking, praying and thinking and praying on it. I felt God tugging on my heart to start a Titus 2 Mentoring movement in my community (specifically my church but I am not closed to including women from other churches). I just really didn't know where to go with it. I had been reading on the internet about churches and organizations that have Titus 2 Ministries. I was taking notes and trying to figure out what God really wants me to do with this tugging on my heart. I hadn't even mentioned it to my small group yet. I am always reluctant to just leap- I have to pray, research, pray and research an idea before I can go public. And then, clicking on your blog yesterday was a total "God Moment". I can see his fingerprints so clearly on this new passion in my life. Of course I had to go back and print out your past "parts" to the series so I could fully understand your commentary- but I loved it. Last night I shared with my small group how it had been on my heart and they all were very encouraging. I am still not sure where God is leading me in this Titus 2 Journey, but I am ready for the ride. Thank you for your inspiration- I look forward to visiting your blog regularly.
Jeannie

Jess said...

Terry,

You're right- I have been very blessed in these kinds of relationships. After having this special kind of relationship with Angie, I have been more intentional about seeking out from each woman I meet what she's good at, so that I can glean from her. Not everyone can teach us about parenting, not every woman can teach about keeping your home... but if you can learn a little from one, and a little from another, pretty soon, we've learned how to be a godly woman.


Gina,
I did take a look at your blog; thank you for your openness and willingness to share your heart with others. I hope women from this blog will take a look at your heart and life and learn from you as an "older woman". ;)


Brenda,
Because of how important Angie and others have been to me, I try to be more "available" for hanging out and having real-life conversations with younger women... I want to be transparent enough that they can see me, warts and all, and learn some things- (maybe some good, maybe some bad), but be able to see the whole picture and grow and learn because a woman was willing to open up her life and heart to a younger one.


Jeannie,
What a blessing your comment is to me. I'm so glad that this message was used to confirm some things that God is getting your attention about! Mentoring is something precious to me... it's been such an important thing in my own life, and I pray it will be that for others as well.


Thank you all for your comments and thoughts.
~Jess