Titus 2:3-5 "Similarly, older women should be reverent in their behavior, not slanderers, not addicted to drink, teaching what is good, so that they may train younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, chaste, good homemakers, under the control of their husbands, so that the word of God may not be discredited."
I asked some sisters in Christ about older women mentoring younger women.
Carrie (a C'Moms sister) replied, "I believe this is a major relationship every WOMAN should have." She stressed the great influence mentors have had on her own life. Similarly, all the women that replied who have been blessed with mentor relationships found a greatly influential and lasting value in them. Unfortunately, many replies were "if only" yearnings for Titus 2 inspired Spiritual mothering and instruction.
The Bigger Question
The question that begs to be asked is: if the majority of us want to be involved in mentoring, why do so many of us rarely become or find mentors?
The simplest answer is that we don't have any widely known [or used] methods for actively bridging the gap between women of different generations. How can we construct that Titus 2 environment in the body of Christ? That gap is the obstacle.
A New Problem?
Not too far back in history women lived, worked and played around each other in masses. Young women had a good amount of contact with the ladies in their church community. Often their mothers, aunts, godmothers, grandmothers, friends mothers, and all the aboves circle of friends were there for them, steadfast, as far back as they can remember. Is it a lost art? Not being a history expert myself I may be imagining a Christianized Ya-Ya Sisterhood. Either way the widespread need for instruction and friendship from older and wiser women, and a sense of belonging to a multigenerational Christian family, appears to be a shared longing in all Christian women.
Some churches have yet to start a regular women's ministry, where mentoring can naturally occur. Making things harder, the "intergenerational model" of church group organization is rare. We traditionally divide up everyone by age. This means that in most Churches the older women are in one group, the younger in another. Small groups are divided by age. Adult Sunday school classes are divided by age. Deeper relationships between older and younger women, outside of family ties (if any exist), are hard to come by. This is a trend that goes in the face of Titus 2. We need to either shuffle our traditional models or work around them.
While both professional person-to-person and online Christian mentoring are avaliable and have their place, there will always be a need for face to face, relationship based mentoring. The churches and faith based organizations can find ways to provide the services of Titus 2.
Women Making a Difference
There are ministries and ideas tailored to keeping the work of women in Titus 2:3-5 flourishing. If your church isn't active in this area, please forward this set of articles to your pastor. If you are the older woman, you may want to consider this your special mission.
Cindy Wright, of Marriage Missions, says that "Mentoring is a way of life.... It's being open and giving God the elbow room in your schedule to bring someone your way that He wants to use you to minister to..... It?s proceeding in life prayerfully so your eyes are tuned in [seeing opportunities to minister to each other.]" Sharing Hebrews 10:24 ("And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching."), she spoke of the support Christians should give each other with unconditional love and friendship, modeled after Christs love for us. As Cindy put it, mentoring is "being 'Christ with skin on'", being His colleague in loving this friend as Christ would."
Emphasis On Moms has a "Mom Mentoring" Network that began in 2004. The network takes Christian moms and matches them up to mentor other moms who are requesting help in an area/areas that the mentor mom has experience in; or perhaps an area that God has helped them overcome or deal with in their past. This could be tougher struggles in life such as affairs, divorce, cancer, or abuse. It could also range from other hurdles in life such as being a single mom, depression, handling stress, trying to stretch an income with a large family, or even dealing with in-laws.
Dionna Sanchez, the Founder of Emphasis On Mom says, "It has been a true delight to see women coming together through this new mentoring network. Some of the women who come and ask for encouragement or guidance are not Christians, so it also gives the mentors a beautiful opportunity to share the love of God with them."
Emphasis On Moms is always in need of more mentors. As Dionna says, "There will always be needs to fill - so I need a huge resource of mentors to have on hand to fill them."
On the forums at Christian-Mommies.com, AidanMommy shared a blessing in her life that came through a ministry her church used called Beautiful Womanhood. It's a one-year mentoring program for wives. Click on Part II to learn about the mission of Beautiful Womanhood and founder Sandy's gems of advice for women. Beautiful Womanhood is just one of many organizations and ideas that exist for embracing Titus 2.
Join the Christian Mommies Forums to participate in our friendly online community, and have grown-up conversation with other Christian moms. As an alternative try our "Mom Site" Affiliate Moms of Faith's online community.
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