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Christian Women Want Mature Christian Mentors Part 2
An Interview with Sandy Ralya, Director of Beautiful Womanhood


Originally featured at Christianmommies.org, November 2005
Interviewed by: Rachel @ Christian Mommies

Q: How did "Beautiful Womanhood" come to be?

Christian Women Want Mature Christian Mentors A: In the Fall of 2001, my husband and I traveled to Europe with my sister and brother-in-law for a trip we had dreamed of taking for several years. While there, surrounded by the beauty of God's magnificent creation, my sister-in-law and I reflected on our enduring relationship and the effect it had had on our lives.

Together, we had shared many joys and struggles. Our relationship had been a source of blessing as we enjoyed community as women. We derived strength and hope from discovering God's Truths together and we had experienced the fruitfulness that accountability produces.

As we realized the tremendous advantage that our relationship had given us, we wondered aloud how we could give this to our married daughters.

Immediately, we devised a plan to invite our daughters into our homes once a month for a luncheon. During this luncheon, we would provide an atmosphere to nurture community, offer strength and hope as we unveiled godly principles concerning marriage, and finally, we would hold them accountable for these principles.

We began the following month and it didn't take long before it became our daughters favorite day! As they shared with their friends, it became apparent that the interest in marriage mentoring was strong. I realized that this concept was much needed and could be offered to many women. Thus, Beautiful Womanhood was born.

Q: What is the mission of "Beautiful Womanhood"?

A: Beautiful Womanhood desires to train and equip Mentors who will invite 6 other women into their home once a month for a year.

It all begins with a Beautiful Womanhood Seminar. The Seminar jump-starts the year long marriage mentoring program. Two separate goals are achieved at the Seminar,which is beneficial for women of all ages.

First, principles or truths from God?s Word are coupled with practical instruction so women can take their marriage to the next level! Women leave the Seminar with tools to begin building their relationships immediately! The Seminar achieves the purpose of instilling excitement within women to further this growth by joining a Beautiful Womanhood Luncheon.

Secondly, experienced women are encouraged that they are needed to mentor women in their marriages. They are effectively drawn into ministry during the Seminar as they discover that God isn't looking for perfection when he asks the older women to train younger women. He is looking for imperfect women with a desire to follow God's perfect plan found in Titus 2:3-5. Once these older, experienced (40 something or older) women realize their unique calling, they are trained at the conclusion of the Seminar and provided with everything needed to hold successful Beautiful Womanhood Luncheons for a year.

It is during a Beautiful Womanhood Luncheon that women begin to experience community, strength, hope, and real change!

Q: In asking women about mentorship, I found many older women willing to mentor and many younger women wishing to have a mentor. What seems to be lacking is a bridge between the two. What are some creative ways churches and women's ministry leaders can bridge that gap?

A: Church leaders must start a dialogue about the attack on marriage today. Satan is attacking marriage. Marriages inside the church are dissolving at the same rate as those outside the church. What can be done?

Churches can emphasize that God provided a plan in Titus 2:3-5 to counteract Satan's offensive against marriage. Paul exhorted Titus to "teach the older women to train the younger women to love their husbands."

Realizing that God provides a plan to help young women in their marriage might be new to some! Dialogue will begin building a bridge!

Ask questions of the experienced women to help them see their great value at a transitional and often vulnerable time in their own life.
"Are you looking for a meaningful way to express yourself now that your children are grown?"

Get them thinking about their own needs when they were younger.
"Do you wish you would have known then, what you know now?"

Assure the younger women that they are not the only ones struggling!

The only difference between experienced women of God and those they mentor is that the experienced women have had a few more years to make mistakes!

A woman who has a growing relationship with Jesus Christ has much to teach others from her personal experience.

We know that churches are concerned about the growing attack on marriage. Many do not have the time or resources to develop a marriage mentoring program.

Beautiful Womanhood has developed a 12 month curriculum that is easy to use and allows the mentor to teach with her own unique expression, drawing from her own experience.

After the Mentor has been trained at the Beautiful Womanhood Seminar, she is provided with all 12 Truths of Beautiful Womanhood on CD, a workbook from which to lead discussion, and invitations to the first month's Luncheon, which can be held day or evening.

She is also given a username and password to access the Mentors Resource page of the Beautiful Womanhood website. There, she will find weekly encouragement and fresh ideas for holding successful Beautiful Womanhood Luncheons.

On the "For Women" page of the Beautiful Womanhood website, we offer monthly marriage tips that will help all women take their marriage to the next level!

If churches are looking for an effective, proven program to counteract the attack on marriage, visit beautifulwomanhood.com or call (616)862-0321 for more information about this exciting marriage mentoring ministry. We provide everything you need to successfully "build a bridge" between mentors and those they mentor!

Q: I imagine in the past many women had their mothers, relatives, neighbors, and all the above ladies long time friends as mentors. Has mentoring been on a decline over the past century? If so, what do you think the ramifications have been?

A: Yes, mentoring has been on the decline over the past century, the ramifications of which are seen in divorce statistics.

We've resorted to "trash talking" husbands over coffee or the water cooler instead of passing on effective principles that work! We're stuck in the rut of complaining about our marriage rather than doing something good for it! All too often, we divorce for unhappiness and not more serious issues.

Then, as the reality of our hopelessness sets in, we feel isolated and powerless. It's a downward spiral that has left womanhood in a condition that is far from beautiful.

Q: What can any one woman do to find a mentor, if her church [sadly] isn't open to any programs or ministries like "Beautiful Womanhood"? How would she best approach finding a mentor on her own?

A: Watch women that you admire and ask them if they would be open to mentoring. I have had several women ask me to mentor them and I always feel honored. If I need to say "no", it's because I have too much on my plate at the time.

You'll never know until you ask. Keep asking until you find the right mentor!

I would also recommend reading The Mentor Quest by Betty Southard for specific ideas.

Testimonials


Seminar attendee and Luncheon member

"My name is Dorie and I am a beautiful woman!

2 years ago, I would not have made that statement! But now I can, and I believe it with all my heart. In January of 2004, I joined a Beautiful Womanhood Luncheon. When I walked into my mentor's home, I knew that this was a God-ordained event.

The group of ladies assembled there were all hand picked by God. Throughout that year, I grew to love those ladies deeply. We shared struggles and successes. Our mentor was pouring Godly wisdom into our lives each month. I lived for those meetings! What a refreshing time we had together!

Through Beautiful Womanhood, I have learned so many things, and made so many changes in my marriage. I will say that my picture of respecting my husband was pretty blurred. No one had ever taught me about that before! The communication skills I learned have been so valuable, and I had no idea that I had, and could develop "mystique" to continue attracting my husband! I am much more confident in my God-given role as the support to my husband of 9 years. He is very pleased with the woman I am becoming!

I can't stress enough how important it is for we as women to connect with each other!! We need each other!! Experienced women- we need your wisdom, advice, love and encouragement. You are survivors!! You have so much to share, be a willing vessel, allow the Lord to use you to pour His love into the lives of some younger women! Younger women-reach out! You are not alone; joining a Beautiful Womanhood Luncheon will make that very evident to you. You will learn how to be the best wife you can be. Invest the time in yourself; your husband and children will thank you!

I am beautiful because I have allowed myself to be teachable. I have learned from the Beautiful Womanhood teachings on CD, my mentor, and my friends in my group. I am beautiful because I am connected to other beautiful women. I am beautiful because each day I come closer to God, and to being the wife He has called me to be."

Dorie Barron
Mentee



Women's Ministry Leader Testimonial

"The Beautiful Womanhood Seminar was one of the best events I've ever organized for the women. Not only was it an extremely effective way to launch the Beautiful Womanhood Luncheons but it was also powerful, informative and fun. The seminar created an excitement about the ministry that would have been hard to attain without it. It enabled a large number of women to be taught by you, connect with you and be changed. As a result, the number of Beautiful Womanhood Luncheon groups that began far exceeded my expectations. I highly recommend that every church consider kicking off Beautiful Womanhood Luncheons within their church by hosting a seminar.

Additionally, the mentor training segment of the Seminar was tremendously beneficial. Suzann did a fantastic job describing the mentor's responsibilities, answering questions and encouraging the women in their capability to be a successful mentor. As a result, many women that were undecided about whether or not to become mentors left the training feeling equipped, competent and eager.

Your love for God was evident as you shared your heart-felt experiences from your own marriage. Your wisdom and knowledge are indicative of a woman far beyond her years. Not only are you an anointed, dynamic speaker but you also have the incredible ability to connect with each and every woman and make them feel like you are talking directly to them. One woman said she felt like she was sitting on the couch in her living room, having a conversation with you. They understood you, they connected with you, and they related with you. That is priceless.

The Beautiful Womanhood Ministry has been a meaningful, successful addition to our women's ministry. We have expanded the scope and influence of our ministry by leaps and bounds. Furthermore, it has allowed us to be more efficient in reaching and ministering to the ladies. Women are being taught God?s truth about marriage, they are being changed, their marriages are being strengthened, and God's will is being done."

Thank you for your obedience.

Sincerely,

Anne Betts
Director of Women's Ministries
resurrectionlifechurch



Beautiful Womanhood Mentor

"I love the Beautiful Womanhood program because it equips the Mentors with tools and a support system that makes mentoring easy and fun! The simplicity of the workbook design and information is narrow enough for me to stay focused, yet broad enough for me to teach with my own unique expression. I also appreciate the Mentors Resource page of the website. I feel more confident, knowing that should I need help, I've got a secure safety net to fall back on!"

Kelly Martinez
Mentor

Part I of III Christian Women Want Mature Christian Mentors
Part III of III Quotes from Women Surveyed & a List of Resources

 

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