Have you looked around at women 10 and 20 years younger than us lately? They are a fashionable, energetic, funny and passionate bunch. But have you noticed they are struggling? Struggling to fit in, to stay beautiful, to get married, to stay married, to balance jobs and family, to be mom’s, to come to terms with their past, to build friendships, to know Christ. Have you found yourself wondering why they are doing some of the obviously ineffective things they are doing? Have you noticed how easy it is to forget how incredibley hard it is to make it through the 20’s and 30’s?
Sisters, it is time for us to open our hearts and homes and lives to the women coming behind us. They are eager for mentoring. They are hungry for modeling. They long to see Christ in you. They need to be encouraged.
I recently had a just-out-of-college young woman mention I should lead a summer bible study. I casually thought, Sure, that’ll be easy. Maybe five or so younger women and I could study a book of the bible this summer. I put a little post about it on my church member page thinking it would be a pretty small response. There were 17 women who decided to attend. Seventeen! Clearly I had missed how great a desire there is in my own community of women for intentional investment.
I know the idea of mentoring younger women can be daunting. After all, we are still trying to figure life out and many of us didn’t have mentors in our lives during those years either. Where were our trail blazers? They were exactly where we are now. Enjoying the life they spent 20 years building, wrangling teenagers and trying to slow down a little. So we come to a cross roads of sorts: do we take the harder path of investing what God has taught us into our younger sisters in the faith, or do we sit back and begin to relax a little, fearful of the energy and sacrifice it will take?
What if you could throw out the ideas you have about what mentoring means? What if instead of a formal, scheduled event it was an organic relationship where you just opened your life up?
as you teach your secret pot roast recipe and she learns to feed her family
as you shop at Target and she learns not to be so critical of her body by the way you embrace your aging figure
as you hang out around your house and she learns to speak with kindness, but also with firmness to interrupting children
as you spend time together and she sees how to live out the beautiful gospel of Jesus in all the little ways it changes everything from running a home to working to reaching out to needy in your community
The women the bible describes in the book of Acts had these “as you go” relationships. They were cooking and cleaning and worshipping and living but they were doing it together. I still long for women who have come before me to mentor me too! But I am no longer content to deflect the responsibility of Titus 2:4 while younger women flounder. The beauty of the body of Christ is family. Big sisters, little sisters working out life together in safe relationships to ask questions, share fears and receive love.