The Beauty of Mentorship
My passion for mentoring is no secret. If you’ve connected with me in conversation, online or face to face, you know mentoring is a topic that will ultimately surface. It has long been one of my deepest desires to see women discover their purpose, and I find it an honor to walk alongside them as they grow deeper in their relationship with God.
I am grateful for the many mentoring experiences that provided me with the opportunity to grow spiritually. The beauty of these relationships is the encouragement and support I receive from trusted confidants. Because of these experiences, I am inspired to reciprocate and serve as a mentor to others – helping women with a heart for God grow into all they are called to be.
This week, I’d like to delve a little deeper into the importance of mentoring, define biblical mentoring, and encourage you to seek a mentor or serve as a mentor.
The Importance of Mentorship
Proverbs 27:17 AMP tells us: “As iron sharpens iron, So one man sharpens [and influences] another [through discussion].” Whether it is spiritual, personal, or relational, growth does not happen effectively outside of community. We have been created to be in relationship with God and others, and it is the quality of those relationships that create an environment that pushes and prompts us to become the women we are called to be in Christ.
I would never have become the woman I am today without the incredible women mentors in my life who challenged and encouraged me in my relationship with God, my role as a wife and mother, and in my career and calling. These noble women serve selflessly, giving me assurance, strength, and a soft place to land when I fall. My mentors reflect the attributes of the Proverbs 31 women, “She opens her mouth in [skillful and godly] wisdom, And the teaching of kindness is on her tongue [giving counsel and instruction]” Proverbs 31:26 AMP.
A while back, I wrote about the Significance of Mentoring. I discussed the importance of finding a good mentor who will be a trusted confidant, who will prompt you to work on areas in your life that need improvement, and who will serve as an accountability partner. Let’s be real. We each have areas in which we struggle, maybe even deep wounds in need of healing, and having someone in our life who will provide a listening ear and who is trustworthy is valuable to our growth and healing.
In addition to the incredible blessing of being mentored, it is also rewarding to serve as a mentor. To support women as they grow deeper in their relationship with Christ and help them cultivate their passions and skills is a beautiful thing. And it is something we as followers of Christ are called to do. The Bible refers to this as “making disciples.” I refer to it as biblical mentoring.
What is Biblical Mentoring?
At its heart, biblical mentoring is discipleship, a mentor-mentee relationship built on the foundation of God’s Word. It is based on biblical principles and prepares the mentee to bear fruit for the sake of kingdom building. It involves believers coming alongside other believers to encourage them in their faith walk and hold them accountable to live in obedience to Christ. We are to reflect the love of Christ to those around us.
Matthew 5:14-16 AMP tells us, “You are the light of [Christ to] the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good deeds and moral excellence, and [recognize and honor and] glorify your Father who is in heaven.” YOU are the light in a dark world. You are called to let your light shine so others may see Christ in and through you. Christ has given you the opportunity to serve as a mentor to women. Don’t dim that light for any reason – fear, insecurity, a lack of support – let that light shine!
I typically end my posts with Keep on shining! God’s Word in Matthew 5:14-16 illustrates the importance of letting your light shine. Honesty moment, I may have shared with some of you that I have dimmed my light for others to shine. Yep, I hide my light. Can you believe it? I thought if I made myself small, others would not feel so threatened or small, and we could be friends. I know what you are thinking, are they really a friend if being my authentic self threatens them? I genuinely believe that I missed out on many beautiful opportunities God had in store for me due to this unhealthy habit of diminishing who I was in an attempt to encourage others. You see, I was not very strong spiritually. My identity was wrapped up in things of this earth and not God. You know the saying, “I did not know what I did not know.”
I was lonely, confused, directionless, and wanting more, but I did not know how to move forward. I was stuck! I needed a trusted confidant to help me move forward. I craved having someone that had “been there” and could help me navigate the unknown. God answered my prayers with amazing women mentors who were strong in their faith. These women came along and saw something in me that I could not see in myself. They resembled the light in Matthew 5:14-16. They showed me how to let my light shine before others for kingdom building!
My question for you, are you using your God-given gifts to serve others? Are you shining your light to lead others to Christ? If not, what small step can you take this week to encourage and support someone around you?
The Bible offers many examples of mentoring relationships, from Naomi and Ruth to the examples found in Titus 2 and Proverbs 31. Scripture paints a rich tapestry of what it means to mentor, or disciple, others.
Some of my favorite women mentors are found in the Book of Luke – Mary, mother of Jesus; Elizabeth, mother of John the Baptist; Susanna and Joanna, the wife of Chuza; and Anna, a widow and prophetess. These remarkable women encouraged, equipped, and empowered others as they followed Jesus. These women gave selflessly using their spiritual gifts and natural talents to share the good news. They let their light shine!
I encourage you to seek opportunities to serve as well. Even if you currently serve as a mentor, I encourage you to find a mentor to support you in your journey. I have an excellent Christian life coach I meet with monthly. The beauty of this mentorship is the inspiration and encouragement from my Christian coach. Meeting with her regularly keeps me accountable with my goals, and I have developed an ongoing reflective practice to improve my coaching and mentoring. This practice is so instrumental in the growth and development of coaching that the International Coaching Federation (ICF) lists this practice in the ICF Core Competencies for coaches.
A common phrase I share is that it is difficult to pour into others if we are not being poured into or refilled personally. If we are not taking the time for rest and reflection, we can quickly deplete our energy and drain our passion for serving – our light gets pretty dim. I’ve been there, and I know what it’s like to need a sister-in-Christ for support and guidance. I’ve needed a mentor for accountability, leadership, and prayer. I’ve needed a mentor for connection and conversation. God’s Word tells us that when we join together, we are more effective as we sharpen one another. I am grateful to have a spiritual mentor to encourage me in my spiritual growth.
Are there areas in your life where you need encouragement and support? Do you have a mentor to pray over you and for you? If not, what small step can you take this week to find the support and encouragement you desire?
A Mentoring Challenge
Whether you seek a mentor or mentoring opportunities, I encourage you to seek God in prayer and ask Him to provide a mentor for you or a mentoring opportunity. As you spend time reflecting, read through the scripture verses below and journal your thoughts on how God is calling you to apply His Word to your life.
1 Thessalonians 2:7-8 AMP, “But we behaved gently when we were among you, like a devoted mother tenderly caring for her own children. Having such a deep affection for you, we were delighted to share with you not only God’s good news but also our own lives, because you had become so very dear to us.”
1 Thessalonians 2:12 AMP, “to live lives [of honor, moral courage, and personal integrity] worthy of the God who [saves you and] calls you into His own kingdom and glory.”
Titus 2:3-5 AMP, “Older women similarly are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor addicted to much wine, teaching what is right and good, so that they may encourage the young women to tenderly love their husbands and their children, to be sensible, pure, makers of a home [where God is honored], good-natured, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored.”
I pray that you will find a godly mentor to encourage, equip, and empower you in your journey. God did not create us to do life alone, so step out and reach out. Find a mentor or be a mentor. You never know the needs of another until you ask and show you care. Ask God to show you the way. And, if you need conversation or connection, I’m a phone call or email away. You can schedule a clarity call to discuss your needs or simply ask for prayer – you are not alone!
Keep on shining!
Image Credit by Parinaz Wadia Illustration & Design