A few years ago we had six children—including two high schoolers—living at home. At times I felt overwhelmed, as if all my efforts over years of parenting were about to crash in around me. If you have teenagers, I'm sure you can relate!
In the middle of this difficult and busy time, some younger mothers approached me and asked if I would meet with them once a month to offer some encouragement and advice about parenting. I can remember thinking, "Why would they want to meet with me, with all the mistakes I've made? What would I have to offer them?"
Through that experience, however, I learned the significance of Titus 2:3-5, which instructs older women to "encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home..." Younger wives and mothers need this type of "mentoring" and encouragement from older women who have walked along the same path—even if they've stumbled a few times along the way.
How do you find an "older woman" to encourage you? I'd begin by looking in your local church. Ask God to help you spot someone who is just ahead of your season of life and can give you advice from her experience. If you have young children, for example, find a woman whose youngest kids are now in junior high or high school. And be sure to look for someone who has established a track record of walking with God.
Take the initiative to ask if you can begin calling her or meeting her for coffee or lunch. Tell her that you'll bring the questions—all she needs to do is listen and interact with you. Assure her she doesn't even need to know all the answers; all you need is her time and her advice.
And by the way, if someone happens to approach you to take on the role of "mentor," don't resist. Remember that wives and mothers don't need help from Superwoman—they need a friend who has walked in their shoes.
Copyright © 2005 by FamilyLife. All rights reserved. Used with permission.
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Walt and Ann Bealke have been married for a long time, just not to each other. They are now 5 years into their marriage (the third for each of them), and are seeing God redeem their pasts and build a Gospel-centered marriage.
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