What good things are mentors to train or encourage younger women to do to help them depend on God to accomplish His purpose in their lives? Today we will focus on four things older women can teach younger women, and next week we will look at four more.
Scripture says, “Then they [older women] can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God” (Titus 2:4-5).
Love Their Husbands
If married, mentors can encourage mentorees to love their husbands. The Greek word for love here is phileo, the love of human emotion, friendship, and enjoyment. Phileo means to truly be friends with their mates. They should have fun, laugh, and enjoy one another. When disagreements occur (and the mentoree needs to know that they will), the mentor can offer suggestions for solving conflicts in marriage.
Love Their Children
If they have children, mentors can encourage mentorees to love theirs. In today’s society, women need to know that “children are a gift of the Lord” (Ps. 127:3, NASB). Children are not objects to be used or abused. Older women can use their personal experience as well as sensible wisdom to teach younger women “to bring [their children] up in the training and instruction of the Lord” (Eph. 6:4). One practical way to do this is to pray with them for their children and to teach them to pray daily for their families.
Younger women are instructed to teach their children God’s Word “when [they] sit at home and when [they] walk along the road, when [they] lie down and when [they] get up” (Deut. 6:7). This takes time. Working moms who are trying to keep their families from drowning financially must be encouraged to find creative ways to do this. They need mentors to stand in the gap between themselves and their children.
Stay-at-home moms seem to have an advantage to teach their children all the time, but weariness and fatigue often set in after days of isolation. A mentor who can pray and counsel, even over the phone, can bring true spiritual healing through Christ to a broken woman.
Jesus said, “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves” (Matt. 10:16). Older women need to be alert while being discreetly open in their sharing. They must be willing to be vulnerable by showing younger women that they are not alone in their problems and struggles. Mentors are to guide the mentorees to follow the Holy Spirit’s leading in everyday situations. This should include using the Bible to encourage the mentorees to give themselves completely to God, as well as to apply to needs as they arise. For example, Nancy, an older friend of mine, told me to praise God when a crisis arose because God inhabits praise, and Satan must flee.
Another thing daughters of faith are to learn is “to be pure.” Vickie Kraft speaks well to the issue of purity:
This characteristic is very significant as it is related to the subject of loving your husband…[by maintaining] sexual chastity before marriage and fidelity in marriage…Every biblical prohibition against sex is of sex outside the marriage relationship. Within marriage it is to be fully enjoyed and celebrated. Indeed, an entire book of the Bible, the Song of Solomon, describes in vivid detail the joys of the marriage relationship. However, marriage was designed as a commitment without alternatives.
Sex within marriage is an important part of the ongoing relationship between husband and wife. Women need other women to encourage them to understand both the privilege and responsibility of the sexual relationship. A neglect of the physical aspects of marriage can put the relationship at risk…Physical relationship is to continue regularly except for a season of prayer for particular reasons (1 Corinthians 7:5).
The decision for restraint must be by mutual consent and for a brief time. (And, of course, there are times when for reasons of health there must be abstinence.) A woman committed to purity and faithfulness in the sexual area honors the Lord and is a blessing to her family.1
Next Wednesday we will look at four more things older women can teach younger women as they mentor.
This article is adapted from a chapter written by Valerie Howe and found in Women Reaching Women: Beginning and Building a Growing Women’s Ministry compiled by Chris Adams.
1. Kraft, 34. Author, Denise Farrar, Women’s Ministry Symposium IV: The Women’s Ministries Institute®. Used by permission.