I had four children under five years of age. I needed as much help as I could get and I knew it! It was important that I got advice from people who were a little older, a little wiser, and had done it well–not perfectly, but well. We all need mentors. Whether it is for parenting, business, marriage, finances, physical health, or spiritual growth, we should all be seeking out people who can help instruct us, love us, and encouraging us to be all that we were created to be. John Crosby said, “Mentoring is a brain to pick, an ear to listen, and a push in the right direction.” I am blessed to say that my mama has been my biggest mentor. She is an incredibly Godly woman who gives the best counsel in the Kingdom. But she only had two kids and never worked outside the home; so when I had four kids and started to teach, I also sought counsel from someone who was in similar shoes. Mentoring looks different in various situations. It can last a season or a lifetime. It can be formal and planned, or more spontaneous and messy. I knew a woman who had five kids and she talked with me about discipline and schedules. She spoke of the importance of making time for my husband, and how to have a daily quiet time with all the crazy that life becomes when you have little ones. We only went to lunch once; most of her time with me came after service while I was trying to wrangle my unruly children and listen to her at the same time. Some of the best mentoring comes when you are just doing life and you invite them in to do it with you. Mentoring around a table full of good food while navigating highchairs and bedtime and meltdowns can be life changing when someone comes along side you and speaks encouragement right to your weary soul.
About a month ago I had lunch with a precious mama, Alexis, who is several years younger than me and has four small children. I tried to encourage her with what a fantastic job she is doing and told her stories of how great it is when your children grow up and you get to see the fruit of your labor in their lives! Alexis is in the trenches, and I represent someone who has survived those days that she thinks on occasion might take her under. I can encourage her and pray with her and help her navigate some things in life that I endured. The next week, Alexis took my college-aged daughter, Sarah, out to lunch. They talked about school and relationships and how to continue to own and grow in your faith. Alexis’ words were life-giving to Sarah. The following week Sarah was playing with Alexis’ little girls and encouraging them about how awesome they were and how to be a good big sister. It was such a sweet picture of how someone who is just a little past where you are living can relate to where you are and give encouragement for where you are headed. The Bible shows how Paul and Timothy had a great mentor/protege relationship. You should always have someone who is a little older than you who is mentoring you and have someone a little younger than you who you are helping to mentor. Everybody should have a Paul and everybody should have a Timothy.
Being a good mentor does not mean that you have all the answers! The goal of mentorship is for you to see the potential in them and help them reach their goals. Sometimes you just need to identify with them and say I believe in you and I will pray. Zig Zigler said, “A lot of people have gone farther than they thought they could because someone else thought they could.”
Being a good protege or disciple means being teachable! Seek out someone that you see is doing something right and is a little past where you are in life and be vulnerable enough to ask them to mentor you. It can make all the difference in how well you navigate this life.
Hebrews 13:7 says, “ Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith.”
Primary Education Principal
Logos Preparatory Academy
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