By Rachel, Contributing Writer
Being a young wife is incredibly joyous but boy, it can be difficult. Can I get an amen?
Why is it so hard? A huge reason is that there aren’t that many examples out there to follow; not that they’re not there, but because getting access to the inner workings of a “successful” wife (and mom) hasn’t always been the easiest thing. It can also be intimidating to ask for help.
Another reason is that too many women who have made homemaking and raising a family their main focus have been made to feel as if they aren’t doing something worthwhile by the world’s standards. That means they are less apt to share their story[ies] and wisdom with other women – they feel like they’re just doing ordinary stuff and that their experiences aren’t applicable or interesting enough to be shared. But they are!
Why you should have a mentor
Throughout the Bible, mentor-mentee relationships shaped the course of history (not to be dramatic or anything). Daniel mentored Nebuchadnezzar and this king of a huge earthly kingdom humbled himself before God. Mordecai mentored Esther who mentored King Artaxerxes, the king liberated God’s people. Jesus mentored the 12 apostles, they mentored hundreds of leaders including Paul, Paul mentored Titus, Timothy, and others. Do you see where this chain reaction is going? The Bible is obviously the source for this information but these helpful folks put together the list above plus a few more.
Many verses also back this up, like Proverbs 27:17 (iron sharpens iron), Psalm 145:4 (commending God’s good works to the next generation), Proverbs 13:20 (walk with the wise to become wise), 1 Peter 5:5-7 (be subject to elders), and, of course, Titus 2:3-5. Many people have unpacked Titus 2 (5,310,000 hits when you google “Titus 2 Woman”) so I’m going to let you dig into that elsewhere.
What mentorship looks like
This is probably the hardest part about mentoring: how do you do it? Where do you find one? Pray.
Yup. Start there. Sounds simple, right? Honestly, your life is full of mentors and you probably don’t even know it. Here’s the deal: this doesn’t have to be some sort of a formal arrangement. It will most likely evolve out of a friendship you already have with a solid-in-her-faith Christian woman who just happens to be ahead of you in some part of life: marriage, motherhood, career, walk with Jesus, etc.
But that’s just a friendship, you say. Then start asking some questions. Observe how she speaks to her husband, how she disciplines her kids, how she runs her household. Ask her advice on things and you’ll probably find that she’ll start including you on things that will help shape you as a wife, homemaker, mama (if you’re so blessed with kiddos). You should also ask her to hold you accountable especially if don’t have that elsewhere. You’d be surprised at the stories that she might share from her past that will encourage you in your own present situation.
Why you should be a mentor (and how to do it)
I’m guessing you’re on this site because you are a young wife (young at heart counts too!) or aspire to be one. You have lessons you’ve learned the hard way and/or you’ve found things that help make your walk with Christ, marriage, and/or motherhood work well. Guess what? Everyone to whom much was given, of him (or her!) much will be required (Luke 12:48). So don’t be bashful. When you have the chance to be a mentor through an existing friendship, take full advantage of that. Encourage her to make better choices than you did (if you’re like me and messed up a lot) or to follow your example. Pray for and with her. Be intentional about spending time with her. You’re not trying to make her a mini-you…you’re letting God show Himself to her through your life.
My own mentor/mentee journey
Two women in my own life have acted/still act as mentors and I’m pretty sure they don’t even know it. Both of them I met while we worked together at a summer camp for abused and neglected children – you could tell right there they were women worthy of following (and not just on Pinterest!). They started including me in their lives to varying degrees and I got to watch their marriages as they started having children, transitioned careers, and navigated day to day life as Christ followers.
I had housecleaned and babysat for Mihkai throughout college and 2 weeks after we got married, she asked if my husband and I would like to join their marriage Bible study. I was intimidated and scared but we decided to go for it and our marriage is stronger than it ever would have been if she hadn’t sent that simple email. Every time I cleaned their house or babysat, I would think to myself, “I want to be a woman like her,” because of their wedding vows kept printed out on their fridge, the love and logic parenting notes they kept printed over the sink, and the babysitter binder that was always ready if I needed it. What a great example! And then she invited us to share in it with them.
Sasha also has led by example in many of the same ways as Mihkai – I’ve gotten to observe how she keeps her home in order, how she prioritizes time with her husband and children, and how she keeps Christ at the center of everything she does, big or small. Recently, she invited me to her home for an informal chat with a woman she looks to as a mentor. There were several women there, all of them with kiddos much older than mine (9 months!), so they talked a lot about homeschooling, sibling issues, living out faith at home, etc.
I asked Sasha why she invited me and she replied, “It will be here before you know it and I wanted you to start getting prepared now.” She’s not a formal mentor but she sees that she saw an opportunity to speak into my life as a Christian, a woman, a wife, and a mama and she took it.
Who is already in your life that could be a mentor to you? Who could you mentor?