There’s something – indefinable but almost tangible – about certain people that just radiates Christ. It’s as if you can almost sense you’re in the presence of someone who knows God, and you come away with a yearning desire to know Him better too. That’s how I felt when I met Mr. and Mrs. Doty. Mrs. Doty had been my mother’s parenting mentor (the lady she called when I refused to go to bed as a toddler or discovered breaking rules might be fun). I’d heard a lot about her wisdom – the very kind of Christ-centered, biblical wisdom that I so desperately needed as a young woman.
But how would I start up a mentorship? I decided to call up Mrs. Doty and take her out to lunch. I meticulously wrote out a list of questions and brought a little gift for her. It was awkward – I’ll admit it – but I’m so thankful now that Mrs. Doty saw through my self-conscious attempts to build a relationship and recognized what I really needed: a friendship with an older woman who would come alongside me, intercede for me, keep me accountable, and point me to the all-satisfying nature of God Himself. As I’ve learned over the years, mentorship is nothing more than friendship, older women coming alongside younger women and sharing their lives – their struggles, their victories, their pain. We do read books together and I do ask many a question, but I learn far more from watching her life.
For ultimately, mentorship is simply walking side by side through the valleys and mountains of life, Bunyan’s picture of Faithful pointing Christian again and again toward the Cross.
And it is precisely because we younger women have only begun to experience the life-long ups and downs that Titus 2 women are essential in our journey to holiness. They’ve been through the trials, crawled through the valleys, and come out the victors. And we desperately need someone to continually remind us of the big picture, that God is Sovereign and worthy of our steady, unfailing trust.
I am humbled by the many godly ladies whom the Lord has placed in my life, and often, it is these older ladies that I call my closest friends. Women from all seasons of life, from single ladies to young mothers to grandmothers, these are the everyday heroes that continue to inspire me. And most of all, I am incredibly grateful for the mentorship of my mother. Yes, it may not be as easy to look up to someone you’ve spent the entirety of your life with, but no one else knows you well enough to provide counsel, companionship, even comfort. They are your greatest allies in the battle of prayer. We cannot survive this battle without them!
Dear sisters, let me encourage you to be deliberate about finding godly older women to pour into your life. You will never regret it. It does require effort, for our natural tendency is to hang out with peers. However, swallowing our timidity and approaching an older woman in church, volunteering to help a young mother and learning from her parenting, her marriage, her joy, or visiting a retirement home to glean wisdom from the older generation will pay enormous dividends in the kind of woman you will be in ten years. Whom you follow will shape your destiny. It doesn’t have to be complicated or official. But find those women – be it at church, your community, or even long-distance through phone calls and letters – and humbly soak in their wisdom.
They’re cheering us on.