Do you have a mentor? Do you have someone that you are currently mentoring?
People often ask me how important are mentors? My answer, very important.
The concept of mentorship is nothing new. Even though the titles have changed over time, the practice has been around for as long as we know, and for good reason!
A mentor’s goal is to help you take the next step with confidence. The best form of mentoring exists without the expectation of what the mentor might get in return.
Over the years I have had several mentors; they have been women I have both observed, listened to, and witnessed the results of their work. Whether it was for professional development, gaining business savvy, learning to be a wife and mother, or maintaining overall balance in life, they were there for me freely sharing their insight, knowledge and wisdom.
Each of my mentors have this common motive: to listen, encourage, and share their knowledge with me (without expectation or hidden agenda). They impacted my life forever, and consequently the lives of my children.
To this day I do not believe they fully understand what they did by being available. The wisdom of older women is greatly needed.
For example, many years ago when I was a newly married wife and mother, three ladies took me under their wing. We did not have formal mentoring sessions; instead, most of what they taught me was in the midst of just living life. These ladies would invite me over for lunch or dinner to visit.
God used our time together to learn how to be a loving wife and a patient mother who understood the powerful influence a woman has on her family and community.
As I look back I see how silly some of my thoughts were but I was never made to feel that way. You see, a mentor isn’t in the business of fixing you. For they are wise enough to know they themselves haven’t got all the answers. I liked that.
A good mentor points you to scripture. For all our answers are found in God’s Word, sometimes we just need someone to help unpack some of those truths so we can grasp the concept. Whether you are talking about business, family, and finances or finding balance, mentors can really help you make wise decisions.
This sweet lady did more to impact me than any book I ever read. Although our time of living near each other only lasted three years, I will forever be grateful for her investment in my life. This photo was taken 25 years after we first met, and she is still an inspiration to me. Her ability to balance being a designer while never slighting her family is something I’m in awe of.
So, how do you go about finding a mentor? Well, here are a few things to do:
- Pray for God to bring someone to mind.
- Look around for someone who has actually lived what they would teach. If they haven’t really traveled further than you, then I say, be careful. If they are still practicing then they haven’t really gained the experience necessary to really be a mentor.
- Consider if what you see is in sync with what you desire. This is very important. I’m not talking about being a mirror image but find out if they have the same values and priorities that you have.
- Do they have the interest in mentoring you? Being a mentor is an investment. When I decide to mentor someone I know I have to set a block of time aside so we can get together consistently.
- Look for a humble person. We all know life is messy and at times down right hard. A mentor is not someone who is perfect. They’ve just lived long enough to come out on the other side. Mentors are not people who try to fix you or tell you how to do everything right. That really isn’t a mentor. That is a consultant. Those are two very different things.
- Find out if they will be committed to pray for you. The power of prayer cannot be underestimated. I know my mentors faithfully pray for me.
- Make sure they can be trusted. A wise woman is not a talebearer. Your fears, struggles and dreams can rest safely with her.
Recently I had the privilege of speaking to a group of women at a Mom 2 Mom gathering. These ladies meet every week with a mentor and discuss various topics such as parenting, meal planning, finances, relationship building and marriage just to name a few.
My purpose was to cast a vision for life and family. Knowing where God is leading enables you to navigate the many decisions a woman has to make.
If you are a younger woman I encourage you to seek an older woman to come alongside you in your journey. And if you are an older woman prayerfully consider setting some time aside to help moms in the trenches of life. Women need others who have navigated the storms of life.
The concept of mentoring is a selfless, life-giving act of love. Let’s purpose to find time to help each other become stronger women. Women who influence our culture.
For more on Mentoring I invite you to listen to the podcast I did for Rejoicing Daily with Rebecca Brandt.
I invite you to subscribe to my blog where you will find more posts on encouragement and wisdom.