Thursday, 20 December 2012

Responsible Single: Get a Mentor

This is a post I have the pleasure of writing because of the special people God has placed in my life.  I have enjoyed having mentor figures in my life in the last few years that have helped shape me into who I am today.  Some have only been there for a short time.  With others my relationship continues to grow. 

If you're older and no longer single, I want you to listen to what I have to say.  We need you.  I'm often very saddened to see the lack of youth-mentor relationships in the church.  Sometimes the potential mentors in the church are busy with careers, family, young children, or their own life issues and just don't have time to give to spend walking a young person through the issues they face.  It's also not always easy opening up about where you're at and sometimes it's hard to find someone whom you trust enough to be vulnerable with.  Some people are very close to their parents and can share anything with them, but I don't have that close relationship and I have to look to others to take this role in my life.

The mentors in my life would likely not call themselves that.  They're more like friends that are about twice my age.  We don't get together once a week for one on one talks, but they do have me in their home and we share what is going on in our lives or we interact online.  The best mentors in my life right now is a couple from another church.  It's an interesting story how they came to be a part of my life a couple years ago,  through the man writing a book and wanting to sell it in the store I worked in.

The beauty of having this couple in my life is that I know I can trust them, share my struggles with them, receive guidance when making decisions, and when necessary, loving correction. I can trust I will be told what I need to hear, not what I want to hear.  They love me, walk with me and pray for me.  They set an example for me of a beautiful marriage and a godly home.  I feel like they have also allowed me to give back to them and I hope they see it that way too.  One of the reasons it has been such a blessing is that I not only have a woman to share things with, but I can get advice from a man's perspective. Of course discretion is necessary and certainly not everything that goes on in my life is appropriate to share with men, but his guidance has often been very helpful.

A lot of young people rely too heavily on the support of their peers when they're going through difficulties or need advice.  Friends are good and they may make you feel better, but since they're often going through the same things you are and don't have as much life experience, they may not be able to give you what you need to overcome what you're going through.  They may sympathize but not have the courage to correct you or walk with you. 

Sometimes you may have to initiate this mentor relationship.  It is much easier though when a couple shows interest in speaking into your life and walking with you first.  It's easier when you know they care because they do, not because you're asking them to.  I really appreciate it when someone invites me to have coffee with them, and I don't have to feel like I have to twist their arm for their time.

Whatever your situation is, find someone.  Find someone you can trust.  Find someone who won't tolerate sin in your life, someone you can invite to point out your blind spots, but can also trust to do so lovingly and walk with you. The Bible has a lot to say about seeking the counsel and wisdom of those older than you. Allow them to speak into your life and look for ways you can give back to them.  You will be blessed and I also believe that when life gets hard, you will continue to walk in truth.

Next Post: Keep Learning

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