Mentorship for men doesn’t happen in a vacuum. I’ve seen and experienced over the years in men’s ministry that women are often involved in men’s mentoring in unsuspecting ways:
1. In being an unsuspecting mentor to a younger guy.
You might just be an unsuspecting mentor to a young man without realizing your impact. Our newest team member, Kaden, had such an experience, and he’ll be sharing some of his story in an upcoming podcast.
As an early teen, he went through a time of acting out against his parents and the values they had instilled in him. His behavior disqualified him from leading at a camp he wanted to work at that summer, but his parents connected him with the director of a different camp.
That camp director’s name is Bonnie. She took a chance on Kaden that summer and allowed him to work for her. Bonnie knew exactly what he was doing, but she set high expectations and expected him to meet those standards. She also had sons who influenced and impacted his life that summer too. Kaden credits that time as a turning point. The impact Bonnie made on his life is ongoing and far-reaching. Who knows? He might not be here today if it wasn’t for Bonnie and her sons.
2. In working together with their husbands to mentor younger couples.
Pastors and their wives often work together with couples in their church to encourage and disciple them, but you don’t have to be a pastor to do that. Whether by leading a small group together or having coffee regularly with a couple to pray with them and share what you’ve learned, you can find ways to work together with younger couples. Need a few ideas to get started? FamilyLife offers several marriage and parenting studies for small groups.
3. In supporting their husband’s desire to mentor younger husbands and making it possible for him to do so.
From a men’s ministry perspective, I know wives can be a catalyst and an encouragement to a husband looking for ways to invest in younger men. From a husband’s perspective, I know that encouragement from a wife can be the boost a guy needs to go from feeling led to do something to taking action to do it. And often, it’s his wife who can facilitate an environment to make it happen.
We shared the story of Ben and Jenna, A Couple on God’s Assignment, who are an example of this scenario. After listening to The Noble Man Podcast, the young couple opened up their home for a group of college-age military guys to pursue accountability and sexual integrity. Jenna was instrumental in making it happen and providing a safe environment for the guys.
The more, the merrier when it comes to godly examples in our kids’ lives. I’ve often shared how our son Ben participated in a men’s small group several years ago. He was an early teen, and the rest of the men were probably over 50. Yes, he learned more about colonoscopies than your average 15-year-old, but he also learned more about godly living. Intentionally connecting our sons with other godly men is an invaluable tool in raising them to become godly men.
5. In mentoring younger wives to “love their husbands and children.” (Titus 2:4)
When we think about mentorship for women, we think about Titus 2.
“Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.”
Titus 2: 3-5
I’m not going to call anyone an “older” woman, so let’s just say “older than.” Are you “older than” another lady who could use some encouragement in any of these areas? Just as we have been encouraging men to seek out a younger man to look for opportunities to mentor, Paul gives the same exhortation here to women with specifics.
I’ve seen Stacy invest herself in other women, though maybe she wouldn’t formally call it mentorship. Recently, she’s been investing in women through leading a book study in our home and another one at our church. She’s investing in other wives and moms. I don’t think we can fully realize the impact on the entire family when wives are learning from more experienced, wise women.
From a husband’s perspective, a dad’s perspective, and a men’s ministry perspective, I want to shout out to you ladies for your role in mentoring. And I want to offer encouragement to look for these ways you can jump in and participate.