The Importance of Mentoring Relationships
In a world that seems more “connected” through social media, more and more women are struggling with loneliness. They feel isolated and long for meaningful connections to help them grow in their faith and experience the joy of community.
Since my mid-30s, I have felt a desire to reach out and mentor younger women. While I know I don’t have everything together, I can share the wisdom I’ve learned over the years. However, I’ve never really searched out someone to mentor.
This summer, I was given a chance to read an advance copy of Pamela Havey Lau’s book, A Friend in Me: How to be a Safe Haven for Other Women. Once I received the book, I eagerly read it looking for tips on how to be a mentor.
Lau writes from her own experiences as well as the experiences of other women she’s interviewed, both young and old. She discovered that younger women really want an older woman to mentor them, but surprisingly the older women did not think the younger women valued their wisdom.
Mentoring does not have to be a formal, planned event. It just means you are someone who has gone on the journey before a younger woman and slows down to take the time to walk alongside of her.
Psalm 119:73-80 forms the basis of five patterns to practice in relationships. Lau says women who want to be mentors must embrace these patterns to be effective in their mentoring.
The five patterns are:
- learning to deal with suffering
- giving healing comfort
- acting with understanding
- knowing full forgiveness
- relating with compassion
The book goes into detail how to live out these patterns.
If you are looking for a guide to help you be an effective mentor, I would highly recommend this one.
I personally think it’s important to have mentoring relationships. As someone who is in her mid-40s, I can mentor a woman who is just starting out in life whether she’s just graduated from college, is a newly wed, or a young mom.
On the flip side, though, I still have lots to learn and would love to be mentored by someone older than me. There is much wisdom and knowledge about life, parenting, and marriage that I know someone who is further down the road from me can give.
Now that the subject of mentoring has been brought to my attention again, I pledge to pray and ask God to guide me to the woman He wants me to mentor. I will also pray that He will bring along someone to mentor me.
How about you? Are you in a mentoring relationship? If so, please leave a comment below and share your story.
If you’re not in a mentoring relationship, would you consider praying about becoming involved in one?
Let’s get out there and connect with each other!