Q: I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on how [Titus 2] plays out practically? I’m in my mid-30’s and Titus 2 mentoring is on my heart, but as a homeschool mom my days are busy, and time is the most difficult hurdle.
Also, how would you structure your time together with a younger woman? Do you do Bible Study together? Read through a book? What if the younger woman doesn’t ask questions? How do you know how to guide her? I’ve found that women often sit down and just want you to pour our all your wisdom on them, but it’s hard to know where to start! Thanks for your input!
A: I would say, based on my experience, this is something that plays out in different ways in different seasons with different women.
Short answer: basically, whoever you can learn from now, do it. Whoever needs you to pour into them, do it.
And in some friendships, it’s a continual back-and-forth of iron-sharpening iron.
Some ways it has looked for me (both as the younger and as the older)–
- during nap time, at my house. (During seasons when I’m not newly postpartum, or newly pregnant, this is a time when I know I can devote undivided attention.)
- during a ladies Sunday School or mid-week Bible study
- lunch/meal/coffee together from time to time
- irregular, lengthy phone calls where we dive deep and deal with real life concerns honestly
- do official Bible studies (printed, etc)
- read through a book of the Bible together and study it together
- talking about a particular challenge they’re facing on the fly
- during nap time, at her house (now that my kids are older, this is becoming a possibility for me. I get my little guys settled and then have a short stretch of time where I can go be somewhere else, while my older kids keep things relatively quiet and sane while I’m gone.
- through informal situations like on social media chats
It looks different in each situation. And a lot of it (for me at least) has been informal.
I don’t think I’ve ever maintained an intentional/structured “learning from an older woman” or “pouring into younger women” type situation for longer than a year. That COULD be a function of me moving around so often, but it seems to me that each of the situations (both with me as the younger learner, and with me as the older one) wrapped up organically.
And I also don’t think it has to look really formal, with dozens of meetings and deep Bible studies.
Some of the most impactful women in my life are women who have met with me just a few times, but shared honestly and deeply from their hard-earned wisdom.
If a young woman came and wanted me to “mentor her,” I would probably offer her the 2-4 nap time, once a week, or twice a month.
In our first real conversation, I would try to figure out what specifically she feels like she needs to “get” most right now. That can vary GREATLY from woman to woman.
- One woman wants to learn how to combat her anxiety.
- One never really learned how to study the Bible and wants to do that.
- One is thinking through choices and wants input because she’s seen something in your life and wants to learn from you.
- One is having trouble in her marriage.
- One needs someone to talk about intimacy with, because she’s facing challenges, or working through things that happened to her, and needs a trusted ear.
- One is a pushover as a mom and wants biblical truth spoken so she can change her inclinations and choices.
My point is that I think we can make the most of our times together if we figure out what the pressing needs are, and try to target that.
What does that young mom, young wife, young woman, single gal….whoever she is, what does she most need to know, right now?
Where is she feeling the press to grow in her walk with Christ? Or where is the squeeze? Where is she feeling challenges/struggles?
Being available and willing to go through materials, or a book of the Bible, or biblical counseling booklets, together… that is a real gift to young women. It doesn’t always have to look that formalized, but it might.
I haven’t come up against young women who want to spend time together but then don’t ask questions. But if I did, I would share openly and occasionally turn the tables on them… by asking THEM questions: “so what’s your greatest challenge right now in abiding in Christ in your every day life?” Or, “where are you feeling like it’s difficult to be a disciple?” Or, “what challenges have you been facing lately?” Or, “Do you feel like our time together is benefitting you?” “Is there something you need more right now?”
Flexing your time together to the current needs is a great way for principles and biblical truth go deeper, because when we feel like we need something as humans, we are WAY more likely to put it into practice than if it seems like “just” theory to us.
I wish I had one clear-cut, good answer for you. But in my experience, this has been an ever-shifting, always-flexing type of relationship, rather than a “one-size-fits-all”/this is exactly how you do it, sort of thing.
Friendships with godly women where we learn from one another are valuable and worth the time and intentionality it takes to form them!