The lady doth protest too much, methinks. I had to face the fact that I am older and more mature.
"The combination of spiritual maturity and life-experiences qualify a woman to nurture a younger woman," according to Susan Hunt in her book, Spiritual Mothering. Hunt elaborates, "If you are a Christian woman who is seeking to grow in the faith and to live obediently, then you are qualified for spiritual motherhood." This book helped me realize that God commands me to train younger women, and He equips me to meet a need. With the help of the Holy Spirit, I began to encourage younger women to live for Christ. This concept goes by several names, including spiritual mothering, discipleship and mentoring, and does not require a formal structure. Here are a few things I learned.
I am not getting any younger. As I see my own biological mother aging, I realize that time passes so quickly. This woman who taught me to use a jump rope in first grade can no longer walk. Postponing my role in the Titus 2 mandate is foolish. I need to seek opportunity while I can.
Tell me the old, old story. I can stick to what I know. Younger women don't need me to invent something new. God does not change, and the Bible is still applicable to every situation in the Christian life. I am well-acquainted with sound doctrine, steadfastness and the Word of God, which are mentioned in the Titus 2 passage.
Mentoring women keeps me young. The president of the university where I work said that students are full of fresh outlooks, which is very energizing. I agree. In addition, there are positive aspects of hearing even the most worrisome concerns of a younger woman. Such conversations help me understand current culture better. As a result, I can pray with more insight and resolve when I know what younger Christians face in the modern world.
Age has its privileges. I enjoy good, loving relationships with my adult children. They are supportive, respectful, affectionate and thoughtful. My spiritual children also treat me well. They exemplify I Timothy 5:2 by encouraging me (an older women) as they would mothers.
I am thankful that the Holy Spirit showed me that I have a measure of spiritual maturity and experience in life that is helpful to a younger woman. I am glad to be part of what God is doing in the world. That is one of the positive aspects of getting older.
Note: This is the first of an occasional series about the ministry of discipling/spiritual mothering/mentoring other Christians. You might be interested in: Siri: Find Me a Mentor and Mentoring Goals: Temper the Harshness.