- Have you ever felt frustrated with the next generation of women?
- Do you question whether they are serious about their walk with God?
- Does it appear as though they don’t want to be Godly wives and mothers?
- Do you have a burden for wanting to help these women live the life that God has for them?
If you said “YES!” to any of these questions, then read on …
Here’s a secret — your perception of the situation may be entirely wrong! In fact, I can pretty much guarantee that it is.
You think I’m crazy, huh? Well, I might be (for entirely different reasons), but hear me out. To explain myself and my thinking, let’s take each of these questions one at a time and break them down. In order to get some basics down, I want to start with the last question.
Do you have a burden for wanting to help these women live the life that God has for them?
I have to assume “yes” because you’re reading this. This burden or desire is called “mentoring” or “teaching/training”.
Titus 2:3-5 says this –
“Similarly, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.” (NIV)
This is really what we’re talking about here! Unfortunately, “mentoring” congers up negative thoughts and feelings for both the mentor and the mentee.
For the mentor, it’s because they don’t feel qualified. There’s a feeling that they need to be perfect or an expert in order to teach someone something. Mentors think that they shouldn’t have failed at anything because how can you teach if you failed and/or made mistakes.
For the mentee, it’s because they are concerned that the mentor is going to pull out a book that they want to go through in order to “teach” them. They just don’t have time for that (more about that later). They don’t want “bible answer woman” who appears to never had made a mistake or struggled with anything.
Do you see the pattern here? They don’t really want what we’re afraid we’re not!
According to Sue Edwards and Barbara Neumann, authors of “Organic Mentoring: A Mentor’s Guide to Relationships With Next Generation Women“, these women “are not looking for a mentor to “teach” them as much as a mentor who will share life with them”.
That sounds so much easier, doesn’t it? We are all living life! They just want to live it together. They would like us to be transparent, be real, admit our mistakes and what we learned from them so that they can trust that what we say is truly from the heart, from God’s word and will allow them to learn from what we’ve already done (or haven’t done).
It’s really quite easy.
Have you ever felt frustrated with the next generation of women?
I have! They are “busy being busy”, right? Absolutely! Referring again to Sue Edwards and Barbara Neumann, this younger generation were “raised to be busy people“.
They “… spent their early years in minivans with signs announcing “baby on board” … mothers who doted on them … fathers who attended their births and coached their Little League teams.”
“Were told “You are special” and “You can do anything”…constantly hovering parents insisted kids receive trophies just for showing up.”
So how do you engage with these women?
First of all, be flexible. She doesn’t have time for the meeting once a week and going through a book. She wants to meet when she has some time between activities or commitments and that isn’t necessarily a “regular” time each day, week or month. She wants to be able to call when she wants or needs to and has some time.
That doesn’t mean that you have to drop everything at a moments notice BUT it does mean that you need to be flexible enough to work around her schedule.
Second, be yourself … be real … be natural. They want honesty, transparency, and openness. They want to see your emotions. They “believe it is more important to be yourself than to make a good impression”. (Organic Mentoring)
Third, be understanding. Understand that the world she lives in is different than the one that you grew up in and live in. Be willing to find a bridge between those differences. The needs, wants and desires are the same BUT how it looks in real life is different. Focus on what’s the same and not what’s different!
Do you question whether they are serious about their walk with God?
Many are “lukewarm” about organized religion … it appears to be stuffy and out of date or they have been “burned”. This perception of organized religion makes them appear to be disinterested but they are very interested.
These women long to be women of God, to find a meaningful life, and connect with God. They want to experience the living God — they are hungry for Him!!
BUT, for them, this doesn’t come from regular church attendance, tithing, attending a bible study, conference or workshop. They want to learn these things from everyday, ordinary people who will get “messy” with them.
Does it appear that they don’t want to be Godly wives and mothers?
Households today can look so much different today than in the past. It isn’t uncommon for both men and women to work outside the home. Or perhaps the man even stays home while the woman works.
This doesn’t mean that they don’t want to be Godly wives and mothers. It just means that it might look different than you’re used to. These women don’t want to feel judged — so don’t judge them. They don’t want to feel like they “don’t get it” — so don’t make them feel that way. Again, bridge those differences with kindness and understanding! Help them navigate this christian walk.
To sum it all up –
Young women want someone to live life with them, not “bible answer woman”.
Be flexible, real and understanding.
Life is messy – so get messy!!!
Bridge differences with kindness and understanding. Walk this walk with them!
There is such a need for women of all ages and generations to unite in Christ!
My heart and mind have been contemplating this multi-generational thing for several years. God has laid on my heart to ACT. After reading “Organic Mentoring“, I’m praying about doing some training, encouraging, support, etc. If you think that it may be something that you’re interested in learning more about … delving into how to live out Titus 2 … let me know.
REMEMBER – live life and get messy!!!
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