For the past 2 weeks we have been talking about the subject of mentoring. I shared 20 Characteristics of a Life Worthy of Emulating, and What Happens When the Generations Work Against Each Other More Than They Work Together. This week I want to share with you some important things to keep in mind as you are learning from those who are older than you.
I always thought that when I entered the “middle aged” season of life, I’d be much wiser than I actually am. What I am finding is that, rather than looking in the mirror and seeing a strong, wise, confident person, I see a person who has been pushed harder to learn what it means to seek God more intensely on a minute by minute basis. Not a confident person, but a person who has been shown that the only thing worth putting her confidence in is God. If you were to come to me and ask if I could mentor you, my desire would be that you would see me for who I really am.
Here are some things that I would ask you to keep in mind as we spend time together:
- I probably think a little bit differently than you do. We may be from different generations, and I may have a slightly different approach to life than you do, but that doesn’t mean we can’t learn from each other.
- I will probably let you down. Just because I am older does not mean I have it all together. I am continuing to learn and grow. We need to show each other much grace!
- I am facing some of the hardest life challenges. Not only am I facing the adjustment of having adult children, I am also in a season of watching my parents age, and am experiencing physical changes like never before. Just because I am older doesn’t mean that my life is easy.
- I am not your hope. Only God will meet your deepest needs at every level. God knows you better than I ever will. Seek my counsel, but always focus on God. He is your hope.
- It may be hard to schedule time to get together, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to be available to you. I have a home, family and other responsibilities, and I am trying to be faithful to live my calling well. Please be patient with me in the same way you want me to be patient with you.
- I cannot read your mind. I don’t always know what you want or need. Please tell me. I will pray for you, be there as I am able, and do whatever I can to help you practically and spiritually. I will never purposefully neglect you, but I might miss something.
- Getting to know each other will take time. You want me to get to know you, but that will take time. Please take the time to get to know me as well. I need encouragement, friendship, and fellowship just as much as you do. If I seem hesitant to be transparent, it’s because I have learned over the years that I need to be be “carefully transparent”, and I strive to be led by the Holy Spirit, sharing what will be helpful.
- Sometimes I get intimidated or don’t feel like I’m needed. There are times that the younger generation can appear to be self-confident, think that the older generation is not relevant in this day and age, or like they don’t really need the older generation. I need to know that you are interested in getting to know me and that you really want me in your life.
- I may not be what you perceive me to be. It can sometimes feel like we are standing on opposite ends of the room, observing each other from a distance, only seeing each other through the lens of our perception. The scriptures tell us that this disunity will be characteristic of the end of the age. The enemy is using this generational divide, in the church and in families, to discredit the name of Christ. Let’s work together to not let the enemy win!
- We may not have much in common, but we will always have one thing in common! The gospel. We must never forget the Gospel’s simplicity. Focusing on the gospel can cause our differences to fade into the background as we find ourselves sitting beside each other at the foot of the cross.
- My generation has some negative qualities. It can be easy for us to observe each other’s generation and focus only on what we perceive to be negative qualities, but how will I have the opportunity to declare the glory of God to the next generation if this is what I focus on? How will you learn from those in the older generation if that is what you focus on? Let’s purpose not to judge each other’s lifestyle or appearance just because it is different than ours.
- I might get impatient with you. It has taken me many years to reach my current maturity and I still have much to learn. I will strive to see you through eyes of grace, knowing you are in a process of growth and maturity. Please try to see me through that lens as well.
- I really do need you! We need each other to complete the work that God has created us to do. You can ask God to help you to build on the foundation that has been laid, and I can ask God to help me understand new ideas and to be open to trying new things.
Scripture tells us that the Body of Christ is one generation and He desires that we be united in purpose. Let’s focus on God, the amazing things He is doing in each other’s lives, and allow the generational lines to fade as we become one generation – the generation that seeks His face!
**Gina is the manager and mentor at The BoyRaiser Tribe! Details about The BoyRaiser Tribe can be found HERE! Come and join us! We’d love to have you!
**Gina has a newly updated book entitled: “Grace Gifts”. You can purchase your copy at amazon.com!
“As parents we can be tempted to look for methods of parenting, when what we really need is principles. The principles found in “Grace Gifts” can be carried out a hundred different ways. They can actually be custom-fit to your particular family. “Grace Gifts” is a short book, is perfect for busy moms, and is filled with ideas and practical ways that can help your children understand God’s grace. It is one of those books you will want to reference over and over again.“