I was an overwhelmed mom with young children, and was desperately in need of prayer and encouragement. It had been a particularly difficult week and I was feeling alone and weary. After church I walked up to a woman whose children were grown, and asked if I could talk with her for a moment. Fighting back tears my shaky voice emerged. “Would you have time to get together and pray sometime?” “Oh, Gina,” she said. “I am so busy. I’m sorry. I really don’t have time for that. If you email me, I will pray for you.” That was it. She never followed up the conversation to see how I was. She never asked what was going on or how she could encourage me. There was no probing to find out what was going on. Nothing.
As the years passed, I continued to look around for older women I could spend time with. There were very few who were making themselves available. Through that tough season, I collected and read any books I could get my hands on that dealt with mentoring and intergenerational relationships. I was on a quest to learn all I could so that when the time came for me to answer the call, I would be ready.
I now find myself in the “middle aged” season of life. My husband and I have just celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary and my children are grown. I remember imagining that when I entered this season of life I would be much wiser than I actually am. None of what I imagined is a reality. Instead, I find myself in this season having been emptied of all the misconceptions I had about myself, life, and what things would be like at this point.
I often hear from young women that they are looking for someone to mentor them but that they can’t find anyone who has the time. As I reflect back over the years, I can see more clearly what God was doing during those years. Yes, He did provide a few older women who encouraged me and answered some questions along the way. But what I realize now is that much of what I learned came from observing the lives of Godly women, spending time meditating on His Word, and having to daily rely on Him and His strength in order to be faithful to my calling as a wife and mother.
When I read Titus 2, one of the main things that stands out to me is that the older women’s first responsibility is that she should have been, in the past and present, been living an example of godliness and have persevered in her callings. The life she lives should speaks louder than any words she could speak!
Whether you are looking for a mentor, or are in a season of life where God might want to use you in the life of another, here are some characteristics that you can pursue and pray that God would make a reality in your own life.
20 CHARACTERISTICS OF A LIFE WORTHY OF EMULATING:
- Loves, respects, and cherishes her husband
- Loves, respects, and cherishes her children
- Works to make the space she has been given into a home where she can practice simple hospitality
- Celebrates the people that God brings into her home
- Intentionally nurtures authentic friendships with people of all ages
- Chooses to show much grace
- Never gives up on others
- Loves others in the same way that God has loved her
- Weeps with those who weep and rejoices with those who rejoice
- Allows God to interrupt her schedule
- Lives an “others-oriented” life that demonstrates an understanding that life isn’t about her
- Strives to be the best she can be physically, mentally, and spiritually
- Sees what the world might call “imperfections” to be the very things that make her an individual
- Does not allow herself to be pressured into being something others think she should be
- Does not allow what she does or doesn’t have to dictate whether or not she is happy
- Chooses to persevere and seek God in difficult times
- Spends regular time in the Word and in Prayer
- Clings to and trusts in God
- Lives simply
- Makes it her goal to bless and serve others
None of us will live these out perfectly, but we can pray for God to grow us up in all of these things and ask Him to help us see these Christ-like qualities in the lives of the older women around us. May we all be women who mentor others by living faithful lives.
“The most effective mentoring is accomplished when one lives a life that is worthy of emulating.“
**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.“