I believe mentorship/discipleship relationships are so important. For young women and new mothers, it is so crucial to have the support of grandma/older women to guide, encourage, and equip them during what can be a very challenging season of life.
In my recent Quietness post, I encouraged women to find/become a mentor for mutual encouragement and edification. By request, I am following up with that topic.
During my physical therapy appointments (for postpartum healing) last year, my therapist wholeheartedly encouraged me to seek assistance in my daily life. She explained that in years past, the family unit typically included the close presence of grandmas, aunts, etc. who would assist new moms following childbirth (for months/years, not hours or days!).
It was so important for these women to assist the mother by regularly holding and helping care for the new baby, a fussy toddler, etc., in order for the mother to fully recover from childbirth and find opportunities for rest. They also helped teach her important skills and truths as she encountered new seasons of life.
Living in a community near other family members, made it simple to help each other. Much of our society has drifted away from this close-knit family/community model, and women often leave a hospital the day they give birth- going home to little (or no) support!
So many of us tend to do “too much too soon,” such as wearing a fussy newborn, while preparing dinner, and juggling a toddler’s needs- just weeks following childbirth! Occasionally, this is necessary, but I was doing this type of life 14 hours a day, 3-4 days a week while my husband was at work. It’s no wonder my recovery from childbirth was so slow!
Since moving to a small community to be close to family, I have enjoyed the incredible blessings of their support. I don’t expect them to be constant babysitters, but I love having a relationship with these incredible women, as well as appreciating their assistance with my little ones.
I have also enjoying creating new relationships with other women in our church family, in addition to my relatives. So many women have a wealth of wisdom and spiritual gifts to share- but they haven’t been asked!
In being authentic and vulnerable with women around me, I have gained so much. In our conversations and daily life, these women have offered encouragement, biblical insight and testimonies, and practical advice for homemaking and parenting.
I encourage you to pray over pursuing a mentoring/discipling relationship, and ask God to impress the name of someone upon your heart. If you do not have family close by, you may be able to find someone in your church or neighborhood. Depending on the season of life you are in, your needs will vary.
Think about what you are hoping for in a mentoring/discipling relationship. Are you wanting to walk through a Bible study together, spend time praying together, or seeking encouragement and teaching in life tasks/skills (such as sewing, baking, childrearing, etc.)?
Are you a “golden age” woman, with generational experience to share with young women (and some free moments to cuddle little ones)? Are you a younger mother, in the midst of raising children and blessing your husband? Are you a young maiden, seeking God’s will for your future? You were not meant to walk this journey alone.
As women, we can spiritually and physically support each other. I have not yet met a women who was offended when I approached her, suggesting a mentoring/discipling relationship; most were “flattered” and felt appreciated!
As you enter into conversation, share from your heart. Let this woman know your heart’s needs and desires. The initial conversation may be “awkward,” as it is stepping into a new avenue of life. But it will be good. Please do not let shyness or embarrassment prevent you from seeking this rewarding relationship!
Pursue a schedule for meeting that works for both of you; let her know you are flexible as you develop a routine together. Depending on your schedule/location, you may meet once a week or once a month (or somewhere in between). You may want to schedule a time to get together alone (away from the children for an hour or so), or you may want to share in daily life in your home as you minister to each other.
Continue to seek God’s will for your relationship, and allow Him to work in you and through you. You will be blessed. Please do not think “But I have nothing to offer!” or “I would be such a burden!” These are lies. God has created you uniquely, and is working in your life in incredible ways.
God created us to live in community (it is not good to be alone!), and we need to seek out opportunities to meet together. When you meet together, He will be there with you; focus upon doing God’s will, and He will work out the details.
Are you currently in a mentoring relationship? I’d love to hear your thoughts and suggestions! If you have a mentoring experience testimony, book suggestion, or question, let me know in the comments, so that we can compile resources for other readers.
For more Works for Me Wednesday ideas, visit We Are THAT Family.