Am I My Sister’s Keeper?

You might answer a resounding “yes!” to that question, if either of the following are true:

  • Younger women, have you ever longed for the relationship of an older (and wiser) female to hold you accountable, to bounce spiritual ideas off of, to pray each other through life’s bumps?
  • Older women, have you ever felt the tug of the Holy Spirit leading you to a younger woman in order to encourage her, to listen to her, to equip her become more like Christ?

This kind of relationship, within the context of the church, is usually called mentoring. Successful mentoring can bridge the multi-generational gaps between women in the modern church.

Why mentoring? Because time has changed the way the church operates.  The early church met in believers’ homes in close proximity to each other. Women, who were primarily homemakers, had scads of opportunities to spend time together, with each’s godly contributions constantly rubbing off on each other. It was a VERY GOOD thing for those women to be in each other’s company.

The word mentor actually comes from Greek mythology. A wise man named Mentor was the guardian enlisted to care for Odysseus’ son while he was away during the Trojan War. Mentor was a friend, advisor and teacher to Telemachus, helping him grow into a noble-hearted, clear-thinking prince.

The word you will find in the Bible that is closest to “mentoring” is “merea.” This word is used a handful of times in Genesis, Judges, Samuel and Proverbs and is typically translated as “companion”(s). The actual word “merea” in Hebrew is a masculine noun that means “trusted friend and companion.”

Robyn Beaubien, contributing editor of http://www.womensministry.net, a site dedicated to the assistance of women’s ministries in the church, explains the role of a Merea versus Mentor this way:

Applied to a “mentoring” relationship, a Merea gives because she has. She does because she IS! A Merea does not feel obligated to serve so can check it off her list of good works for the day. A Merea is compelled by the love of Christ. A Merea is always actively loving and working for the benefit of others, while she herself lacks ‘no good thing’ and is satisfied (Psalm 84:11). A Mentor/Merea knows that before she sees changes in those around her, she must see changes in herself first. She is in the habit of abiding in God’s presence. In essence, we are to admonish one another to ‘be’ before we ‘do,’ and in so being (becoming), we shall be doing.

How about you? Where do you see yourself within this framework?

Personally, I find Christian mentoring a thrilling subject! I’ve been mentored in my Christian walk by godly women and have firsthand seen its benefits. I tend to reside on BOTH ENDS of the spectrum – -I would love to glean even more godly wisdom from my sisters who are further along in the faith than I am, YET  I would love to engage in this sort of relationship with a younger sister, if the Lord gives me the chance–

So, let’s begin a discussion. Write in the COMMENTS section below under this blog post, or respond on Facebook:

 

  •    Where do/would you personally fit in a mentoring ministry?
  •    Does your church presently have a mentoring ministry?
  •    How did your mentoring ministry start?
  •   What were some of the challenges of beginning this type of ministry, if your church has one?

 

Thanks ahead of time for your answers! We will visit this subject more in the future, I’m sure, as God leads and equips more of us to “be our sister’s keepers.”

***Would you pray with me? Father, thank You that You created women’s hearts to love and to care deeply for others. . . You made us nurturers and keepers of the hearth. . . We thank You for the Merea relationships/ministries You have already put together and pray Your continued blessings upon them. . . .Would you show those of us in the beginning stages the if, when, and how (if indeed that time ever comes) of implementing a successful mentoring/Merea ministry?. . . .  We realize that only by much prayer and the Holy Spirit’s leading will this come to pass. . . .and not through our wishes alone.  May it be a ministry supernaturally ordained by You, to accomplish that which You desire. We leave this request in Your hands. . . and will commit to praying eagerly that Your Will be done. May You receive all the glory!  In Jesus’ all-sufficient Name we come, Amen.***

Remember, LEAVE YOUR COMMENTS! We want to hear from everyone, Ladies!

Lookin’ up,