Women Need Each Other

Today’s guest post is by my good friend and fellow The MOM Initiative mentor mom, Lori Wildenberg. Lori is talking about several of my favorite topics: women helping each other, friendships of women, Woman to Woman Mentoring, parenting, and the relationship between Mary and Elizabeth, which I wrote about in Face-to-Face with Elizabeth and Mary: Generation to Generation. Lori is giving away a copy of one of her new books if you leave a comment on this post. I know you’re going to want to read them both and I endorsed Raising Big Kids with Supernatural Love. Enjoy!

Women Need Each Other (Plus a Give-Away)

by Lori Wildenberg

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My friend Kathy has greatly impacted me over the years. Kathy and I met in high school. She got married a few years before I did and had her first child about five years before I had mine. When I had parenting questions, her bigger perspective was so helpful. Yet she wasn’t so far ahead of me that she lacked empathy for my parenting concerns.

She would say to me, “Oh, just think of it. Three is still pretty little,” when I would lament over my child’s lack of potty-progress.

I have always been able to count on Kathy for sound advice.

She is generous with her wisdom. (I eat it up.)

She is a good listener. (I feel heard.)

She embraces confidentiality. (I feel safe.)

She speaks with honesty and love. ( I trust her.)

And I know she prays for me. (I am grateful.)

Gone are the days of neighborhood coffee parties and regular extended-family gatherings (at least for many of us). But women are still wired to need each other.

Mary, after learning she was pregnant with Jesus, went to see her older cousin Elizabeth. Mary needed support and wisdom. Elizabeth provided both.

At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, where she entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear. But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!” (Luke 1:39- 45).

We desire to learn from and to lean on one another.

Recently I spoke to a MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group. In my talk, I encouraged the women to be the mom God designed them to be.

One of the ways this can be done is to find a mentor; maybe a peer with perspective like my friend Kathy or possibly a more seasoned mentor like Mary’s relative, Elizabeth. It’s a biblical concept to have or to be a Titus woman (Titus 2:3-4). I guess that is why mentoring never goes out of style!

As a final thought, to avoid having the mentoring time look more like a gripe session, use a tool to steer your conversation. Of course my co-authored books, Raising Little Kids with Big Love or Raising Big Kids with Supernatural Love are not the only resources out there. But I do believe they are good ones because each book has a companion study guide.

If you are a mom, I encourage you to find a Titus woman or to be one for someone else. It is a blessing for both.

I still count on my friend, Kathy for her sage advice. She’s now a grandmom. I’m not there yet, but when I am, I know who I’m “gonna call.”

So… women, who can you support and encourage? Whom would you like to have support and encourage you?

Leave a Comment for a Chance to Win a Free Book

If you would like to be eligible to receive a free book either: Raising Little Kids with Big Love or Raising Big Kids with Supernatural Love, please leave a comment below mentioning who your personal mentor is (or has been) and how you are better for the guidance she provides.

Lori Wildenberg loves to encourage and support parents in their quest to be the mom or dad they want to be. Lori is a licensed parent and family educator, co-author of three parenting books, speaker, and founder, with Becky Danielson, of 1Corinthians13Parenting ministry (A parent’s one stop shop for all his or her parenting needs). A perfect day in Lori’s world is a hike with her husband Tom, their four kids, and Murphy, the family labradoodle. For more information or to connect with Lori go to www.1Corinthians13Parenting.com www.loriwildenberg.com or visit the 1C13P Facebook page www.facebook.com/1Corinthians13Parenting

 

If this post was a blessing to you, head over to Amazon where you can find more great faith-based and easily applicable tips and information in our newly released books: Raising Little Kids with Big Love (Wildenberg & Danielson) and Raising Big Kids with Supernatural Love (Wildenberg & Danielson).

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Mamas Don’t Take Your Babies to Town

A River Runs Through Garden Valley, Idaho. Picture by Megan Griffith

A River Runs Through Garden Valley, Idaho. Picture by Megan Griffith

If you’ve been following my Monday Morning Blog, you know that I’ve had guest bloggers for the past few weeks while I was on the rode speaking in San Diego, CA and Billings, Montana. In both Southern California and Montana, we combined business with fun and visited with friends and family. I trust you enjoyed the different guest bloggers and the wide variety of topics discussed—all with the theme of mentoring from their experience and expertise.

It’s great to be home and hard at work on a new book, How Good is God? I Can’t Remember . . . Creating a Culture of Memories. If you have a story of forgetting God’s past goodness, and or ways that help you remember His goodness, please contact me for guidelines.

You might be wondering what all this has to do with the title of today’s blog . . . nothing! I just want to say “Hey” and let you know where I’ve been and what I’m up to. But now, let me share with you something that is burdening my heart and does relate to this blog title.

Election Day—The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

This past Tuesday was election day, and I know many of you rejoiced with me when you saw how the conservatives came out in force and let their voice and vote for change in our government be heard. I went to bed thanking God that so many of us took a stand to put into office those we hope will honor and abide by the conservative moral agenda.

That was the good. The bad happened in my own little rural community in our “red” state. For several months, a liberal force was stirring up interest in taking steps to change Idaho law to allow legal gaming, otherwise known as gambling, in rural *Boise County where we live. There was a question on our ballots last week asking if we were for or against this effort. Of the six cities in rural Boise County, five voted to pursue changing the law and our little town of Garden Valley was one of the five. Only 220 votes differed in the total county vote, but enough to give the commissioners incentive to move forward.

As Dave and I traveled through Montana, a state that God created with such beauty and majesty where Dave and I almost moved, we again were saddened at how such an amazing state allowed the marring of its gorgeous landscape by garish and grotesque casino signs and billboards. Returning home, we now discover that our quiet picturesque community with a river running through it might suffer the same ill fate. Here is a picture of our precious town and the surrounding area. What do you think that’s going to look like with a glaring casino sign? Ugly!

God's Beautiful Creation!

God’s Beautiful Creation!

Crouch FranciscoThe Center of Town in Garden Valley, ID is Crouch

Does this look like a good fit for our little town? Naught!

Does this look like a good fit for our little town? Naught!

But it’s not just the marring of God’s creation that’s heartbreaking; it’s the moral degradation that accompanies gambling. They don’t call Las Vegas “sin city” for nothing or coin the term “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.” No, God sees all the drinking, smoking, loss of money, drugs, prostitution, vulgarity, and debauchery that takes place on the strip.

And here’s the saddest part—Satan loves to make sin look enticing, fun, and justifiable so why not make an area of sin—the Las Vegas strip—a “family fun place” where you can bring the kids. Who could find fault with water slides, carrousels, and play areas? Except their surrounded by smoke, excessive drinking, gambling and loss of money, corruption, and risqué shows. It’s like taking a family vacation in Sodom and Gomorrah and we know what God thought about that city.

Or try to justify that gambling and lotteries will bring in money for schools. Really? That’s how we want to fund our schools? There’s no right way to do the wrong thing! And believe me, the owners of these casinos make far more money than a school will ever see.

The Purpose of Gambling is to Make Losers

Don’t gamble on the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, hocking your house against a lucky chance. The time will come when you have to pay up; you’ll be left with nothing but the shirt on your back.

Proverbs 22:26-27 The Message

So back to our little town. The whole purpose of gambling is for the casino to make money—and the gambler to lose. Those big casino owners and backers are not philanthropist wanting to help the community and economy. They are business people wanting to make their fortune off all those gamblers sitting in casinos with blank looks on their faces feeding the slot machines or throwing down chips that represent their family’s sustenance.

Drinking, drugs, robbery, and crime accompany gambling when people lose money, which they will, and get angry or depressed and take it out on those around them or become a danger on the road when they get in their cars drunk, mad, and desperate. The adrenalin that flows during games of chance, gambling, quickly leads to addiction. Our quiet little town has all the potential to be inundated with, as the newspaper put it—a degradation of moral character.

**The Christian Perspective

The Bible calls for Christians to be good stewards of the finances that God has given us. Funding casinos is not being good stewards or storing up treasures in heaven. I don’t think a Christian would want to be sitting at a blackjack, craps, or poker table or a slot machine when Jesus returns.

19 “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. 21 Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.

22 “Your eye is a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is good, your whole body is filled with light. 23 But when your eye is bad, your whole body is filled with darkness. And if the light you think you have is actually darkness, how deep that darkness is!

24 “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.

And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.Matthew 6:19-24 NLT

Some might say, “Oh we go to Vegas, but we never gamble.” Every dime spent there is funding all that happens there. “We must act all the time as if it were day. Keep away from wild parties and do not be drunk. Keep yourself free from sex sins and bad actions” (Romans 13:13 NLV).

Or “It’s just entertainment with discretionary funds.” How could it be entertaining to throw money away with nothing to show for it? I would advise Christians with that kind of discretionary “throw away money” to consider sponsoring a child through a Christian organization like World Vision or helping your church building fund or giving your pastor a bonus. Store up your treasures in heaven.

17 If a bird sees a trap being set,
it knows to stay away.
18 But these people set an ambush for themselves;
they are trying to get themselves killed.
19 Such is the fate of all who are greedy for money;
it robs them of life.Proverbs 1:17-19 (NLT)

Your job is to speak out on the things that make for solid doctrine. Guide older men into lives of temperance, dignity, and wisdom, into healthy faith, love, and endurance. Guide older women into lives of reverence so they end up as neither gossips nor drunks, but models of goodness. By looking at them, the younger women will know how to love their husbands and children, be virtuous and pure, keep a good house, be good wives. We don’t want anyone looking down on God’s Message because of their behavior. Also, guide the young men to live disciplined lives. (Titus 2:1-6, The Message)

Please pray for Garden Valley Idaho. There are still many more steps to change the laws of Idaho to legalize gambling in Boise County, and Garden Valley could opt out even if it passes. Pray that the 50 voters that exceeded the “nay” votes in Garden Valley open their eyes to the travesty this would be for our precious little town. Pray that some would come to know Jesus through the many discussions that will ensue. Pray for spiritual and physical protection for those of us who oppose legalized gambling in Boise County.

Pray for Las Vegas, the Christians who live there, and those who are ministering to the many lost souls on the strip.

Pray for those of us who live in Boise County and want to maintain the peaceful quality of life that drew us to this pristine paradise where we feel safe bringing our babies and grandbabies to town!

*Note: The city of Boise is in Ada County and is not in Boise County. Boise County is comprised of rural: Idaho City, Placerville, Garden Valley, Horseshoe Bend, Lowman, and Mores Creek.

**To read more on a Christan Perspective of gambling, here are two links or do a Google search:

http://www.gty.org/blog/B110522/is-gambling-ok-dont-bet-on-it
http://ag.org/top/Beliefs/position_papers/pp_downloads/pp_4186_gambling.pdf

Also consider that it was the Roman soldiers–Jesus’ killers–who gambled for his clothes, not His followers . . .

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God Given Dreams Do Come True

I hope you all had a blessed Mother’s Day honoring your moms and being honored if you are a mom. This week, I want to introduce to you my friend Stephanie Shott who has a heart for moms and a burden for moms mentoring other moms, one mom at a time. Stephanie is the founder of The M.O.M Initiative where I am honored to be a mentor mom!

As you will read here, Stephanie and I are kindred spirits and share the same passion for women mentoring women according to Titus 2:3-5.

Please welcome Stephanie Shott—

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A God Dream

Has God placed a dream in your heart but you feel like you’re in God’s waiting room? Wondering if your dream will ever come true? Like the Lord isn’t working fast enough and then suddenly everything begins to fall in place?

That has been my story for the past four years; but the tide has turned and I feel like a fly on the wall of my life as I watch the Lord put together the pieces of the ministry puzzle for The M.O.M. Initiative.  TMI LOGO ~ SMALL

The ministry has been in place for two years and the final piece of the puzzle is coming out in July—The Making of a Mom(available for pre-order)—the premier book to work in tandem with The M.O.M. Initiative.

It’s written for moms and also serves as a resource for the church.

A Book for Every Mom

If you’re a mom, I wrote The Making of a Mom to meet you in the messy places of real life motherhood—to lay a biblical foundation for motherhood and to help you embrace the truth that you are deeply treasured by God…that He sees you and He LOVES you. You weren’t meant to make this journey alone.

The Making of a Mom answers the deep questions of a mom’s heart. “Am I enough?” “Will I ever get it right?” “How can I not mess up my kids when I’m such a mess?”

A Resource for Churches

Uniquely written as an in-reach and an outreach resource, The Making of a Mom includes questions at the end of each chapter and planning guides in the back.

The Making of a Mom answers the three questions almost every mentor, ministry leader, and small group leader asks…

1. What will I say?

The questions at the end of each chapter serve as a catalyst for conversation.

2. What will I do?

The venue-specific planning guides in the back of the book provide the tools to mentor moms in your church, your home, and in your community.

3. What will I use?

The Making of a Mom is a dual-purpose book to reach moms who don’t know Christ and minister to the ones who already know Him.

An Invitation to be ONE in a MILLION!

Are you a mom who would like a mentor? Are you a ministry leader who is looking to begin a mentor ministry to moms? Have you been trying to figure out how you can reach your community for Christ? Would you consider the power of missional mentoring?

The ultimate goal of The M.O.M. Initiative is to impact 1,000,000 moms for Christ through the power of missional mentoring. It really is possible! If three moms in half the churches in the United States mentor three other mothers, over 1,000,000 moms and 2,500,000 children will learn how to live Christ-centered lives.

Exciting to think about, isn’t it?

I’m asking women’s ministry leaders to join me in August as we launch M.O.M. Groups and begin reaching moms through the power of mentoring.

I’m asking every mom to tell your women’s ministry leaders about The M.O.M. Groups and join one yourself.

I’m asking YOU to JOIN ME to REACH MOMS for CHRIST in YOUR COMMUNITY!

To connect with The M.O.M. Initiative to reach moms for Christ in your community, please click this link to find out more about how you can help us reach ONE MILLION MOMS for Christ.

We’re Better Together

Oh…and I can’t forget to tell you about BETTER TOGETHER! The Lord not only put the pieces of the ministry puzzle together, but also He did exceedingly, abundantly above all I could ask or think when He connected the dots for our first conference. (He’s really good at exceedingly, abundantly, isn’t He?! 🙂 )

We’re extremely blessed because Janet Thompson is one of the keynotes and she will also be sharing 4 workshops…so you won’t want to miss it!

BETTER TOGETHER is a conference in Jacksonville, Florida, July 31st – August 2nd, where 20 speakers are converging together to share 45 workshops for women of ALL ages and ALL stages of life! It’s a weekend of fun, fellowship, giveaways, and sound biblical teaching you can depend on!

Come be refreshed, refueled, encouraged, and equipped.

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If the Lord has tucked a dream in your heart, I want to encourage you to keep on keepin’ on for Jesus. Don’t give up and don’t give in. He who has called you to it will see you through it.

So, don’t lose heart. The Lord sees your hard work and He who began a good work in you will complete it. Dreams do come true…in His time.

April 2014 import 245

Stephanie Shott and me at our first TMI Mentor Mom Retreat

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What Does Jesus’ Birthday Have To Do With Presidents’ Day?

 

february 22 1732, westmoreland county, virginia, the first president of the united states, george washington

Today is “Presidents’ Day,” but how many of you know which presidents’ birthdays we’re celebrating? If you’re under 50, there’s a good chance you’re stumped because their birthdays are no longer mentioned on today’s calendars.

Ok, if you know the two president’s we’re celebrating today, or the pictures above gave it away, without looking it up do you know the dates of their birthdays? Those days are imprinted in my mind because growing up they were always celebrated separately and we had the day off of school.

On February 12, we talked about Lincoln emancipating the slaves and the tragic loss of a great president when he was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth.

On February 22, we ate cherry pie and talked about George Washington, the first president of the United States, who as a kid couldn’t tell a lie about chopping down the family cherry tree.

I remember the construction paper silhouettes we made in school, and the honor given to each president. Sadly, those two important dates, their birthdays, are now ancient forgotten history.

Combined for Convenience

Until 1971, both February 12 and February 22 were observed as federal public holidays to honor the actual birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and George Washington. Then President Richard Nixon proclaimed one single federal public holiday, the Presidents’ Day, to be observed on the 3rd Monday of February, and everyone rejoiced at having a three-day holiday.

It’s not unusual to celebrate a birthday on a different day than it actually falls, especially for children’s birthdays so they can have a Saturday party with their friends, but we never forget their actual birth date. I know parents who celebrate several siblings birthday together for convenience, or maybe even combine it with a distant relative. Maybe that happened to you . . . and I wonder how you felt about it.

The fall out of “Presidents’ Day” is that there are now generations who enjoy a three-day weekend in February, but have absolutely no idea why they have the day off.

It Only Takes One Generation to Forget

As has happened with honoring the birthdays of the first president of the United States and the president who emancipated the slaves, if we don’t pass down the Christian faith to the next generation, Jesus’ birthday  could also become obsolete . . . forgotten. Maybe not even on the calendar . . . December 25th could become just another “Winter Holiday.”

Easter could become a “Spring Holiday”.

We see this trend every Christmas and Easter when the secular world tries to take Jesus out of the celebration, and it will happen in our Christian world too…families…children…generations to come. . . if we don’t continue to tell the Gospel story of Jesus and His love from one generation to the next.

 Let each generation tell its children of your mighty acts;
    let them proclaim your power.
 I will meditate on your majestic, glorious splendor
    and your wonderful miracles.
Your awe-inspiring deeds will be on every tongue;
    I will proclaim your greatness.
Everyone will share the story of your wonderful goodness;
    they will sing with joy about your righteousness.

Psalm 145:4-7  (NLT)

 

 

Springfield, Illinois at the Abraham Lincoln Museum

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Because We’re Better Together

I’m so excited to be a part of The M.O.M Initiative’s First National Conference and I wanted to share all the details with you. I will be keynoting and presenting four workshops along with many gifted speakers, authors, moms, and grandmas! Following is all the information and please let me know if you’re attending.

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Need to know you’re NOT ALONE? Ready for a fun weekend GETAWAY with your GIRLFRIENDS? Need to be REFRESHED & REFUELED?

Join us at BETTER TOGETHER where 19 authors & speakers CONVERGE in ONE PLACE to minister to YOU with over 40 WORKSHOPS to meet you where you are!

BETTER TOGETHER is a conference by The M.O.M. Initiative, for women of ALL ages and in ALL stages of life!

SOMETIMES…we just need a weekend to laugh together, cry together, and discover you’re not alone in your journey. BETTER TOGETHER is a weekend to connect with women just like you….moms, wives, single moms, moms in blended families, divorced moms, moms of teens, moms of toddlers, grandmas, working moms, stay at home moms, mentors and ministry leaders.

With powerful keynotes from moms and ministry leaders just like you, and over 40 breakout sessions that are taught by experienced leaders and include a wide range of topics such as:

  • When Motherhood Should Come with a Training Manual
  • You Can’t Be 1/2 a Mom (for moms in blended families)
  • Walking Beside Your Child with Special Needs
  • The God Who Sees You
  • Bully Proof
  • Balancing Life and Ministry
  • Fight for Your Family
  • The Making of a Mom
  • Lord, Help My Marriage
  • Building a Top Notch Team
  • Reaching the Hard to Reach Child
  • Nothing Too Broken (Find hope & healing for even the deepest wounds)
  • Godly Girlfriends: The Sprinkles on the Cupcakes of Life
  • Praying for Your Prodigal
  • Lifegiving Hospitality ~ Start Simply but Simply Start (Hands on cooking class)

And MANY MORE BREAKOUTS that will meet you right where you are!

You’ll experience an amazing time of worship with The Journey Worship Band, you’ll learn, you’ll share, you’ll grow in Christ… and as a woman… and as a mother… and as a mentor… and as a ministry leader.

Expect to have fun, meet other moms, find hope and encouragement, and laugh…a lot!

  • Great worship with the live band
  • Lots of giveaways!
  • Late Night Bash with the M.O.M.s on Friday night!
  • Lots of opportunities to shop in the Exhibit Hall!
  • 15 Minutes w/M.O.M. appointments where you can meet a M.O.M.
  • Lots of workshops (over 40) to help you in practical, personal & powerful ways
  • Panel Talk on Saturday with some of YOUR questions answered by the M.O.M. team!

Here are the details:

When: July 31st – August 2nd, 2014

Where: Trinity Baptist Church, Jacksonville, Florida

How Much: Only $49 ($39 for groups of 10 or more)

How: To register or find out more information, visit www.themominitiative.com and go to “Conferences”

Seating is limited so you will want to get your tickets now and invite your friends!

You’ll be empowered, encouraged, refreshed and refueled…ready to fulfill your God-given calling with the confidence of knowing you don’t have to take your mom journey alone.

Don’t miss THE Southeast’s MOM conference of the year, BETTER TOGETHER by The M.O.M. Initiative…

Because we are ALL better together!

So come, BRING A FRIEND and make it a CONFERENCE EVENT FOR THE WOMEN IN YOUR CHURCH or MINISTRY!

CAN’T WAIT TO SEE YOU THERE!

 

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Will You Be My Spiritual “Big Sis”? Guest Post By Pat Ennis

Our guest blogger today, Pat Ennis author of The Christian Homemaker’s Handbook , confirms my passion and mission to encourage churches to be more intentional about applying Titus 2:3-5 in the lives of the women in their congregations. We often think of a mentor as a spiritual mom, but Pat offers the perspective of a mentors being a spiritual big sister—

 

 MM3891 Lo-Res

My commitment to mentoring comes from my early years as a young professional when there was an absence of older women who were willing to lend a helping hand. Many offered criticism, few offered help. I vowed that if I survived, I would be willing to help others on their spiritual and professional journeys. The young women whom I have mentored serve our Lord throughout the world. I love the times when I answer the phone to find one of them on the other end of the line. Their personal visits are always a blessing and their e-mails, cards, and letters often arrive to encourage and minister to me on challenging days. I am looking forward to our reunion in heaven and count it a privilege to be “the older woman” in their lives!

The strategy outlined in Titus 2:3-5 provides the biblical foundation for understanding the mentoring relationship, while the book of Ruth details an example of its application.  However, despite the fact that Titus 2:3-5 is an instruction, not a suggestion, to Christian women . . . few are willing to mentor.  Excuses range from, “I don’t have time” to “no one cares what I have to say”.

A Revealing Survey 

The “Perceptions of Homemaking Study,” which established the foundation for The Christian Homemaker’s Handbook, revealed the twenty-first-century woman’s knowledge of—and ability to perform successfully—life skills commonly associated with the management of the home. In the study, 2,315 respondents completed a 30-item survey. Each respondent could list four skills to complete this statement: The homemaking skills many Christian women lack are. . . .

The 4,599 responses revealed that many younger Christian women lack the homemaking skills of cooking, sewing, organization, time management, hospitality, and cleaning.

Women who would be considered “older women” in their churches (35 and above) comprised 62.9% (1,459) of the respondents. They overwhelmingly replied that they are confident in their homemaking skills. However, as they responded to the open-ended questions, the women expressed concern for the lack of biblical character and practical skills possessed by the younger Christian women (15-34 in age) they encounter.

A Break in the Mentoring Cycle

The results suggest a break in the circuit: he Titus 2:3-5 model is being ignored in our evangelical cycle of women’s ministry. The survey results pose a thought-provoking question: Have the younger women become less teachable or have the older women failed to teach?

Seeing answers, I spoke with the editor of the Biblical Womanhood Blog to discuss how the Titus 2:3-5 passage can be practically applied to a mentor/mentee relationship. A gifted, well-educated young woman in her mid-twenties, she provided some insight to what comprises a meaningful mentoring relationship. She commented that in her opinion a mentor is like having a “big sister” who is willing to make a life-to-life relational investment—nurturing, involved, invested, and a willingness to walk with you through “your journey”.

Probing a bit deeper I asked where the “spiritual big sis” draws the line between being interested and intrusive. I so appreciate her suggestions:

  • Ask questions rather than make demands.
  • Serve instead of control.
  • Demonstrate a willingness to mentor.
  • Be an available voice.
  • Avoid perfectionism. The scriptures challenge us toward excellence. Perfectionism is God’s responsibility. That means the mentor needs to be willing to share her “mess ups” so she doesn’t give the impression she walks on water.

Formal or Informal Mentoring

I believe that mentoring relationships can be either formal or informal and have some practical suggestions for each to share with you.

Formal Mentoring Suggestions

  • Reading and discussing a Christian women’s book together (for example, Lies Women Believe and the Truth that Sets Them Free by Nancy DeMoss, Loving God with all Your Mind by Elizabeth George, or my book with Lisa Tatlock, Becoming a Woman Who Pleases God).
  • Completing a study like Janet Thompson’s Face-to-Face Bible study series, written for mentors and mentees to do together.
  • Reading and discussing a commentary on a book of the Bible (such as Titus).
  • Memorizing Scripture or keeping a prayer journal and then spending time talking and praying together each week.

Informal Mentoring Suggestions

  • Discussing questions raised by the younger woman (regarding relationships, skills, or life experiences).
  • Working on projects together such as planning events or holidays to learn practical skills in management (set goals then work together to accomplish them).
  • Simply spending time together talking and letting the younger woman see your life and family.
  • Sharing your knowledge about practical home management (menu planning, cleaning house, or paying the bills).

Whether formal or informal, “The Seasons of Mentoring Cycle” begin when younger and older women regularly spend time together.

Pat Ennis is a distinguished professor of Homemaking and Director of Homemaking Programs at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas. She is a speaker and author, and her most recent release is The Christian Homemaker’s Handbook with Dorothy Patterson (Crossway, March 2013).

Christian Homemaker's Handbook

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SHINE ON!


In my last month’s newsletter, I asked the question: Today, I think you would agree that the Word of God is shamed, maligned, slandered, reviled, and blasphemed. And my challenge to Christian readers and audiences is this: What are you doing to keep the Word of God glorified, sanctified, revered, and honored?
I received the following inspiring response:
Janet,
Thank you for the newsletter and words of encouragement!!!
What am I doing to honor and glorify God and keep Him in the forefront???
SHINE ON! That’s what!
I have put together a group of women from all over the Treasure Valley [Boise, Idaho area] that meets at a neutral location; we call it SHINE ON, which stands for Share, Help, Inspire, Nurture & Encourage Others Now.
Each month we have a guest speaker who comes and shares how God has worked in her life to grow her through some kind of trial or difficulty. Last month our speaker spoke about how God worked in her life when she learned her husband of 13 yrs had decided he was gay and was having an affair with another man.
They are no longer married and her new husband walks with the Lord and loves her dearly, but in the beginning she thought she could change her first husband and she could control her life, her marriage and her husband. After 5 yrs, she finally gave in and allowed God to work through the shame and the sin to heal her and free her.
Yes, we are talking about the tough stuff here!! Because it is relevant! Little did I know that the gal leading worship that month had a daughter who was living that lifestyle and she had not told any of us because she thought it was an off limits topic in Christian circles. Shame on us! But so freeing for her and another gal who were impacted directly that night. The conversations went on for over an hour afterwards, and I know God used this difficult topic to SHINE ON his children that night!
We also have a guest ministry that we allow to share for a bit each month. Last month is was Destiny Rescue, a ministry that reaches out to those impacted by human trafficking both here and abroad. Another tough topic!
Thank you for your newsletter this month, it is timely and relevant and we DO need to talk about the tough stuff!
In fact, that is the focus of my key topics for my speaking and writing! God allowed my life to be deeply impacted by some very tough stuff and He gave me a voice and a passion to speak up and share with others how God rescued me from some of the taboo topics!
Keep up the great work Janet! I am so thankful to the Lord for bringing you to Idaho! I have desired to have someone like you to hold me accountable even if it is just through a newsletter, for years! Thank you! Please keep it up!!!
Serving Christ,
Raini Bowles

Upcoming month’s event https://www.facebook.com/events/259032330868934/

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