Does Your Child Have a Mentor?

Does_Your_Child_Have_a_MentorI was flattered, truly. Here was a mama entrusting her daughter to my care, asking me to mentor through the process of becoming engaged and married. Unfortunately, what followed was less mentoring and more a mom looking for me to back her up on everything she said. As my own daughters approach adulthood, these memories come to mind and I find myself asking a few pertinent questions. Does my child need a mentor, and how do I go about getting one?

I am by no means a “young mom” any longer but this doesn’t mean I have it all down or that I don’t need guidance from time-to-time. So today I hope you’ll help me out. Because the truth is my experience with mentors is slim. Slim to none. I grew up in a generation that thought older people had nothing to teach us, and the older generation was fed up with us and left us to our own devices. Even within the church, I confess I’ve never had an older lady mentor me. I wish I had.

I always thought mentors were people the Lord naturally brought into your life. People you admired, respected, and thought could teach you something. It didn’t need to be one person who fit the bill. We could obtain mentors for various aspects of growth and learning. One might show us how to be a better wife, while another seemed to have the parenting thing down. We might respect someone’s business and wish to glean from their wealth of knowledge. What mattered most was that our mentors be wise, patient, willing, and Godly.

So here I stand. – Okay, sit. – Wondering what your thoughts are on helping our children find appropriate mentors….

  • Did you have a mentor growing up?
  • If so, how did you find your mentor?
  • Do you consider your parents mentors?
  • Do you have a mentor now?
  • Did you approach your mentor, seeking them out, or did the Lord naturally bring you together?
  • Do you feel your children need outside mentors? (Assuming they look to you first.)
  • Have your growing children expressed a desire for a mentor or naturally found one?
  • How can we facilitate Biblical mentoring for our children?
  • Is it our responsibility to find our children a mentor or their own?
  • What should we be looking for in a good mentor?
  • Should our mentors be older than we are, or merely more experienced?

There are so many fascinating aspects to this discussion, and we look forward to hearing all your helpful thoughts. While it’s obvious we don’t have all the answers to this topic, we’re confident in this… God knows what our children need even more than we do, and will provide if only we ask.

“Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.”
Proverbs 27:17

Your Turn!: Please share your thoughts on this topic, and help others who are seeking answers!

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4 thoughts on “Does Your Child Have a Mentor?

  1. I never had a mentor growing up. I experienced pretty much the same attitude you described above. Adults outsourced their responsibilities to professionals like teachers, then the Government. Once we hit the age of 18, we became the “government’s problem”. Thankfully, I did have mentors from my early 20’s on. One was my pastor, the other two were my senior managers at the place I worked. All three were Christians and took on a role of being a spiritual parent.

    I’m not sold on the whole life-coach deal we have today. I see it as a negative by-product of a post-Christian, post-family, post-Western civilisation era. And it is a product, pick and choose who you like the most. Someone who fits the checklist of a mentor that I am comfortable learning from. The problem with this is that we choose. We’re not confronted by differences as much as we would be by having mentors step up naturally, like a grandparent, Uncle, Aunt, Father, Mother, Christian employer.

    None of those people who traditionally filled roles in our lives are anything compared to the Good Shepherd who promises to mentor us in His ways, inviting us into participation with Him. God, through Jesus Christ, active and present in the Holy Spirit, is the best (and really only) mentor we could want. As Jesus says in Matthew 6:33, ‘Seek first the kingdom of God and all these things will be added unto you.’ In my experience trusting God, even through having to deal with the weight of parental abuse and selfish parental abdication, is the only approach. He will bring people alongside us, as He sees fit. So I pray for my kids and ask that they first seek Him, not their friends and peers (who seem to be the most common mentors); that they seek Christ and allow Him to lead them through any maze they come across.

    I’m thankful for the mentors I had, in hindsight, I can see God’s hand on those relationships. He knew better than me, what and who I needed to learn from.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I was forced to have a mentor for my scholarship, but always felt awkward during the few brief meetings we had throughout the year.

    I felt much more invested in the relationship with my work mentor who I very much respected as having been successful and possessing the knowledge I wanted and needed to succeed myself.

    Based on those two experiences so would recommend allowing the kids to gravitate toward mentors of their own choosing, but maybe helping them meet people who are willing and share common interests.

    Liked by 1 person

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