Tag Archive for Titus 2 mentoring

Getting Help {Ministry Wives Series}

We’re continuing our Ministry Wives (MW) series where I try to answer your questions about ministry life. Last week we talked about difficult friendships. This week, we’re answering a frequent question: “Where do I go for help? Who’ll mentor me when I struggle?”

I’ll tell you what I’ve done and hopefully it will give you some ideas.

It’s pretty much a universal truth that none of us feels like we completely know what we are doing. When we struggle with sin, embarrassment can keep us from getting help. See, we know the right answers, but sin has a way of deceiving and entangling everyone. We can either fake it and take the bull by the horns not knowing the damage to us or others, or we can admit we don’t know and ask for help.

finding help

We are all just all sinners at different stages of sanctification. Pretending to have all the answers or living like we are “above” getting help is not only proud, but it puts people off—the same people who can see clearly that you don’t have all the answers and the same people you try to encourage to get accountability for their struggles. Integrity and truth are your bff’s in ministry.

We are all just beggars at God’s grace table along with everyone else. We’re all dependent creatures, held together and breathing the air of our Sustainer God. Any time we take ourselves out from under that place of dependence, and place ourselves in a position where we believe we have no need, or worse, where we think we have it all together, we are in trouble.

Here’s what I’ve seen and heard from the MWs I talk to. We avoid going to people who could judge us for help. We head to self-help books or commentaries, our spouse, or our mother. Although these all have their place and can be good things, I do think they have drawbacks.

  1. Books allow us to hide. They never look you in the eye and ask heart-probing questions about our sin or blind spots. A book doesn’t gently tell you that your attitude is wrong and your spirit, sour. Books let us skirt the issues reading what we think we need. There’s no uncomfortable confrontation with a book.
  2. Spouse. Until death do us part. For better or for worse. Our spouse is safe and isn’t going anywhere and we know this, so we ask him. Our spouse is resigned to our quirks–sometimes even our sin. He may, for the sake of peace, avoid confrontation and just listen to you vent. It’s almost hard to gauge whether he can see clearly through the situation because he’s so close to it.
  3. Mother. “Mother love” blinds us to our own kids’ bad behavior, therefore, when we need help with a struggle against sin, Mother is probably going to be too soft with us.

Taking advantage of a variety of counselors helps us to see our potential, and brings us face to face with our failures so we can deal with them. Though painful, it’s good because we don’t want our testimony to be a stumbling block to others.

One of the biggest challenges is finding “the woman” to mentor us.

It’s like we’re looking for superwoman–the one person who has it all together in all areas of life. Mary Poppins would be nice. Obviously, that person doesn’t exist.

Instead, look around and notice excellence. I look for a woman who has ONE excellent quality that I want to emulate. If she also has the character qualities I mentioned in the last post, namely the ability to keep her mouth shut…keep her counsel and not gossip, I’ll ask her to help me out. :)

I’ve sought counsel for writing, bible study, counseling, organization, health, parenting, marriage, etc…

Most recently I asked for help for weight loss.

A few months back I had a physical and the doctor told me I had gained 15 pounds in the last 8 years. Disturbed, I called my friend, Toni, who is a health coach. You might remember her from this post, Missionary Wives Speak: Have We Lost Something?

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In her sweet, unassuming way, she asked me a battery of questions about my eating, sleeping, and exercise habits and I have to tell you, my eyes were opened to several glaring problems with my weight loss struggles. For one thing, I don’t get enough sleep. I also skip meals when I am busy with the kids, reeking havoc to my metabolism. Just these probing questions were enough to help me correct several issues. (If you want to contact her, her email is tonihealthcoach@gmail.com . She’s super helpful and just a lovely person!)

All this to say, don’t be afraid to ask help from the people who really can help you and won’t be too soft on you.

Side note:

I think it’s very interesting that “Life Coaching” is an exploding, trendy industry in 2016. If you’ve not heard of life coaching, it’s a wonderful blend of consulting, mentoring, and therapy that focuses on practical, everyday stuff.  The Harvard Business Review reports that Life Coaching is a $1 Billion/year industry. The three most popular reasons people hired a life coach:

  1. to develop higher potential in their personal life
  2. for a sounding board
  3. address their negative behavior/habits

In our isolated world where a blue screen frequently replaces face to face friendship and interaction, people are going back to what they know works: mentoring and discipleship in all areas of life.

This is exactly what Titus 2 prescribes! Women, helping women. The older, helping the younger. The more experienced and excellent helping those who want to learn. Walking life with others. Isn’t it great that God knows exactly what we need and tells us how we work best? Life Coaching is a Biblical concept that works!

I know you’ve probably had bad experiences with people who shared your struggles or who talked about you behind your back. Don’t let that stop you from getting help to better yourself, and don’t let a negative experience push you into a life of isolation and fear. We really need to let go of the fear of man, and instead live for an Audience of One who calls us to a holy lifestyle. Maybe your humble desire to grow and change will be the catayst for change and growth in your church? Maybe your life will encourage others to seek God more passionately.

“Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counselors there is safety.” Prov. 11:14

“A wise man will hear and will increase learning. And a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels.” Prov. 1:5

“Without counsel purposes are disappointed; but in the multitude of counselors they are established.” Prov. 15:22

“Thy testimonies also are my delight and my counselors.” Ps. 119:24

If you are still struggling to find help, pray. I’d be happy to pray for you, too. Ask God to guide you. I know He’ll guide you to the people and resources you need.

Where Are The Titus 2 Women? – Part 2

For whatever reason, Titus 2 mentoring brings a mix of emotions.  Fear and insecurity, on the part of the older women, and frustration on the part of the younger women, who are wondering why all of the older women are MIA.

I received a lot of feedback on my article “Where Are The Titus 2 Women” and I am hoping to answer some of the questions that seem to be plaguing you.

So, several thoughts.

You are older than someone. Think of it in terms of young children. Your eight year old learns to tie their shoe and in turn teaches your five year old the same skill. They don’t know much but they teach what they know.

You don’t have to teach everything. Nobody expects you to be a walking Biblical encyclopedia or the next Martha Stewart. But you can teach them something. Whether it is to rely on Christ and point them to Him, or to  teach them to pray. When you are going through hard times, just watching a Biblical response to trials and fear is the best lesson you can pass along.  Domestically, you can teach whatever you are good at: baking, crafting, floral arranging, etc…

Teach them that God is sovereign over their life, even if it looks different than yours.  I have two teenage daughters and I am training them that God is sovereign. I am not training them to be “mommys”, or to be a wife, although those things are important. There are no guarantees that they will marry, or be able to have children. Training them to this “lesser” goal is doing them a disservice. I am training them to do whatever God puts in their path  for and to His glory and with the goal of furthering His Kingdom.  I think it is short sighted to train with any other goal in mind, and that you could actually set your child up for disappointment by training for something that is not a guarantee in this life. When I wake up in the morning, before I climb out of bed, I pray and thank God that he is in control and welcome whatever He brings into my life this day, good or bad.

Teach them what scripture teaches, and no more.  The best lesson you can teach your sister is to trust in God and to seek wisdom from Him on areas that are  “indifferent” in scripture.  Teach her to balance her liberty in Christ with self denial. What you may be able to practice without indulging your flesh (keeping your flesh at bay/self denial), your younger sister may not be able to practice.

We cannot go beyond what Titus 2 teaches, and add our own rules.  Scripture teaches that young women should to keep their homes, but it does not say by word or in example that they can never work outside the home. I have seen two opposite extremes of this view played out: on one hand to neglect your homes and to never care for it, and on the other hand to proclaim that women are “queens of their home” and that this is where they should always be.

We are to train them to be the best help that they can be to their husbands. Sometimes this involves working to help with finances, or working to help a husband get through seminary.  It means that we care well for our family, as unto the Lord, like everything else we are to do in life,  so that God’s word will not be evil spoken of. (Examples in scripture would be Ruth, Lydia and the Prov. 31 women.)

But for the most part, just being an encouragement and listening ear is a great place to start.

If you are lacking older Christian women, pray and then start by get advice from books. (see my Titus 2 resources)

If you are looking for a younger woman to encourage, begin by asking her to come to lunch or by offering to watch her children so she can get some errands done. Be helpful and start by building a relationship. God will bless your efforts to bless her!