Women often ask me to mentor them in their marriages. The marriage road has been rocky for us – we’re the first to admit that – but we keep at it with persistent determination. These women know I will be honest with them, and that I will challenge them. But I will not ask them to do things I am not willing to do myself.
Mentors are not preachers, and are more than just teachers. Mentors are those who are willing to live honest and vulnerable lives, sharing both the good and the bad. They need to be willing to listen to the stories that need to be told and give encouragement. But it can’t stop there.
Mentors need to give direction, speak frankly and be honest about the state their mentee is in. A mentor who applauds poor behavior in an effort to encourage is doing more harm than good. When she refuses to challenge sin in an area of her mentee’s life, she has compounded the problem and become part of it.
There are times and places to be silent, for sure. And we want to make sure we are giving only a little bit to work on at a time. Overwhelming someone with changes they need to make is not productive. But neither is avoiding delicate issues.
Before you agree to mentor someone, be sure you are on track with God. Your time with the Lord is paramount. Without the power of the Holy Spirit moving in you and giving you wisdom, anything you say, any exercises you assign, any stories you tell will be wasted. Unless you are fully submitted to Jesus Christ on a daily basis, you will not be in a position to challenge a sinful lifestyle or attitude.
“How can you think of saying, ‘Friend, let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.” (Luke 6:42, NLT)
Carla Anne Coroy