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Choosing a Christian Mentor
The Attributes of a Good Spiritual Mentor
When choosing a mentor, it is preferable that you chose a person of the same sex as you are. This should eliminate any misunderstanding that could later arise from a young single woman confining in an older man. Also, generally experienced people of the same sex as the protégé can relate to whatever the circumstances the younger person is experiencing.
The Apostle Paul has some explicit qualifications for Christian Mentors. This is not a job for the novice or a young person. Paul first states in Titus 2:2 that the older man should meet certain criteria before mentoring a younger man.
The older men should be:
- Sound in Faith
- Sound in Charity
- Sound in Patience
Let us briefly explore each qualification and the impact they can have on a young Christian man.
The Christian Mentor: A Righteous Man
When considering a mentor, he should be a knowledgeable older man. If you are contemplating marriage; it would be favorable to choose a married man. If you are undecided or have chosen a single life; your mentor can be either single or married. If choosing a divorce man; inquire into why he is divorce. The circumstances surrounding the divorce can impact whether or not he is suitable for you. You are not being judgmental; you are attempting to make the best choice for your present or future needs.
The mentor should be of a serious nature. This doesn’t mean he can’t have a sense of humor. It means he should not be a prankster or a new religious convert. The mentor should exert patience and hospitality. He should not engage in foolish behavior or dwell on the shortcomings of others.
It is not advisable to seek a mentor of your own age. It’s perfectly acceptable to discuss things with your friends and other Christians, however when seeking systematic training; an older man is your best choice. Also, do not choose a mentor that is too old. Your mentor should be able to empathize with you if a problem does arise and you are in need of very personal counseling.
The Christian Mentor: A Righteous Woman
We now will turn our focus on female mentoring. Not only does the Apostle Paul give the attributes of a good mentoring woman in Titus 2:3-5; but he also gives examples of what she should teach the younger women.
The female mentor should possess these qualifications:
- Holy behavior
- Righteous teacher
Again, please let me stress: chose a mentor of your own sex! It is much easier for the mentor to relate to your circumstances if she has experienced your emotions, etc. Your pastor may very well be a good and understanding man; however, he is still a man!
The female mentor’s behavior should first exemplify her ability to teach younger women in holiness. The Bible states we learn “through precepts and examples.” This simply means that we not only should be able to follow the doctrines being explained to us, but the person instructing us should also be a follower. Your mentor’s behavior must unmistakably be holy. She should be holy in dress, holy in speech, holy in attitude, and her home life must be holy. Your mentor should not cohabitate; and if she is divorced, you should inquire as to the nature of the separation. Again, you are not being judgmental, you a seeking the best possible candidate.
It was very unfortunate, but during biblical times, there were quite a few women who gossiped and created problems for others in the New Testament church. Today is definitely no exception. In fact with the introduction of technology (cellular phones, PDAs, Notebook computers, and the Internet) there are more ways of spreading the word whether it is good or bad. Before an apology can be made, a derogatory statement can be relayed half-way around the world. Therefore honesty should definitely be on your list of attributes when looking for your mentor.
It would be better to have a nonalcoholic mentor. Alcohol is considered a spirit. There are liquor stores that advertise that they are establishment of “spirits.” These spirits have the ability to impair judgment and speech. There is always the threat of over indulgence. The ability to teach is hindered because of the use of these spirits. Be wise in your choice!
Heads Up: You may feel that having a mentor is unnecessary. The Bible tells us to “bear one another’s burdens.” When you are faced with a difficult decision, and you are feeling that no one really understands; you will be very happy for the assistance of your personal spiritual guide! Even though you may have an excellent relationship with your parents, spouses, or friends, there are times when an unbiased opinion is desired and needed.
Let's Assess What You Have Learned
- The mentoring woman does not gossip with nonbelievers. True/False
- The mentoring woman is not always quiet and reserved; her mood depends on the situation and how she feels at the moment. True/False
- The mentoring woman will not normally act or speak disgracefully; however it’s not good to upset her because she may go off. True/False
- The mentoring woman will teach younger women to be concerned with both God and their husband. True/False
- The mentoring man uses good judgment and is comfortable with how to please God. True/False
- The mentoring man may not tell a vulgar joke, but he doesn't mind hearing one. True/False
- The mentoring women are to teach the younger women, but only concerning godly things. True/False
- The mentoring woman has a generous nature with other believes but does not concern herself with nonbelievers. True/False
- The mentoring woman according to Paul will always behave as becoming a Christian woman. True/False
- The mentoring woman can be seen leaning on the back fence gossiping about young women. True/False
Mentoring is Good Business
Have you ever mentored anyone whether at work, school or church?
© 2013 Jacqueline Williamson BBA MPA MS