The Blessings of Mentoring

Late Sunday afternoon, I did something I’ve never done before. I sat on a panel at church with four other women and helped field questions asked by a group of teenage girls just finishing a Bible study focusing on relationships and purity.

Some of the girls have been in our church long enough that I had them as 1-year olds in my Sunday School class. It didn’t seem that long ago that I was teaching them to sing The B-I-B-L-E, and now the topics were things like getting along with parents, modesty, dating, and sex. Talk about a jump :) I’ve got to admit I was a little nervous going in. We all ended up enjoying our time together, though, and hopefully each girl heard at least one thing that will stay with her and help her navigate some current or future situations.

Let me just share one small snippet from the session. When asked what we thought was different for teen girls today than what it had been when we were their age, I pointed out one reality that is a strong negative but then balanced it out with a positive.

One thing girls (and boys) today really have working against them is the assumption and expectation that teens are going to have sex, and if you’re not having sex, then you are the oddball. When I was in junior and senior high in the late 60s-early 70s, kids our age (not the college bunch) didn’t have that shoved in our faces all the time. In fact, there was still some shame associated with having a loose reputation or getting pregnant before marriage. Those girls were in the minority (though change was certainly afoot). The pressure our kids face today concerning sex is heartbreaking.

On the other hand, I told the girls that one positive they have that we didn’t have was just exactly what was going on in our session — open dialogue and sharing about these important topics at church or even in the home. These things just weren’t discussed with adults during that era. My girlfriends and I never had the opportunity to participate in a True Love Waits event, to have an entire Bible study focused on purity, or to ask these kinds of questions to a panel of women at our church and get such open and helpful information and encouragement. In that regard, our kids today are blessed.

In New Testament times, when Paul wrote to Titus, he charged him to encourage the younger men and set an example for them. He also told him to teach the older women to train the younger women. Even though in that instance he was referring to younger married women, the principle of mentoring is still the same. Those of us who have been down a certain road before need to share our accumulated wisdom with those who are coming after us.

I was blessed and honored to help mentor that group of girls last Sunday, even though it was just for about an hour. Other groups besides young people need mentoring, too. Anyone who is new to something benefits immensely from someone else more experienced who will invest in their lives and help them in some way. I even see my online writers group and a few writers’ blogs I visit as my writing mentors.

Are you involved in a special mentoring relationship? Have you been in the past? I would love to hear some of your stories. Share with a comment, please — you might even encourage someone in the process!


  1. Cheryl,

    I’ve been blessed in recent years to mentor several women younger than I. What a thrill I get when I see their lives changing, unfolding before me like roses.

    Most recently I’ve been involved with some young women as their GED tutor. I pray every session that I’m showing, guiding, teaching them much more than math, science, and reading. I hope I’m teaching them to trust God with their futures and to use the gifts and talents He has given them for His glory.

    Thanks for the chance to share that.

    My Conversations With God at

  2. Jean, thanks for sharing. Those young ladies are lucky to have you in their lives. May God bless your investment in them!

  3. Cheryl,
    Thanks for visiting my blog! Lately I have been the recipient of mentoring more than the giver. However, I was blessed to get an email from one of my ex-students telling me all about her job as a teacher. She thanked me for guiding her to her career in the classroom. I taught for 19 years and I know God did some mentoring through me then. Lately though, it has been me mooching off any fellow writer I can. :0) Blessings to you and your cool blog.

  4. Thanks for coming over to the blog, Robbie! I know what you mean — I’m soaking up all I can from other writers, too. I’m sure thankful for the online resources. Come visit again anytime!

  5. The mentoring experience sounds like it was uplifting and edifying for the girls, and for you mentors as well. Wonderful!

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