I have had many conversations about mentoring between girls and women. It’s so important! However there are no short-cuts. It takes prayer, time, commitment…it’s a journey. I love the picture in this post that has a tender plant growing in the hands of two women. It’s fragile work much like gardening—which I have very little luck with since I am constantly unable to set aside time to weed, water, or watch the plant that I want to grow. As a result, my planting does not survive. Below is a post I wrote that really was more of a rant, but it’s just a reminder that mentoring takes time much like gardening…there are no short-cuts.
previously posted by Amy-Jo Girardier on amyjogirardier.com on 01/14/08
I have heard and seen a lot of things as I have worked with girls and parents of girls. I am concerned with the quick fix mentality that some people have in the Church as a whole in regards to ministering among and to girls. If we see a modesty problem among our young ladies the quick fix is a suggested fashion show or an event that tells girls what they should wear. In my experience these seem like a good idea until you realize that you are creating a 3-D magazine of the “immodest” outfits that have simply been modified with leggings, layers, and larger sizes.
I have searched scripture to find out how women told girls how they are to dress and live their lives to honor the God they serve and follow. Ironically I have yet to find a scripture that says, “and so elder women gathered the girls to sit at the feet of the prettiest women in the village who had modified the fashions of the day to adequately cover their bodies in a trendier way.” Instead I find scripture that says the following:
Titus 2:4-8 Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled. In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.
The word “train”, I have a feeling, has a more long-term involvement then an event or fashion show. I will do some logos bible software research on that tomorrow but until then, I feel certain that the idea in terms of ministering to girls in biblical times took a life long approach of journeying with young girls for longer than a couple hours or even a weekend event. It called for sacrifice. It called for investment. It called for a denying of self. It’s hard to give up our lives and time for others. But I wonder what would happen to the lives we pour Christ into and I wonder what happens to our lives when we empty ourselves and welcome Christ to be poured through us into others? I’m thankful for the women who do this in my life—for the mom who loves me sacrificially…for the women who claimed me for their own to mentor…for the women who saw something in me when I saw nothing in myself…for the girlfriends that even now hold my hand in prayer literally when my husband is travelling and can’t be there to hold my hand…for the girlfriends I have who model for me what it looks like to love your family…for the co-workers I have who are women and teach me how to be a better nurturer…a better listener. THANK YOU to those of you who model for me the opposite of a quick fix in ministry. I pray that I may continually turn my head from the QUICK FIX of ministry and choose instead the long obedience of pouring my life in the lives of those around me. God I pray that more women in our church will see this as an opportunity and responsibility to journey alongside girls. If they need some direction I have some sunday school classrooms and smallgroups that need a leader and an apprentice leader. These spots remain vacant until someone answers the call to journey alongside of girls in our place of ministry.
And I step off of my soapbox to go to bed.