Last time we talked about the success of Pioneer Woman (see Monday’s post) and our desire for mentors in our life—women who can listen to us, teach us things, share their kitchens and lives with us. And we noted the fact that our culture doesn’t always make this easy.
I went a little nuts on the comfort food examples—I think I mentioned chili, lasagna, soup, and baked ziti. I must have been hungry.
I do know that life and mentoring are a little deeper than a bowl of chili. Sometimes blows come that make eating seem like a meaningless detail. Sometimes cares weigh so heavily that we can barely open a can of soup, much less cook some.
But the shared life, the shared dinner, the shared tears, the shared flesh-and-blood, “you’re sitting in my kitchen” relationships can plumb any depth in life. Those who have been through more of life than we have can bring comfort, wisdom, encouragement, perspective, truth, and hope to us.
The Bible tells older women to train younger women in the ways of the Lord (Titus 2)
It tells us to encourage each other, more and more (Heb. 10:25).
It tells us to comfort others with the comfort we have received from God (2 Cor. 1:4).
God wants us in each other’s lives. Yes, it’s great when we have that perfect “older woman” we can go to for counsel and recipes and comfort and wisdom, but God can use us in each other’s lives no matter our age. I have a number of friendships where I am regularly learning from strengths they have, and they say the same about me.
But these sorts of relationships don’t just happen. They’re borne out of love, and initiative, and sacrifice, and risk. They start by somebody inviting, or stopping by, or calling, and too often that person isn’t me. I need to remind myself that God can help us put down the task list, and the iPad, and the excuses, and the insecurities, and reach out to another.
It’ll rarely be like it is on TV, and what our mind tells us everyone except us has: the comfy BFF relationship, the easy tears and hugs, the hysterical laughter over the inside joke. It might be a word of encouragement, or a shared cup of coffee and a little bit of fellowship, or an attempt to reach out to a younger woman that goes well, but not amazingly. All wonderful first steps that please the Lord.
We all live such different lives, and I’d love to hear your thoughts on this question: What do you think often keeps us from reaching out to younger (or other) women in our lives in meaningful ways?
- If it’s fear, fear of what?
- If it’s busyness, busyness with what?
- If it’s lack of vision, why?
- If it’s our culture, how so?
If you could post your comments on the blog comments below, and not just on Facebook, that’d be helpful. And if you think of others who would have thoughts, please share the post. Maybe we can gain some insight together. And if no one comments, we’ll just assume we’re all too busy reaching out. 🙂