Recently, I’ve talked to women who really desire to be mentors and others who desire to have a mentor and have found that there are several factors that have prevented them from stepping into the Titus 2 model.
Today, I’m starting a 5 part series entitled 5 Myths About Mentors to help debunk any notions that might hinder women from taking the life-changing Titus 2 journey together. Today, I’m going to examine the myth that mentors are perfect people.
So, here we go…
Have you ever been intimidated by another mother because you thought she had the perfect kids, the perfect husband, the perfect home and the perfect life? Does the thought of walking through life with a mentor intimidate the bajeebers out of you because you think you couldn’t live up to her perfect parenting skills?
Or do you shy away from stepping into the call on your life to mentor other mothers because you know you’re not the perfect parent and you don’t have all the answers?
Today, we are going to look at both sides of the mentor equation and debunk the myth that mentors are perfect parents.
It’s just natural. Young moms often look to other moms as a source of wisdom and encouragement. I remember when my boys were younger, I would see women walking in the store with their children calmly and quietly trekking with her. It was amazing! Almost magical! I couldn’t figure out how she did that and my first thought was, “I gotta get to know her so I can learn how to do that… so I can be like her and my kids can be like hers!”
When I had the opportunity to actually meet some of these ‘perfect’ moms, it didn’t take long to learn that they weren’t as perfect as I thought. No one is.
So, if you’re a mother who is mulling over the thought of mentoring a younger mother, you’re old enough to know no one is perfect. In fact, perfection doesn’t make for good mentors. A good mentor for young mothers is a mom who has learned that perfect parents don’t exist and her failures have been better schoolmasters than her successes.
Mentors often minister better from their mistakes than they do from their successes.
As a mentor, you have the opportunity to let your failures become warning signals in the lives of other mothers. A kind of, “I’ve been there and done that… and you don’t want to go there” flashing light that helps young mothers avoid the motherhood mistakes you made along the way.
Mentors and mentees alike need to remember that:
- Mentors didn’t always put their children to bed on time.
- Mentors didn’t always feed their children healthy meals.
- Mentors didn’t always know what to do when their children threw a temper tantrum in the aisle between the toilet paper and the toothpaste.
- Mentors aren’t women who never raised their voices at their kids or who never tried counting to three.
- Mentors didn’t always have their homes in order and their laundry done.
- Mentors didn’t have children who never wrote on walls or never flushed their socks down the toilet.
- Mentors didn’t always have their diaper bag well-stocked with a change of clothes, lots of snack, their children’s favorite toy and an extra sippy cup.
- Mentors didn’t solve every problem their children faced.
- Mentors were never perfect parents. Sometimes they were a mess.
- Mentors are women who have been there and failed… and succeeded… and failed again… and succeeded again. They are women who are willing to risk sharing their mistakes so another mom won’t make them.
Mentors aren’t perfect parents and they aren’t perfect people.
Today, if you’re thinking about asking someone to mentor you, please don’t listen to the voices that may be whispering to your heart that you couldn’t possibly measure up to who she is. She’s just like you – only a little bit older and with a few more wounds. She just wants to be there for you when you need her.
And for those of you who are contemplating whether or not you could or even should be a mentor because you know you’re not perfect, please remember that if you were, your mentee wouldn’t have a chance! She needs you to be real, to be raw and to be relevant. She needs to know that moms don’t always get it right and that God has chosen and gifted her to be her children’s mom for a reason.
She needs to know that you aren’t perfect, that you don’t expect her to be perfect and that you are there for her whenever she needs you.
Because that’s who mentors are. Not perfect… just there.
Titus 2:4-5 says… “These older women must train the younger women to love their husbands and their children, to live wisely and be pure, to work in their homes, to do good, and to be submissive to their husbands. Then they will not bring shame on the word of God.”
Does God’s Word call mentors to by godly examples? Absolutely! Does His Word call mentors to be perfect people? Absolutely not! Just women who are willing to pour their lives into those who are raising the next generation…to be mothers on a mission to mentor other mothers. And just in case you haven’t figured it out yet… that’s what The M.O.M. Initiative is all about. And we are here to help mentors and mentees along the way.
Have you ever thought you couldn’t be a mentor because you weren’t perfect enough? Have you ever avoided seeking a mentor because you were afraid she would expect you to be as perfect as you thought she was?