What Do “Mentors” Look Like?

Mentoring articleTitus 2 says older women should teach younger women. Simple enough. But it’s not always easy to have that kind of “mentoring” relationship in real life. I’ve gone through ups and downs of trying to find, and maintain, relationships with (sometimes) older women wiser than I. Consider,

The last time I saw Phyllis, a dear friend 20 years ahead of me in life, it was an unexpected drop-in amidst the flurry of four children as eager to catch up with her as I was. After they ran through all their flash reports about books they were reading and their latest adventures, I shooed them away so we could talk. I’m not sure our conversation sounded much different. In the staccato pace of two friends eager to cover a lot of ground while aware of the ticking clock, we talked skin care, home businesses, homeschooling, nutrition, Scripture and more in the span of 45 minutes. It was exciting and exhausting all at once.

It occurred to me after she left that ours is a hodge-podge of e-mails, short phone calls, occasional visits and the rare, leisurely get-together. Yet it’s among my richest and most treasured friendships. And I wonder, is this what mentoring is supposed to look like?

In the midst of so much talk about mentors in Get Married and on Boundless, I started thinking about how intimidating it can be to try and find–or be–a mentor. So I wrote an article called the Myths of Mentoring. They include: Mentors are Easy/Impossible to Find, Parents are Always/Never Good Mentors, Mentors Always Have Advice, A Mentor’s Advice is Always Good, Mentoring is Forever, One Mentor Can Do it All, and more. It’s today’s article on Boundless.

I’d love to know, what mentoring challenges have you faced? What hurdles have you had to clear in order to have wise counsel?