Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Thoughts on Mentoring

I've been thinking a lot over the last few weeks about mentoring; you know, older Christians taking an interest in younger Christians, and helping them understand better both the theology and practice of the faith. I don't think this is something we've done a very good job of this lately in the Evangelical church. Frankly, we're all so busy, that finding time for our own families is sometimes a challenge, much less for someone else's.

Not that that is an excuse though. I wonder how much easier the first few years of mine and Crystal's marriage might have been if we'd actually had someone take an interest in us, be there to answer questions frankly, and be there to encourage us to grow closer and do better by one another. I'm not blaming anyone in particular for us not having that; we never reached out to anyone either. But I do wonder if it means we ought to be doing that now, helping younger couples, now that we have a little experience under our proverbial marriage belt.

But how do you approach it? It goes back to my post a couple of weeks ago about fearing rejection. It's very hard to ask someone to help you along; I think it might be equally hard to ask someone if they'd like some help. I guess the real way to do this is just to make a point to make friends with people younger than you, and let the relationships naturally happen. Crystal and I have talked about this a little, but I'm not sure we've reached any conclusions yet.

I know this: too many young couples are drifting away from the faith, falling out of church, falling apart at the seams, and using the same bad techniques the world uses to try to save their marriage. That's one of the reasons the divorce rate is like it is.

For those reading this - Are you investing yourself in anyone's life outside of your own family? Are you looking to take anyone under your wing? I'm afraid I'm ashamed to tell you what the answer to that question is for me. But I've got to do better.

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