Psalm 68:5 in The Message declares, “To the fatherless he is a father. To the widow he is a champion friend. To the lonely he gives a family.”
Serving on the board of MentorKids Kentucky has reaffirmed the belief, “everyone needs a Christian mentor, especially our children.” The new Mentor Recruitment campaign, LIVE 685, has been developed to bring awareness to the need for Christian Mentors in a child’s life. MentorKids Kentucky exists to share God’s love to kids from single-parent and non-traditional households. This goal is accomplished by providing a child with an adult Christian Mentor to come alongside, helping them persevere through the trials of life, building their character, while implanting hope for the future.
The MentorKids goal is to flip the list. Instead of a list of youth waiting for a Mentor, we want a list of Mentors waiting for a youth. While a lofty goal, it is quite possible if good Christian men and women step up, and give a hand up, to our community’s kids. Remember, even one child without a Mentor is one to many!
While children benefit from the mentoring of a caring adult, adults can also derive great benefits and experience from other seasoned Christian adults. I did not have a mentor as a child or teen, but God provided a mentor when my life situation reached a tipping point. The mentor stepped in when I was in critical need of help, encouragement and hope.
I was a young single “new” Christian attending church with my four children. I was trying to surrender everything in my life to God, but feeling pretty desperate in my predicament. Working four part-time jobs, while caring for the children, was shortchanging them and our income. This sweet lady walked up to me after church and said, “God tapped me on the shoulder and told me to help you take care of your children.” Here’s the best part, I had been praying, desperately, for God to help me with my children so that I could work to meet the financial needs of my family.
She immediately began watching the children during the day while I worked. By the time I picked up my daughters from dance classes in the evening, she had the twins bathed, in their pajamas, with dinner on the table for my family to eat before we went home. She did this five days a week while working in her family business. Believe or not, she would come over some weekends and pick up the children to give me a break with some quiet time. She never wanted anything in return, and thought it an insult when I offered money to pay for the children’s care. This dear lady and her husband demonstrated what it is like to love God, love others, and how to be the hands and feet of Jesus!
The Word tells us in Proverbs 27:17 “As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.” Do you have a trusted friend in your life encouraging and speaking truth to you? Do you help sharpen others? Mentoring is about paying it forward, and pouring into the lives of others. At the same time we need someone to pour into us.
Our children are the future of our nation and we should train and treasure them. They are living in a brand new world, with a twenty four hour news cycle, and a camera in every person’s hand. In recent days this has come close to home with social media jumping to premature conclusions. Parents were criticized for poor parenting with the young people threatened and ostracized. If you are a parent, the Word of God says in Proverbs 22:6, “Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it.” Sometimes children will act like adults, and then there are other times when adults act like children. In this situation it appears it was the latter.
Sometimes it just doesn’t make sense, when a good set of parents raises their child in the ways of the Lord, but when they start making their own decisions, they are not very good decisions. Parents please listen, if you have loved your child, raised them in the ways of the Lord, admitted when you were wrong, and done your best, stop blaming yourself for your child’s actions! They have been taught right and wrong, you are not responsible for their choices. Do we blame the parents of a mass murderer? We shouldn’t, and if we do, “woe to each one of us who judges or condemns!”
We should continue praying for our children, and adults who have lost their way. We must trust God’s will be done and their will be broken. Do not lose hope parents; turn your worries into prayers.
Living God’s love should include mentoring one another. What does God say about mentoring? Let’s look at Titus 2:3-4 (MSG), “Your job is to speak out on the things that make for solid doctrine. Guide older men into lives of temperance, dignity, and wisdom, into healthy faith, love, and endurance. Guide older women into lives of reverence so they end up as neither gossips nor drunks, but models of goodness. By looking at them, the younger women will know how to love their husbands and children, be virtuous and pure, keep a good house, be good wives. We don’t want anyone looking down on God’s Message because of their behavior. Also, guide the young men to live disciplined lives.”
1 John 2:6 has the final Word, “The one who says he belongs to Christ should live the same kind of life Christ lived.”