Weekly Sabbath Survey

Mentors — 9-20-2014

In the years I have served the Lord with fervent purpose, it has been my privilege to have several great Believers in Jesus serve as mentors from afar. Some were authors I read or ones I listened to on teaching tapes from their lending library. There were missionaries and ministers of old that I greatly admire, like Hudson Taylor, Amy Carmichael, Andrew Murray and Smith Wigglesworth. I grew because of the ministries of all these people who never knew me, some gone on to the Lord before I was born. Their witness and ministries still mentored in this modern age of the printed word and later, recordings.

I had a very close group of friends in the very beginning of this walk of faith. At that time, my own sister was a great support and help to me. I was a mentor to others and they to me. We learned as God tumbled us around like gem stones in the rock polisher. Some experiences were very positive and some down right hurtful, but we learned something from it all. There were other women in ministry who took me under their wing, a few pastors who spoke into my life with encouragement, correction and teaching.

I have some really good mentors at this later time in my life. My husband Tony doesn’t always understand me, but he recognizes the call of God on my life and never interferes with what I need to do in ministry. He advises me when I am in the valley of decision. And prays for me at all times. Every married person should have such a faithful spouse. Other mentors these days are women I know as friends right here in the area who have been or are now, my mentors. And, a couple Tony and I met about 7 years ago. They have served as an encouraging force and advisors for us. He reminds me often to stay close to the Word of God, reading and study, and to continue my writing. She reminds me to smile often and to express my creative gifts. These two have prayed for us, and stuck with us through some pretty tough times: cancer surgery, trips to the ER in the middle of the night, the ups and downs of life.

Now, there’s a girl about 25 years my junior who lives several states away. She thinks she needs my mentoring, but in fact has been a great blessing to me over the past few years. She is wise in Biblical understanding, a real student of The Word. She has a strength in ministry and a confidence in the Lord I want to emulate. It is true zeal for God and a pure love for Jesus.

Then there are my sons and my daughter-in-law. They are close to me and seek my advice about life’s difficulties and decisions. They are my biggest fans. They know me through and through, have seen me at my worst, but are always ‘there for me.’ My oldest (No. 1) admires me, not because of who I am, but for who I am hoping to become. My 6’7″ baby, is the sense of humor, problem solver, and gentle giant of the family. He is calm when No. 1 and/or I get flustered with a problem. My daughter-in-law is a real blessing, as well. I have had the extreme joy of watching her blossom in Jesus and become a strong woman of God. All of them are a help to Tony and me with small jobs around Hens Acre Farm, decisions about day to day living, and how to manage life as ‘seniors.’ We have entered the shallows of the uncharted waters of role reversal. I am so glad to have them with us to lean on when we need them.

We live in a time when three year olds decide what they will wear to day care and where the family will eat. By the time these kids are 10 they have their own cell phone and are ready to drive the car and set their own social schedule. They don’t talk to parents, they text them. Our society is ever more independent and doing it ‘by ourselves.’

Even among Believers there is no real sense of what it means to train and mentor and advise and DISCIPLE other people, especially the younger generation. It’s about guidance. And even as we mature, none of us can operate efficiently without interaction with others whose opinions matter to us—people we trust in the Lord. We should all have people we are looking to for advice and ones who look to us. If a relationship is on the same level, the two people are both giving and taking advice. I wonder if ideally, we should have someone ahead to mentor us, someone behind that we mentor, and someone we regard as a peer to walk side by side. Just a thought.

Charlene Reams Manning

Believer in the Lord Jesus Messiah

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