Many of us mistakenly think it’s only younger women in need of help and advice, but we’re never too old to experience the richness of mentoring relationships. Mid-life holds unique struggles, and ahead of us are women who have survived this stage and still love Jesus—they have much to teach us. In this article, Susan Macias shares 5 reasons why a titus 2 woman is a must in mid-life, and 4 things to keep in mind as you seek a mentoring relationship.
Being a mom to three boys under 5 years old almost swamped me. I grew up with one sister. We liked to color, play with dolls, and read. I had little experience of the mania that can accompany toddler boys. I hadn’t pictured motherhood as loud, messy, and full of wrestling.
I observed an older mom of boys who seemed to have discovered some secret. Her boys weren’t passive, but they appeared under control. So I reached out to her and asked her how to establish a peaceful home. She provided encouragement and wisdom that informed my parenting for years. Her best advice: Peaceful and quiet are not the same thing. I held onto that nugget for decades of parenting.
As a young mom, I knew I needed help, though it took a bit to muster the courage to reach out and ask. Now, as an official ‘older woman’, I have young women reach out to me. They are just beginning marriage and child-rearing, and they need help.
A mid-life mentor
But what about you, my midlife friend? I want to encourage you. It’s not only younger women who can ask for help and advice. Mid-life holds unique struggles, and ahead of you are women who have survived this stage and who still love Jesus. Think of all they have learned.
The famous mentoring Scripture in Titus 2:3-4 states, “Older women… are to teach what is good, and so train the young women.” As long as you are younger than someone else, you can turn to them for guidance. Don’t leave yourself out of the richness of mentoring relationships.
Mid-life women NEED a mentor. Below are five reasons why.
5 REASONS THE TITUS 2 WOMAN IS A MUST IN MID-LIFE:
1. IF JESUS SAYS IT, IT MUST BE TRUE
“Because Jesus said so” might sound snarky, but I don’t mean it that way. Rather, I think we can rest in the certainty that if the Holy Spirit inspired Paul to include this specific command to help in the spiritual life of His daughters, it must matter.
Titus 1 explains the best reasons for handing down good teaching from one generation to the next. All people become distracted by theories or arguments that can turn us away from the faith. Paul’s solution, through the Holy Spirit, is for older men and older women to step in.
Titus 2:3 states: “Older women likewise…” Just like the older men, we older women should be dignified, sound in faith, and steadfast, as well as reverent, so that we can teach what is good to younger women. As Ecclesiastes 1:9 reminds us, “… there is nothing new under the sun.” God’s people have always needed good counsel.
The Bible supports our need for advisors. You’ve probably heard that there is wisdom in many counselors. That comes from Proverbs 11:14: “Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.” (See also Proverbs 15:22, Proverbs 20:18.)
A verse that is often read in weddings or marriage counseling also applies to mentorship relationships. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 says, “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!” What a beautiful and hopeful benefit to finding wise counsel. While we will still stumble, and even fall, we have a trusted person to lift us up. And who doesn’t need that?
2. ALL YOUR PEOPLE ARE CHANGING
Mid-life carries many unique challenges, as women not only face their own changes but often also help their children and husbands cross bridges from one stage of life to the next. Life is a rocking ship of hormone shifts, with some members enjoying skyrocketing ones and others finding theirs plummeting.
Add to that aging parents who can require more help than previous years, and mid-life women often find themselves with overloaded plates. I hope that helps you feel a little better. You didn’t imagine that life is getting more challenging. The struggle is real.
As parents of teenagers and/or young adults, you will find your mom role shifting. Older women who have navigated these shark-infested waters and lived to tell the tale have loads of wisdom to share. Maybe they know exactly what NOT to do, and that can be gold!
Change always brings stress, and stress never brings out the best in your husband, your children, or yourself. So, go searching for a godly christian woman in your church. Ask the Lord to point out someone you may not have even met yet. And then allow her to pour sweet wisdom and comfort into your heart.
3. YOU NEED A CHRISTIAN PERSPECTIVE ON CURRENT STRUGGLES
If you need help to find a restaurant, you can turn to Yelp or TripAdvisor. Before you purchase on Amazon, you can read reviews. For relationship help, you can turn to the latest influencer who will be glad to spout wisdom.
But these resources of advice lack one thing. You can’t ask a question back. They are discussing their experience with no knowledge of your particular challenges or preferences.
Now, I adore reading reviews of restaurants because I want to hear from someone who went before and who figured out some secret wonder on the menu. But life questions and people’s problems require a finesse that generalized advice can never quite touch.
Scripture instructs older women of the church to teach younger Christians according to “what accords with sound doctrine” (Titus 2:1). You need a mentor who can share the Scripture that taught her how to approach different family situations. When looking for a mentor, make sure she loves the Word of God and uses it to guide her own life.
She will also have books to recommend, maybe old books that appear outdated at first glance. But those might contain the perfect advice. You could even suggest that you go through the book with her.
Who better to give a Christian perspective than a woman who has walked with Jesus through the challenges of life. Her words hold not only opinion but experience. Her previous mistakes will inform how she advises you now. As she shares what she learned about Jesus during hard times, your courage will grow.
4. YOU RECEIVE HELP TO LOOK FORWARD TO WHAT IS AHEAD
We live in a society that fights age. Whether through expensive creams or time-consuming workouts or extreme diets, a new way to look ten years younger seems to pop up every day.
I don’t want to dread growing older, though I still fight to accept the age I am and not resent it. And I have needed older Christian women to keep showing me the gifts and unexpected freedoms that came with growing older in the body of Christ.
I found that I have entered my ‘older woman’ season with more eagerness because those saints who taught me gave me so much to look forward to. I would have missed the perspective of the gifts of changing seasons in my home, my marriage, and even my body without them sharing their own experiences as well as Bible verses that helped point the way. Now I can love the age I am.
The same beautiful gift awaits you when you spend time with an older woman.
5. IT PREPARES YOU TO BE A TITUS 2 WOMAN FOR SOMEONE ELSE
You are only the ‘younger woman’ for a while. In fact, there is almost always someone younger than you. Encourage them to keep the faith.
At some point, we all grow into older women. We must so that godly, encouraging, life-giving teaching continues from one generation of women to the next.
As you experience the gift and sustenance of being mentored by an older woman, make sure and pay attention. Remember the most helpful ways she approaches you. What makes the biggest difference in your time with her? Store that away for the opportunities you will have in the future.
Discipleship should be a self-replicating process. We are watered to water in return. We are taught so we can teach. We are loved so we can spread love. And I will let you in on an amazing secret. Mentoring other women has bolstered my faith and caused me to stay in the Scripture. I have easily gained more than I have given.
What we are given, we must pass on.
4 WAYS TO DEVELOP A MENTORING RELATIONSHIP
So now you are convinced that you need a Titus 2 woman in your life. But how will you find her?
As with every decision, the first step is to pray. Ask the Lord to point out someone to you. James 1:5 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” It may surprise you the women who come to mind.
But as you await the wisdom on who to approach, keep the following in mind.
1. YOU HAVE TO ASK
Ask, Ask, Ask.
This simple step can be the hardest. It can feel like asking someone out for a date, and who doesn’t fear rejection? But ask anyway. Pay her a compliment by saying that her love for Jesus shows, and you’d love to sit down and chat.
Begin by asking for a simple coffee meetup just to get to know each other better, and then don’t leave it up to her to schedule. Enjoy the hour, and see if the two of you mesh well. Then, if all lights look green, say, “I’d love some input on this season of life and family. Would you be willing to meet with me weekly/bi-monthly/monthly?”
She might not say yes immediately. I always say I will pray about it and let them know. Don’t get discouraged if she is unavailable. Ask if she has a friend to recommend. Don’t forget—you are pursuing the Lord’s will to do what He says. He will provide just the right person.
2. MAKE THE RELATIONSHIP MUTUALLY BENEFICIAL
When you meet, make sure and ask her how she is doing. How can you pray for her? Life never lets up, so no matter how old or godly she may be, she needs your prayer support, too.
The responsibility of giving godly counsel weighs heavy, so make sure you encourage her as well. Let her know what you find attractive or encouraging in her life. Proverbs 11:25 says, “Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.” The best kind of mentoring relationship waters both women.
3. YOU DON’T HAVE TO ONLY HAVE ONE PERSON FOREVER
If you need guidance on a particular issue, look for someone who has been through similar struggles. Maybe you need a little encouragement about marriage and teenagers. You might ask one woman for marriage advice, but she hasn’t dealt with teenagers for years. You can go to someone else who is more helpful in that area.
It takes pressure off to realize that you aren’t looking for a lifetime partner. You aren’t committing to meeting for years. Maybe you meet for a few months and the advice she gives gets you over the hurdle you face. You can take a few months off and then ask her or someone else to coffee when the next issue presents itself. Trust the Holy Spirit to guide you to the right woman for the right time in each area of your life.
4. WIDEN THE SEARCH IF NECESSARY
I suggest beginning the search in your own church. There’s more likelihood you agree doctrinally and you will run into each other on Sundays to touch base.
However, that is just the starting point. You don’t have to go to the same church. In fact, you don’t have to even know them. Maybe the first person you ask is unavailable, but her friend would be a great option and she will introduce you. Or ask your friends for suggestions and reach out.
It takes bravery to ask someone you don’t know or don’t know well, but never underestimate the ways the Lord wants to weave His people together across denominational lines.
THE TITUS 2 WOMAN
Finding a Titus 2 mentor is not like searching for the Holy Grail. Many godly women exist, just waiting to be asked. She won’t be a saint who never made mistakes and who floats a little above the ground, never ruffled by life. Rather, the best Titus 2 woman is one who has been through trials and challenges and has found Jesus sufficient and trustworthy, no matter the heartbreak or sorrow.
Remember, it also takes bravery to step into the Titus 2 role. I find I need to trust Jesus to share my struggles honestly, some of which never resolved, but in which I found Jesus to always be enough. I only know my Heavenly Father so well because every time I finally turned around after running away, I saw Him running toward me with open arms.
In my almost 60 years, my Heavenly Father has never stopped loving me. My Jesus has never stopped forgiving me. And my Holy Spirit has never stopped convicting me and empowering me to live for my Lord.
But I remember how, in mid-life, my busyness and doubts would blur what I knew. I easily forgot. Older women in my life reminded me to stay the course and never take my eyes off Jesus. I needed that so much.
I bet you need that, too. Ask the Lord who you can ask out for coffee, and watch Him lead you into the relationships He not only instructed you to have, but those He desires for you.
If Susan’s article has inspired you to take a step toward finding a mentor, how might you get started today? Do you have your own experiences of mentoring/being mentored in mid-life? Share with us in the comments.
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I am finding that even my on-ramp to “old” is being smoothed by the gracious examples of perseverance and generosity I am finding in women who have endured into their eighth and ninth decades! I hope I never outgrow my willingness to learn from others!
Thank you for writing about this important topic. If ever there was a time, when we needed each other to persevere in our faith, it is now. My heart longs for a mentor in this mid-life season. I have more questions and uncertainties than I have ever had in my younger years. May the Lord grant us all that ‘right’ sister in Christ for such a time as this.
Thank you so much for sharing your experience. I am currently in the second half of life. All my children are grown married and I’m a grandma. A year ago I also became a widow which is something I never expected. There are several older ladies in my church who have been widows for a while so thanks to your encouragement I will be reaching out to one of them.