Many times as single women, we have a hard time finding our place in the church. We have a desire to serve, teach, and minister, but we may feel limited by verses such as 1 Corinthians 14:33-36 and 1 Timothy 2:11-12. Even though I am in agreement with most complementarians that woman should remain silent in the church, I do believe that these verses can give us much freedom. These verses allow us as women to lean upon and learn from the men that God has placed in authority over our lives. So if we are to remain in submission to the men in our lives, and if we are commanded to “be silent” in the church, what are we to do? Many women lean on their husband’s ministry to find their place to serve. Whether they are a pastors wife, a deacons wife, a sunday school teachers wife, that is where they plug in to serve. This is a wonderful thing for a couple to serve together, and men need to have their wives serving beside them supporting them and encouraging their work in the Lord. But where does this leave us single women? What is our role in the church?
We as women, whether single, married, young, or old, have been specifically commanded in Scripture what our role in ministry is. We can find this direct command in Titus. Throughout Titus 2 we see Paul giving everyone in the church their specific instructions for godly living within the church. In verses 3-5, Paul is writing directly to the women. He writes,
“Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.” (ESV)
As we see here, Paul is commanding that we as women should mentor other women. In the dictionary, a mentor is said to be, “A wise and trusted counselor or teacher.” Many women run from this word because they do not truly understand its meaning. It is an intimidating word! I would like to propose a definition for us: to mentor someone means that you teach, counsel, and encourage by living life with someone who is younger in the faith. Now this definition should be freeing to all of us. How many of us couldn’t just live life with someone else? We get so wrapped up and intimidated by this mentoring word that we don’t realize how easy this mentoring thing can be! Allowing someone to be a apart of your life is the best way for you to mentor someone! Let another lady see how you handle your everyday life….grocery shopping, studying, going to church, interacting with friends, going to the gym, etc.
If we look back to our passage in Titus 2, Paul tells us the specific things we are to teach. We are to teach what is good, how to be loving in our relationships, self-controlled and pure. Also we are to teach how to be responsible at home, kind, and submissive to the men in our lives. Allowing your mentee to live life with you, all these things will be modeled and taught by your actions. Dr. Alvin Reid states it well in his ebook With when he writes, “If you live a life that demonstrates Jesus, you will have plenty of people who want to be mentored. Mentoring is not an institution to manage-it is a lifestyle to emulate.”
Now please don’t forget this works two ways! Not only should we be mentoring someone else-you need to be mentored! Find a woman who is further along in the faith and ask if you can just hang out with her and live life with her! Remember: there are always women who you can learn from-being teachable is one of the best qualities you can have!
I have had the privilege of being a mentor and a mentee. Even though some of these relationships were only for a short season, they left a lasting impact on my life! I grew so much by being both a mentor and a mentee..I was stretched, challenged, and had a lot of fun…all by living life with someone else!
What does mentoring look like for you? Who are you currently mentoring? Who is currently mentoring you?
“A godly older woman points the younger woman to the only One who will never disappoint her and who is completely trustworthy in any and all of life’s situations.”. -Kraft in Women Mentoring Women