Mentoring by Older Women

Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can train the younger women . . . (Titus 2:3-4a)

We hear the Apostle Paul’s exhortation for older women to mentor younger women. They have an experience base from which to pull much wisdom of how they learned to cope with the responsibilities of life. They can teach younger women what they gleaned from both their successes and failings.

Older Women Mentoring Younger Women

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But, older women mentoring younger women isn’t just about passing on “how to” be a good wife or mother. They are to also teach them qualities essential to being godly women. That is why Paul puts qualifications on the mentors. The church also has a responsibility to “teach the older women” to be a certain way so they can “teach what is good.” Notice that it is “then” that “they can train the younger women.”

To mentor younger women to “be” who they should be and not merely “do” what they should do takes more than words. It takes a role model, someone who lives what they say, to “train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands” (Titus 2:4-5).

  • If young women are to learn to be godly from their mentor, then they need mentors who are “reverent” … consecrated to the Lord.
  • If young women are to learn to be submissive from their mentor, then they need to see that reverence in their mentors spill over into “the way they live” in relationship with others. Submission grows out of respect.
  • If young women are to learn to be kind and pure from their mentor, then they need a mentor who does not “slander” or demean others through gossip or other negative words.
  • If young women are to learn to be self-controlled from their mentor, then they need a mentor who is not “addicted to much wine” or any other vice or bondage.

Do you have, or want to begin, a mentoring program at your church for women? Following are three questions for you to think through to line up what you do with Titus 2.

1) What criteria should be in a mentor?

Remember, more goes into mentoring than passing on life experiences so don’t make it about merely pairing up women based on who has been through similar life experiences. The mentor, according to Titus 2, should display certain qualities. Think through how you will know when an older woman is ready to be a mentor.

2) How will you recruit mentors?

Not all older women are qualified to join in such an endeavor. Think through how you present this opportunity to the older women of your church so you are not in an awkward position of turning some women away.

3) What training should be required of mentors?

Some older women are already godly or “reverent in the way they live” so they might not need as much teaching but should still go through training to remind them of what mentoring is all about. Think through what should be included in that basic plan.

Older women who do not meet the criteria of Titus 2 probably will not drastically change as the result of a few training sessions. Bondages are usually not easily or quickly broken. Think through how you can extend prolonged teaching, perhaps counseling or they themselves being mentored, to help them become more godly.

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4 thoughts on “Mentoring by Older Women

  1. It is interesting that nothing in this guidance example mentions if Christian women mature in the Word may teach other women. Why is this? Should teachings in the church fellowship only come from the Bishop/Elder, Deacon, Pastor (or other capable qualified men in the church to teach)? We were in a church where women were not allowed to teach even other women but the could teach children “Bible stories”. And, because of that the women’s group became a center of gossip about husbands, work, children, etc. so my wife stopped attending the group. She found this to be true in most women’s groups in other churches as well.

    • Hi Winston! This is the first of two posts looking at older women mentoring younger women. The second post continues, based on these verses, with how they are to train younger women, what they are to teach them. I do not find in the Bible where teaching is limited to only leadership. To the contrary, verses like Colossians 3:16 suggest that we all, men and women, leaders and non-leaders, are to teach one another. — “Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.” Nowhere in the context of that verse and other similar verses do we read where the command is gender based or leadership only. There are other verses that people use to suggest women are not to formally teach men which might also be used to come to the conclusions you wrote of. But, as in interpreting any passage of Scripture, we must keep the verses in their context as well as view them in light of the whole of Scripture. We can come to almost any conclusion when we isolate verses. There are a lot of things God’s Word does not clearly or specifically state, such as that women can never teach, or that women can only teach children, or that women can only teach other women and children, or that women can never in any situation teach men. To come to any of these conclusions is a matter of interpretation of particular verses. The intent of this post and other material on this site is not to get into the controversial aspects but rather to provide what Scripture clearly states. God’s Word, not personal opinions or biases, must always form the basis for fellowship with one another. If we focus on what is clearly stated in Scripture, we have so very much we can learn from one another without imposing personal convictions on each other. We must constantly remind ourselves of the teaching of Romans 14 which gives us guidelines on handling personal convictions.

    • Hello, Irene Kwagala. Titus 2 does not directly speak to people who want to be mentored. It is more geared to leaders who are to teach older men and women to live godly lives, from the inside out, so that they will be good role models and encouragers of those who are younger. This passage does not provide instruction for how that connection is to be made. I don’t know of Scripture that instructs us on how to find a mentor but I can find many verses about the role of prayer in making decisions. Let me share James 1:5 – “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” — Pray God will lead you to the right person. After praying, ask those you sense would be a good mentor to pray about if it is something God would have them do. Ask a few people and then give time and space for God to work in their hearts about it. You may also want to ask your Church leadership to pray with you about this as well. I believe prayer is so important to finding a mentor because you want the person(s) of God’s choosing. He knows better than you who would be the best fit.

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