Isn’t there something special about grabbing your favorite hot drink, your Bible and a warm blanket to cozy up to the story of the birth of our Savior? No matter what the year has dealt you, I hope you will be able to see the wonder of the greatest story ever told. Let’s start at the beginning. An angel and two women. The angel, Gabriel, brought the news of Elizabeth having her son, John, who would go as the forerunner to make people ready for the Lord. Then Gabriel came to Mary, the favored one, with the good news of the Savior’s birth. . . And behold you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus (Luke 1:31). Once Mary heard the news and accepted her lot, she arose and went in a hurry to visit her cousin, Elizabeth, who was six months ahead of her. A young woman seeking the advice, wisdom, and care from an older woman – woman to woman.
Even Mary, the mother of Jesus, knew she needed to talk to another woman who could relate to and understand her situation, she needed a spiritual mentor.
Thankfully, Elizabeth accepted Mary with open arms in her time of need.
No condemnation. No judgement. Only love.
Flatter me by imagining for a moment all that may have transpired within their three months together: late night discussions of body image; the feeling of the first flutter; encouragement as Mary would need to go back and face her family and community; how to swaddle a newborn; the fun games you play with boys. Not only was Mary going to be a new mother, but a newlywed. So, how to treat her man right was probably at the top of their conversation, too. I even wonder if Mary was with Elizabeth for the delivery? I don’t know, but how cool would that have been?
Important things to look for when seeking a mentor like Elizabeth.
- Walks worthy. Choose someone who walks with the Lord. Elizabeth was a great mentor because she had been taught to walk with the Lord. Her lineage runs back to Aaron, the priestly lineage. She followed God’s guidance and married a priest herself.
- Righteous Character. Not perfection, but upright in the way they live.
- Filled with the Holy Spirit. Watch for them to display the fruit of the spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self control (Galatians 5:22). Elizabeth was filled with the Lord’s Holy Spirit. She had the Lord’s wisdom, and as a result, recognized Mary’s concern.
- No sign of jealousy. Elizabeth called Mary blessed and encourages her in her faith through her own example. Elizabeth was wise and knew God’s power to work all things for good. She recognized the Lord’s hand at work in this situation.
- An advisor. Elizabeth is quick to advise Mary, to encourage her, to strengthen her faith, and to help her through this difficult time in her life. She has the experience that Mary lacked. As a result, Mary is encouraged to bring the Son of God and Savior of the world into the world for the good of all mankind.
- Older and wiser. Just as Elizabeth was older than Mary, you want someone who has gone ahead of you and has the gift of hindsight. One who will encourage you to be the Titus 2 woman. Hindsight is a gift because you learn from what has happened in the past and gain understanding for the future.
Likewise with the female elders, lead them into lives free from gossip and drunkenness and to be teachers of beautiful things. This will enable them to teach the younger women to love their husbands, to love their children, and to be self-controlled and pure, taking care of their household and being devoted to their husbands. By doing these things the word of God will not be discredited. Titus 2:3-5 (NET)
Mentoring is not always a program. A lot of times it organically happens as you meet women that pour into your lives. This type of mentoring is a true gift that may take time to develop.
I like to call it Sistering.
My dear mentor and friend, Linda says it best.
Sistering is two women coming together to share their hearts
and lives and when they depart from their time together, each
one believes they were the one that got the greatest blessing.
Therefore, let us encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing (1 Thessalonians 5:16).
And wear kindness, truth, sound wisdom, and discretion as your necklace. (Proverbs 3:3, 22-23)
Oh, won’t you and I take seriously the care of the generation behind us and watch for moments to be that older, wiser women and pour love into them with grace?
Journeying with Him,