Hello precious ladies, here is part two of our "Lessons from the Bible for Today's Single Woman". Today, we will be looking at mentorship for single women from a Biblical standpoint. We will be looking mainly at the story of Ruth and taking glimpses of the story of Esther.
You know that popular African adage that says what an elder sees sitting down, a young person can never ever see even if they climb the tallest Iroko tree? How true! People who are older and mature see things way better than the young and zealous. The Bible says in the multitude of counselors, there is safety (Proverbs 11: 14).
It is important for a single woman to have some form of authority/leadership in her life. It is important to have a person who is dependable and filled with the Holy Spirit. We will get to more characteristics of a good mentor soon but first, let's look at the kind of mentor you shouldn't have:
- One that exploits
- One that is possessive
- One that doesn't bring out the best in you.
Stay away from people who exhibit those characteristics. They will do you no good. Now let's move on to the characteristics of a good mentor.
A good mentor wants you to be fulfilled and wants the best for you.
We see this so much in the life of Ruth and Naomi her mother-in-law. Naomi told Ruth not to follow her back to her land because she didn't want Ruth to be where she wouldn't benefit. She said she had no other sons Ruth could marry since Ruth's husband, her son had died. So she admonished Ruth to leave her. She was not trying to own Ruth and go everywhere with her. That's a good mentor. A good mentor thinks of you first and not his/herself.
A good mentor doesn't mentor you in exchange for anything.
Your relationship with your mentor should not be a transactional one. It should not be a relationship whereby the person sells prayers and blessings in exchange for your loyalty and dominion over you. I don't see that anywhere in the Bible. The relationship between Ruth and Naomi was based on pure love and genuine concern for each other. That was equally the case between Mordecai and Esther. He genuinely wanted the best for his orphan cousin, Esther so he led her to the king.
A good mentor allows you make your own decisions.
Ruth could make her own decisions. She chose to be with Naomi. She chose to go to the fields and glean. Naomi wasn't the person making all the decisions for her. Also, Esther chose to take on a fast to rescue her people. She chose to risk her life by going before the king to place her demands. Both ladies could make their own choices. A good mentor should be a guide and not someone that takes over your life, dictating to you every step you need to take.
A good mentor makes loyalty from the mentee easy.
Naomi said to Ruth,
"My daughter, shall I not seek security for you that it may be well with you?" Ruth 3:1
These words said by Naomi were so profound. She then led Ruth to Boaz. Ruth was in turn loyal as she told Naomi,
"All that you say to me I will do." Ruth 3: 5
Esther equally did as Mordecai told her in the book of Esther.
When your mentor seeks the best for you, it is easy to be loyal to them. One of the worse things that can happen to a person is to have an unteachable spirit. Don't be a know-it-all. Be open to wisdom and counsel from the mature.
A good mentor leads you to prioritise what is most important.
Now Ruth was a young woman, but she didn't go after young men. She followed, permit me to say "an old pa" (an old man) Boaz. She could easily have turned down Naomi's advice saying the man was too old for her but she agreed. Boaz even called Ruth, "my daughter" so that should give us an idea of how old he was.
The important thing here is that Boaz was an honourable man who acted with integrity and respected authority. Ruth's mentor led her to a man that had what was more important than physical looks. Or in today's terms, tall, dark and handsome with six packs. Don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with desiring a good-looking man. But all that with no integrity and the fear of God is worthless. Naomi led Ruth to prioritise the things that matter.
A good mentor makes opening up easy.
Again, Ruth and Naomi were so open to each other in their relationship. Ruth told her everything because it was a safe place. If you can't be open to that person, then it's unhealthy.
A good mentor is humble.
Humility is another very important characteristic of a good mentor. When Ruth eventually married Boaz and they had a son together, Naomi became a babysitter for the child. (See verse 16). That shows a lot of humility because she who led Ruth to that man was humble enough to nurse her baby.
A key thing that led me to marrying Mr N was the mentorship of my pastor's wife. She led me to focus on what mattered most. I could be open to her. I could be vulnerable with her because I knew she was filled with the Holy Spirit and wanted the best for me. She was also very humble. When I had my first baby, she came to the hospital early in the morning to help out. I am so grateful for having her in my life.
Now the person who mentors you must not be a pastor's wife or someone with a title. Any person who genuinely serves God and wants the best for you could be a great tool in leading you to the right man. My prayer for you is that you will find a mentor as concerned as Naomi and you will be as loyal as Ruth to them.
I strongly recommend that you read through the book of Ruth and Esther, especially the book of Ruth to better understand this post. It is such an interesting story with so many lessons for you that can't be covered in a single post.
Next Tuesday, we will look at how to "wait" for your husband.