A Word from Your BCC Team: You’re reading Part Three of a multi-part Grace & Truth blog mini-series on Biblical Counseling and Women’s Issues. Men—you’d be wise to read these too—to learn more about a biblical understanding of women and about biblical women’s ministry. Today’s post is from Ellen Castillo on Biblical Mentoring for Women. You can also read Part 1 by Amy Baker: I’ll Probably Be a Widow, and Part 2 by Betty-Anne Van Rees: Single in the Church.
Biblical Mentoring in One-Another Ministry
Women who are not trained counselors, how well equipped are you to mentor someone with the deep life struggles that are common to women and girls? Our call as women is to teach the younger women.
Biblical counselors, as you counsel women, are you encouraging them to serve others so that God can use their growth for the benefit of others? Our ministries should multiply. Our call as counselors is to equip women to help women in the spirit of Titus 2.
In my church and Christian community, there are not enough trained counselors to meet the needs that exist. This prompted me to incorporate a mentor training class into my counseling ministry so that more women could be equipped to help women and girls in their sphere of influence without necessarily taking an in-depth biblical counseling training course. Women tell me that the main reason they do not mentor is that they feel ill equipped to do so.
With a focus on the “one another” passages in Scripture and an array of beginning biblical counseling concepts and tools, women who take our course are able to serve in their own local churches in a variety of discipleship capacities. Biblical mentoring is not a program or a stand-alone ministry, but rather a culture of soul care that dovetails with the church’s existing ministries (such as women’s ministry, students’ ministry, children’s ministry, small groups, etc.).
Titus Chapter 2 Challenges Us to Consider Sound Doctrine
The backbone of biblical mentoring is Titus 2. Often, we see Titus 2:3-5 when we hear about mentoring for women. It is an important section of the passage, but taking those few verses out of context of the entire second chapter is an incomplete picture of what mentoring should be.
“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 urge 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, so that no one will malign the word of God” (Titus 2:3-5).
Titus 2:3-5 does address women specifically with a precise list of what should be taught, but as you back up to verse 1 you also see this:
“You, however, must teach what is appropriate to sound doctrine” (Titus 2:1).
Too often we pull the verses directed to women out of context and use them to encourage women about WHAT to teach the younger women (as it says), but we disregard the reason WHY.
WHY should the older teach the younger? It is deeper than simply teaching them to be good wives and homemakers—it has everything to do with doctrine. Our motive for mentoring must be just as Titus 2 teaches us in context—we mentor to teach sound doctrine so that the next generations of women will not fall prey to error. We are instructed throughout the passage to urge others towards Christ-like characteristics (self-control, integrity, dignity, etc.) so that the gospel can go forth as it trains us to show Christ’s love to others in such a way that the world will have “nothing evil to say about us” (Titus 2:8).
Thinking Biblically in Church Culture
Our modern church culture is inundated with concepts that are more rooted in secular psychology than biblical truth. There are many examples; perhaps you can think of a few that are prevalent in your experience. I offer one example from my own life that explains why I am passionate about teaching the younger generations sound doctrine and solid theology.
I became a Christian at the end of my career as a psychiatric occupational therapist. Prior to my salvation, I was immersed in the field of psychology and truly believed it held the answers to life’s struggles. I would have told you then that I was an atheist.
After the death of my first child when she was only two days old, I was devastated and hopeless. I began a seven-year journey of grieving (or trying to grieve) according to the psychological principles I adhered to.
I continued to feel hopeless, wondering if life had any meaning.
Eventually through a series of divine circumstances, I became a Christian. Suddenly, my old worldview didn’t hold as much weight, and I questioned everything about psychology because it did not alleviate the guilt that weighed me down. I decided I needed to “forgive myself.”
I made that my goal for the first decade of my Christian walk. I had never heard any teaching that would indicate how unbiblical my thinking was, so I thought I was on the right track. Eventually the Lord led me to some teaching that explained that forgiving yourself is not a biblical concept. It is not found anywhere in Scripture.
Doctrine matters. I realized then that Christ’s forgiveness is enough and negates the need or ability for me to forgive myself. Nowhere in Scripture are we commanded to do so. This one false idea had tripped up my Christian walk for years. It leaked in to other areas of my life that I struggled to surrender fully to Christ. It stunted my spiritual growth.
The women around you may have unbiblical viewpoints causing them to struggle deeply as I did. As you heed your call to serve the next generations, consider speaking in to lives in such a way as to address doctrine. In your relationships with women and girls you must help them to connect their life struggles to sound doctrine.
Are You a Mentor?
Many women feel that this kind of one-another ministry is not for them because they don’t have the ability or knowledge. Christian women do have the ability through the two key elements of mentoring, the Holy Spirit and God’s Word. It’s an unbeatable pair!
As you consider your role as a mentor, counselor, or discipler of the next generations, here are two practical things to do right away:
- Do a self-heart check.
Does your personal life reflect the Gospel, so that others can see? Philippians 1:27-30 tells us to walk in a manner worthy of the Gospel when it says, “Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ.”
In other words, are you imitating Christ? If you are not, you have nothing of worth to pass on to the younger women. 1 Corinthians 11:1-2 says, “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.” We are to imitate Jesus.
- Don’t use “I am not equipped” as an excuse to avoid your Titus 2 calling.
Get in to God’s Word and study deeply. To assist you with that, consider taking some biblical counselor, biblical mentor, or other discipleship training. There are many options available to you either locally or online.
To learn more about our Biblical Mentor Training course “Life on Life, Applying the One-Anothers of Scripture” please visit our website: www.biblicalmentor.com.
Join the Conversation
How can you be more intentional about reaching the next generations?