Guest Post | Natalie Ross
To anyone who knows me, I usually can’t have a conversation without talking about “my girls”. So, before I start, I need you to understand who I am and who “my girls” are. I am a 44 year old single woman who doesn’t have any children. About 15 years ago I started working with the student ministry at my church and, very quickly, God sparked a passion inside of me and these high school kids grabbed a hold of my heart. I’ve been leading high school small groups ever since. So any young woman that’s been a part of my small group will forever and always be one of “my girls”. They are anywhere from freshmen and sophomores in high school to their early 30’s. They cover all walks of life. They are my joy.
When I was asked to write about what it means to be a leader for these young women, I was honestly fairly overwhelmed. Who am I to talk about something so important? And how do I keep this short??
Before I answer that, I want to share what the Bible says about mentoring younger women. Titus 2:4-5 says “These older women must train the younger women to love their husbands and their children, to live wisely and be pure, to work in their homes, to do good, and to be submissive to their husbands.”
My reaction to this is similar to my reaction to Proverbs 31 – WHAAAAAT??? Why do I react like this? Let’s take a look at what I’m supposed to teach “my girls”:
- To love their husbands and love their children. If you have already forgotten, let me refresh your memory – no husband, no kids.
- To live wisely I don’t have enough room to list all of my failures and shortcomings, but let me just summarize – BIG list of unwise decisions. BIG. HUGE!
- To be pure While one of my small groups tagged me “PQ” (purity queen), the reality is that much of my life was the exact opposite of pure.
- To work in their homes If this has anything to do with cooking, then I’m really in trouble. Anyone else rely on restaurant apps for meal planning??
- To do good Okay, although this is fairly general, I just might be okay at teaching this one.
- To be submissive to their husbands I’ll refer you back to #1.
So I go back to the question – who am I to talk about mentoring and leading young women? I am a complete screw up who, time after time, made bad decision after bad decision. I don’t feel like much of a leader.
BUT – I AM a woman who, very slowly but surely, has come to understand the overwhelming flood of God’s grace and forgiveness and love. And it is His grace and forgiveness and love that I can share with “my girls”. I can listen. I can guide. I can be present. I can warn. I can confront. I can pray. I can love. I can show “my girls” the true joy that comes from following Jesus. And, hopefully, by doing all of these little things, while allowing and trusting God to work through me, this mentoring thing will eventually evolve into a Titus 2 type of ministry.