Scripture

Proverbs 13

A wise son heeds his father’s instruction,

    but a mocker does not respond to rebukes.

From the fruit of their lips people enjoy good things,
    but the unfaithful have an appetite for violence.

Those who guard their lips preserve their lives,
    but those who speak rashly will come to ruin.

A sluggard’s appetite is never filled,
    but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied.

The righteous hate what is false,
    but the wicked make themselves a stench
    and bring shame on themselves.

Righteousness guards the person of integrity,
    but wickedness overthrows the sinner.

One person pretends to be rich, yet has nothing;
    another pretends to be poor, yet has great wealth.

A person’s riches may ransom their life,
    but the poor cannot respond to threatening rebukes.

The light of the righteous shines brightly,
    but the lamp of the wicked is snuffed out.

10 Where there is strife, there is pride,
    but wisdom is found in those who take advice.

11 Dishonest money dwindles away,
    but whoever gathers money little by little makes it grow.

12 Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
    but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.

13 Whoever scorns instruction will pay for it,
    but whoever respects a command is rewarded.

14 The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life,
    turning a person from the snares of death.

15 Good judgment wins favor,
    but the way of the unfaithful leads to their destruction.

16 All who are prudent act with knowledge,
    but fools expose their folly.

17 A wicked messenger falls into trouble,
    but a trustworthy envoy brings healing.

18 Whoever disregards discipline comes to poverty and shame,
    but whoever heeds correction is honored.

19 A longing fulfilled is sweet to the soul,
    but fools detest turning from evil.

20 Walk with the wise and become wise,
    for a companion of fools suffers harm.

21 Trouble pursues the sinner,
    but the righteous are rewarded with good things.

22 A good person leaves an inheritance for their children’s children,
    but a sinner’s wealth is stored up for the righteous.

23 An unplowed field produces food for the poor,
    but injustice sweeps it away.

24 Whoever spares the rod hates their children,
    but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.

25 The righteous eat to their hearts’ content,
    but the stomach of the wicked goes hungry.

Reflection

According to the National Mentoring Project, young adults who were at-risk for falling off track, but had a mentor are:

         55% more likely to enroll in college

         78% more likely to volunteer regularly

         130% more likely to hold leadership positions.

A Big Brothers Big Sisters study found that girls and boys with mentors were 2-3 times more likely to be successful in school, have less anxiety, and experience or participate less in bullying, fighting and angry outbursts.

Mentoring works. It works with children, and it works with adults. Because even when adults have developed in a healthy manner, we all still need to know someone believes in us, and not just the people who are supposed to. We need to know we are loved and cared for by people other than our immediate family. Mentors show us by example how to function in the world. They show us by care, listening, and genuine interest in our lives that we matter. Everyone can use at least one mentor, and most of us could benefit from several.

So, how do we go about finding these mentors and/or being one for someone else? Begin with prayer. Ask God to open your eyes to those around you who may be able to offer wisdom and guidance. Then look for those people. Be observant of the people in your life who you admire or of people who have some character trait that you would like to emulate or pass on to your children. Ask those in your circles who might be a good person to mentor you or your child. Pray some more. Then ask that person if he or she would be willing to meet with you or your child on a regular basis. Formal mentoring works best for adult-to-adult and adult-to-child relationships, and can be done weekly, bi-weekly or monthly, but a longer time lapse is not recommended. 

Informal mentoring is best for children who don’t need academic mentoring, but rather character and spiritual mentoring. It can be done by asking your already close adult friends to keep in contact with your child. Ask your child’s Sunday School teachers, former coaches and teachers, and family friends to simply engage in regular conversation with your child, take an interest in them and perhaps occasionally do something special with them. Ask mentors to send encouraging texts, scriptures or notes to your child. My husband and I did this with both of our children and it blessed them immensely! They both still have other adults in their lives who regularly check in on them, encourage them and listen to them when in need. They speak words and offer advice that will only be accepted by a non-parental figure. Sometimes I call these mentors and ask them to pray specific prayers for my kids, or ask them to encourage them in a certain area. It brings great comfort knowing they each have other caring, loving adults in their corner. I have often said, we all need a group of people in our lives who love God deeply and love us without judgment. So, whether it is for you or for your kids or both, find some of these people and invite them into your life, today. 

Prayer

Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for providing me with people who have loved me and shaped me along the way. Thank you for the Holy Spirit you have provided as my guide. I am grateful that I am not alone in this world. Please show me the ways I need to order my life so that I may be a blessing and a guide to others. Open my heart to the Spirit’s leading and give me courage to follow. Amen.