I was in worship practice with my friend this past Sunday, and noticed her children sitting in the church pew as she and I sang our praises to the King. In looking at those sweet kids, I was impressed by the simple but profound truth that not only was my friend, in that moment, showing me what it looks like to be a mother and disciple her kids by allowing them to witness her in worship and service to the church body, but she was engaging in the very act of discipling her kids by showing them what it looks like to worship the great Savior of mankind and serve His Bride, the Church. I was awestruck that on a Sunday morning in worship practice, I would learn such a valuable truth.
I might not have noticed something so beautiful, except that for the past year, this friend of mine has invested in my life. I asked her a while ago if she would mentor me, and (praise God!) she said yes. We began meeting together monthly to pray together, to talk through struggles and bring them under the jurisdiction of God’s Word, and so that I could glean wisdom from her, to learn from one a little older and more mature what it means to be a wife and mom in ministry. And I have been watching her. Many times without even noticing that I’ve been learning even as I witness her live life in front of my eyes. She has shown me on a very intimate level what it looks like to be a wife, to support one’s husband as he pours his life out for the sake of the gospel. She has portrayed to me by her life and words the heavy privilege it is to be a mom to four precious souls, to disciple them in the grace of God and instruct them in the knowledge of the Word, to point them to the Living Word – Jesus, the Lover and Redeemer of lost souls. And she has also shown me that she is such a soul, once lost but now found in the blessed security of the Savior. She hasn’t shied away from sharing with me about her own sin struggles, and I’ve seen her act in impatience toward her children and husband a time or two. This has been so beneficial for me, because in witnessing her humanity, I have seen that I am not alone. “Ah, yes,” I sigh with relief, “a fellow creature flawed by sin, rescued by Divine Grace!” In seeing her flaws, I’ve been reminded that I cannot place her on a pedestal. She is just a human, and as is the case with me, she will not be perfect until the day she meets her Savior in heaven. I am not to idolize her, this comrade of mine in the faith. And through the struggles, I have seen the process of sanctification take place in her soul. As one day passes into another, she is looking a little more like Jesus. The Spirit is completing the good work He started in her, and I would not notice this taking place in her life if she attempted to hide her struggles from me, if she put a mask on and pretended to be perfect. Oh my, how so very thankful I am for my friend, and for all that I am learning through her life!
Through my friend’s investment into my life, I am also reminded of my high school years, when a certain group of college-aged women chose to pour into my life. One of these ladies decided to come to my house once a week and have a Bible study with me. She taught me how to dig into the Word and feed my soul through the study of Scripture. She invited me to her home to hang out with her and her roommates, and she showed me how radically different life is when Jesus is the Savior of it. I met other college ladies who, in turn, befriended me and exemplified the same truth to me: everything in life is different with Jesus. Everything has purpose because of Him. There are service opportunities to be a part of, because Jesus. There’s hope to be found when a guy breaks up with you, because Jesus. There are younger girls to invest in, because Jesus. Life endeavors are to be completed with one’s 100% effort, because Jesus. Because Jesus lives in this heart, and everything is different with Him.
I stand in humble amazement of the ways that God used this group of ladies to show me the truth that “Christianity is not a series of truths in the plural, but rather truth spelled with a capital ‘T’. Truth about total reality, not just about religious things. Biblical Christianity is Truth concerning totaly reality – and the intellectual holding of that total Truth and then living in the the light of that Truth. (Francis Schaeffer)” Oh my, there is such a need for women within the local church body to invest in each other’s lives. To display the truth of Christ to one another by living life with one another, side by side and face-to-face.
As I think about what an incredible impact certain women have made in my life, I’m left pondering some very important questions: who has God placed in my life, that I might love this person with Christ’s love and set an example for her? and what does my life say about Christ?
What about you? Who has impacted your life, and in what ways? What does your life say to those around you about who Christ is and what He’s done?
Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, so that they may encourage the young women… -Titus 2:3