Even if you’re not someone who sets formal goals for the New Year, you probably just naturally resolved to get your act together this year. I always encourage pastors’ wives to set boundaries in their lives, and with January it’s a good time to analyze if we seem to be accepting more responsibility than we should. More responsibility than God expects of us.
I am privileged to be a part of a new program for pastors’ wives to roll out this year. It is a mentoring program under the auspices of Breathe Ministry [www.BreatheMinistry.com]. The program is called Admonish, and is patterned after Titus 2:4 (KJV). “That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children…”
I am so excited about it. I learned something during the training that I wish to share here. Dayna Garver, creator of Breathe explained to us the differences between being a mentor, a counselor, and a life coach. Knowing the distinctions is very important, not just for those of us who will be mentoring, but more importantly for those of us in ministry. We need to be aware of where the limits are on our ability to help others; we need to place boundaries that keep us from trying to help when professional help is necesssary for someone we know.
A counselor is someone who has been trained and licensed to help people deal with trauma from their present or past to gain healing.
A life coach is someone who is trained and licensed to deal with someone’s present to help them navigate their future.
A mentor, however, is someone who comes alongside another to help them grow in Christ, by showing them the way.
Mentoring is definitely what we are called to do. And when women approach us with more serious problems about hurts and wounds they carry, we need to encourage them to seek professional help. We walk alongside them as they gain the help they need, to demonstrate friendship, but we do not try to heal them ourselves. When someone wants to talk about their dreams and their future, we encourage them and share their vision, but if they are having problems knowing what steps they need to take and how they should be structured to reach their goals, we need to encourage them to seek out a life coach.
Fullfilling what God has called us to be – mentors — is what will satisfy and not frustrate us.