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I'm a wife to my "Mr. Right". A momma of five. A maker of slow food and simple living. A collector of memories, a keeper of books, and a champion for books that make memories. An addict who likes my half-and-half with a splash of coffee. A fractured pot transformed by the One Who makes broken things beautiful. I heart homeschooling, brake for libraries, and am glad you're here with me on the journey! Be sure to subscribe to my monthly newsletter. Or, follow along with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google +, Youtube, or Pinterest.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Gospel Mentoring Changes Everything...even Homeschooling

Gospel Mentoring Changes Everything...even Homeschooling

Written by Gretchen of Gretchen Ronnevik

(This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy for full details.)

When I started homeschooling 8 years ago, I began researching. Like most newbies, I desperately dug for both information and encouragement. Somewhere along the way, I fell down a giant rabbit hole of teaching philosophies. I read homeschooling classics from cover to cover like The Well-Trained Mind, Educating the Whole-Hearted Child, and Dumbing Us Down. And my mind was opened up to a whole new approach to teaching.

Then, I tried applying all of those fancy ideas to my own homeschool. I learned how the special needs of my struggling ones affected my ideals. I learned to keep the main thing the main thing. I learned that while an authority figure like a mom can make a child do something, she can’t teach a heart without trust. My children had to trust me if I wanted to have access to their hearts.


Those were hidden years when I had to start saying “no” to many things at my church so I could manage homeschooling. I had to drop the morning Bible study I attended as it became a disruption to our school day. Admittedly, it felt selfish for me to put my kids’ needs over serving the church. It also felt like my dreams of being used by God were on the line.

But it was during those years, that God taught me to do little things, secret things that only He saw. I soon began to understand that God was redeeming my own education--that He was equipping me for a ministry I didn’t even know about yet.

To be honest, those were lonely years. I found myself seeking out homeschooling mentors who could walk me through curricula choices and child training. I wanted an older woman to meet with me over coffee and point me in the right direction. But it was hard to find someone who had identical circumstances to mine. It also felt as though the older generation in the church was mystified by my family and our strange, counter-cultural choices.

Gospel Mentoring Changes Everything...even Homeschooling

I did eventually find a few gems. These women had never homeschooled, but they still encouraged me in the everyday things of motherhood. They were so grounded in sound doctrine, convinced of their freedom in Christ, and kept consistently pointing my face to Jesus when times were hard.

I remember praying one morning a couple of years ago, almost in anger. I questioned why there weren’t more mentors in the church willing to speak to the lies of this world, willing to point a woman’s truth to the Lord. It was then that the Lord showed me that I could do that. I could be an older woman who could teach and mentor a younger woman.

My first thought was, Lord, I have no time. I'm a busy mom of six kids. 

But then, He brought to mind a woman I had recently been introduced to at a conference. She met one-on-one with younger ladies over breakfast, early in the morning. I conceded that I could do an early morning breakfast…if I could get out of bed. 

I started praying about the possibility of mentoring in my church. And one by one, God started sending young women my way. 

I was entrusted with their stories. I became the person they called at midnight when they thought their marriage might be over. I became the person they looked to for Biblical advice when they wanted to throw in the towel.  I learned that what God taught me about teaching my children during those silent, hidden years was the exact equipping I needed for this kind of ministry.

God brought me into some tough situations that ended up being the most amazing work He'd ever called me to, next to homeschooling. I got to play a small but formative part in His plans for these younger women. He gave me words I didn’t know I had.

As the list of women I mentored increased, so did my burden to train other mentors. I realized that no one ever just arrives at a certain age, fully equipped to be the “older woman.” More often than not, mentors are women who have been mentored. I also began to see that most older women resist the Titus 2 mandate because they believe they don't have anything to offer. They feel like they don't know enough.

Others avoid mentoring because they'd rather not be the person spreading legalism, telling others what they should and shouldn’t do, and how they should or should not do it. But that's now what Titus 2 is actually saying. The truth is, the purpose of teaching younger women is not to give them rules to follow but to provide them with sound doctrine--to help them understand how the cross changes everything. The goal is to speak truth to younger women being attacked by lies. 

What if we, older women, understood what God was calling us to do for our younger sisters in Christ? What if we could be mentored in our mentoring? How would that change the landscape of the church? The home? Homeschooling?

Gospel Mentoring

These questions led me to write a course called Gospel Mentoring. It’s a work-at-your-own-pace leadership training for anyone who wants to be a Titus 2 mentor. While it's not specifically geared for homeschooling moms, it definitely speaks to both the gifts and the needs of our particular tribe. It's a program designed to equip older women to combat the pressures of legalism in order that they may point younger women to the face of Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith.

Gospel Mentoring is a course that shows how the gospel changes everything. It changes how older women teach younger women. It changes marriages and families. It changes how young women view themselves, their homes, and even their homeschools. Gospel Mentoring is not just another church program to sign up for, it’s a culture that needs to seep into the church. It's based on the cross and all that the cross provides.

If you would like to help mentor the church one young woman at a time, I would love to have you join us at Gospel Mentoring. Enrollment is open at an introductory price until May 14.




4 comments:

  1. Gretchen! Thank you for this post! And thank you for your heart. The struggle is REAL to remember that Jesus uses our homeschooling years in ministry to our own children (helping them to be world changers for His glory) just as mightily as ministry to those outside of our family! How wonderful that He has brought such beauty to both in your life... So encouraged by your words!

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    1. The tension between ministry inside the home and ministry outside the home can be delicate at times, to be sure. But I think God definitely calls us to both. Certain seasons of mothering will require more of us than others. Gretchen has definitely found a season with a bit more margin and is using that "extra" for ministry to others. I have no doubt that her offerings both in her home and out of it will be multiplied for generations to come!

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  2. I consider your personal ministry to be one of the Lord's miracles. And I can say in complete accord, that even though I'm a mama of 12, I still feel that I "don't have anything to offer" the young mamas that are looking for mentors . . . yet . . . I must have something . . . at least a profound witness that Jesus is the Christ!

    I appreciate your story and your call to action.

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    1. And Christ is all they really need. If you point them to Christ, you point them to the Gospel. The Gospel goes beyond salvation. It changes how we do everything in our lives.

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