Mentors needed

2 Kings 12-13; 2 Chronicles 24

Seven-year-old Joash followed the Lord for a very long time…as long as Jehoida the priest was alive and mentoring him.  But after Jeohoida died (at the ripe old age of 130!), Joash turned back to idolatry…his country was overtaken by enemies…and he ended up murdered in his own bed.

The Lord often gives us mentors to help us through, doesn’t He?  The idea of mentorship can be found in many places in the Bible, from the story of Joash all the way to the New Testament book of Titus, chapter 2:

3Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. 4Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, 5to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.

Do you have a mentor?  I have a good friend who, although not much older than me in years, is much wiser than I am in the ways of the Lord.  She has sound counsel for me and provides me with an excellent example of a godly woman through her own actions.  I’m grateful for her friendship and her mentorship.

I’m reading a book called A Thomas Jefferson Education by Oliver DeMille.  DeMille argues that today’s education will continue to fail until schools begin to go back to mentors and the classics.  I agree!  Students will never become fully educated until they take hold of their own learning.  The current public school system, according to DeMille, is reminiscent of a factory:

They (public schools) are set up like a factory: everyone in the class gets the same education at the same age from the same textbooks, and they are tested the same and graded based upon the same scale regardless of their individual interests, talents or goals…in this system you go down the factory line, first grade, second grade, third grade, with a factory worker at each station, being assembled with certain parts (the curriculum) at a certain point in a certain way from a common book or manual. Of course, all the products (students) are fitted with the same parts (called “education”) as everyone else on the conveyor belt.  When you finish twelfth grade, you get a stamp (diploma) on your forehead signifying that you are a finished product ready to be sold to the job market….what happens if you try to get ahead?  A factory worker moves you back into place.  What if you get behind?  A “special” worker pulls you up to speed.”

DeMille stresses that one of the keys to breaking this cycle is replacing the idea that teachers are to dole out education with the idea that teachers are to be mentors who lead students into a love of learning.

I am struggling at the moment with how to transition myself from “teacher mom” to “mentor mom,” especially in the area of math.  If you are a homeschooling parent and have any ideas for me on how to instill a love of math both in myself and in my child, I’d love any mentoring you can provide!

Mentors are needed in all walks of life…from learning how to cook, to learning how to be a new mother to learning how to properly mix fuel for the space shuttle to learning how to design a warp speed engine.  Of course, the best mentors we could possibly have are the ones who teach us, by example, how to follow Jesus.  We see them in the pages of our Bible and in our walks of life.  If you don’t have a mentor, I pray now that the Lord will bring you one.

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