Why Christians Need Mentors

“With great power comes great responsibility.” – Peter Parker’s Uncle Ben 

As Stan Lee has said: “A… definition of a hero is someone who is concerned about other people’s well-being, and will go out of his or her way to help them—even if there is no chance of a reward. That person who helps others simply because it should or must be done, and because it is the right thing to do, is indeed, without a doubt, a real superhero.” 

These are the true people with power and responsibility, who have the potential to be someone’s hero. We are talking about older men and women who have more life experience, are full of knowledge and wisdom, and most importantly, love God and have been walking with Him longer than us.

As Stan Lee puts it, this is someone who is concerned about other people’s well-being, and will go out of his or her way to help them—even if there is no chance of a reward. Growing up, we have each had these mentors, men and women in our lives who have poured time and wisdom into us and had profound impacts on who we are and how we operate. These people taught us a lot about God, his Word, and encouraged us to grow in our giftings. When thinking of becoming someone who can do this, it is important and good to remember the things that impacted us as younger people, so we can be on the lookout for those opportunities with others in our lives.

This is what we are called to do as believers. Jesus calls the church to go and make disciples; teaching them to obey. How can we make disciples of Jesus without being available to spend time with those who need to be taught and encouraged in their faith?

For example, often when we come across a Christian marriage that is failing, there is a theme of autonomy and seclusion. Where there should be believers they are close with, or an older married couple they can receive wisdom and counsel from, there is no one. 

And this is not because they don’t exist. They do. If you are in a season where this isn’t happening, pray for it! It is good and necessary to seek out those who can exhort us, encourage us, remind us of the truth, and share with us their life experience and wisdom. And when it is needed, to rebuke us in love and correct us to help us walk in righteousness.

So what does this look like? 

We need to have active relationships with these people: living in consistent fellowship with one another and learning from them. It requires dedication; being intentional about reaching out to someone you want to learn from and spending time with them. It is important to ask questions and listen, so that you can take in their knowledge and wisdom. When you spend time with someone and you build trust, you’re actually able to receive from that person. This can be something more formal and planned, or it can also look like getting together for lunch. 

We have also been the ones to invite younger acquaintances and friends to participate in meeting together formally and just pouring into them informally. The key to this is this idea of the older generation and seeing themselves as ones that have a responsibility for the younger, and then also the younger generation being humble and saying, “I’m going to learn from the older generation.” 

1 Peter 5:1-5 So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed:  shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”

When we have these relationships and trust has been built over time, it makes it easier to reach out and ask questions and add to our lives and ourselves the advice or wisdom we receive. We have the power of Christ in us, and with that comes responsibility, and we can use that responsibility to share with others and encourage them in their growth in Christ.

READ TRANSCRIPT

Jennifer:

Hey, we’re Aaron and Jennifer Smith, your hosts of the Marriage After God podcast. Spider-Man’s Uncle Ben once said, “With great power comes great responsibility.”

Aaron:

Today’s episode is brought to you by our free 30-Day Marriage Prayer Challenge and our free 30-Day Parenting Prayer Challenge. When you sign up for either of these challenges or both, you will receive an email every day with scripture and topics for you to pray for your spouse and your son or daughter. We hope to inspire and encourage a consistent and robust prayer life with this challenge and we want to invite you to sign up for free today. Simply visit marriageprayerchallenge.com or parentingprayerchallenge.com and sign up for free today.

Jennifer:

Hey everyone, welcome back. We’re glad to be here.

Aaron:

Bada boom.

Jennifer:

Aaron, what’d you think of me opening up with a Spider-Man quote?

Aaron:

I like Spider-Man, so I loved it. Elliot would love it.

Jennifer:

I know, right? All right, cool. We’ll get into that in a second. I have to read you guys this cute little letter someone hand wrote us on their notepad, stationary, desk paper. They sent us a note to our mailbox beginning of January. It says, “Dearest Aaron and Jennifer, Thank you so very much for your ministry. My husband and I read your marriage prayers over the phone together during his lunch break. They are so good and have been a lifeline during difficult times. We appreciate you so very much.” I’m not going to say who it was, but how beautiful.

Aaron:

Sweet. I love getting… We get them every once in a while, so by the way, if you ever want to send us mail, you can do that.

Jennifer:

She called it a lifeline.

Aaron:

Love that.

Jennifer:

Praise God.

Aaron:

And that’s why we do this, by the way. We do the prayer emails, we do the prayer challenges, we do this podcast, our books, all of it to hopefully draw you closer to God and each other.

Jennifer:

Yeah, very cool.

Aaron:

Yeah. So you quoted Spider-Man about the power of responsibility and being a true hero.

Jennifer:

I like that quote.

Aaron:

Right.

Jennifer:

Actually, before we jump into it, we got the opportunity to take our kids to OMSI. It’s the Oregon Science Museum. They had an exhibit there full of Marvel, everything.

Aaron:

Yeah. It’s a traveling exhibit. I think it’s done soon, so we barely made it to see it.

Jennifer:

But we made it.

Aaron:

It was a lot of fun. There was a lot of first edition comic books from Marvel. There was a lot of the outfits and suits from the movies, which was really cool.

Jennifer:

That was cool.

Aaron:

Because there’s actually a lot of detail in those suits.

Jennifer:

Well, and I pointed out to Elliot on the Spider-Man suit down by his shoe, it was all scuffed up. I’m like, “Elliot, it’s scuffed up because he used it in the movie.”

Aaron:

It was a lot of fun.

Jennifer:

It was cool. Okay, moving on. That was all.

Aaron:

Are we talking about… So we’re talking about heroes, right?

Jennifer:

Yeah.

Aaron:

Because you quoted, “With great power is great responsibility.” Are we talking about someone you might look up to or a hero or an athlete or someone famous like an astronaut? What are we talking about?

Jennifer:

We’re talking about just people because we all have great responsibility just in life with our relationships and our things to do and our jobs and everything. But Stan Lee, he created Spider-Man. He said something that I want to share. “The definition of a hero is someone who is concerned about other people’s wellbeing and will go out of his or her way to help them, even if there is no chance of reward. That person who helps others simply because it should or must be done and because it is the right thing to do is indeed, without a doubt, a real superhero.” I love that.

Aaron:

That’s true. And so what we’re talking about is not just someone we might look up to in the distance. We’re talking about real people, older men and women who have much life experience, full of knowledge and wisdom and most importantly, love God and have been walking for longer than us. That’s the idea because we’re talking about this idea of mentors and people that we look up to and people that we can be poured into by in our lives. Those are the true heroes. So we just wanted to bring up this idea today, not just for you listeners on what God might have for you, but also for you to do, being a hero in someone else’s life, being a mentor in someone else’s life, being that person who uses their life and experience and knowledge and wisdom and love of God.

Jennifer:

And will go out of their way for others.

Aaron:

Yeah, but maybe seeking that out for yourself because we all need it at various times. We may not always be able to have it, but we all need it. We’ve had mentors, people in our life that have poured into us with their time, with their wisdom. Growing up, I had a few men in my life. One specifically had a profound impact in my life. He was my old youth pastor. The church that we used to do youth ministry at, Jennifer, that pastor there was the… So a friend of mine, a good friend of mine, started going to that church and he invited me one time. He said, “Oh, we do this overnight stay thing.” I don’t know if they do these anymore, but we would stay up all night and drink gallons of milk and play and do challenging.

Jennifer:

Do challenges and funny games.

Aaron:

Anyways, I went to that and kind of fell in love with it, fell in love with the youth pastor. He was just such a dynamic guy. So awesome. He’s just this Canadian guy that came down to fill a pastor role at a church in my hometown, and we became friends and he was a mentor and he taught me a lot about God and His word. Also encouraged me to grow in my giftings. That’s a huge thing. Someone who can see giftings in you and call them out and not just be passive but say, “Hey, you should use those and activate those and walk in those and grow in those and mature in those.” But most importantly, his love for God and his zeal for God’s word rubbed off on me.

Jennifer:

You actually, to this day when you share and teach-

Aaron:

I teach a lot like him.

Jennifer:

You teach like him, yeah.

Aaron:

Yeah. He used to always tear up when he would teach.

Jennifer:

Cry?

Aaron:

And I do every single time and I always say, “This is the Holy Spirit,” but I don’t know. Maybe it was an influence from him. Maybe I’m just very much like him. I don’t know. But I learned a lot from him and I spent hours and years walking with this dude and he’s so awesome. His name’s Eldon. I still talk with him every once in a while, but that was huge in my life. If I didn’t have that, I don’t know what kind of man I’d be today. I don’t know where I’d be today. So I just want to say thank you to him.

Jennifer:

That’s cool.

Aaron:

Did you have anyone like that growing up?

Jennifer:

Yeah, when I was in high school, I started going to this Bible study. It was actually the place that we met.

Aaron:

Oh yeah.

Jennifer:

The Monday night Bible study.

Aaron:

The Flippen Home Group?

Jennifer:

Yes. So Craig and Corrin Flippen, they open up their home to a handful of teenagers. They’re brave, brave people.

Aaron:

They were brave.

Jennifer:

Every Monday night, they were so consistent and they loved us.

Aaron:

Real quick.

Jennifer:

Yeah?

Aaron:

Were they our age now when they started that?

Jennifer:

Probably younger, actually.

Aaron:

Probably younger than us? Oh my goodness. Okay. That’s crazy.

Jennifer:

But that small home group, there was I think six or seven of us kids, grew very fast. And then there-

Aaron:

There was like 30.

Jennifer:

Was over a hundred. No, there was over a hundred.

Aaron:

Oh yeah. The police used to come by because we’d be like all the way out to the street.

Jennifer:

Because we met in their garage. It started in their home and then it went out to their garage. But I had a really close relationship with Craig and Corrin, and specifically Corrin, the wife. She just really poured into me during those years of being in high school and supported me and taught me about God, taught me about prayer and worship and tithe and just, ah, it was great. It was awesome to have someone that I could look up to and admire and see their life and say, “Oh, I want something like that.”

Aaron:

And also seeing them step out and in doing something. And again, all those influences, they’ve rubbed off on us. Why was it easier maybe for us to step out and try and do stuff? Is it because we saw it? Probably. And so my question is why are we talking about this?

Jennifer:

Real quick, sorry. I was just thinking, I also had a high school teacher. She was my language arts teacher, my ninth grade year of high school. She really encouraged me in my writing and we just formed this friendship. I’d rather hang out with her than going out to lunch or doing anything with even my friends. And so on my lunch breaks, I’d go and chat with her, or in the mornings, she’d bring me Starbucks. It was really fun.

Aaron:

Did you send her one of our books once, when you first published your book?

Jennifer:

Well, the first book that I ever traditionally published, I did. I put her name in the back and said, thank you.

Aaron:

Oh, that’s what it was.

Jennifer:

Ms. Christopher. She was so awesome. It’s people like that that really do have such a profound impact in people’s lives because they see you, and like you said, they call out your giftings and they say, “You know could use this. You can do something really great with this,” and she was someone who did that to me.

Aaron:

Which goes to answering my question of why are we talking about this?

Jennifer:

Yeah.

Aaron:

The impact that… So the younger people, those that are under us in age and experience, we never know how much influence and impact we have on them, especially when we’re intentional about it. And so looking for those opportunities, asking God to reveal to you, are there young couples, younger students, young people in my life that you want me to take under my wing, speak into, to encourage them in the word of God, point them to you, Lord?

Jennifer:

Well, by sharing our past experience of when we were younger, Aaron, hopefully it got the ball rolling for our listeners to start thinking, how was your upbringing? How was maybe high school years, early adulthood, or even now, how has it been impacted by someone who made a way to connect with you? Because those moments are so important to remember because we can go on with life and we can move on and do our thing and we forget, but hopefully by us sharing right now, and by you listening, it stops you and helps you remember the feeling you had when you were impacted, so that what Aaron’s talking about, those opportunities, you can actually see. That there is someone else in your life right now who you can be that person to.

Aaron:

And I think there’s a lot of people that might feel inadequate. Well, that’s not who I am. I can’t go sit down and mentor someone because mentor’s a big word. But in reality, we wrote about this in Marriage After God when we talked about our tool belt and all of the things that we’ve experienced in our life and that God wants to use those things that we’ve experienced, every bit of it. It’s something that can be used for His glory.

Jennifer:

Yeah.

Aaron:

It’s something that when it’s melded to His testimony, the testimony of Jesus Christ, becomes a powerful tool. It doesn’t mean that you have gone through something super horrible or maybe you did. Maybe God brings into your life someone who needs to know what you walked through, needs to hear how you dealt with it, how you didn’t deal with it well, how you dealt with it well, who helped you in those moments, how the Lord helped you in those moments and realizing that you don’t need a special degree, you don’t need some sort of special “testimony” to have impact in someone’s life. Just being available, to be honest, is the most important thing because there’s so many people wandering and wondering, who am I? What’s next? What am I supposed to do? What’s the answers to life? And you know what? Even though we don’t have all the answers to everything, we do know some things and we can share what God’s shown us and we can point people to Jesus and we can point people to His word.

Jennifer:

I think something that I’ve recognized over the years of having relationships and walking through different types of situations like this where I’m being mentored or I am pouring out, and it’s that first and foremost, spending quality time together builds the foundation for trust. So it’s not like you’re going to go meet for coffee and answer all these questions about what’s the purpose of life or what is this or what is that? But what happens is you go to coffee-

Aaron:

You’re there.

Jennifer:

And you’re just there and you’re present and you laugh about something and you share something you’re learning about or whatever it is. And then the next time you go and have coffee again, or maybe you grab breakfast or maybe you just have them over and you get to share a little bit more and you get to know them a little bit more. After doing this repeatedly, several times or maybe for a long time, when the time comes that a question does present itself, they’re going to come to you and they’re going to trust what you share because they know you. Right?

Aaron:

Well, and being available and being consistent in that opportunity that you offer. “Hey, I would love to take you out.” And even if they don’t receive. Let’s say you identify, there’s someone in my life I’d love to go take the coffee and just see who they are, see what God has for them, see how I can impart into them. Maybe they don’t say yes right away. Just being available, being ready. Like just recently, someone just reaches out to me a after years of not talking to this person, just texts me for help and counsel and advice. I was available. Maybe there was no one else available, sadly. But we can be that person. So what’s our encouragement to our listeners? It’s this, we’re called to do this as believers, not just specific people, not just the one who has the counseling degree, not just the one who’s got the title of pastor.

Jennifer:

To recognize that we are part of the same body. When your elbow hurts, do you take care of it?

Aaron:

Yes.

Jennifer:

Or your knee or your foot?

Aaron:

Yeah, or ignore it.

Jennifer:

You can’t ignore it. We can’t ignore it. And so it’s our response going back to the beginning. It’s our responsibility to take care of the body.

Aaron:

Yeah. In Genesis, when Cain kills Abel, they’re brothers. This is the first murder. God comes to Cain and says, “Where’s your brother?” And Cain says, “What? Am I my brother’s keeper?” Cain knew what he did and God knew what Cain did. But God wanted to hear from Cain about his brother. The point is, yes, we are our brother’s keepers. We are to look out for each other and to encourage each other and exhort each other and rebuke each other and remind each other of our faith and help each other when we’re falling. All of these things, this is our responsibility, not that person’s responsibility over there but ours. If you wanted to go back to what Jesus called the church to do in the Great Commission, he says, “Go and make disciples, teaching them to obey.”

It doesn’t say, “Go, just make converts.” No. Making disciples is such a different thing. People are getting saved all the time because that’s what the spirit of God is doing in the world, saving people. Making disciples is not making a disciple of me. This is something that I think a lot of people have misunderstood about this is that I’m making a disciple of myself. I have disciples. That’s not what this is saying. Jesus wants His church, us as individuals, to make Jesus disciples, which is actually much easier. Instead of me having to be someone that like, oh, I have these disciples. I have to figure out how I’m turning them into my disciples. No, you’re helping people become Jesus’ disciples, which is essentially a person who follows Jesus. That’s what a disciple is. Jesus being the rabbi, the teacher. The disciple being the student. So we’re students helping other students become students and follow Jesus. That’s what we’re doing. And so that’s our job is being available to spend time with those in need to be taught and encouraged.

Jennifer:

Are there ever going to be seasons where that’s not happening? Where maybe you’re not being poured into or-

Aaron:

Yes.

Jennifer:

Maybe you don’t know anyone in that space that you’re in that you can pour into? Or maybe it feels like that. I don’t know.

Aaron:

Which brings me to the point of our main source of feeding should come from our own prayer life and our own study of the word of God.

Jennifer:

Right.

Aaron:

But we cannot neglect.

Jennifer:

What you’re saying is don’t rely on someone else-

Aaron:

Only.

Jennifer:

Just pouring into you.

Aaron:

Which again, a lot of Christians do this and it’s detriment. They rely on their pastor to feed them only. They don’t feed themselves. The Bible is very clear. We’re to grow out of this idea of just drinking milk. We’re to be growing up into solid foods and becoming adults and mature and know how to feed ourselves.

Jennifer:

And for those of you who are feeding yourself and you still desire and want someone to be pouring into you and having that role of a mentor in your life or-

Aaron:

It’s good.

Jennifer:

That’s a good desire to have. I would say pray for it and let God know your desire for it and keep your eyes open for when He brings you that.

Aaron:

So the best way for this to happen is to be, first of all, consistent in fellowship. We always talk about this. I think it’s in Hebrews, not neglecting the gathering of the brethren, not neglecting fellowship, not avoiding being close with other Christians. I’m not just saying, just being at church and attending and then going home, but being known, being available, having your house open, living life with.

Jennifer:

Living life together, hospitality, because it’s in those moments that you end up encouraging each other, exhorting one another.

Aaron:

It does happen.

Jennifer:

Sharing bits of wisdom and experiences with each other.

Aaron:

And often, that’s going to happen on a peer-to-peer level.

Jennifer:

Yeah.

Aaron:

Same age, same life stage. That’s often the most conducive. That’s how it happens. But it is good to seek out specifically those who can exhort us, encourage us, remind us of the truth, share with us their life experience and wisdom, and also when necessary rebuke us and love and correct us to help us keep walking in righteousness. Because that last piece, that rebuke, that’s often one of the ones that we avoid. We don’t want someone telling us we’re wrong.

Jennifer:

But that goes back to what I was saying is when you spend time together and you build trust, you’re actually able to receive from that person.

Aaron:

Hopefully.

Jennifer:

When we’re walking in a shallow relationship, it’s a lot harder for us to hear or receive.

Aaron:

Well, the reason it’s shallow is specifically to avoid this.

Jennifer:

Yeah.

Aaron:

We keep it shallow because we don’t want to be known on deep level.

Jennifer:

So when we’re talking about saying the word mentorship or having a mentor in your life, does that have to be a very formal, okay, we’re meeting once a week at this place at this time, or is it informal or what?

Aaron:

I think it could be… So first of all, this idea of mentor isn’t specifically a biblical idea like, “Hey, you must have a mentor. This is biblical. Every Christian should be walking with a mentor.” Like you said, there’s seasons that doesn’t happen. It’s seasons not possible. There’s seasons that we’re the ones doing it. But that being said, it could happen in many different ways. It could be just getting lunch with someone one time. You reach out and, “Hey, I’d love to I…”

Jennifer:

Three and a half hours later.

Aaron:

Yeah, and that does happen.

Jennifer:

I know.

Aaron:

It’s like, oh man, I’ve been here all day. But maybe God’s got something in your heart that you want to share with this young person in your life, or you need some just godly older wisdom and you reach out to that older couple that you look at them and you’re like, man, they love God. They’ve been following him. Their marriage is great. I love their children. “Hey,” and I’ve done this,”Can I take you to lunch? I just want to pick your brain and I just want to hear from your plethora of years of life with God.” And so it could be very informal or it could be very formal like, “Hey, I’d love to meet regularly.” And we’ve done both. We’ve had all these and everything in between of, “Can we meet at a coffee shop every Wednesday and go through a book of the Bible and you show me how to read the Bible or you show me how to learn,” or whatever it is. So I think it could be whatever works.

Jennifer:

That’s good. I do think when it comes to this idea of being poured into and pouring into others, the word that keeps popping up into my head is intentionality. So being intentional to initiate that quest when you’re itching for wisdom or advice and you want to grow closer to someone and connect with someone, so having the courage to go up to them and invite yourself into their space. Like you said, “Can I take you to lunch?” But also being intentional in knowing that you have something to offer and sharing that with others, especially the younger generation.

Aaron:

And doing it out of love for them because you desire to see them be mature and grow and just know the Lord more. Proverbs speaks a lot about those who seek wisdom and counsel and how blessed they will be and so it’s a good thing. It’s a good thing to seek out wisdom and counsel. Often, you get wisdom from the wises and often the wise, the Bible says, gray hair is a crown of the wise, right? Their age, the fact that they’ve lived so long, they’ve done something right to get to that far because some people are very foolish and they don’t live that long. But just digging into their life, how long they’ve been married, and even if they’ve gone through hard things. And often if they’re old, they’ve gone through a lot of hard things and they can tell you how they’ve walked through them and what God’s shown them in all of them.

In 1 Peter, I just want to read this real quick, this is specifically talking about the position of elder in the church, but there’s something to be said about this idea of the older generation and how it’s that we could perceive them. It says, “So I exhort the elders among you. As a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed, shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion,” meaning you’re not made to do this, “but willingly as God would have you, not for shameful gain, but eagerly, not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock. And when the chief shepherd appears, you’ll receive an unfading crown of glory. Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders, clothe yourselves, all of you with humility toward one another. For God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”

The key to this is this idea of the older generation and seeing themselves as ones that have a responsibility for the younger, and then also the younger generation seeing themselves as humble and saying, “I’m going to look up to the older generation.” This is, again, over the last several decades or so, probably longer, there’s been this exodus of no, out with the old and in with the new.

Jennifer:

You’re irrelevant.

Aaron:

Yeah. If you’re old, you’re irrelevant. You’re not keeping up with the times. You don’t know things of the young generation. You don’t understand them. You know what? The young generation needs to stop caring about what the young generation has and needs to start looking back to the older generations.

Jennifer:

I think in some respects that has happened. If you see social media, well, at least the accounts that I’ve been following, you see a lot of this going back to-

Aaron:

Traditional things.

Jennifer:

Traditional how to make bread, how to can. These are homesteading things, but in the same sense, you can understand that there’s this longing for tradition and knowledge and how to do.

Aaron:

But the sad thing is, is they’re not getting that from the old generation. They’re getting it however they can.

Jennifer:

Some of them might be.

Aaron:

Some of them might be.

Jennifer:

Some of them might be.

Aaron:

But how awesome would it be, if we… So when we were in Africa, speaking of Africa, because we talked about it earlier, when we were in Malawi and we went to a village on, was it Lake Malawi?

Jennifer:

Yeah.

Aaron:

And one of the older women, one of the mothers, grabbed you. We didn’t have any kids yet. We were in pretty much newlyweds.

Jennifer:

It was early too, early in the morning.

Aaron:

It was early in the morning. She woke you up. I remember, because I think I was still asleep. She took you to the market, which was right on the lake and got chicken and all these vegetables and took you back and taught you to pluck a chicken’s feathers and cook the whole thing. You made a whole meal and it was delicious.

Jennifer:

I was with her for five hours. There was a lot that went into that day, and I really loved her for it. I didn’t know what I was doing and I couldn’t even tell you now all the steps involved in what we did.

Aaron:

But she-

Jennifer:

She understood.

Aaron:

She’s like, “Oh, you’re a wife and you’re a young wife and I’ve been a wife for a long time and I have kids.” She’s like, “Let me take you and teach you.” what was her name?

Jennifer:

Anise.

Aaron:

Anise.

Jennifer:

Anise.

Aaron:

And she was so happy to do it. It wasn’t inconvenient for her. It wasn’t out of her way.

Jennifer:

She had joy in sharing.

Aaron:

Which takes me to another point about, we were talking about how it could look. She just took you along with what she was already going to do.

Jennifer:

Yeah.

Aaron:

That was something that she was going to do.

Jennifer:

That’s true. That’s true.

Aaron:

She’s like, come along and I’m going to show you what I do.

Jennifer:

And I’ve had experiences. There was a friend of ours who we were fellowshipping with who had the skill of quilting and so she offered that skill. She was going to be doing it anyways, but she offered to have some of the ladies who were interested come once a week for I think it was two months straight, and she would teach us how to quilt. There was nothing spiritual about it. I mean, it wasn’t like we were digging into the word of God or praying.

Aaron:

But is it? It was super spiritual.

Jennifer:

But well, in a sense though, that bonding and that giving and receiving, it was a really beautiful time together where we were focused on a skillset. We were doing something with our hands and our minds, but at the same time, we were building and bonding in friendship. That made it so much easier to receive from her in every other way. But I really appreciate people who are willing to share what they know.

Aaron:

Well, and when we talk about this idea of how you can pour into someone else’s life, we’re not just talking about on the practical level, but the practical level, going back to the tool belt, is how we can get to the spiritual things. Being able to just sit with someone to teach them quilting, being able to sit with someone to teach them how to cook, being able to sit with someone and teach them graphic design-

Jennifer:

Love is patient. Love is kind. Love is not irritable.

Aaron:

Teach them how write. You have to have those. But in the midst of doing the practical thing that you already have this gifting in, and you as the listener, you know these things that you do. Maybe you’re good at organizing, maybe you’re good at meal prep. There’s so many things that I’m not good at that someone could teach me.

Jennifer:

Are you saying that could be an open door?

Aaron:

It’s an open door. It’s an opportunity. It’s saying, “Hey, I have this thing that I do that I’d love to invite you to be a part of with me, so I can show you. But along the way, how are you? Are you in the word of God?”

Jennifer:

“How’s your marriage?”

Aaron:

Yeah. “How’s your marriage? What are some questions you have about God?” And that those can be big questions. My encouragement for that would be don’t be afraid to say, “I don’t know.” But just asking them and digging in and praying that God does give you answers, give you a direction that you can draw someone. We need more of it. We need more. I just look at this generation and I see so many lost souls, the young generation, and it’s sad. We need believers to step up and to see their value and know that it’s not the responsibility of someone else on a stage somewhere. It’s ours. It’s our responsibility to see and to put our hand out and say, “Hey, come along. Let me take you to the market.”

Jennifer:

Yeah. That’s really good. Something I was thinking of just now was, so we’ve talked in the past about how it feels like time is just going by so fast. I think everyone can nod their head and think how busy they get throughout the week.

Aaron:

Yeah.

Jennifer:

So when you’re talking about taking the time to share something or have an open door or invite someone in to do something or have that conversation or go to lunch, whatever the thing is, how do you encourage a husband and wife listening right now to make time for that to happen? How do you slow down enough to make it happen?

Aaron:

There’s a term called margin. It’s this idea of having time and sometimes we don’t have any. So again, we never sacrifice our first and most important ministries for any other ministry. So my first and most important is my wife and my kids. So everything else is second, as ministry goes. But if you are doing those things and you’re working on those things, then the goal can be, “Hey, how can we make time? Can we have one day a week that we have a family over for dinner? Can we have one day a week that…” Something that we’ve done, because it’s not consistent, but you’re like, “Hey, there’s this young girl in the church that she wants to go for coffee. What day works this week?” We talk about it, and that’s not both of us. That’s you. Then we make that happen. Often, we do prioritize. So we’ll say like, “Oh, something else has to change. So maybe instead of going to do this thing that we usually do, you go do that.”

Jennifer:

So upfront, looking at the week and evaluating, but having that margin, it makes it really good for spontaneous things that come up.

Aaron:

Well. And sometimes things are urgent too. Sometimes we do sacrifice something that is important for an urgent thing. We’ve done that before where we have to go and-

Jennifer:

Drop everything.

Aaron:

Drop everything and go sit down with a couple just to pray with them and talk with them and encourage them.

Jennifer:

I want to encourage the mom who’s at home with kids, real quick, because I remember-

Aaron:

Thinking great, another thing to have to put on my plate?

Jennifer:

No, I know it’s a lot. Sometimes we can feel… Well, I know in the past, I’ve been doing this mom thing for a couple of years now, and especially in the beginning-

Aaron:

At least 10, right?

Jennifer:

But especially in the beginning, I remember feeling really overwhelmed that I didn’t have enough time or mental capacity to do something like this. I would always feel really overwhelmed and I’d tell you, Aaron, that, “I want to do this. I want to do that. I want to go for coffee. I want to spend special time and talk to these women that I’m fellowshipping with and get to know them.” I always saw it as this very special thing that had to happen outside the home, away from all the distraction. I remember you were very good at encouraging me to just invite them into what I was already doing. So I started doing that and whoa, it was incredible. Even though, and I know I get this, but when you’re a mom and you have kids and you invite another mom over with kids, you maybe hear 10% of what each other is saying.

I just laughed with a friend about this because it’s true. You get interrupted. There’s a lot happening. But even still, especially when that happens time and time again and you have them over and you say, “Hey, come hang out, the kids can play and we’ll do lunch,” that quality time builds up the relationship and you can still hear from one another and receive from one another and give to one another. That time is so valuable. So I just wanted to encourage the mom out there who’s at home with littles to invite others into that space. Even if you’re inviting someone who doesn’t have kids, don’t be afraid of that. They can see how you are with yours and be encouraged by that example. Or if there’s going to be a lot of kids, do something fun up front and then have lunch and just be okay with it. Be okay with it. I had to learn how to be okay with that to make it happen and I really cherish the times that I was able to do that.

Aaron:

Well, and I think that’s one of the keys to this, is like that woman, Anise, in Africa just taking you along with what she was already doing.

Jennifer:

Right. That’s what I was thinking about.

Aaron:

She didn’t have this whole separate schedule like, “Oh, today I’m going to now teach this young woman how to do these things and I’m going to have to put everything else on hold.” I think that’s one of the tricks to this is not seeing this as something that has to exist outside of normal life.

Jennifer:

And it’s not this perfectly set up-

Aaron:

Curated.

Jennifer:

Curated thing.

Aaron:

Perfect time.

Jennifer:

Yeah.

Aaron:

Sometimes it will be that, and sometimes it can be that. But if you think about it in a sense of, so if you’re the husband and let’s say you have a full-time job and you’re like, “What am I going to do? Get home after work and not go to my family?” Maybe it’s people in your work. God has you there for a reason.

Jennifer:

Yeah.

Aaron:

Maybe at lunch break, maybe on business drives and trips, finding ways to either insert yourself into people’s lives or invite people into yours.

Jennifer:

Cool. I think that’s all we have for them.

Aaron:

So our main encouragement is that you are a necessity in the body of Christ. There is people right now in your life that God’s wanting you to pour into or wanting them to pour into you and you should let them.

Jennifer:

We started out with the quote with, I don’t want to say it wrong.

Aaron:

Go back up. There it is.

Jennifer:

“With great power comes great responsibility.” I was just thinking how the power that we have is the power of Christ and the responsibility is sharing that. So it’s not that we have a special skillset. It’s not that we have all this wisdom. It’s not that we have our lives all put together perfectly. It’s that we have the power of Christ in us, and with that comes responsibility, and we can use that responsibility to share with others and encourage them in their growth in Christ.

Aaron:

Amen, sister. So this month’s Growth Spurt, we’re still on it, I think this is the last one for the month, is Spring Into Fun, so doing an activity on your next date night. We’ve given a lot of examples of this. But just go do something unique and fun. Maybe bring a game, maybe bring some questions, unique questions to ask each other on your date night. Maybe go do something unique for a date night. Last time, we talked about going almost to do… We almost did pottery and painting, but we ended up doing VR.

Jennifer:

Yeah, virtual reality.

Aaron:

Yeah. Do something creative and active on your next date night.

Jennifer:

Okay, let’s pray. Dear Lord, thank you for the people you have placed in our lives who have shown us ways we should be walking, encourage us to live according to your word and has been by our side through hard times. Thank you for the ones who have mentored us in marriage and in parenting. Thank you for the ones we have had the opportunity to mentor and pour into. We pray you continue to use us in this way to lift up the younger generation, and please keep putting people in our life who we can learn from. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Like this article?

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on Linkdin
Share on Pinterest

Past Podcast Episodes

Marriage After God Podcast - Christian Marriage Podcast
Cassidy

The Connection Between the Jewish Temple and the Church

Throughout the ages, God has established sacred spaces where His presence can dwell among His people. In our latest episode, we embark on a fascinating exploration of the Jewish Temple and the profound connections to the modern-day Church.

Listen NOW »
Marriage After God Podcast - Christian Marriage Podcast
Cassidy

Exploring Bible Prophecies: Jesus’ Life, Death, and Resurrection

The Bible is unlike any other book, as it bases its authenticity and authority on prophecy. Prophecy is not a haphazard guess nor a probability made upon uncertain data; prophecy is history written in advance. Join us as we journey through the Old Testament to uncover foreshadowings of Jesus’s birth, life, ministry, death, and resurrection.

Listen NOW »
Marriage After God Podcast - Christian Marriage Podcast
Cassidy

Jesus Prophecies part 1 – Old Testament Prophesies About The Birth Of Christ

The Bible contains numerous prophecies that foretold the coming of Jesus Christ with astonishing accuracy, centuries before He was born. Beyond tracing Christ’s bloodline, the prophecies also foretold realities such as His virgin birth and the flight to Egypt afterwards to escape Herod. While it might not seem directly related, learning and understanding more about prophecy can deepen our faith and enrich our marriages.

Listen NOW »
Marriage After God Podcast - Christian Marriage Podcast
Cassidy

7 Words Every Parent Should Speak To Their Child

As parents, the words we speak hold immense power. They shape our children’s understanding of themselves, the world around them, and their relationship with God. In the last episode of our series on words, we delve into the profound impact our words can have on our little ones, sharing seven key biblical phrases that can nurture their hearts and minds.

Listen NOW »
Marriage After God Podcast - Christian Marriage Podcast
Cassidy

7 Words Every Spouse Needs to Hear

In this episode, we opened our hearts and delved into the profound power of words within a marriage. There are challenges that can arise when words are misused, yet joy that comes from rediscovering unity through intentional communication.

Listen NOW »