The Missing Link: The Necessity of Mentoring by Older
Proverbs 27:17: “You use steel to sharpen steel, and one friend sharpens
If there is an area of need amongst the young men that has been forgotten is the
whole spectrum of mentoring. What happened that fathers stopped mentoring
their sons? Who do we blame when we see excesses in our young people? Most
times fathers blame the mothers. Let’s face it. Who has failed? It is the older
men. We need to address the whole area of mentoring the younger men.
As I grew up as a young person, any older person in my society would guide,
correct or even discipline me. Times have now changed and we live much more
within the family context alone but get positive or negative influences from the
society. We became too busy looking for increased wealth and neglected certain
crucial roles as men in the society. I am hence calling on the older men to take
up their rightful roles and mentor the younger men. Stop blaming the younger
men for the evils they are passing through. Do something about mentoring them.
The cry amongst the young people in the society, churches, villages, etc is to
huge. They are looking for men who can be their models. Are you available to
A mentor is simply defined as a person who has been where the mentee wants
to go and is willing to walk the journey with the person he is mentoring. The Bible
is clear on the subject on mentoring.
Titus 2:2 :“Guide older men into lives of temperance, dignity, and wisdom,
into healthy faith, love, and endurance”.(MSG)
Titus 2:6; “Also, guide the young men to live disciplined lives”.(MSG).In
everything set them an example by doing what is good.”
The first word in verse 6, similarly, continues the thought from verse 2. Older
men are to mentor younger men. Mentoring isn’t just about passing on the “how-
to” based on their life experiences but rather teaching qualities essential to
godliness. Men need to possess the qualities that need to be passed on to
younger men. Young men need an example of what it takes to handle issues of
life as a man. They need models.
Qualities of a mentor from the Book of Titus.
If an older man is going to be the kind of example that makes him a good mentor,
then he needs to demonstrate the following:
1) He must be temperate.
Older men are to be free from addictions of wines and hard drugs etc. How will
he be an example of self-control, whether that be with alcohol, pornography, or
any other kind of vice, if he himself is in bondage? Mentoring requires time spent
with another person. While an older man might fool acquaintances, it will be
difficult to hide the traits that lead to intemperance from those with whom he is
closer and spends more time with.
2) He must have earned respect.
For a younger man to be inspired by the life of someone else and want to learn
from that person, the person must be “worthy” of that respect. He must have
proved himself by being honourable. This is a man filled with integrity.
Unfortunately this is an area when older men have not set good examples.
3) He must be self-controlled.
Young men can easily be governed by impulses i.e. sexual and otherwise. To be
taught self-control from someone who has himself learned to control those
impulses, will go much further than sermons targeted at young men or books he
can read on the subject.
4) He must be sound in faith, love, and endurance.
If a young man is going to curb his natural desires, it is going to take more than a
bunch of do’s and don’ts passed on to him. He needs the legacy of faith, love,
and endurance which will provide a higher motivation to be self-controlled. He
needs a reason to persevere. A qualification for an older man of being a mentor,
therefore needs to be that the mentor himself is on solid ground in what he
believes and where he places his trust. He needs to be guided by the pure
motivation of God’s love.
Proverbs 27:17 says, “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens
another.” If the mentor is going to truly be able to sharpen the other person, he
must have certain qualities … to be made of spiritual iron.
Remember, more goes into mentoring than passing on life experiences so don’t
make it about merely pairing up men based on who has been through similar life
experiences or has similar interests. The mentor, according to Titus 2, should
display the above qualities. Not all older men are qualified to join in such an
endeavor. Think through how you present this opportunity to all men where you
are. Discuss these issues in the open, discussing issues that young men are
passing through and asking for volunteers who would want to mentor the young
men in various areas of their lives. Some older men are already godly or “worthy
of respect” so they might not need as much teaching but should still go through
training to remind them of what mentoring is all about. Older men who do not
meet the criteria of Titus 2 should not be included in the mentoring program.
Bondages are usually not easily or quickly broken.
Let’s do the needful as older men. It is not too late to salvage the situation. My
advice to you is to do what is right. The time to act is now. If you were to mentor
only one young man every month or every two months, and are willing to walk
the walk and talk the talk with him, there would be a great impact in the society.
Do your part and I do my part and we leave the rest to God. Don’t watch when
things are going bad. You can change the situation. It all starts with a willing