The missing link: Mentoring by Older Men

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Where are the older men to mentor the younger men? Lets learn from the Book of Titus on what is expected on the part of older men.

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The missing link: Mentoring by Older Men

  1. 1. The Missing Link: The Necessity of Mentoring by Older Men Proverbs 27:17: “You use steel to sharpen steel, and one friend sharpens another”.(MSG) 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 mentor them? 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.
  2. 2. 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
  3. 3. 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. Finally 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 heart.

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