Recently at a YOU Lead women’s leadership training, we had a panel of leaders answering questions submitted by attendees. Several past and upcoming posts address those and try to help answer them.
Today’s question: In engaging the younger woman, Chris talked about mentoring the younger generation by sharing difficulties you’ve been through or experienced. Will that be perceived as “do say I say, not as I’ve done?” Do they really learn from that? Will they really steer clear from experimenting with alcohol, drugs or sex if you talk about it with them?
My heart tells me that no story I’ve experienced is unusable by the Lord. He has allowed each one to occur or they would not have happened. SO, since HE orchestrated my life, He, according to Romans 8:28 can use each story to minister to someone else and to bring Him glory.
With that said, let’s answer this question…
First of all, as you know, we cannot make anyone do anything, all we can do is share what God lays on our heart. Therefore, the most important thing each time you meet with young women (or any age for that matter) is to pray and ask for God’s guidance in everything you say. That way you will allow the Holy Spirit to guide each and every conversation you have. One time you might share more than another time, or you might share a different part of your life story depending on the young woman’s needs and the situation you are in together.
So the question to ask yourself is this: is God leading me to share? If so, what and how much? Does this bring Him glory? If you answer these with yes, then you must share or be disobedient. As you share, keep in mind that you must do so with discretion. I might share more one on one than I possibly would in a group. I never want to hurt anyone involved in my story so I must keep that in mind as I share as well. God will honor our faithfulness and obedience.
Next, our stories will not always keep someone from doing something harmful, but if we have shared in obedience, then we know we can leave all results up to God since it’s all about Him anyway. We must keep in mind that “our” stories really aren’t about us if we are followers of Christ. They are about HIM alone and what He wants to do through each one. So, we shouldn’t feel discouraged if a young woman doesn’t listen and then avoid the same poor decisions and we should feel prideful if they do listen and make good decisions. All glory goes to God and all responsibilities go to Him as well. (Psalm 66:5,16-17—Come and see what God has done, how awesome his works in man’s behalf! Come and listen, all you who fear God; let me tell you what he has done for me. I cried out to him with my mouth; his praise was on my tongue. Psalm 115:1—Not to us, O Lord, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness.)
Look akt the alternative, what if we never discuss these hard issues of alcohol, drugs and sex with the younger women. Where then do they get their information…the world? That is most often not an accurate picture. They need the truth of God’s Word to direct their decisions, and often if they know we’ve experienced similar situations, they will know we understand, even if they don’t listen and heed!
Do not give up sharing with young women, your stories of victory and failure, joy and crisis. It’s part of passing the heritage on to the next generation. Check out Psalm 145: 4-7, Psalm 22:30-31, Psalm 71:18, Psalm 102:18, Titus 2:3-5). Seems to me we MUST share our stories!!