Here are my answers for Chapter 6! I am really enjoying this book and the book study. If you're just joining in now you can see past posts if you just look for the "mentoring" category in the side bar. You can also see what other women are saying here.
In this chapter, we get to take a close look at Luke 1:42-45. Go ahead and read it again (also on page 87 in the book) before we get going. "Those verses contain volumes about how older women can encourage and equip younger women to live for God's glory."
This is it--the HOW!
1. Verbal affirmation. "We must express approval...it is not impossible, and to be a spiritual mother, it is essential" (page 88).
On a scale of 1 to 5 (1 being not at all, 5 being very), how comfortable are you expressing verbal affirmation to others? I feel pretty comfortable expressing verbal affimation to others. I feel like I give verbal affirmation without thinking, "oh I need to affirm this person now." I guess I would say I'm at 4 on the scale. I know that I need to do more of this but I also feel like it's not really a chore and just something that sort of comes naturally. I'm not perfect at this and still need Gods help and words in order to be great at this.
2. Approachable spirit. Are you approachable? Or do you hold women at arm's length? How can you work to be approachable to other women? Think about what you find approachable in other women. How can you emulate those things? I like to think that I am approachable but I don't really know if that is the case. I am an introvert so this does not always make me look approachable. People may think that I'm just being a snob or only wanting to talk to certain people but really it's just my self-conscious introverted self being afraid! I hate it sometimes!
I find women who smile a lot or ake eye contact and ask questions about whom ever they are talking with to be approachable. I try to emulate those things but again, being an introvert does not always help. I'm working at it though. As a pastor's wife I feel that it is important that I be approachable. I don't want people to think that I am snubbing them or not wanting to talk to them, that simply is not the case. However, I need to pray that God would give me an approachable spirit.
3. Challenge to be obedient. "When obedience is affirmed it usually produces more obedience" (page 90). I don't know about you, but I appreciate someone who challenges me to obedience, to greatness. How can you challenge women around you to obey the Word of God? First and foremost it comes with being in the Word of God regularly! I guess my challenge that I could put forward would simply be asking those women if they are in the Word regularly. I know that I need this challenge as well. When I am in the Word and have some accountability I know that I get much more out of my time in the Word than when I am just skiming to say, "I read my Bible today". When I challenge others I feel that I also would be challenged and would learn more about obeying God and His word.
4. Brevity of expression. As women, we are perfectly capable of talking things to death. Yet it is often the clear, concise truths we remember the best. Are you good at "cutting to the chase"? Or do you tend to hide truth that can sometimes be hard in layers of words to soften the blow? I don't really talk things to death...I don't really do a lot of talking in the first place...so I guess I just have to make sure that when I do speak it is cutting to the chase and sharing the truth right away.
5. Anything else that was an "a-ha" for you in this chapter? Any question you want to ask? I love the phrase on page 90 that talks about the older women being saturated in God's word. What an awesome word picutre. It's like we're a sponge that is so saturated with God's word that it just drips from our tongues. I pray that I too can be so saturated in God's word that it drips off my tongue.
(page 93) "We hear that this is the decade of women. We must not allow the voices of the world to set the agenda for this decade, nor must we allow those voices to teach women how to be women. Christian women must speak with boldness and clarity about womanhood and must live distinctly Christian lives. Christian women must articulate a Biblical world and life view and the implications of this perspective for women. ...When we reach women, we will reach the spiritual tempo of our culture."
I really agree that we need to teach the women to follow a Biblical world view rather than just going along with what the culture is telling them to do but as part of that I think we have a responsibility to teach the women about the mans role in the family as well. The man is to be the spiritual head of the house. We can't let the men off the hook simply because we are going to be training the young women to be spiritual leaders. We must encourage the men in their roles as well and let them lead rather than trying to do it ourselves. I feel that the culture is telling the women that they can just do everything themselves including being the spiritual leader in their homes. Young women need to know that this mindset is not Biblical and that God did not intend for them to carry that burden.