In my sermon on Sunday, I spoke about the Biblical precedent for mentoring. Maybe David didn’t realize it, but he acted as a mentor to Jonathan by successfully defeating Goliath and returning to camp with the giant’s head in hand.
How did Jonathan respond? He immediately handed over his military garb to David, whom he recognized as a superior leader and a model of someone who had the guts to act on faith. (cf I Samuel 17:56 – 18:1-5)
In the business world, mentoring happens all kinds of ways. Veterans coach newbies, and newbies can also share insights with their wise leaders that might reshape perceptions. Learning also happens among peers.
Similarly, it has been so heartening to me as an adoptive dad that family, friends and completely new acquaintances have welcomed me on this journey in a similar model of mentorship.
I’m reminded of a new friend, an adoptive parent twice over, who provided tremendous coaching as I crafted the final version of “Frozen, But Not Forgotten,” helping me think critically about the ethical imperative of my book to guide more families toward adoption—and about the risks of failing to do enough.
You are not the first parent ever, and chances are good that if you’re facing a dilemma, someone before you has faced it, too. Find smart people to give you encouragement. To answer your toughest questions. To challenge your assumptions about your children and what being a good parent really means.
Only be hard on yourself if it serves as motivation to seek wisdom, coaching and moral support from your peers and older generations. Fail to search for truth tellers and you will be risking a powerful opportunity to grow and serve.