Mentorship for Women

The word “mentor” or the verb “mentoring” is not in the Bible, but the concept certainly is. In Titus 2, Paul gives a good explanation what mentoring is, both for men and women. In this article I would like to focus on women. I have encountered many misconceptions about the whole idea of mentoring. This is what Paul says: “Older women likewise [see advice for men in Titus 2:1–2] are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled” (Titus 2:3–5, English Standard Version).

What Is Mentoring?

Mentoring is coming alongside another woman. This can be in all shapes and forms: instruct your daughter, take a friend out for coffee, have a good conversation with a friend, visit a friend for any reason or no reason, study the Bible or read a Christian book with someone and talk about it, lead a mentor group, help the church in women’s ministry, give advice when you are asked for it. In short, it is making time for another woman in your life, to listen to her and together get back to God’s Word, and to encourage each other to trust God in everything.

Why Mentoring?

The more society becomes a threat to the Christian lifestyle, the more important it becomes for Christians to encourage each other, stick together in the faith, love each other, and lovingly steer each other back to God’s Word and God’s commands for our lives.

The family is the main structure of a well-functioning society because it was created by God that way. From creation onward, the family consisted of a man and a woman who would marry and have children to raise in the fear of the Lord. Notice how every aspect of this is under attack nowadays:

A family can be a combination of any gender

Getting married is not necessary

Children are an option

Children can be killed when inconvenient or unwanted

Government agencies are better in raising your children than you are, especially when you want to raise them in the Christian faith or homeschool them

So, more than ever we are constantly under attack when we want to keep our biblical values. This means that more than ever we need to encourage each other and pursue unity with our Christian sisters. As our society looks a lot like the society in Paul’s time, we should take Paul’s words to heart.

How to Mentor?

Mentoring is a broad spectrum of women helping other women. How we fill it in depends on our situation and talents. If you have daughters, you are mentoring all the time. If your children are still young, it is okay to ask an older woman for advice.

If you have the talent of a counselor, even if you are not a professional counselor, you can observe other women in your church and notice that they are withdrawn, or upset, or not their happy selves, and you follow up on your observation. You give them a call, suggest a visit, provide help with babysitting, whatever you feel comfortable doing. The crux is to follow up  when you see a sister in distress.

If you have organizational qualities and your church is in need of a women’s ministry person, you could be of service setting up groups for helping other women in your church: making meals, visiting the sick and elderly, or other tasks.

If you notice new members, you can approach the new lady and help her find the best Bible study group or activity for her.

I am a teacher by profession, so the only thing I felt comfortable doing was leading a mentor group. I will say more about that below. The point is that God wants you to use your talents for his glory. This means that whatever you do for him is something you like doing. We are one body, with many different parts, and God made it such that we function best if every part does what it is good at. The eye shouldn’t try to walk, and the hand shouldn’t try to hear. So when you mentor, you should feel happy doing so. If it goes against your grain, don’t do it. God will find someone else who loves it, which will bring more glory to him.


If you have no idea about yourself or how God could use you, pray and God will provide. God is almighty, remember, and giving you something useful to do is just a matter of you being willing.

My Mentoring Story

I attended the excellent counseling course that Pastor Jeff Doll organizes every year. His hope is that more women will go on to become professional biblical counselors, as the need is very great. I couldn’t see myself as a professional counselor, but I did feel that I should do something. When I exclaimed in desperation that the only thing I felt comfortable doing was leading a group (because I’m a teacher), my son said drily: Well, do just that!

I set up a meeting in church to ask who would be interested in a mentor group, whatever that would mean. I was hoping nobody would come to the meeting, so I would be off the hook. This is where I let God take responsibility. And he did. There were twelve women, and one other woman who was excited about the concept. I recruited her to lead the other small group. When we split the group, exactly six wanted to meet on “her” day and six on “my” day.

At the first meeting the group asked to meet at my home. That was fine, but I warned them I’m not a baker, so they would always have store-bought cookies, unless they brought them themselves. The meetings had to be in the evening, so the younger mothers could come after their spouses came home from work. God provided a perfect mixture of older and younger women and has been doing so ever since. We have met for about six years, and the group has grown, but never more than I could fit in my living room.

Books for a Mentor Group

A good thing to do when you have a whole group of women is reading a book about mentoring. This way, many different topics come up which may remind someone to ask a question about something personal. Also, when no questions come up, we have all read another chapter in a useful book and can talk about it.

My other motive is to make women aware of the concept of mentoring, so they will be more attentive to other women in the church. Hence this article too. These are the titles of the books we read so far.

A good starter book would be Adorned: Living Out the Beauty of the Gospel Together by Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth.

The Beautiful Wife is by local author Sandy Ralya and is published by Kregel.

Lies Women Believe, and the Truth That Sets Them Free, by Nancy Leigh DeMoss, was rewritten recently, but we used the first edition.

Spiritual Mothering: The Titus 2 Model for Women Mentoring Women by Susan Hunt.

The Legacy of Biblical Womanhood by Susan Hunt and Barbara Thompson.

This past winter we read Parenting: Fourteen Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family by Paul David Tripp. As the title suggests, this is more about parenting, but it was a useful book. I wrote questions to go with this book, so if you are interested I can give them to you. This last book appeared in my email inbox when I was asking God what book we should do next. It is important to turn the organization over to God himself. This way you are assured everything goes according to his will. It’s also a comfort to know that he is in control and therefore responsible for the people who come or the choice of book.

When I took a young woman out for coffee last month thinking I would mentor her, it turned out she was more of a mentor to me, and she recommended the books True Woman 101 and 201 , by Mary A. Kassian and Nancy Leigh DeMoss. We are going to read 201 next year.

In the fall I make a schedule of meeting times (every other week) and put an announcement in the bulletin. Every weekend before a meeting I write a reminder email. And I never quiz the women in the group, as many of them have no time to read the chapter. Many are just enjoying an evening in a comfy chair away from their kids. This is mentoring too!


As you can see from my experience, God never demands anything from you that you can’t provide. The main purpose of mentoring is the same main purpose for all of our Christian lives: love God and love each other. Mentoring is just a way of being aware of our call to love each other and help each other in times of need. Be encouragers of each other so we can glorify God in everything we do.

Mrs. Annemarieke Ryskamp was born and raised in the Netherlands. She graduated with a master’s degree in Dutch Language and Literature from Utrecht University and worked for the Dutch language and as a secondary school teacher at United World College in Singapore. She was married to Dr. Richard Ryskamp and was widowed in 2015. They raised two sons who are both in graduate studies. The family has lived in the Grand Rapids, MI, area since 1997, and they are members of Dutton United Reformed Church.