Saturday, October 10, 2020

In defense of Mentors in Real Life

 

Someone I deeply admire but will never meet in real life.

The internet is an interesting place. Lately, I noticed people are eagerly seeking advice on parenting and marriage there. I'm here to give you my opinion on this trend. I hope to convince you to find mentors in real life.

As a young wife, I was living far away from my entire family. I was already blogging at the time. Fortunately, I was able to meet a lot of lifestyle bloggers in real life at a few conferences I attended.

I found some bloggers to be good people. I found others to push an agenda that was entirely different than the life I was seeking to live. I found those people to be unapologetic about the lifestyle they were writing about.

Right then and there, I took an inventory of my own life. Why would I ever be ashamed to write about the Gospel of Jesus Christ? I decided never t hold back on my belief and dedication to Jesus online. I also decide not to follow the advice of people with different agendas from mine. 

The people I followed back there changed and abandoned their blogs. Social media certainly evolved since then. Other voices emerged online. The ears of young women have eagerly listened to these new voices coming from new platforms. They want whatever will give them a perfect life. But who doesn't, right?

I noticed young women were comparing themselves to those pristine, curated lifestyles they saw online. The content creators tell you they are real. But are they really? 

I'm gonna put myself on the same boat for a second. You don't really know me. You can't watch my every move. You don't see me waking up. You don't know what my true character is like. All you know is what I choose to put out on the internet. I don't publish everything I go through because I save that for people I trust. I don't trust the internet for guidance, comfort, and wisdom. I trust people I can see and who can see me. 

I know we're in the midst of a pandemic. I decided to call and even write letters to my mentors. They wrote back and took the time to facetime me. We made the decision to be present in each other's lives.

My mentors listened to me. They gave the exhortation and encouragement I needed. The internet will never be able to do that for me. 

Why? The agenda of the internet is different. The internet wants me to blindly give my money and attention to the point of my detriment. The people God placed in my life were carefully chosen by Him to love me to the point of my growth and betterment. Do you see the difference?

I'm not asking you to abandon the internet. I certainly won't. I am asking you to pay attention to the source of your inspiration. Is it a person God sent you in real life to help you? Or, is it a person on the internet you will never meet unless you pay them a ridiculous amount of money? 

In defense of the internet, I find it to be a place where I find inspiration. I have listened to authors who inspired me to be a Godly wife and mother. I have read their books. Although I will never meet these people, they blessed me. I am aware that unlike the mentors God placed in my life, those authors cannot and will not keep me accountable to the call of God in my life to be a Godly wife and mother. Authors write, sell books, inspire. They are people who have to pay their light bill therefore, they work. Their motivation is to get the money you give them. They are business people, they are not your personal mentors - unless you pay them.

My mentors check on me and keep me accountable. I find it important to know the difference.

The older I get, the more I see marriages around me falling apart. Children suffering and families breaking up. Some of it is part of being alive. I can't help but wonder if women like you and I decide to follow God's plan if we can avoid some of these marriages ending.

I also have to tell you that if you are being abused, that's not God's will for your life. Get to safety right now. I have to tell you that sometimes, one person does everything correctly and a marital relationship falls apart. I choose to believe that for the other marriages, we can seek God and His resources to make a marriage work.

My friend, I want you to know that God can send you people in real life to guide and encourage you. Pray about mentors in real life to guide you so you don't have to rely on the internet for that. 

Tap into the resources around you. Wise women in your family and older women in church are a great resources. 

Don't let the internet fool you. Things are not as they seem. Let God's timeless wisdom guide you into His truth.

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