Who has God seated at your kitchen table?

The power of spiritual mentorship

Who has God seated at your kitchen table?

Michelle Obama recently spoke about her ‘kitchen table people’ – a group of women who journey with you, champion you, mentor you and, most importantly, are honest with you.

It’s a rare and sacred thing to have one die-hard woman you can do life with. It’s an incredible gift from heaven to have a table full of them.

Studies show that you “are the product of the five people who you spend the most time with”, which should be enough for us to audit our inner circle on a regular basis.

Group of women together

Growing up, I was blessed to have a seat at a few different tables, because my mother had strong female mentors who spoke into her life.

Most mothers would catch up for lunch, while my mother would meet for prayer and Bible talk.

Some of my earliest memories were of my Mama walking over to our neighbour Mrs Mildred’s house, who had the coffee brewing and was cooking an early breakfast (sometimes French toast if we were lucky). While I would happily sit and indulge, she would share with my mother some godly wisdom with her Bible out, and pray about the day ahead.

My godmother, Ma Ruth, would often call my mother and they would pray over the phone while scrubbing dishes, sharing spiritual insights while we were getting ready for school.

My mother chased conversations about Jesus and faith more than anything else.

My mother would often encourage younger women in church with the wisdom she had gained and lived through herself – whether it was inviting someone over for lunch or a phone call and prayer note left at their door.

I often heard my mother praying with her sisters over the phone. I also heard my grandmother’s faithful wisdom, built through years of “just trusting the Lord to take care of things”.

I was literally surrounded by female mentors of faith.

My mother chased conversations about Jesus and faith more than anything else.

I see now that one of the most important things we can do is to make sure our kitchen table is full of women who pray and women who have walked the path we are walking now.

As a woman in business, I often think back to those moments, because little did I realise I was being trained from a young age in how to mentor younger women and how to be mentored.

We need to prepare young women as they grow up to know what faith looks like in daily life.

I never just sought out connections with women my age. I have always desired the wisdom of connecting with women who have more experience than I do, who can guide me, as well as offer encouragement.

We need to prepare young women as they grow up to know what faith looks like in daily life – how to walk it out, how to speak it out, how to work it out in our lives, marriages, families and careers.

The Bible gives us strong examples of mentorship, which should be an inspiring call to action for us to start sharing the stories we have lived and the wisdom God has given us.

No matter what season you are in, you have something incredibly powerful to share with someone who is walking down a path you once journeyed.

The Bible clearly showcases different types of mentorship in the Bible:

  • Paul’s relationship with Timothy is a wonderful demonstration of mentorship in action, as he prepares him for a future in ministry.
  • Naomi’s relationship with Ruth is a beautiful example of female mentorship, from an older woman sharing her pearls of wisdom to a younger widow navigating life’s challenges and preparing her for her next chapter.
  • Mordecai’s relationship with Esther wasn’t just one of kinship – he was an example of influential mentorship. He understood the culture, customs and rituals that would help her stand out among others. He also shared his experience with her, which would ultimately help save the Jews from annihilation.

The current theme of  “women supporting women” in our culture is encouraging to see, but we are missing a vital component.

The beautiful thing about mentorship is it’s never one way. It truly is a double blessing when it’s done God’s way.

Everything you have learned and experienced isn’t just for your own advancement. It’s to help other women who are coming up behind you, who need to feel less alone and have a “Mickey” in their corner (like in the Rocky films) – someone who is full of faith and can remind them of who is really in control of every situation they find themselves in.

The current cultural theme of  “women supporting women” is encouraging to see, but we are missing a vital component.

While getting more women in the boardroom is an important goal, our first goal should be getting more women praying for each other before stepping into that boardroom.

Women praying together

If you are a woman who needs a mentor, pray for God to open your eyes to who he is putting in your path.

If you are a woman who is ready to share some of the wisdom you have gained, pray for God to put the right mentee in your path.

It’s time to start sharing the gifts, wisdom and encouragement we have with other women as they walk out their God-given excellence.

We were never meant to travel this road alone.

God’s got a plan for everything, especially for who he has designed to sit at your kitchen table.

It’s time to start pulling up chairs for the women who need a place to sit.

Rachel Reva is a publicity strategist, author, radio host and founder of Life On Her Terms Media – a coaching and consulting company helping women in business and emerging female leaders.