So Now What? (there's more!)
mentor a respect for human life
You formed my inward parts; You knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are Your works… Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in Your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me (Psalm 239:13-16).
Even to your old age I am he, and to gray hairs I will carry you. I have made, and I will bear; I will carry and will save (Isaiah 46:4).
Be informed so that you can defend God's little ones in the womb as well as their mothers. If you are pro-life, but not sure how to express yourself, Scott Klusendorf helps make it easier with The Case for Life: Equipping Christians to Engage the Culture and Pro-life 101: A Step-by-Step Guide to Making Your Case Persuasively.
Know the founder, Margaret Sanger, and history of Planned Parenthood. In his fourth edition of Grand Illusions: The Legacy of Planned Parenthood, George Grant provides thorough and well-documented research of this organization's role concerning abortion, sex education, and eugenics.
Raise awareness. Human Life Alliance (HLA) has some of the most eye-catching and informative resources for use in schools, on campuses, and in congregations. Fact Sheets speak to breast cancer and abortion, in vitro fertilization, oral contraceptives, adoption, and the end of life issues of pain control, euthanasia and assisted suicide. Three of HLA's mini-publications are ideal for mentoring: Just For Girls, Just For Guys, and Who Do You Believe?
Raise funds for a local caring pregnancy center (CPC). Many communities have some kind of CPC. These pro-life centers do not take federal or state funding so appreciate the donations from congregations, civic organizations, and individuals. Ask your center’s director what their specific needs might be. Sponsor a bake sale or garage sale, then give the proceeds to your CPC’s educational or care-giving outreach.
Support a family in their efforts to adopt. Pray for them. If they’re balancing counseling sessions with work schedules, surprise them by delivering a meal or two.
Order brochures on end-of-life issues for your pastor and congregation which include Ventilators, Feeding Tubes and Other End-of-Life Questions. Provide your pastor with links to resources such as the Christian Medical & Dental Society (CMDS) (search: "end of life"), Patients' Rights Council, and Lutherans For Life. Be alert to the deception of "Living Wills" and learn more about Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care documents.
Reach out to a family whose child has a disability. Deliver a meal, offer to child-sit while the parents go out for dinner, or help with household tasks.
Be a companion for those who are lonely, sick, or dying. Read to them. Write letters from them to loved ones. Take them for a drive. Pray with them.
Be open to “holy interruptions.” In the midst of your busy day, you might be interrupted by someone with a request for help or a listening ear. Instead of being irritated, choose to see this as a “holy interruption.” The moments in our day belong to God. Pray that the Holy Spirit will use them to our Father’s glory and the benefit of others.
Show compassion to parents who grieve a miscarriage or stillbirth. Give them Into His Loving Care. This devotional booklet was written by Linda Bartlett after a pastor requested help in consoling grieving parents. It is a tender reminder of the Shepherd who loves each child – even those a parent doesn't get to hold.
practice generational mentoring
One generation shall commend Your works to another, and shall declare Your mighty acts…They shall speak of the might of Your awesome deeds, and I will declare Your greatness. (Psalm 145:4,6)
Be aware. Before we can mentor Biblical womanhood, we have to know the opposition. Visual images of worldly messages to our young women are everywhere. Just go to the mall where Victoria’s Secret not only mentors our daughters but teases our sons. Learn for yourself what Planned Parenthood teaches about sex apart from marriage, abortion including self-administered abortifacients, practicing homosexuality, and transgenderism. Our daughters and granddaughters, our sons and grandsons are being pressured to accept the worldly ideology of "sexual identity." But God does not call us by our sexuality. He calls us by our holy name. In our Baptism, He claims each boy and girl as His own dear child. He gives the gift of faith and promise of inheritance. Please read The Failure of Sex Education in the Church: Mistaken Identity, Compromised Purity by Linda Bartlett to learn how we've all been deceived by secular humanism and how we can do better by teaching generations of boys and girls their true identity.
We suggest the following books for your library:
Love Thy Body by Nancy Pearcy
The Sexual State by Jennifer Roback Morse, PhD
Sex Matters (How Modern Feminism Lost Touch with Science, Love, and Common Sense by Mona Charen
Sex Scandal: The Drive to Abolish Male & Female by Ashley McGuire
When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment by Ryan T. Anderson
What Does the Bible Really Teach about Homosexuality by Kevin DeYoung
A Transgender's Faith by Walt Heyer
Same Sex Attraction and the Church by Ed Shaw
Why Not Same-Sex Marriage (gracious answers to 101 false arguments for redefining civil marriage) by Daniel Heimbach
Holy Sexuality and the Gospel by Christopher Yuan
Take heart! God remains in control. His Word is true and life-changing. Jesus is victorious. The Holy Spirit is at work.
Don’t be intimidated by the world. “Older” and “younger” women (and men) are engaged in a battle for hearts and minds. We are equipped for this battle. Take up the Sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:17) and stand where you have been placed by God. Make sure you are “dressed” for daily battle against powers and principalities before you engage the world on behalf of your children, grandchildren, and neighborhood of children.
Know your teen's world in order to have deeper conversations about the things that matter. Check out Axis, a Christ-centered Culture Translator. Sign up (free) and get a glimpse of what's influencing your teen right now. Being aware of the pulse of culture allows us to bridge the gap between generations by translating pop culture into the ideas it espouses for younger generations, while explaining and interpreting youth culture in ways that older generations understand. When we can speak the languages of both generations, we bring common ground and open the way for understanding.
Equip the youngest generation to trust God’s Word. A Barna survey reports that 61% of today’s young adults who had been churched are now spiritually disengaged. They are not reading the Bible, praying, or attending worship services. Why? Documented research shows that children who were taken to Sunday school but not taught how to defend the Christian faith fell away when challenged by worldly opinions. If boys and girls are taught that they are created by God, but not equipped to defend the authority of God’s Word, how will they “hold up” under the pressure applied by an evolutionist or atheist teacher or professor? Use Already Gone (DVD & book set) by Ken Ham and Britt Beemer for small group study and discussion. Or, make use of So the Next Generation Will Know by Sean McDowell and J. Warner Wallace. Learn what you can do to help young men and women defend the Christian worldview.
Instead of criticizing, start helping! If you are concerned about the dress of younger (and older) women in your family and congregation, download the Bible study entitled Dressing for Life: Secrets of the Great Cover-up. This ten-lesson study expands on the modesty life-style show scripted by Linda Bartlett. After taking the interactive life-style show “on the road,” Linda was encouraged to write a study that could be used by young women and their moms or mentors at home, in a retreat setting, or as part of preparation for confirmation. Reproducible lessons cover such topics as Biblical womanhood, glorifying God rather than ourselves, respecting men, the language of clothing, the look and behavior of love, and why we wait for the white wedding dress. Warning! This Bible study is counter-culture! Please feel free to download and reproducible the PDF for personal or congregational use.
Equip young women for the battle of worldviews. Ask: How does God want us to live? To think and speak? To relate to boys? The answer should be: As women who glorify God on this earthly journey to their eternal destination! There are only two worldviews (perspectives): God's... and the world's. Which one provides a future of hope? Host a “Girl’s Night Out” or a series of “Moms & Daughters” or “Girls Only” nights. Suggested resources include:
Dressing for Life: Secrets of the Great Cover-up, a Bible study by Linda Bartlett in reproducible PDF)
Just For Girls and Who Do You Believe?
Lies Girls Believe and the Truth that Sets Them Free by Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth & Dannah Gresh
Lies Young Women Believe and the Truth that Sets Them Free by Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth & Dannah Gresh
The Teens Guide to Social Media and Mobile Devices by Jonathan McKee
Go shopping. As a follow-up to the Bible study, Dressing for Life: Secrets of the Great Cover-up, plan a shopping expedition. Include moms and daughters, grandmas and granddaughters, aunts and nieces, older and younger friends. Challenge the girls and women to find modest and appropriate clothing that honors God.
Communicate with store owners. After your shopping expedition, gather together for a letter-writing night. Let store owners and designers know what you think about their clothing. Commend or politely critique their selection of appropriate or inappropriate clothing.
Host a small mother-daughter-grandmother “tea.” Include women whose mothers live far away or who have no relationship with their mom. Practice etiquette at pretty tables! Inspire confidence in biblical womanhood! Build nurturing relationships for life! As one woman explained: “I moved far away after getting married. I didn’t have my mom’s support nor did I have benefit of women in a congregation who held me accountable and mentored Biblical womanhood. This made it easier for me to come under the influence of the world and make some poor choices.” What are the “older” women in your congregation doing to reach out to and welcome “younger” ones?
Mentor sons and grandsons. Help them navigate this present culture. Help them contrast the "It's all about me" kind of girl with the "It's not all about me" girl. Some suggested resources to help you start conversations include:
Guy's Guide to God, Girls, and the Phone in Your Pocket (101 Real-world Tips for Teenaged Guys) by Jonathan McKee
Guy's Guide to Four Battles Every Man Must Face (a manual to overcoming life's common distractions) by Jonathan McKee
Strong Mothers, Strong Sons (Lessons Mothers Need to Raise Extraordinary Men) by Meg Meeker, M.D.
Courageous Fathers of the Bible by Joel Biermann (downloadable format)
The Battle for the Biblical Family by George C. Scipione (This Orthodox Presbyterian pastor and Director of Biblical Counseling Institute observes that definitions of gender, marriage, and family are evolving almost daily. A younger generation needs to know what the Bible says about the foundation of society.)
boys and girls
Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it (Proverbs 22:6) We will ... tell the coming generation the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might, and the wonders that he has done ... Arise and tell … the children, so that they should set their hope in God and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments (Psalm 78:4b, 6-7).
We mentor our children from the time of their birth. In fact, quite possibly even when they are still in the womb and hear us singing hymns, praying, or receiving God's Word during worship. Luther's Small Catechism with Explanation (Visual Edition) is a mentoring tool for moms and dads (most especially dads as the head of the home) to use in teaching The Ten Commandments, The Lord's Prayer, and The Apostles' Creed.
We mentor through story-telling. Here's a Titus 2 example: Worms, Mosquitos, Bedbugs and Flies.
There are many resources for parents to use with their young sons and daughters. Below are some Titus 2 favorites:
His Mighty Warrior: A Treasure Map from Your King by Sheri Rose Shepherd. (This illustrated hard-back book helps the male child of God learn to be a courageous man of honor.)
Cookies: Bite-Size Life Lessons by Amy Krouse Rosenthal. (A new kind of dictionary that defines mysteries such as "fair" and "unfair" and what it really means to respect, cooperate, and be wise.)
A Little Book of Manners: Courtesy and Kindness for Young Ladies by Emilie Barnes.
The Princess and the Three Knights by Karen Kingsbury (What qualities should a father look for in the young man that will be a suitable husband for his daughter? What does a young girl learn about trusting her father?)
Angels, Angels Everywhere by Larry Libby (God's angels aren't cute little cherubs but mighty warriors daily engaged in spiritual warfare against evil on our behalf. This book answers many questions about the angels who go at anytime to see a child's Father who is in heaven (Matthew 18:10-11).
Pilgrim's Progress, John Bunyan's Classic Story adapted for children. (Follow on the journey of a pilgrim named Christian as he makes his way from the City of Destruction to the Celestial City. Meet characters along the way such as Obstinate, Pliable, Worldly Wiseman, and Faithful.)
The Book of Virtues for Boys and Girls edited by William J. Bennett (A treasury of great moral stories for real life.)