Dear Child of Mine,
I want to teach you, with my words and by my example, how important it is to surround yourself with people you admire. Lest you think I am implying that you ought to ogle over someone famous or uphold a person to the point of idolization, that is most definitely not my meaning. And I would certainly be honored to be one of your role models, but I’m not even talking about myself.
Each of us should always be on the lookout for someone who we can connect with, where friendship is the foundation. But the true gift is finding a friend you truly admire, someone you look up to, someone you can learn from, someone who accepts you right where you’re at, someone you’d love to be like one day. This person will likely be older than you (because experience certainly counts for something!), but age won’t matter to them. They won’t look down on your because you’re young. In fact, being in their presence you should feel free to be yourself and yet empowered to be better. It is from this person that you ought to be willing to receive loving reproof and seek sage advice.
They should exhibit a spiritual depth and fervor which you crave. And go ahead, ask them about their walk with Jesus. learn how they pray, what spiritual disciplines they practice, how they share the goodness of the gospel with their corner of the world. This type of person will be willing to share their divine struggle and pitfalls, success and joy.
Likewise, tell the older women to be reverent in behavior, not to be slanderers or slaves to drink; they are to teach what is good, so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be self-controlled, chaste, good managers of the household, kind, being submissive to their husbands, so that the word of God may not be discredited.
And be aware of those who may be looking to YOU as their example. You’ll be surprised how many eyes are watching you, wondering how true your character is, if you’re really genuine. Opportunities will arise when you can teach someone younger than you. You will wonder, What do I have to offer? But what you have is time spent together, advice to give, experiences to share. Just be you. They will receive your gift with deep joy just as your are going to appreciate the influence of your mentors.
Choose wisely whose mark you would like left on your life. It will stand the test of time.