Chapter Three - Seeing God In Our Friendships

Mentoring is not coaching. Coaching is training for a specific outcome. Mentoring is rooted in friendship. Coaching transfers knowledge and expertise, although it may evolve into a mentored relationship. Only mentoring is rooted in a trusted friendship within a spiritual setting.

Ruth responded to God’s calling through her relationship with Naomi. Widowed and without children, they were truly desperate housewives! But when Naomi encouraged Ruth to go find a life for herself, Ruth chose to stay with Naomi. “Urge me not to leave you or to turn back from following you; for where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people and your God my God.” (Ruth 1:16)

Both were called by God, but Naomi, an Israelite had a deep seated faith while Ruth, a Moabite, came from a people with a reputation for being wild and without God. Ruth really loved God and wanted to follow Him, but had to learn how. Naomi and Ruth had a spiritual tie and ultimately a calling of God on Ruth’s life that she instinctively knew and was responding to.

Mentoring implies choice and change. My two younger children have had the same wonderful first grade teacher. Christine is a pretty, young, energetic woman with an incredibly positive and loving way with the children, yet she exudes an authority beyond her years.

On a field trip, she casually mentioned something about her mother being a first grade teacher. “No wonder you’re so good with the children,” I remarked. Her mother was her mentor, a trusted and loyal advisor. Christine may have been born with certain pre-disposed qualities that would enable her to teach, but she chose to act on these pre-determined characteristics, learn from her mother, and make the most of them.

Mentoring is a key ingredient to administering an effective recovery program. In 12-step recovery we call it “sponsorship.” I like doing things ‘by the book’, so when I realized my own need for Al Anon, I figured it would work best if I did what I was supposed to do which included

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