I originally wrote this post in 2009… about six years ago!  I’m pulling it out of the archives today and freshening it up for our Titus2 Mentoring theme at the blog right now.  

Now more then ever, I am a believer in “front porch mentoring”! 


One of the things I love best about hearing tales of “the good old days” is the camaraderie between neighbors and the kinship that linked generations.

Little girls learned how to be women simply by being with the women in their lives.

Cooking, keeping house, taking care of babies- all the ins and outs of womanhood were learned as a matter of course simply by one generation absorbing these things from previous generations.

This old-fashioned, front-porch style of passing on values and skills seems lost on my generation; in part, because we are simply too busy to be involved in each other’s lives, and, in part, because we are a very scattered generation of young folk.

Front-porch Mentoring: the lost art of cultivating friendship | Kristy's Cottage

A lot of us live hours- or even states- away from our parents and extended family.
Our generation has more technology at its finger tips than previous ones ever imagined possible; email, social media, texting and cell phones all enable us to keep in touch with loved ones, literally at the touch of a screen.
Yet I feel we are more emotionally distant and withdrawn from those around us than ever before.
How many of us know more about our next door neighbors than their first name?
How many times have we invited friends from church into our home; or visited in the homes of our pastor or church family?

One of the greatest challenges of being a twenty-first century woman is letting my guard down and being “real” with people.

Since we’ve lost the “connectedness” of our grandmothers and great-grandmothers, we somehow feel we have to live up to an image projected by Hollywood.
You know what I’m talking about. The illusion that real womanhood revolves around keeping up on the latest fashions, filling your home with designer furniture, driving expensive vehicles, having picture-perfect kids and a successful, manikin-handsome husband.
If we find our lives falling short of this picture-perfect scenario, we tend to shut others out.
We shy away from inviting our friends over because they might see our old, ugly carpet, or how out-dated the couch is.
 Front-porch Mentoring: the lost art of cultivating friendship | Kristy's Cottage
And since our kitchen is definitely not state-of-the-art, and our cooking expertise doesn’t match Rachel Ray or Paula Dean, it’s too “risky” to ask people over for dinner. They might criticize our imperfections and it’s easier just to keep everyone a safe distance away.
The thought that perhaps some of the younger girls in our circle of friendship might like to spend some time in our company probably doesn’t even enter our minds.

And so we cut the ties before us and after us.

Each generation is self-contained, self-absorbed.
And, like a plant with shallow roots, each generation withers on the vine.
We live among, go to church with, and are even related to people with whom we share very little of our lives.
The results are fragmented families, churches without true unity, and young women who grow up isolated and afraid to reach out.
The Biblical mandate for passing the torch of womanhood from generation to generation is so simple and clear: “The aged women… teach the young women” (Titus 2:2,3)
I would love to see this concept of Biblical mentoring rekindled among the Christian women in our culture.

However, I’m not going to sit around waiting for it to happen!

Front-porch Mentoring: the lost art of cultivating friendship | Kristy's Cottage
While I obviously can’t change our culture, I can make a difference in the sphere of influence God has given me.
My family, my friends, my church, my community. I can choose to reach out to those God has brought into my life, both older and younger, and offer the gift of friendship.
I love one definition of a mentor: Someone farther down the path then you, who is going where you want to go, and who is willing to give you some light to help you get there.
Accordingly, we can all be a mentor to someone.

Hmmmm… who can I invite for a little front-porch chat this week?  


And who can you invite?



Titus 2 Mentoring @ Kristy's Cottage

This post is linked at Graced Simplicity, The Deliberate Mom.


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4 thoughts on “Front-porch Mentoring: the lost art of cultivating friendship

  1. Thanks, Kristen!

    I’m a huge introvert, and I can be very content in my own little world. 🙂 It has taken some rough prodding for the Lord to move me outside my comfortable little bubble!

    I’m really thankful for the ladies God has placed in my life who were willing to welcome me into their lives… their example challenged my in-the-box thinking, that’s for sure!

    Posted on February 21, 2015 at 11:27 pm
  2. This was a great post. That definition “someone farther down the path than you…” is so good, so true. And let me just say “thank you” Kristy, for the mentoring you graciously extend via this blog. God help you to keep faithfully reaching out to us! Something I have to keep in mind is to extend grace to older sisters who perhaps failed in some way or another, and remember that I too can and do fail, and in spite of their example, good or otherwise, there is almost always something to be learned from them.

    Posted on February 20, 2015 at 5:04 pm
    1. Priscilla, thank you so much for those encouraging words.

      I agree with you: there is always something to learn from those who are further down the road of life… even those whose examples might have disappointed our expectations. At times, that’s been a difficult lesson for me to accept. I appreciate the reminder!

      Posted on February 21, 2015 at 11:25 pm
  3. I like this Kristy! I’ve been thinking about finding a Titus 2 mentor recently, and also being more intentional about mentoring other young ladies that the Lord places in my path. Honestly, I find myself more prone to just hang out in my own home, reaching out to my own little circle and just being happy in my bubble. But I keep feeling that I need to burst that bubble and reach out more.

    Good things to think on!

    Posted on February 20, 2015 at 2:11 pm