Mentoring Helps Relationships

I Feel Like Quitting

Don’t lie to me. The thought has crossed your mind at least once. After all, whoever told you mentoring was a piece of cake was lying to you. Sure, there are moments, seasons, when the warrior is on the top of his game. When everything is clicking. He’s teachable. He listens to your wisdom and acts on it. He rises to the task. His faith in God soaring like an eagle. 

But, then there are times…

Times when he sinks lower into the gutter than anyone you’ve seen before.  When his addictions shackle him like a ball and chain. He pleads with you to feed his habits. Will he ever snap out of this?  


When I mentor, I pour myself into the warrior. I listen to his heart. I ask God what the young man’s soul needs.  What minuscule part I can play. I see his brokenness. I see mine. The Enemy bombards me with lies. This is a waste of time. That young man is using you. Playing you for free food and messing with your emotions. Gullible me.

Letting Go

In healthy mentoring relationships, you want the young warrior to grow up, become increasingly responsible on his own, be less dependent, and be able to make more decisions without always turning to you for advice. The problem is your investment in the mentoring relationship has built phatic and emphatic connections. And, so it should. To be honest, you have a godly love for the young man. A healthy affection for him. He’s become like a son to you. Reminds me of Paul and Timothy in scripture. Paul poured his life into young Tim. Tim (late 20’s early 30’s) took hold of Paul, becoming the man God gifted him to be.

But, as healthy as mentoring can be, there comes a time when it’s okay to let go. In fact, you need to let go.  

This is not the end

A warrior moves across the country for university. He falls in love and marries. Your time for face to face mentoring subsides. He’s not as dependent on you as he used to be. Your heart feels the ache of good-byes. That doesn’t mean your warrior is writing you off; throwing away the relationship. Part of healthy mentoring is the wisdom to let go gracefully.

A Word to the Warrior

If your mentor has invested in you such that you are more of a man than if you hadn’t known him, be sure to honor him. As you enter that next chapter in life, such that your relationship with him is not as frequent, be sure to express your gratitude and respect for him. Love him in Christ. Be the man. Thank him, allowing the relationship not to end, but to change. 

I recall what Dr. Greg Miessen (Professor at Wichita State University) once said. 

“You might mentor a young man for a season. Then, he goes off, gets married, and essentially disappears for perhaps a few years. Then, one day, out of the blue, he pops back into your world. Perhaps with his new wife, or even kids. Maybe another success in his life that although you may not have been directly involved your mentoring influenced his success.”

Still, Feel Like Quitting?

As the proverb says, “iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another”, one of the best ways I’ve dealt with seasons of discouragement in mentoring is by having other mentors around me with whom we can spur each other on. A burden shared helps clear my head.  I’m ready to push on!

Find other mentors who can spur you on.

We at Mentoring Warriors are here for you. Feel free to reach out to us at  We will listen, offer advice and pray for you.  God knows, this world needs more mentors who don’t quit!

Warrior On!

David Riffel is the Founder and Executive Director of Having gone through his warrior years (18-30) essentially without a mentor, God has placed in him a heart for warriors, to come alongside them in various ways as they figure out life. David’s newly released book, Mentoring Warriors: Coming Alongside Young Men 18-30, outlines principles for mentoring and gives advice for warriors in six key areas of life: self-management, life skills, education/career, relationships, faith, and identity.

Comments are closed.