”For I have told him that I will judge his house for ever for the iniquity which he knoweth; because his sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not.”
Not every scripture to do with teaching and mentoring focuses on the positives that can come from mentorship. They also focus on the power of negative that can come from the lack of mentorship.
In this scripture, Samuel is just a child and he has been left in the care of Eli. At this time, the Bible says that the Lord had been silent to the people for a very long time. The people had pushed the Lord farther and farther away. Samuel, who was destined for great things, actually spoke with the Lord when he was very young, and the words that the boy heard were a sad example of what happens when there is a lack of mentorship.
The children of Eli and their children and so on had become very sinful. Of course, the Lord took notice. Eli took notice too, but he didn’t do anything to correct their ways. In other words, he knew they were going down the wrong path and he did not act as a mentor. Instead, he stood by and allowed them to act the way they wanted.
As a result, the Lord brought down judgment on the whole house, meaning the whole lineage of Eli. Not only did the children who had become sinful suffer for their sins, but also the many generations after them. This is just how powerful a lack of mentorship can be.
Lack of Mentoring Today
Studies have been conducted to look at the power of mentoring and the negative results that can come from a lack of mentorship. Some research, which covered academic achievement in children who are mentored, had this to say:
“Dropping out of school is not a singular event but rather the culmination of a long process of disengagement. It is critical that intervention efforts aimed at students with a disproportionate number of risk indicators for dropping out of high school reach students young enough. Children between 9 and 15 are commonly at important turning points in their lives. It is during this time that they may permanently turn off from serious engagement in school life and turn to a variety of risky behaviors that can limit their chances of reaching productive adulthood. (The Value of Mentoring)
This study showed that children who did not have a mentor or someone intervening for them were much more likely to either drop or fail out of school. This is a good example of what happens when there is a lack of mentorship in today’s world. Children who do not have a good example to follow are also more likely to commit crimes and get involved with drugs and alcohol.
The lack of mentorship doesn’t just affect young people either.
Example of Lack of Mentorship in Adults
A recent survey studied the lack of mentorship for young professional women. According to this survey, one in five women did not even have a professional mentor and they felt this lack of leadership kept them from excelling to some extent. (Ryan, 2011)
In this modern day, more and more women are entering the workforce, but it seems as if they do not have any guidance on their journey. As a result, they don’t have the knowledge or experience to excel properly in their jobs.
This is just another example of how a lack of mentorship can lead to problems in children as well as in adults.
Most of the scriptures in the Bible that discuss the power of mentorship focus on the positives that actually come from being a mentor. This scripture in 1 Samuel is different. It discusses the negatives that can come from not having a mentor.
Think about it this way. Those who need mentors (everyone) may not have the guidance to make the right decisions. Remember when we discussed the bow and the arrow? An arrow cannot get anywhere on its own. It would just fall to the ground. If someone doesn’t have a mentor, they won’t know what to do. They could either flail about making no headway whatsoever or they could make very wrong decisions and go down a sinful and negative path. Either way, the result will not be good. The Bible points out that there are extreme consequences to a lack of mentorship so that we will understand just how important it is.
Eli did not act as a mentor to his children as he should have. As a result, many generations would suffer. When people today choose to turn their backs and not act as mentors, they could be dooming whole generations as well.
Know that I am sending you the best that God has to offer you and I will see you up, up, and over the top.