Women are by nature encouragers. We encourage our children to excel in school and sports when they are young and are their greatest encouragers as they begin to face those teenage and young adult bumps in the road of life. As adult women, we desire to come along side others and speak into their lives and situations when we see they are hurting or confused. This is a part of how God wired us, we are nurturers by our nature.
There are times when our words of encouragement are not enough. A friend has a child who is rebellious or involved in drugs, a husband who is unkind or abusive, financial difficulties that are severe, or they present you with any other of life's serious problems. You want to help, you want to encourage but you don't know how; you don't know what to say.
Routinely, you wind up telling them their situation will work out, things will get better, and they should "hang in there" because these kinds of responses are all you can come up with. You see that you are really at a loss to say anything else because you don't know what else to say. Truthfully, the things we tend to say in those situations are lame.
Wouldn't it be great to be equipped to help other people? Would you like to be ready with words that would truly benefit the listener and be of help and encouragement to them? If you desire to come along side others it is important to be properly trained to do so. I am a strong believer in instruction in discipleship so that when those times come that you want to help someone, you are ready to do so.
It is important to be ready with good, solid biblical counsel. This is counsel that comes from the Word of God, not a self-help book or the latest feel good best seller. We are dealing with God's people in the church, and so we must be careful about the counsel or help we offer them. We have to be sure that the counsel we are giving is glorifying to God above all else and beneficial to those who hear it.
Biblical discipleship is not worldly answers with Bible verses pasted on top, it is application of the Word of God to the heart and mind of the person you are speaking to. It requires discernment, wisdom, knowledge, and insight be present in the discipler.
Get wisdom! Get understanding! Do not forget, nor turn away from the words of my mouth. Proverbs 4:5 (NKJV)
Immerse yourself in the Word of God and make sure you are applying its truths to your heart and life. I tell my counseling students that the greatest changes will take place in their own lives long before they ever meet with their first counselee. Be prepared to be challenged from the Word as you go forth, it is a huge paradigm shift!