Friday, April 9, 2010

The childless 10%

When I randomly opened up Gilbert's Committed, the page I landed on talked about how in every society, statistically, 10% of women never have children.  This was somewhat flabergasting to me (and to Gilbert).  1 in 10 women?  Really? 

Sometimes, the percentage can get as high as 23%, but for some reason, it never falls below 10%, if I'm remembering what I glanced at.  I think Gilbert talks about evolution causing this consistent number or something (can't remember), but as a Christian, I was really intrigued.  Apparently, 10% is a good number, a minimum amount necessary for something.

Of course, not all of these women lack children because they are lifetime celibates.  Gilbert mentions infertility, war, and other reasons.  I wonder if that 10% takes into account how many people adopt and raise children not biologically theirs.  Probably not.  Maybe that's part of what that 10% is for. 

Anyway, what are your thoughts about/experiences with that statistic?

Friday, April 2, 2010

Liz on discipleship, also other questions

I was so impressed with Liz's response to last week's post and the way it made me think that I decided it needed to be posted a bit more prominently for those who may not read comments.

"I think the idea of making disciples is a bit terrifying. I suspect that it is supposed to be like the way I understand draft horses are trained: you take an inexperienced horse, hitch him up alongside a mature, trained one, and then keep them working/moving together until the new one gets the hang of things. If you make disciples that way, you're looking at dedicating yourself to running parallel to somebody else for a long time. You might not even really like the person, but who are you to judge, if you're open to helping whoever needs it, whoever God brings you? Which of course you should be, if you trust him and really want to do his will and work. And think about the people who have put up with you in the past. Think about the people Jesus put up with, even among his closest friends, the twelve. If find it exhausting just to think about it, let alone live it.

"If you just go someplace for a week and harass people you don't know and will never see again, you can come back and live your life however you please and feel good about yourself for it."

As a follow-up question to everyone: What is the difference between discipleship and mentorship? 

If discipleship is partnering up with whoever gets hitched to your harness, is mentorship about seeking out someone of a different age but a like mind?  Is there a place for that in the church, as well?  Is it mandated or just a good idea?  And how do we go about getting hitched into someone else's more experienced harness and get someone less experienced hitched into our slightly more experienced harness?  Any examples, ideas, or suggestions?  How exactly does love go and make disciples?