Reciprocal means shared, felt, or shown by both sides.

It’s usually what we expect in relationships. That our feelings of togetherness are shared, felt, or shown by the other person. But what happens if you go after relationships for what you can give and not expect recipriocity?

On Saturday, Dr. Lynn Etta Manning spoke to our women’s group about spiritual mentoring. After stumbling in to mentoring earlier in the week with a work-related relationship, I felt like I needed to learn more.

Dr. Manning spoke about how many of the women she surveyed for her dissertation said they lacked intimate or significant relationships and that they suffered from loneliness. She believed strongly that the women of the church should endeavor to enter into mentoring relationships — age differences didn’t matter — older women can learn from younger women and vice versa.

In her words, we should pour into other women expecting nothing in return. She instructed us that these mentoring relationships should have structure and that the person being mentored should have an idea about what she wants to learn.

Dr. Manning also encouraged mentors to go forward with understanding: I have needs and I have skills. She’s definitely got my attention, and I’m excited to learn more about her program.

Recently, I called my friend Sheri — and said I’m tired of not devoting time and care to our friendship. We’ve established “Kris and Sheri Day” and once a month we’re working to make a date and stick to it. This relationship is reciprocal.

Yet, I’m willing to take a risk on a non-reciprocal relationship and see what happens when I pour into someone. ❤