“She scaffolds their lives.”

I hear a new friend use a new verb: scaffolds. She’s describing how a particular mentor works in her life, and she says, “I just love her. She scaffolds women’s lives.”

She scaffolds them!

Do you know what scaffolding is? Can you picture it around a building? I’ve observed the scaffolding from the buildings I’ve seen in cities and how it rises up like strong bones around the structure being built, repaired, or cleaned. The scaffolding stays until the building can stand on its own. It’s a temporary protection.

I see this mentor creating structure and support around a woman.

What would it mean to live my life as if I’m scaffolding people wherever I go? When someone needs the structure and support to stay standing while God builds their new lives, repairs their broken hearts, or cleans up the sin in their lives, we stand around them. We offer the sturdy presence of God through the fellowship of believers.

I fear that sometimes, instead of scaffolding, we act like wrecking balls through judgment, shaming, selfishness, or fear. We don’t support; we impatiently demand change before it’s time. We tear down what God might be transforming for His glory.

I want to scaffold my daughters, my husband, my students, my neighbors. It’s a new verb with a new image of living a life in Christ.

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