Life is much easier when you have some help from those who are further along the trail. Their wisdom and insight will prove to be invaluable in your own journey together.
Mentoring is becoming even more important as the majority of the population today comes from homes that experienced divorce. You may have never lived with both a mother and a father. How are you supposed to know what an intact family looks like? Who is going to model for you how to work through conflict if your own parents decided to abandon their marriage?
How do you find a mentor couple?
• Look for a couple who has the love that you’d like to have. Look around and see who holds hands, who acts kind to one another, who opens the door, who prays for one another or for other couples.
• Look for a couple who has done what you want to do. Some careers have unique marital pressures: physicians (especially ob-gyn!), politicians, ministry and clergy couples, CEOs and entrepreneurs, and media military personnel. Look for a couple who have not only survived in your particular fishbowl but thrived and found a life that has served them and their families well.
• Look for a couple who lives in your world. They will be stronger mentors if they live in your neighborhood, are a part of your world, or attend your church. You will be able to see them in a variety of circumstances, and they will be there to answer those day-to-day issues and questions that may crop up. A great way to discover a marriage mentor is to joining a marriage enrichment class offered by your church or by organizations like United Marriage Encounter or see Smartmarriages.com for many options. By attending a class or conference with a group, you will meet couples who are interested in having a strong marriage, and some of those couples may have some wisdom to share.
• Look for a couple who shares something in common with you. We have three sons, and we have enjoyed having mentors who raised all boys. We have benefited from mentors who are clergy couples and ones who are writers and speakers. We have enjoyed attending sporting events with sports-minded mentors, exercising with them, or even vacationing with them.
• Look for a couple who is willing. They don’t have to be perfect—no couple is! They don’t even necessarily need to be trained marriage mentors or professional marriage educators. They just need to have a strong, stable relationship themselves.
Make a list of two to five couples who might be willing to mentor you. Decide which couple might be the best fit and invite them to dinner. See how the dinner goes. Ask them questions about how they met, what advice they would give to newlyweds, and the like. If this dinner goes well, make a follow-up appointment for coffee or dinner.
Ask them if they would be willing to spend some time with you. You might suggest they lead you and some friends through a marriage enrichment book if they enjoy teaching.
You might ask if they would just be willing to meet for a meal on occasion or be available for questions as they arise. Be sensitive about the amount of time they might have available for you. Decide when you will get together next, and make sure to thank them for their willingness.
The above article comes from the book, Every Marriage Is a Fixer-Upper -written by Bill and Pam Farrel, formerly published by Harvest House. This book (if you can find it, because it’s no longer being published) is a do-it-yourself guide to bringing out the best in your relationship.
— ALSO —
To learn more on this subject from an additional article posted on the Focus on the Family ministry web site, please click onto the link below to read:
If you have additional tips you can share to help others in this area of marriage, or you want to share requests for prayer and/or ask others for advice, please “Join the Discussion” by adding your comments below.