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. That is why it is important to find a mentor couple to invest in your marriage.
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? So, how do you find a mentor couple?
Look for a mentor couple who has the love that you’d like to have.
Observe and see who holds hands, and who acts kind to one another. Observe who opens the door, and 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. A few are 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 mentor 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. That way 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. 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. It has been enjoyable attending sporting events with sports-minded mentors, exercising with them, or even vacationing with them.
• Look for a mentor 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. It’s just that they 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.
This article comes from the book, Every Marriage Is a Fixer-Upper: A Do-It-Yourselfer’s Guide to Bringing Out the Best in Your Relationship—written by Bill and Pam Farrel. This book is a do-it-yourself guide to bringing out the best in your relationship.
— ALSO —
We have learned the importance of having a mentor couple to help you. Here is our experience:
• BEHIND EVERY GREAT MARRIAGE ARE OTHERS WHO HELP
To learn even more on this subject as far as what to look for in a mentor couple, please read the following article written by Bobb Biehl.
• THE IDEAL MENTOR — Are You Looking for a Mentor?
If you have additional tips to help others, please “Join the Discussion” by adding your comments below.
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5 responses to “How to Find a Mentor Couple to Invest in Your Marriage”
I have seen many churches focus on saving lives and growing memberships. There is actually very little marriage support in the church. My husband and I have tried to seek Christian marriage support but there is none in the three churches we have attended near our hime. It almost feels shameful to ask about it. I always hear about people having marriage mentors and getting “poured into”. I feel now it’s more for those special people at church, the ones with connections or sowmthing. It’s very discouraging as my marriage is very unstable and we haven’t been able to find help in the church. This has turned me away from God and His people. I opened up to two Christian women from Bible studies last summer about my marriage and desire for help. They listen but there is no follow up or friendship or mentoring or guidance that follows. It is hard to open up first of all and then to be cast aside is also heartbreaking when I’m already isolated.
This is why we launched InspiredMarriage.com. We have said the exact thing! The need is real.
Not everyone wants to be or is cut out to a marriage mentor, even if they have a long enduring marriage. I wouldn’t. My talents lie elsewhere, and I’d be happy to mentor elsewhere. How do you kindly turn someone down after they’ve wined and dined you?
Jill, not everyone is called to minister in every type of ministry avenue that is available. We aren’t all called to be pastors or on music teams, or teach Sunday School, etc. God gives us different talents so together, God uses us all. In the Bible God likens us to the human body–that each part is as important as the next. We’re told in 1 Corinthians 12:14,17-18: “Now the body is not made up of one part but of many. . .. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as He wanted them to be.”
You have to pray about the ministry opportunities you are to be involved in and eventually you will know what you are called by the Lord to do. It’s great that you have a long, enduring marriage… so, so glad for that. But that doesn’t mean that you would be a good mentor. You may be a good spouse, and know how to interact within your marriage in ways that are good, but that doesn’t mean that you would be a good mentor. That takes a specific set of skills that you may or may not have.
If that particular gift is not given to you it would not be fair to someone that you would take on in a mentoring role. They need to find just the right person that God wants them to work with in this area of strengthening marriage.
I’m not sure who “wined and dined you” to be a mentor, but please pray about it. If you don’t feel this is your calling don’t allow that person or persons to pressure you into doing so. I’ve been in that place before in other areas of ministry and I’ve had to learn to say no. They didn’t always agree with my decision, but I know in my heart that it was the right one. …Mentoring is a lifestyle. If you don’t feel called to that lifestyle then don’t do it. … I pray God will give you clarity here and that you will KNOW the ministries in which you are to be involved and those you are just to pray for and not be directly involved.
“And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ —to the glory and praise of God.” (Philippians 1:9-11)
I think this is exactly what I was saying in my comment, but in far less detail. I agree with you absolutely and I’m very glad that you cleared that up. I have read other blogs which advocate for marriage mentors and none of them have ever stated that some people may not be called to mentor in this way. It would be useful if what you have written in your response to my comment could be included in the actual blog post. Thank you for your prompt reply.