What are the qualifications of being a mentor? And are you ready to be a mentoring couple? These are questions we address in this article. The following is something that Dr Ed Gray of 12conversations.com addresses says:
To be a Marriage Mentoring Couple:
• You do not have to be an expert … simply be willing to share your experiences.
• Share your stories of married life with a younger couple.
• Be a mentoring couple to a younger couple.
• Help them strengthen their marriage and reap benefits for yours.
And here’s something that Dr Debi Smith wrote in reply to the question:
Which couples make the best mentoring couples?
“Mentor Couples have good marriages —not perfect or trouble-free marriages. A mentoring Couple has experience in building a life-long partnership and are willing to share their efforts. They are not couples who are professional counselors or marriage experts. Mentor Couples are warm, genuine, approachable, and empathetic. These Couples have a desire to support couples who are navigating new beginnings.” (From the Occhristiancouples.com article, Becoming a Marriage Mentor).
Do you have those qualities? And do you have a “desire to support couples navigating new beginnings?”
Also, do you qualify by not being an “expert” in marriage, but yet you’re willing to share some of the things you and your spouse have “learned through?” Can you share your stories of your own married life? And can you be transparent in admitting your mistakes so a younger couple could learn through them?
Can you take the time and MAKE the time to invest in the lives of a younger, less-experienced married couple and help them to strengthen their marriage? Those are questions you need to ask yourself if you are considering being a mentoring couple.
To help you further in making this decision, Pantano Christian Church (under the leadership of Family Pastor, Jeff Parziale) put together a Marriage Mentoring Toolbox. (They did this with help from Eric and Jennifer Garcia.) They give these insights that you may find helpful:
Who are Marriage Mentors?
- Experienced guides
- Healthy, not perfect couples
- Listeners (helpful book: “Can You Hear Me Now?” by Dallas and Nancy Demmit)
- Couples of all ages and in different stages in their married life
- Couples that have a heart to serve other couples
- Good listeners
- Care about others
- Value marriage
- Want to help other couples build healthy marriages
- At different stages of married life
What does a Marriage Mentoring Couple do?
- Create an environment of trust
- Give unconditional love
- Share life experiences
- Give couples permission to ask life questions
- Give couples permission to not be perfect
- Serve as role models
- Provide a neutral perspective
- Give access to resources and tools
- Provide a marriage perspective from both the male and female point of viewServing gives great value to the mentor couple as they reflect on their own marriage.
What are they not expected to be?
- Flawless (perfect)
- Advice givers
- A parent
- On call 24/7
- Marriage counselors, Professors or Therapists
- Experts or “know-it-alls”
- Rescuers or fixers
- Intruders or meddlers
- Connected for a lifetime
- Expected to have all the answers
- Responsible for solving a couples problems
A marriage mentor couple:
- Willingly shares what they know (in a noncompetitive way)
- Represent skill, knowledge, virtue, and accomplishment because they have gone before the couple they are mentoring
- Takes a personal and heartfelt interest in the other couple’s development and well-being
- Offers support, challenge, patience, and enthusiasm while guiding other couples to new levels of competence
- Points the way and represents tangible evidence of what another couple can become
- Exposes mentee couple to new ideas, perspectives, and standards
- Has more expertise in terms of knowledge and experience, yet views themselves as equal to those they mentor
If you can offer these qualities TOGETHER as a married couple —where both of you are willing to do this together in a united way working off of both of your strengths, you’ll reap the benefits of in your own marriage as well.
To further help you to consider whether you’re ready or not, we will provide a link below to the helpful web site for the ministry of Family Life Today so you can read an article that they have posted which will give you further insight. Just click onto the link below to read:
And from another web site ministry we recommend you read:
Lastly, here’s another excellent article to read on this subject:
Cindy Wright of Marriage Missions International wrote this article.
If you have additional tips you can share to help others, please “Join the Discussion” by adding your comments below.
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Filed under: Marriage Counseling & Mentoring