The Do’s and Don’ts of Marriage Mentoring

Marriage mentoring - AdobeStock_66540499 copyIt can be quite scary to think of marriage mentoring. That is because we think that mentors have to be perfect. And we usually see ourselves as anything BUT perfect. We know all too well just how imperfect we are!

But what we’ve discovered from those who mentor and now we know personally because we mentor, you don’t have to be perfect, you just have to be willing, and also healthy in your own marriage relationship.

You don’t have to know all the answers, because really, only God knows all the answers. But you are strong enough in your relationship with the Lord to depend upon His wisdom and His leading.

Here’s something to prayerfully consider:

“Let me mention an inherent pitfall we must avoid. Our nurturing character tempts us to want to fix everything. We can’t! We must be careful to shift a person’s dependence on us to dependence on the Lord. Obedience to God’s Word and reliance on God’s Spirit brings growth to maturity for anyone.

It’s our job to teach God’s Word and to model godly living. Then we must leave the growth to God. We can encourage others and affirm that God is the life giver.” (Vickie Kraft, from the book, “Women Mentoring Women”)

When we first started mentoring we thought that every problem that the couple had would be our problem to fix. But we have since learned that instead, we are to “anchor” our confidence in Christ. HE will minister to this couple. He does this whether He “fixes” their problem and allows us to participate in the process or He gives them the strength to endure. No matter what, we are to be a part of this couple’s support system and prayer partners.

Marriage Mentoring and Anchoring

We learned this principle of “anchoring” from Dr Dallas Demmitt. He wrote about it in his book, Can You Hear Me Now? And it really applies well with mentoring another couple. The is because it helps us to remember that we aren’t in charge of fixing everything that the couple tells us. We simply can’t be.

God is the One who knows best how to minister in each situation. When we truly listen to the couples who are telling us their problems, and we lift the problems up to God and anchor ourselves into His way of responding, the pressure is off of us and onto Him. And for this reason God gains the glory and credit. We participated with Him — not the other way around.

Dallas says the following about this concept:

“When you throw an anchor overboard, it goes straight to the bottom and secures the ship to the ocean floor. Surface wind and waves may threaten to carry the ship away. Currents may tug and pull the vessel this way and that. But a strong anchor secures the ship and ensures the safety of everyone on board.

“Likewise, the storms of life tear at Christian relationships and desire to destroy the home and drown the occupants. But anchoring in Christ secures individuals who are rooted and grounded in the safety of God’s love and assurance of His presence. On our own power or steam we cannot live the Christian life, let alone listen to an angry partner. Apart from Christ living through you and me, we can’t accomplish these actions.

Anchoring involves resting in the presence of Jesus, the Wonderful Counselor, inside of you whether you are speaking or listening. As you listen while someone drains off his “stuff,” life-transforming discoveries can occur in one or both of you. This happens in any situation in which one or more participants rest or anchor the communication in the hands of the Wonderful Counselor.” (Dr Dallas and Nancy Demmit, from the book, “Can You Hear Me Now?”)


So, now that you know about the “anchoring” principle in listening and interacting with mentorees, what are some of the other “do’s” and also “don’ts” in mentoring? This is what author Sabrina Beasley says:

“There is a great need for mentors in churches all across America. But there is very little on how to do it. Many couples are afraid to take on a task that requires so much emotional investment. This is especially true when they feel like they’re treading on new territory. Let me encourage you not to be afraid. Others have gone before you. They have left you this list of dos and don’ts to encourage the weary and equip the lost.”

So would you like to know some of those dos and don’ts?

To help you with this we are providing a link to a Family Life Today article. Please read what Sabrina suggests:


This article was written by 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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3 responses to “The Do’s and Don’ts of Marriage Mentoring

  1. (USA)  I am trying to find scripture on married men receiving marriage mentoring from outside the church from married women. This particular person once dated the married man, lives in another state and hasn’t been in contact with him for 12 years. Now she has heard through the man’s sister that he is having marriage and alcohol problems and all of the sudden she is calling the married man. This doesn’t seem like God’s word to me. Anyone have scripture on this?

    1. (USA) Hi Trish, I can’t even start to imagine that there would be ANY scripture where a woman is to mentor a man — let alone a married man. As a matter of fact, in 1 Timothy 2:12, it talks about NOT having a woman in a position where she would teach a man, and mentoring would be a type of teaching.

      And most anyone who knows anything about human nature and temptation (which we are told to flee temptation) would agree that the scenario you point to would be a recipe for disaster. You don’t “mentor” a married man — ESPECIALLY someone who you used to date. I don’t know if her heart is bigger than her common sense or what, but this is very, very unwise, on her part. If she’s truly concerned for this man, then she will have another man “mentor” him or recommend another man he could talk to, but she needs to step back, pray, and stay away.