The Value of Marriage Mentors

By Jonathan and Christin Slade, Contributing Writers

In America, we have a strong sense of pride. Our mind is to do things alone; be independent. We don’t need anyone’s help. We have learned that this mindset in marriage can’t be further from the truth. Having a mentor is a key ingredient to a successful and fulfilling marriage.

The Value of Marriage Mentors

Having a Marriage Mentor

Throughout the years of our marriage, we have had a steady couple who we consider our mentors in many ways. There is so much to be gained from having a mentor, especially in a society where marriage is under attack and divorce is more and more accepted as the answer to difficulties.

There are a number of things to consider when searching for a good mentor, some of which we will cover later. What follows are some of the benefits a mentor can provide.

Wisdom and Support

When you and your spouse face a difficult situation, having a mentor can help support you {both} and offer you wisdom as well as a different perspective on the situation than you may see.

In the difficult situations, it is easier to make rash and foolish decisions based on our emotions at the time of that situation. Having a mentor brings in outside perspective and an understanding that the sky is not really falling. Our mentors have frequently pulled out the lasso and reeled us back in to a stable state of mind in the midst of the hurricane.

Community and Friendship

It helps to know you’re not alone in marriage. Even the little struggles can add up and suck us dry. Allowing a mentor to pour encouragement and love into you, whether individually or as a couple is refreshing and needed. We need the body of Christ to help build up our faith and encourage us daily.

Being a Mentor

There’s another side to this coin, that every couple should also highly consider. When you have some experience under your belt and have been through a few things, be open to mentoring another couple. Being a mentor requires a few things of the mentoring couple in order to keep that biblical standard of marriage. A mentor should always seek out biblical truth over their own feelings or opinions.

Humility

One of the most endearing qualities in a mentor is the humility that they can provide. Our mentors blush when we refer to them as such. The greatest part of being a mentor is mentoring through your life. It is the everyday examples of a successful marriage that speak louder than any speech that can be given about the subject. Also, nobody wants to be preached at. Being forceful as a mentor does not make you very approachable.

Forgiving

Young couples make many mistakes. We have made quite a few really dumb ones. A good mentor will not look at your mistakes and look down upon you. When being a mentor, we need to be able to wisely look at the mistakes, pray together for answers and offer grace with outstretched arms.

We have a couple who we are mentoring and have mentored them since before their marriage. They made some silly mistakes that got them into trouble. However, we did not look down upon them. How could we? We’ve done plenty of dumb things while we were dating and right into marriage.

Yes, obviously we still make plenty of silly mistakes, but our mentors are still there with open arms.

 Available

Being a mentor is a commitment and it really does require you to be available and flexible to meet with the couple. It is important to be in regular contact, whether it’s to meet for counsel or to meet for dinner and a movie at home. Building a relationship with another couple is an ongoing endeavor. It will require a bit of sacrifice.

As a couple who has needed our mentor friends in some difficult times, we are so thankful for their sacrifice to make room in their schedule to meet with us or watch our children at the last minute.

As previously stated, being a mentor is more than just offering up advice or counsel. It’s truly a friendship. It’s being the body of Christ in ways the couple may most need it. There are lots of things that can put pressure on a marriage and if you can be there for your couple, your sacrifice can help alleviate some of that pressure.

It means a lot to a couple to know someone is there to support them and cares about what they are going through.

Having a mentor is a gift and being a mentor is paying that gift forward. The reward is so great on both ends. We encourage you to seek out a couple in your church or community who are godly and follow biblical principles closely, and simply start spending time with them. Or, when you spot a couple who could use some support, step out and begin supporting them. No one ever needs to say the word mentor for that relationship to exist.

Comments

  1. I think this is so important, and so often overlooked! Isn’t a “mentor” basically just an older man or woman that the Bible commands to teach the younger, anyway? We ought to be always open to correction, always seeking counsel, and always willing to train those who are coming up behind us!

    My husband and I are very young, but the Lord has already put us in situations where we’ve been able to mentor (aka, DISCIPLE) many people even younger than us. And of course…for every person who WE mentor, there’s five who are mentoring US!

    You’re always an example: a good example or a bad example, but you’re still an example.

  2. Sonja Dove says:

    Thanks so much for this article. I found it pinned on Interest and it caught my eye because my husband are currently serving in the marriage ministry of our church as mentors and I feel you can never have to many resources. Will definitely be spending some time looking around your site. Actually passed it on to the head of our marriage ministry team. A wonderful ministry and blessing here :)

  3. Jonathan and Christin – love this post! You’re spot on, mentors certainly don’t have to be perfect but open to sharing their experience with another couple. Our experience is that mentors are not usually required to dispense knowledge and teaching (which can be intimidating anyway) but hope and encouragement. My wife and I have personally benefitted from our mentors and we’ve been privileged to pass along our experience to other couples as well! We’ve noticed a boomerang effect with Marriage Mentoring, as we invest in another couple, we get an infusion of energy and love in our own marriage. It’s one of the best things we’ve done for our relationship!

    Keep up the great work!

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