Focus on the Family

Marriage Mentoring: Five Keys to Help Find a Mentor Couple         

A young couple sits with a mature couple in fellowship around a couch. Marriage mentoring can be important in helping young couples navigate the issues they will face together. Here are five ways to find a mentor couple.
Marriage mentoring can be important in helping young couples navigate their lifelong journey together. Here are five ways to find a mentor couple.

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Life is much easier when you have help from those further up the trail. Their wisdom and insight will be invaluable in your journey together. God’s Word lays a priority for mentoring:

“And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others” (2 Timothy 2:2).

“Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God” (Titus 2:3-5).

Marriage Mentoring and finding a mentor couple is becoming even more important as many people today have come from homes that have 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?

1. Look for a couple who has the love you’d like to have.

Look around and see who holds hands, acts kind to one another, opens the door, and prays for one another or for other couples.

2. Look for a couple who has done what you want to do.

Some careers have unique marital pressures: physicians (especially OBGYNS!), politicians, ministry and clergy couples, CEOs and entrepreneurs, media, or military marriages. Look for a couple that has not just survived in your particular fishbowl but thrived and found a life rhythm that has served them and their families well.

4. Look for a couple who lives in your world somehow.

They will be stronger mentors if they live in your neighborhood, are a part of your work world, or attend your church. You will be able to see them in various 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 join a marriage enrichment class at a church or through an organization like United Marriage Encounter, Marriage Savers, etc.  By attending a class or conference with a group, you will meet couples interested in having a strong marriage, and some of those couples might be further ahead on the trail.

5. Look for a couple who may share something in common with you.

We have enjoyed having mentors who raised all boys since we have three of them. We have enjoyed mentors who are also clergy couples and ones who also are writers and speakers. We have enjoyed sports-minded mentors as we can attend games, do exercise or outside activities with them, or even vacation with them.

5. Look for a couple who is willing.

They don’t have to be perfect—no couple is! They don’t necessarily need to be trained marriage mentors or professional marriage educators. They just need to have a strong, stable relationship themselves. A willing couple with a regular, perhaps weekly, touch point with you can help fortify your marriage and family.

Next Steps to Find a Mentor Couple

Make a list of 2-5 couples that might be willing to mentor you. Start with the one you feel might be the best fit, call them up, and ask them to dinner. See how the dinner goes. Ask them questions about how they met, what their advice to newlyweds would be, etc.

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. If they enjoy teaching, you might suggest they lead you and some friends through a marriage enrichment book. You might ask if they would just be willing to meet for a meal occasionally or be available for questions as they arise. See what time they might have available for you, expect less, and rejoice if they have more! Then decide when you will get together next.

A mentoring relationship can last for a year or longer if both couples are interested and willing. Always make sure you thank them for their willingness. You can also offer to invest in your mentor couple by sharing expertise in technology and social media or offering your younger, stronger, healthier lives to help with a home repair, moving, or home upgrade project.

“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” (Proverbs 27:17 NIV)

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