3 Tips to Finding Mentors for Your Marriage

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3 Tips to Finding Mentors for Your Marriage

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We had only been married six months when the Schwartz’s invited us over for dinner. They were a nice enough couple, but we barely knew them. Not to mention, they were twenty years older, had three grown kids, and lived a very different lifestyle. 

How would we relate? Why did they want us to come over?

Unfortunately, we only made it to one dinner. In hindsight, I wish we would have nurtured that relationship. Yet, life happened. We moved soon thereafter, started new jobs, and longed to connect with couples our own age. However, all those transitions proved more difficult than anticipated and relationships with our peers didn’t form right away. In time, we found ourselves drifting apart, merely coasting along, not really finding any joy or purpose in our married life. We really could have used the Schwartz’s to provide their gentle love and guidance to help us change our perspective. 

Maybe you find yourself there now. In a marriage that could use a little check-up. 

Proverbs 27:17 says, “as iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” This powerful verse first reminds us that we are imperfect. Then it calls out our need to be sharpened. If we aren’t being fine-tuned and adjusted, being shaped for the better, then we are slowly dying. While it doesn’t sound good to be sharpened, our great Creator knows exactly how to shape and mold us. In His infinite wisdom, He also knows we need hands-on examples of this sharpening. In other words, we need others to walk alongside us, showing us how to live this life, by loving our Lord with all our heart, all our soul, and all our might. (Deuteronomy 6:4) 

Our marriages need those “irons” to sharpen and strengthen us because marriage is hard. We will fail if we go at it alone. All relationships require work, but marriage being the most sacred of relations requires “heart” work. Our hearts become totally invested when we say, “I do.” Unfortunately, when the newness wears off and the blissful image of Mr. and Mrs. Wonderful becomes shattered upon the first marital fight, we learn that marriage is joined together by two flawed individuals. Both bringing their imperfect expectations of what marriage should be and what it should look like. Both holding on to different ideals and dreams; both coming from different past experiences, and both being shaped and molded a little differently. That being said, there is going to be some friction. Refining is going to take place and it’s going to feel more like sandpaper. 

Great marriages don’t just happen; they are created. They are constantly being etched and chiseled. That sandpaper is smoothing away their rough edges as they grow closer, learning how to mesh together their expectations. They use growing pains as a way to take their mess and transform it into something beautiful. They see challenges as a choice. A choice to be selfish or be defined. They have most likely allowed others to speak into their lives. Reminding them to see each other the way God does. Just like any couple, they encounter trials in this life, but they have learned to lean in on the One that carries them through. 

While having friends in your married life is important, a mentor couple comes in with more experience and wisdom. They’ve been through many defining moments and can now offer over their hearts to a younger couple in need of support.

It is actually our biblical duty to reach the next generation and give thanks and praise to our Heavenly Father for all He has done for us. Psalms 145:4 tells us, “one generation commends your works to another; they tell of your mighty acts.” So not only are we to seek mentors, but we are called to be them for the next generation. That’s because mentors can save a marriage! We live in a society that currently views marriage as disposable, rather than a union that has a God-given purpose. We desperately need mentors life rafts. If we want to have marriages that proclaim God’s goodness and give great examples for our children, we must invest in them. But how exactly do we go about finding these mentor relationships for our marriages? 

It Takes Time.

We’re all busy. Adding one more thing to your schedule may make you groan. Between jobs, kids, extracurricular activities, and don’t forget time with the in-laws, married life can keep you pretty tied up. However, in order to fully benefit from a marriage mentor, you have to make time for it. Remember, it is an investment. You also have to make time to find a couple that will fit the needs of your marriage. Start by talking with your spouse about what you are both looking for in a mentor couple, then pray and ask God to reveal a couple (or couples) that could fit the needs in your marriage. Here are some questions to consider when looking for a mentor couple:

  • Is it apparent that they love God, each other, and others?

  • Do they serve with open hearts or are they mission-minded?

  • Do they have some of the same interests as you and your spouse?

Additional questions include: 

Mentors can be found just about anywhere, so keep your eyes and heart open. Some of the best mentors are within your circle of family or church friends. If you already have a relationship with them, it may be easier to connect. Just keep in mind that you will be sharing intimate conversations with this couple, so you and your spouse both need to be able to trust them and feel comfortable. 

It Takes Effort.

Once you find a couple that is ready and willing, it takes effort and understanding. Try to be intentional about putting forth the effort to spend quality time together. This is not a one-way street. Both couples need to put forth the effort in order to make it worthwhile for your marriage. Start by building a relationship, and really getting to know them, if you haven’t already. Keep it casual, light-hearted, and fun at first. If you want a couple to know what you expect, and they haven’t been clear about what they can offer you, then establish healthy boundaries. 

Also, note that there is a difference between mentorship and counseling. Mentoring is a guide. A mentor couple brings forth a loving and encouraging approach, equipping you with helpful tools to possibly implement in your marriage based on their experience. The communication line should be open both ways. Listening to one another is essential. 

It Takes Vulnerability.

Even though a mentor couple may seem to have it all together and appear rather confident, they are still human. Neither couple is perfect and therefore should be open, honest, and real about their married lives. It takes vulnerability to open up and share intimate details about your most sacred of relationships, so invite God into your conversation first and see where He leads. When we are truly authentic and able to freely converse, a special bond is formed between our brothers and sisters. In the end, both couples will be richly blessed and see how God shaped and molded them to become the husbands and wives He is calling them to be!

Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/Zinkevych

Alicia Searl is a devotional author, blogger, and speaker that is passionate about pouring out her heart and pointing ladies of all ages back to Jesus. She has an education background and master’s in literacy.  Her favorite people call her Mom, which is why much of her time is spent cheering them on at a softball game or dance class. She is married to her heartthrob (a tall, spiky-haired blond) who can whip up a mean latte. She sips that goodness while writing her heart on a page while her puppy licks her feet. Visit her website at aliciasearl.com and connect with her on Instagram and Facebook.



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