3 Ways Marriage Mentors Can Change Your Marriage Before You Say “I Do”
When I went to Christ for the Nations Institute, a Bible college based in Dallas, Texas, we heard a lot about mentors, or spiritual parents. One amazing man shared about a time that his spiritual father rebuked him for the way he spoke sharply to his exhausted, pregnant wife. I personally longed for a man of God to be a father to me as I answered the pastoral call on my life.
Mentoring is essentially discipleship.
Mentors serve so many purposes in our lives. Some may be there for life, other times a mentor is there for a specific reason or season. Whatever the purpose or length of time may be, mentors have forever changed our marriage by investing in us.
Once, in Bible college an older couple pulled Sarah and I aside and told us that they believed they had heard from the Lord about us. They then began to unpack half an hour’s worth of encouragement and prophetic words that helped pave the way for where we are heading, even today!
One of the most powerful times a couple mentored us was when we were preparing for our time on the mission field. We spent a week with this couple as they worked with us in experiencing areas of healing from old wounds, hearing God’s voice, and re-committing to ourselves to one another.
The Gifts Mentors Give
Mentors in any season are truly a gift from God, but as a dating couple, these mentors can be indispensable.
Here are three ways marriage mentors can produce life in your marriage before you’re married.
1. They’ve been where you’re going. Mentors have experienced what you have or will experience, and they can help you avoid mistakes they made. One day, when my wife and I were “in talks” to have a relationship, we had a big fight. I stormed off and walked three miles to the house of an older couple that we knew and loved. When I told this couple about our fight, the husband, Bill, told me, “Daniel, I don’t know what to tell you. But Carlene and I have had our ‘spats’ too, and when we do, I talk to Jesus. Now, there’s a quiet room in the back. Go back there, pray, and listen. That’s what I do when we fight.” Funny. While he claimed to not have the answers, he gave me the answer. To this day, if Sarah and I have disagreements, I don’t go to people, I go to Christ. What a legacy this man left for me!
2. They can see what you can’t. Mentors have the privilege of objectivity. Mentors can look at your relationship without any bias. They can direct you when you’re lost, correct you when you’re wrong, and inspect you when you’re confused.
3. They give you something to strive for. Sarah and I have had some marriage mentors for life, and some for short seasons. No matter how long we have them pouring life into our marriage, we see a portrait of a beautiful marriage that we long to resemble, some day. These Godly men have modeled gentleness and delight toward their wives in front of me. These gracious wives have modeled patience and faith toward their husbands in front of my wife.
Because of the examples of Godly mentors in our dating season, we had a goal to aim for.
Oh, that we would distance ourselves from the selfie-obsession of our generation! May we learn to value the priceless treasures of wisdom found in others! Trust me: you do have more to learn.
Do you and your significant have marriage mentors?