- Many of us didn’t have any good marriage role model growing up.
- Many don’t have such a model today.
- Most receive little or no instruction about marriage before getting married.
- Unless they seek it out, few receive marriage instruction or help after they get married.
- Most of what we know of marriage comes from bad examples and the media’s twisted version of marriage.
- Many look down on those who seek help for their marriages.
Is it any wonder marriages are such a mess?
Marriage isn’t easy, and there’s no sane reason to think we can just learn it on the fly. If you’ve never had marriage coaching, you’re attempting something complex with no instruction. Even if you eventually get most of it right, you’re in for a good deal of unnecessary frustration along the way.
If you’re fairly newly married and/or still have some problems, please seek help.
There’s no shame in asking for help! On the contrary, it shows wisdom and maturity. Books and blogs are fine, but they can’t take the place of face-to-face contact with a marriage mentor. Find someone you think has a good marriage, a marriage you want to emulate, and
ask beg him to mentor you. Meet weekly and talk about marriage. Be honest about your struggles, and ask questions. Ask for prayer and accountability. If you and your wife both do this, the results will be even better. My suggestion is to find a couple to meet with the two of you separately as often as once a week, and all four of you monthly. Build a relationship and let them bless your marriage. I advise you give them permission to share with each other what they hear from each of you, giving them a better picture of your marriage.
If your marriage isn’t on the verge of disaster, meeting with a solid couple can do amazing things for you. They don’t need formal training to be a huge help. If your marriage is in a bad way, you’ll want someone with more training and skill.
If you’ve been married a decade or more and have a solid marriage (solid, not perfect) please help others.
You don’t need training to be able to help other couples. I suggest you read marriage materials to gain insight and gather tools, but your experience and victories qualify you more than you realise. There are so many couples who have no one encouraging their marriage, and what you know right now would be a huge blessing to such couples. Please don’t allow feeling unqualified to rob couples of what you could do for them.
When Lori and I had been married about seven years, a young newlywed couple at church asked us to help them with their marriage. We had only just gotten past a good many problems in our own marriage, and we felt far from ready for such a task. We prayed and felt we should meet with them weekly for a while. We came alongside as friends. We discussed marriage issues, but we didn’t just talk about marriage. We were available when they had questions or problems, and we offered them the best we could. A year later, we overheard them telling another couple we had saved their marriage – which was news to us! Had we known up front they were discussing divorce I doubt we would have been willing to meet with them, so I’m glad they didn’t tell us. Back then, we had no training and little study. I thought there were other couples more qualified, but those couples seemed unapproachable to the young couple. I wouldn’t say we saved their marriage, I would say God saved it. However, God worked through us and had we said no I wonder what would’ve happened. Did our willingness to try make the difference for that marriage?
You don’t have to wait for a couple to come to you. Identify a younger married man and start a relationship. Meet for coffee, or whatever, on a regular basis. Ask about his life and show an interest. Share about your marriage to prime the pump. Ask him how you can pray for him, and ask specifically how you can pray for his marriage. You will be fishing, and when you find a man who takes the bait pour into his life and his marriage. You can make a huge difference. God can use you to save and build up marriages. The fields are ripe and there are not nearly enough workers, so please pitch in!
I did several posts on helping marriages last year, with some suggested resources. You will find all those posts here.
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