There we stood in our third year of marriage—more like enemies than lovers. It seemed the odds were stacked against us. We came from broken families, had buried ourselves in over two hundred thousand dollars of debt, are the MOST stubborn people you’ve ever met, and live in a county with a 71% divorce rate. We were lonely and desperate for help, but too embarrassed to ask.
One Sunday morning, an older couple at our church caught our attention; they were laughing, holding hands, and seemed madly in love. Curiosity turned to near stalking as we carefully observed how they interacted with each other. We gathered up the courage and invited them to lunch and asked them what felt like a million questions on marriage. We learned that they, too, had felt alone and empty inside long ago and that it was normal, which instantly caused us to let down our guard, lean in and learn from them.
There is something powerful about Paul’s encouragement to bear each other’s burdens; that we shouldn’t do life alone. We were created for connection, and marriage will be the most significant relationship we will have on this earth. Our bond with this couple continues to this day as we remember the skills they taught us for a thriving marriage. In the community of faith, we have the power to create intentional relationships that bring hope and encouragement to our marriages.
We believe that every marriage should be surrounded by other couples who support and encourage each other to continue fighting for their marriage. Through our own process of finding marriage mentors, we discovered that there are three characteristics of a mentor relationship that are essential for its success.
THEY HAVE A MARRIAGE YOU RESPECT.
Mentor couples go on date nights, enjoy each other, apologize when they’ve messed up, forgive each other daily, and have the kind of marriage you want.
THEY’RE WILLING TO BE VULNERABLE.
Our mentor couple holds nothing back in sharing with us their struggles and heartaches in every area of their marriage. In their transparency, we see ourselves in their story and find hope knowing they made it through.
THEY ARE READY TO PRAY WITH YOU.
Knowing that our marriage is being prayed over by another couple is so comforting. This couple knows our struggles and is joining us in praying for protection, wisdom, and courage.
We live in strange times where love is confusing, relationships seem complicated, and marriage itself is questioned as even being relevant today. If there has ever been a time for married couples to surround themselves with other married couples to encourage them in their journey, it is now.
Marriage is not an innate talent. None of us is born with the natural ability to do relationships well. Marriage is a learned skill that must be taught by those who have weathered the storms of life. From how to flavor your words with sweet grace to how to properly apologize when you don’t feel like you’ve done anything wrong, finding a mentor couple could be the exact resource your marriage needs to get past the areas you are stuck on.