A repeat post from September, featured on the Marriage Resource Center Tuesdays@10:10blog. (Visit www.mrcmv.org).
Most people would never start a major project in an area where they have no expertise without consulting someone who’s “been there, done that” before. While many are adept at figuring things out as they go, the more significant a project, the more essential outside input becomes for successful results. What can be helpful is identifying an experienced individual or two to weigh in on the plans and ideas, and allowing that advice to impact the choices being made toward accomplishing the goal. Even those who start a project without input can find themselves needing to call in a more skilled person to help them out of a tight fix.
The same approach has value in preparing for and working through a marriage. Perhaps the biggest “project” you may ever tackle is merging two lives into a new union, where both partners are loved, valued and honored. Marriage mentoring, either before or during a marriage, allows a married couple, practiced in the art of “being married,” to speak into the lives of those just starting out as well as those who have encountered some obstacles on the way.
Imagine the in-love couple with stars in their eyes who may overlook some realities in a new marriage – whiskers left in the sink, a less-than-OK organizational style, burnt dinners, or any other of a variety of unique couple clashes. Brain science says that the chemicals in our brains overload our ability to see (and therefore believe) the possibility that these things may occur. Another married couple, who has lived through the gaga-eyed season of new love, can talk about the need to kindly communicate expectations and extend grace as newlyweds navigate the early months of marriage.
Or consider the folks who’ve been married awhile and suddenly realize they knew less than they thought about what it takes to be married. Enter a mentor couple stage right; the support, encouragement and helpful tools (like this RINGS chat) from seasoned veterans can often help smooth out things in a marriage where a couple seems to be hitting a lot of speed bumps.
If you’re looking for a marriage that will go the distance, considering talking to people who are trying to live the example. Marriage mentors aren’t perfect, but they’re invested in seeing your marriage succeed. Who couldn’t use someone like that on their team?
Jesus follower. Wife. Mom. Daughter. Friend. Pastor. Learner.