For years now my husband and I have had various couples we've spent time with on a regular basis. Several of these couples have become what we like to call 'our mentors' and we always walk away from time spent with them saying 'THAT was fun!' Our time spent chatting, laughing, and going deeper as friends leaves us both feeling refreshed and fulfilled in many ways.
Just last night we went out on a double date with a couple we've known for about 6 years. We use to get together with them more frequently, but in the last couple of years we've seen less of each other. Last night was perfect! I believe it's a true sign of a good friendship when you don't see each other as often as you'd like, but when you do finally get together you pick up right where you left off and it feels so natural and easy to communicate.
DH and I walked away from our double date last night agreeing we LOVE getting together with other couples. There's something special about getting together with a married couple whose a 'step ahead' of where we are in our marriage/parenting journey. It's a give and take relationship and I think last night we both gave each other reasons to hope in the future of our marriage and a new sense of thankfulness for what we've been through that has shaped us into who we are as couples today.
I came up with 3 reasons why every couple should take time to be mentored. Thank you, DH, for encouraging me to 'take it deeper.'
#1. Encouragement and support. Every couple needs time alone, but also time with other like minded couples.
Couples can help encourage each other and support each other simply by talking about life's challenges in marriage, parenting, jobs, etc. By discussing topics that are of value to each couple we can all gain wisdom from our own experiences in life as well as hope in what's to come. Plus, a renewed energy in marriage comes from being inspired by each other. Other marriages can challenge us to keep pressing on and keep striving to become better spouses if we find those couples who we see eye to eye with and develop close friendships with them. As married couples we can help encourage and support each other by allowing ourselves to be open and honest with a few other couples.
#2. Wisdom and Hope. All married couples have more to learn.
No marriage is perfect or ever will be. We've all had our bumps in the road and we're all learning as we go. If we have 2-3 couples we are especially close to and are willing to go deep with we can potentially learn from each other. Because each couple learns different lessons as life goes one; each couple brings different experiences and knowledge 'to the table'. So, as we spend time with other couples and get to know them on a deeper level we can learn from their mistakes and successes and in turn THEY can learn from us. It's important for these relationships to be give and take. Too much is lost if it's one sided in any way.
#3. Unity in the community. Marriage is meant to be shared.
We were created to be in relationships with other people. Through our healthy relationships we are drawn to deeper union with Christ and stronger bonds in our church community. The value in sharing your love as a couple with those around you is a lot bigger and more far reaching than you realize because you may not 'see' the fruits, but by being a positive example and in expressing genuine love and care for each other WE are ALL a light to the world. The reality that marriage is beautiful AND it's challenging...THAT reality needs to be shared in order to help form a community around all marriages and a witness to our faith community.
Couples mentoring couples can have a positive effect on marriages.
Do you know a couple you'd choose? Can you be 'that couple' for someone else?