**Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.** Philippians 4:9
We all have some level of schooling in mathematics, reading and writing. All of these are essential to be able to continue on in life. They are building blocks that lead to higher education, a career, and the ability to have our own business. They are fundamental pieces to go forward with the rest of our lives. But none of these teach us how to have a happy marriage. There are no classes on marriage.
For this reason, Paul, the Apostle encourages us to find a mentor. Someone that has gone before us. Someone farther down the road than we are and can show us the way. Someone who is a good example and is capable of helping us workout problem areas.
There are two kinds of mentoring. One is face2face. We look for another couple that has managed to keep their marriage in a growth pattern. A couple that is willing to share and be open about their mistakes, lessons learned, and are willing to take the time to counsel us. We can observe their problem solving skills and ask for help when we can’t see a way out.
The second kind of mentoring is found in reading books. Not all of us have a good example nearby and available to us. Or maybe we do, but, they are shy about sharing their experiences. The alternative is to find some really good books on marriage and understanding our partner. There are also marriage retreats and conferences that we can attend. Of course, in today’s digital age, there are many websites for ministries that want to help strengthen marriages and families.
Here’s a short list to get you started.
The Bible–read about Ruth and Boaz, Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebecca and others. Take the time to read these stories, slowly and together with your spouse, and talk about the positive and negative aspects of their relationships. The Bible is full of examples of good and bad relationships, good and bad character traits, and those that live for God and those that don’t. Remember that men and women think differently and it’s important to get both perspectives on these relationships. It will help you to understand your partner more.
Focus on the Family website
Men Are from Mars and Women are from Venus By John Gray
The Four Temperaments by Florence Littauer
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman
Love and respect by Dr Emerson Eggerichs
Power of a Praying Wife By Stormie Omartian
There are many books on marriage and relationships. I encourage you to ask around to friends and family and even more importantly your pastor, if you have one. Ask them for suggestions of books that they found to be helpful.
Also, let’s not forget our parents. If we still have our parents with us, let’s take some time to sit down and ask them some questions about marriage. What were the best parts of their marriage? What were the hardest things for them? How did they overcome problems? Do they have any key books that help them to understand each other better?
We all want to live in peace, whether we’re married or not. Jesus Christ is our greatest example of how to live but sometimes it’s easier to have a conversation with someone whose been there or to have a good book to read that helps to spell things out for us. The important part is to be willing to learn. Just taking the first step will bring a measure of peace because hope has been restored. Being a student invites the grace of God to smooth over are rough areas. Because God is always willing to work with a willing heart.
Take a step forward today in your marriage and find some good counsel through mentoring.