Mentoring Young Couples Webinar
Relationships with older, more experienced couples can be extremely helpful for young couples in the early stages of marriage. In this webinar, Kaleb Beyer walks through the mindset, approach, skills, and resources needed to mentor and disciple young couples in the Church. Learn more as you watch the webinar recording.
Mentoring Young Couples PPT Handout
Building Up Marriages– resource community
Discipleship: Three Keys to Encourage Young Couples
Discipling younger couples provides an opportunity to be intimately involved in how God is at work in the lives of others. This is a place of privilege and opportunity and also a place that can encourage others by providing true help, hope, and growth. This new article walks through three keys to consider as you step into the opportunity of discipling marriages. Learn more as you read this recent article.
This mentoring guide is a series of twelve discussion aids through key topics of the marriage relationship. It is an excellent resource to use for guiding conversations with individual couples or in a small group setting. Copies are available for purchase at the ACCFS office or through the author’s website here. [dredgray]
The Mentor Guide
This website offers a wealth of information for addressing family-related issues in the lives of people you mentor. The guide is organized by topics and each topic includes key Scriptures, conversation starters, and helpful resources. [Family Life]
Marriage Discussion Aids
These discussion aids are intended to build conversation around common, core issues for couples. They are designed to be used in a small group setting as a way to seek truth, provide understand and draw couples closer together.
Welcome again to our webinar on mentoring young couples. And as I said before, I’m joined by Kaleb Beyer who is our marriage and family therapist. My name is Arlan Miller. I’m here at the agency as well. And we are looking forward to this topic Kaleb and with your background supporting marriages, encouraging marriages. I’m guessing the idea
of encouraging proactive mentoring and relationships in this area is something that’s that’s high on your list of priorities. Is that fair to say. Absolutely, yeah, when couples come and they want to work on their relationship in the sense of more on a proactive way and and being able
to grow and seek enrichment. I I love that. I’m all about that. Yeah, so.
Yeah, and we can do what we can to just encourage and and support that and I think that it calls out something here just at the beginning, you
know, because you might be coming into this from a couple of different places. There is a proactive element of mentoring and discipling and encouraging young couples. And then sometimes that goes to a place where it’s more reactive based upon a problem and and that different lens I think is helpful just to have in mind sometimes we’ll be talking about a very proactive approach just encouragement and and maintaining and other times it might bridge into something where okay, this is this is a more problem specific type environment that we have to get into. And Kaleb,
at some point and you can speak to that briefly if you want to but at some point I mean then that maybe one of the appropriate things for a mentor is to say hey, I need extra help in this which is where the counseling that place would come. Is that correct to say.
Yeah, certainly. If so, the mentoring like you you’re saying of proactive and just living life together and being able to disciple and then there there are times that’s issues come up whether it’s whether it’s you know betrayals whether it’s mental health issues, or maybe it’s just finding that they’re not able to work through conflict in a healthy way or trauma.
For example, there’s things that can come along where that we would encourage moving into professional counseling to be able to walk through that in a way that leads healing but it’s not an either or I would say it’s a both/and Arlan.
And the majority of the situations are gonna talk about today. This is from the proactive side, right? And this is how do we build healthy relationships, mentoring type relationships, recycling type relationships, just to encourage health and strength.
And so as we walk into the content today, we’ve really got three elements. We’re going to focus on a mindset. How do we frame up our mindset?
How do we approach it? We got three different models that will walk through with you different ways to actually get into mentoring and encouragement and then the support side. What are some specific skills or resources that we have found helpful to encourage that but lay the groundwork you you’ve called out a couple of verses here on the next next slide here Kaleb play the groundwork of what is the value and the importance of just thinking about marriages and working together in an environments to to support health and strength. Mm-hmm. Yeah. So this
first verse here in I Peter 4:10, I’ll just read it and then we can reflect on it together. “As every man hath received the gift or a gift each one of us are the grace of God have been gifted. He’s gifted the body the different members have giftings even so as we’ve received even so minister the same one to another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God” And so as a community and a body we’re called into this and that is to to minister to serve and certainly this would be under that umbrella, Arlan, of administering and serving others young couples in this case.
Through the grace which we received and that is of the many graces of which God grants and so seeing it as a calling and an opportunity to serve is I think important as we step into this space. And then the second verse is just about throughout scripture both in the Old Testament and New Testament, we see that God uses certainly the marriage is a reflection of his relationship whether it’s with his his you know, Israel people of Israel in the Old Testament or with Christ in the church in the New Testament and I love the fact that this this verse brings out, you know “for as a young man marrieth a virgin, so shall thy sons marry thee: and as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee”. I think those of us have who have married have either walked down the aisle or walk to our watched our bride walk down the aisle or been at a minute, you know a wedding where that happens and I think
when I think about this as far as mentoring young couples, Arlan, it’s yes God has rescued us, He saved us, here’s a restoration, there’s a reconciliation, all of these pieces and He delights in us.
And so how can we cultivate as we’re mentoring young couples that that’s just a hopeful thing that they were cultivating environment where they are delighting in each other. They’re enjoying, appreciating as God delights in each one of us. And I love that frame up for a couple of reasons Kaleb.
The first off, I mean it speaks to this is a spiritual calling is what you shared there, but it’s a spiritual calling that God equips us to or gives the grace to do it because there will be times. I’m assuming when we enter into these places and we feel like we don’t really know what we’re doing or why me or why them, you know, what do I have to offer and I think it’s that healthy place to push us back and say no we’re gonna we’re gonna take advantage of the grace which God gives us and be willing to step into this place. That’s that’s in half the battle if not more of it. I think at that point. And then you you talk to the beauty of what marriage is, you know, sometimes we frame it up this way.
We talk about how healthy marriages will lead towards a healthy church which leads towards a healthy mission and that idea that healthy marriages at the foundation or at the the base level. It’s worth investing in and it’s worth spending time in because it’s near to the heart of God and and it reflects then or trickles down through the rest of the church and the mission it’s there.
Yeah, let’s some let’s walk into then just this idea of mindset. Okay, we got a couple of different slides here on mindset and you speak here Kaleb you speak of being relationship focused. What do you mean by that? How do we how do we start to get our minds wrapped around to this calling that we’ve been given and how do I begin to to engage in it with the right expectations and frame of mind?
Yeah, so it’s not just about and maybe more importantly continuing to remind ourselves that it’s about the relationship that we have with this
couple and monitoring that relationship. So so both Arlan, I think the the relationship that as mentor couples that we have with the the mentee couple but also I would also say this goes for the mentor couple relationship. How is our relationship because certainly as we meet with those that we mentor, we’re reflecting something in the room or the living room or wherever meeting with them in the way that we interact together and that’s communicating something to them whether we’re, you know affirmative of our spouse in the presence of the the couple that’s being mentored whether we interrupt all of those are communicating something even if we don’t explicit say it. So both relational intimacy for the mentor couple but also between the mentor couple in the mentee couple and so some of these questions there or you know things that you can ask or check in with are really to monitor, how is our relationship? What does it look like, you know, does this couple feel understood by me, by us?
If not, why let’s talk about that because that’s critical. If we are seeking to, you know, help them and support them that they feel understood, you know in the relationship and they feel the second one is about safety. They feel like they can share and be open and be vulnerable and we don’t do things that block that or make it where they don’t feel safe or comfortable to share. You know, and I think there’s probably
another aspect here too. Where? Sometimes especially if it gets to more of a problem type place, you can you can view any mentor relationship you can view as kind of a project or we are going to fix someone, you know, we are engaged because of X and once X goes away and we don’t have to be engaged anymore. And I think the the reality is what you’re trying to paint here. If I’m hearing you correctly is this idea that this is about relationship and engagement with each other that transcends just a problem focus. You know, how do we walk together a journey together and encourage each other in our marriage relationships? Yep.
Yes. And I’m mindful because I don’t think there’s ever been a you know, when you when you start to engage with a couple, you know and Katie and I have done this a few different occasions that the the mirror comes back on you pretty quickly. You are asking questions and you’re reflecting in you’re your saying okay, well, how are we doing at communicating and how are we doing a conflict resolution and and navigating some of these things. And then you I appreciate what you shared there because the power of modeling, as we model behavior not that we have to be perfect. In fact sometimes you know working through a differences and a non perfect manner is just as important if not more important. Oh, but the modeling is very is is a key aspect of this whole relationship.
Yeah, and I think with the you you head on a key point there. I think Arlan and that is this mentorship is not about
Um, you know imparting solutions to problems right there. There will be some of that but there is that doing life engaging life together, which also includes as mentor couples that there is a there is appropriate kind of disclosure of things that we we wrestle with it. There’s not a
there’s not a couple out there that has it all figured out and I think appropriate vulnerability by the mentor couple opens up space for also the the couple that’s being mentored to be able to share some of the struggles or some of the things that that they may have. So that, so there is an element of self-disclosure that is probably okay. I mean can probably be over done right and kind of almost flipped the model so it’s
too much about you know your relationship and not enough about the other person but as a relatability. Bringing an elements of self-disclosure or
sharing how you walk through something. Not that it has to be prescriptive. You have to do it the way we did it.
But um, you know, let me let me relate to you in this level that is that how do you use self-disclosure in a setting like this? Yeah. Well, so it it can be so it can be on things that you’ve you know, you found yourself stumbling with related to communication early on in your marriage and things that you learn from that so I think the self-disclosure is being able to say and share areas that you struggled in the past or you’re currently struggling you’re still working on and you don’t have to be specific necessarily. And again, there’s some self-disclosure would say, okay. That’s that’s not appropriate right? It’s behind certain areas of your relationship. You would not self disclose. Um, but being able to be honest and open that this has been a struggle for us and we continue to
have to be mindful, you know in this area of gender differences for example. And you can talk about maybe some specifics there, but I think it just gives space for them to be open about You know those areas as well. Vulnerability comes as you model vulnerability appropriately, that’s healthy. That’s helpful. What about the middle point there Kaleb you talk about, you know monitoring your feelings towards both spouses speak into that a little bit. How do you how do you navigate that? You
know where you’ve you’ve got multiple people in the room there and how do you make sure that maybe show in favoritism towards one or the other? Yeah.
Well, I think we need to acknowledge that at times. We probably do show perhaps not but I think that happens in partly maybe just because we have similar personalities or we really get the way that they move within the
relationship and so there’s a sense of oh, I really understand them and I think this point is really about us monitoring, you know, if I’m in if I’m starting to have negative feelings towards one of the spouse it’s going to come out as I meet with them. I will be more reactive I’ll be less open and all of those influence back to the first point, relational intimacy. And so and I think this is something healthy that you can talk about as a mentor couple, you know, how you know, you feel like you understand wife, husband. How do you feel like the relationship is with them? And so the two of you can talk through but I think it’s just important that that we address that sooner rather than later because it likely will come out and interactions at some point if we’re seeking ourselves starting to align or connect and this is probably more so when when issues start, you know coming out here when it becomes that temptation to want to take sides or their right or they’re wrong or right?
Having that in our mindset to say okay, you know watch the favoritism, watch the partiality. And being able to to walk that through and be aware that is something we can fall into. Mm-hmm. Let’s let’s go on to that last phrase and and and then move on past that but this is just a simple phrases, phrase we use in in mentoring circles quite a bit this idea of connecting and knowing and caring. You have to connect with someone and then seek to know about them. Just have that knowledge level and grow
in a curiosity of knowing more to understand the story and and what’s going on there before you can really care about them. I think sometimes we at least I can jump to the caring piece or just thinking I’m gonna I’m gonna just engage without taking the work of connecting with them and spending time getting to know what’s going on there. I can jump to conclusions or make assumptions. Um, and so that simple model of let’s focus on connection, which is really what you were talking about here with relationships focus on on the connecting as a relationship with these into with this couple in front of us and seeking to know and learn
more about them that allows us to more effectively care for them and meet what’s needs in front of that. Yeah. Yeah.
The next aspect of mindset though, I think comes in just okay, so that’s that’s maybe being proactive with the relationship and the caring and thinking about that now here we talked a little bit more about the limits that we may have or just the overall attitude. We need to have and so speak to this idea of you know, defining what you are and what you are not responsible for, that’s probably a critical critical mentoring skill no matter what type of mentoring relationship you’re in.
Yeah, it’s so our heart and our desire when we meet with couples is is that they grow that they develop deeper intimacy. That they grow in more deeply knowing each other and understanding each other but it’s also true that our role is not to to make that happen. There’s actually a note on my desk to remind myself you’re responsible for the process not the outcomes like what happens. And through that is I have limited control over and it’s not my rule to fix them. It is my responsibility for the process meaning being intentional about getting together. Being ntentional of us coming as we’re meeting there that we’re present not
distracted and and not you know stressed. But if I take on responsibility to fix their issues rather than guiding them and supporting them through them then I’m not in a in a helpful place to be kind of alongside them sure them. Yeah, it’s almost like the focus has shifted from them to you actually in some ways. Like, how am I doing something here and your middle point there the Word in the Holy Spirit bring the change right God might use us goes back to that Peter verse about being instruments of the grace or just using the grace that God has given. I can see that’s a
huge important mindset to have framed up before we enter into any type of helping relationship. Yeah, sometimes sometimes we get pulled in to
the kind of referee right between situations and that it’s not ours. It’s about helping and supporting the two of them to be able to find ways to
work it out in a healthy way. What about these these three statements that you have; relentless empathy, bold affirmation, validation, and patient, persistent presence. Speak to those is a little bit how they can be helpful as an attitude mindset for us.
Yeah, so as we think about just being present and engaged and responsive to couples that we meet with these can be helpful mindsets to kind of take on relentless. Meaning kind of you are relentless in seeking to empathize with and connect with the couple, you know, both the husband and the wife and so relentless meaning, you know on ongoing, you don’t let up in other words in that. Bold affirmation and validation is just a
firming some of us are better than this than others. And so we have to remember that you affirm what you see happening that they’re doing because all of us know relationships take work and the results, you know aren’t overnight and so being able to firm but also validate. Validate is about making space for and you know, it makes sense that this is really frustrating or hard or ways that we can you know, really bring that into meeting with them. And then patient the last one there, patient persistent presence is about being persistently with them and in the process that that we’re patient, you know again this remote it takes time, right? It doesn’t happen overnight. I love those frame ups though. Right? So you’re speaking to the empathy that we have to have you’re speaking to that affirmation because often I think there’s almost an element of coaching that happens in a mentoring relationship. I I sometimes like the visualize our opportunity to coach someone and encourage them and too quickly. I think at least I can focus on the negative and not affirm the positive. I have to push myself into that. Yeah. Yeah, and then that patient-persistent presence. It’s a continual ongoing type thing. Yeah. Okay so we’ve framed up our mindset, right, we’ve spoken to this idea of relationship focus. We’ve we clearly understand our limits. What’s in our control what’s out of our control and trying to have the right attitude going into it. So how, Kaleb, how
do we, what are some ways to actually start to encourage younger couples
and engage with them and you’ve got three approaches here each one has a little bit of a different vent to it.
But I want you to speak to this first one we’ve got triangle here of different different aspects and how are we to read this and how are we to use this when we think about about mentoring? So this triangle has four different levels as you can see there on the base level individual motional spiritual health. And as you move up communication skills
helping conflict resolution skills and then intimacy and and certainly, you know our heart and I think those of which we couple with come in a different places perhaps on this triangle. Wanting to work on communication skills or wanting to build intimacy. So in some ways it can be instructive in the sense of kind of you know where this couple is at but I think the other thing maybe more importantly is to recognize when a couple comes and they want to work on, for example healthy conflict skills, that there are building blocks or that happened. And sometimes
we just take that for granted we go right into, hey, let’s build healthy conflict skills, but the reality is which in some sense can be helpful to normalize just the difficulty in working through conflict that there’s also some building blocks of individually being able to have self-awareness and and being able to regulate in a healthy way my emotions and having a sense of spiritual maturity and humility that is also part of healthy conflict skills, and they’re not separate from. And so so seeing this as both okay, you know what we can’t go to intimacy without having building blocks underneath that and by the way how we communicate with each other is reflective or informed by our individual, emotional and spiritual. So, it’s diagnostic in some ways. I mean, you’ve got a diagnostic piece that says, okay well there’s conflict going on there. There’s levels of conflict or the communication is strong and you could say maybe okay. So what’s the foundation that’s not there and do we need to go back and talk about individual emotional spiritual health?
But then it’s also a teaching this is a could be a use as a teaching tool to say you realize you want to you want to go right up there to intimacy and have good intimacy. Well, there’s things that have to happen first before you get to that level. It’s not it’s you can’t start the top and work down you start the bottom and work your way on up. So there would be some teaching that would go along with this as well.
Yes. I’m guessing, couples like there’s like one spouse could be at one level another spot could be another level. Right? So like this could almost be viewed like an individual like how is the man in the situation doing with their individual emotional health and how is the the woman in the situation? Um, you know at the same time, so you kind of view it individually and not just as a relationship all the time. Yes, is
that accurate to say? Yeah, in in I just think of, you know, small example, but it but it applies here like when when I tend to get stressed if I’m not managing my stress and a healthy way it affects the way that I communicate with Ang and it’s in a detrimental way. I’m not as surprise you you too. Yeah.
Just for example. Okay, we’re just throwing it out there. Yeah. Yeah, so so I think it’s So I think you know to that point Arlan, it’s how we are stewarding our own walk with the Lord, our own emotional kind of, you know, well being, It directly affects how we engage in in conversation with our with our spouses as well as walk through conflict. And so yeah so we can see that in small and in big ways. Yeah, but each of these factors matters and they build on each other that’s that’s the helpful piece. I think that one of the helpful pieces. Just to realize you can’t start the top you got it. You’ve got to work your way up there and it’s it’s okay that we’re we’re spending time on these these important building blocks. Yeah, and I think in some ways it’s if you think about it, it’s validating when when we just struggle with intimacy sometimes. It’s like yeah, it’s a little more complex and sometimes we like to say it is, you know, and and yeah, it’s not I mean We get there and and this
isn’t like okay we move up and then we just stay up there this is not a. It’s continue. Yeah. Yes. Yes, but I think sometimes this can be a real struggle to say, yeah, it’s a real struggle because there’s a number of other things that are going on. They’re important for us to consider sure.So and then within each of these there would be you know things to talk about or model or just reflect on and we can get into that a little bit later on maybe some of the specific resources and whatnot. Let’s go to another model here. So here’s a separate model. Okay. This is the triangle model of marriage. I’ve seen this before and different settings
and it pulls out the different aspects of Love commitments on the bottom is a foundation emotional intimacy is there on your left has different components to that and then you have the passion or or the the Romantic sexual love they’re on the right. Um, so how do you use this as you think about marriage is a you’re working with a couple of you know, and fairly newly married, you know, and and you’re you’re navigating through trying to figure out where do you you go how can this model or way of thinking be helpful? so it’s a fairly, you know straightforward and you know basic model and so we can use it a couple ways one is Just to facilitate dialogue, you know,the whole concept is we say love but it can have different meanings to different people. And so even the conversation when you think about love, you know, what are some other descriptors or things that you would you would use to to explain love? And then what you can also do is ask the couple, you know thinking about this triangle. How would you scale each of these areas as far as how you feel like you’re doing? Yeah, like a zero like a one to ten. Where would you want to ten if ten you know what we’re you know, it’s we’re doing the best. We we can we can do and one like oh, wow, this is this is really a struggle. Where would you where would you put your relationship in the area of emotional intimacy or in passion? And so that’s a you know, helpful way to get into. Okay, so help me understand you scale. This is six and so with that
Obviously they’re at a six they’re not at a three. So that’s positive but you want to also move them to a 10 and so being able to just talk with them about so what helps you know, in other words what’s emotional intimacy to you? And what is that happen your relationship? Can you share some examples with me and you’re just starting to facilitate dialogue? About their relationship about what’s coming up and you’re gathering information you’re connecting with them that gives you a sense of yeah where they’re at. Yeah, because you would have a scenario. I’m imagine where where one spouse would be maybe at a six and one supposed to maybe be at a three. And so then that disconnect between the two I’d be a great line of question and saying so why don’t you feel emotionally intimate or
what? What does that mean and and that, you know awareness piece. I mean
part of part of marriage growth and marriage mentoring is helping couples grow in knowledge of each other. Yeah. And so I think this at discussion and that dialogue,um can be really really helpful. It doesn’t have to be it can be Formal, this is a little bit of a formal, you know analysis. I think just that the discussion it could lead to will help grow and understanding the knowledge, which is really yeah. And yeah facilitating. I mean some of this may be facilitating just conversation between them as a couple. Yeah and not us being the doing the one the ones that are talking or speaking to but we just let you know start stepping in asking questions and then let them kind of talk through things. Yeah. Yeah, and I’m guessing an equal triangle is kind of the goal here right where each side is represented. You don’t want just one like commitment.
Being the only thing or passion being the only thing you want to have that. m every side represented in a healthy way.
Yep. Yes. And and we all we had also acknowledge as I’m sure you would to Arlan there’s just phases of life and things although we’re talking about young couples here. So but I was gonna say that it looks different that it you know, what emotionally if they see takes ahead or passion takes. Sure and that’s part of transition and life circumstances. Yeah.
Yeah, I mean when children come along and that transition comes along
there’s a whole new level of knowledge and understanding that you you have an opportunity to help facilitate conversation around. Yep. Yeah.
You know, I’ve one of the questions that some people added questions as they registered which is always so helpful because it helps us think about the content. One of them was was talking about just the idea of transitioning someone from from engagements to newlyweds. Um, and when I I guess I’ll speak from my experience when I’ve done that before and worked with a premarital couple and then watch them go into marriage. This model has been very helpful for me because I’ll see where maybe they’re coming from some start at that very high commitment level. They feel called into this and and they have a strong commitment level and then the opportunity is to to teach and encourage towards emotional intimacy to spend time together and get to know each other and grow in the friendship aspect of it. And now there’s my come in with a very strong romantic attachment already and then you’ve got a you’ve got to realize that that’s gonna you know, ebb and flow a little bit and let’s let’s talk about the emotional intimacy or let’s make sure the commitment piece is showed up. You can just be a little bit helpful analysis in that regard. Yeah.
Yeah for sure. One more model here then and then we’ll walk into some specific resources. So you’ve got this model of of interactional patterns and there’s a few things here that I’m going to just pop onto the screen.
As far as I think, I am there it is. Okay. Yeah as far as the boxes and I’ll let you speak to the whole thing here. Um as you as you talk this rough. so how do we, what is this a little bit more complicated here help us understand it and and how can this help us as we start thinking about couples here?
Yeah, so maybe we’ll explain it and then and then talk through how it can be helpful. So here this kind of figure eight if you will is a couple so you have one you’ve probably heard the term of the pursuer right? Let’s
say that’s the wife and the withdrawer is the husband that’s typical but not always the case. So they there’s an interaction that happens between the two of them. Yes, we talked about individually the triangle where individual emotional health and spiritual health impacts your relationship, but there’s also an interplay in the relationship as far as what happens with each other. So this right here shows okay that you have
the withdrawer, right and at the bottom there you see connection threat, so that basically means somehow something’s happened in the relationship that it doesn’t feel. There’s a rub. There’s a rub of some type. There’s a rub. There’s some type of attention right and below. This line is you you’re familiar with an iceberg right underneath the water line is things that we don’t see. Above it we do see. And so, you know what the what the
withdrawal are tends to do is to to pull back. And when the withdrawer pulls back the pursuer, right, experiences fear or makes sense out of that meaning that I’m alone. And so then they do some type of protective action, which it would draw the husband sees ,so maybe pursues or protests or is a bit on edge which then can lead to pulling back more and
increasing the heat as it says there and it begins to be what we would say is a cycle, right that actually. Behavior that keeps going. Pattern behavior that keeps going and reinforces the other. Sure. The more the husband with pulls back the more the wife, you know steps in pursues. So all of that to say when we work with couples, I think it’s helpful to remember that when see certain behaviors with couples to not be too quick
to jump in and judge, this is right or wrong. But rather see there’s a function behind that behavior. But the wife, in this case, right when
she’s stepping into protesting. It’s for good reasons. She feels alone.
Now the husband doesn’t know that that’s underneath the iceberg. Right?
But if we are too quick to correct her behavior or the husband you need
to step into and engage well underneath that there’s something going on for him. And so I think the the point Arlan at least the takeaway would be understanding, what’s the function of the behavior of the wife and the husband? When they are more critical or more on edge or you know, what’s behind that. Looking for those patterns of behavior and and identifying the you know, the surface level but don’t don’t stick there because you could correct the surface level and miss the whole point. What’s underneath the surface that’s driving the the behavior, you know the events on top what we see is on top, but the issue is really underneath there. Yeah, and helping to to navigate that. I think there’s another
piece tell me if I’m wrong here. But I think there’s another piece of just about this whole idea of stories because sometimes you know patterns of behaviors play out as as in a spousal relationship. I’ll I’ll see something that happens and I’ll tell myself a story of what my why my wife did what she did and then she’ll see me respond and she’ll tell
her herself a story of why I did what I did and and these stories play off each other and can perpetuate. Um, and and so helping a couple kind of unpeeled those stories and get to underneath the surface gently is probably a really healthy thing to do. Yeah. Yeah, and I think the other thing it does with that is it helps us maintain or step into empathy and curiosity with this couple versus get caught on a certain behavior. That isn’t helpful. Yeah because they love each other they want intimacy, but the way that they’re going about it is leading their spouse to move away rather than move towards. And so it helps us like, okay, they really don’t intend I mean the husband’s not trying to bear his head in the sand just because he doesn’t want to be with his wife like, yeah, really your husband’s doing that. There’s something going on. Yeah leads to level of empathy to to come in and try to understand and support, you know different ways of.
Yeah. So the answer isn’t just you know, tear down the man cave where that where the man goes to hide. Yeah, right. I mean, you know answer is okay. So why are you wanting to withdraw into that place? Like what what’s going on underneath that and I’m guessing this I mean, so I’m seeing a pattern of behavior. So to me the trigger is okay. What is the consistent patterns of behavior that I’m continually seeing here? And what does that kind of start to raise my curiosity? I like that word. Okay. I’m curious about why we’re doing what we’re doing or where we’re going. I’m guessing you could get to a point where. I mean some of these patterns get really deeply rooted and have a lot of background and baggage and and history and and there might be more help needed and how
deep they go, really the base level. I think this is just very helpful for a couple to think about because other I bet those cycles become very demoralizing. Oh, here we go again, you know saying right same thing.
Yeah, and they’re self-perpetuating and self-fulfilling. And so helping just bring some some context and language around it can be a really important. Yes. Yes, and I think that you know, this is the that to keep in mind the way that they react is actually out of a desired to get connection back. Yeah, it’s unhelpful. Yeah. And I’m guessing usually we don’t see our own patterns unless we really push ourselves to grow and learn in our self-awareness. We need a third party almost to kind of point out and say do you realize that this is this pattern of behavior. This is the fourth time you’ve talked about it. Right? I mean we’re starting to get you know into a cycle here. Yeah, and in some of this if
I can just add to that. I know we need to keep moving here but is the way that they’re talking to each other in the room with you.
In other words, it’s not sometimes we can get so caught in content. Hmm about what it is. We’re talking about finances of oh, he’s you know spending here she but in and that’s important.
But notice how they’re talking to each other is one using, you know, stronger tone it and just sometimes making even observations about that can be instructive because we don’t know sometimes how we come across. Yeah, and we can be a helpful mirror as you referenced earlier for couples when we have that relational strength obviously built with them that we can be that mirror that they’re able to to take it in and hear us. I don’t want to over generalize by any means but but I know and this came up in some of the questions, you know, how do we help through some hard situations and a few people listed out a few hard situations.
Um and part of it is I think we at least I’ll put in my context I would like hard situations to never happen and for them not to even be there in part of the discussion, but the reality is they will but if we can if we
can nurture and encourage healthy communication in the midst of them and and be a sounding board as people walk through the emotions and see the reactions and the interactions that take place how they talk to each other. And and encourage the idea of turning towards each other in these hard times and and working together. Seems like that’s a lot of help and hope that a mentor couple can give oh in the role that they play. Yeah. Yep. Yeah, well, let’s go into the last portion here. So here’s a couple of slides on just some more what do we actually do for support or what are some of the practical things we can do and so this first one has a series of bullets and then the next one will actually point out a few resources. They’ll be on our website. But you know, so you list out a few things here. Okay. So what do we do? Okay, so open-ended questions.
Um, we hear about that, you know the point being there. I mean fill this out a little bit just listening and helping them share and asking good questions is a is a key aspect of marriage mentoring. Yeah. Yeah. So so open-ended questions are really questions that aren’t yes and no we would say close in it or yes, no questions. So do you feel like emotional intimacy is a strength in your marriage? That would be yes. Yes. No question. We want to step into just having them the idea the goal I think is to to get them to start talking and sharing and communicating and
so you can say we’ll tell me about emotional, you know intimacy in your relationship. What have you found to be helpful or not helpful.
So the idea is again, I think just to get them to share and not ask questions that are just yes no answers. Yeah. And so you have dialogue. Yeah. Sure second point we kind of talked about a little bit with this last example helps separate the events from the issues. So it’s helped separate out you know, what is seen above the surface from what is maybe the issues underneath.
That’s that’s a good lens to have or just an important skill to kind of help. Help us think through that way. What is knowledge deficits versus
skills deficits. So, how do you how do I interpret that one?
Yes, when just thinking about with this couple. Is it? Is it there’s a deficit of of knowledge, information that needs to be imparted or is
it a deficit of skills training that we’re seeking to kind of walk alongside to try out to be in training certainly, there’s both of that this isn’t an either or but I think it’s more about thinking as we’re
meeting with them. Where would you say that we you know, because if it’s a knowledge, so maybe it’s maybe it’s studying for example, so for a husband to to know and and love and cherishes, why he needs to to learn
about that, but he also needs to what does that mean?
How do we come alongside and teach him how to actively listen how to reflect and validate and that’s actually the doing of the training in not just knowing.
Sure. And so I think it can be helpful as we’re meeting with couples to think about. Where the where are the the gaps? Yeah. And how do we intentionally speak into those gaps? Because we would approach them differently. Yeah, that’s a helpful lens because I think sometimes we can go into with with all motivation in our mind or just kind of encouragement and just say oh hey, you know, you just let me just do this and you know, you need to do that and that and that kind of thing and the reality is what we need to do is help actually demonstrate or model or
walk through the skill side, um, because they they already want to do it. Yeah. They just don’t know how to do it and so help with the how um, and
model role play, talk it through, say this is what looks like in our life. It might not look the same but but there’s an example if you start to to resonate with and that’s a very helpful thing. Um, next one’s is
focus more on how they are talking with each other you spoke a little bit to that anything more to add, you know in that in that context.
Yeah, I I not really. I think it’s just a reminder of how are they looking at each other? There’s a lot that happens, we know. The nonverbals. Yeah. The nonverbals become extremely important. And I
think that’s where a lot of meaning takes place meaning. We make meaning out of those nonverbals that our spouse sometimes doesn’t even know and so if we can catch and call out even you know, sometimes like oh, you
now why I noticed, you know, this just happened what you know and being able to maybe it’s nothing. But maybe there is something that that happened that the husband isn’t picking up. That would be helpful to have. Yeah. Yeah.
Encourage talking to each other when grounded, talking to you and angry so yet maybe when there’s more of an issue base, but you’d become an outlet or a release for them and try to just have a little bit of a balance there and then the next one kind of ties into that. Sometimes it might be appropriate for the man to talk with the man and the woman to talk with the woman. Because you probably get different pictures as a couple you get one picture and then when you’re separated, you might get a little bit of a different picture to help fill out stories or that curiosity aspect there.
Yep, I think just and being able to cultivate that relationship.
I think it’s good, right, with you know, man to man woman to woman, but also maybe there’s certain topics you want to bring up and talk with them
individually on not for the sake of in talking behind their back, not at all.
That’s not the purpose of this but I think it is as as mentor couples to be able to hey, you know, what? How did your individual meeting go with, you know the husband or the wife. Its clearly communicated.
It’s clearly known, it’s not like a secretive thing, but right we agreed upon. Where we have some separation there. Yep. And what do you notice like you you referenced is different. Is there anything different that you noticed in the way? They responded to questions or engagement that was different when they’re one-on-one versus how they’re responding start with us women together.
Your last point there is just the timing is is important right? There’s certain timing in the use of spiritual interventions anything you want to kind of build off on spiritually be sensitive to the to the right time for certain things. Yeah, so, you know, for example if there is a couple that in this case again, we’re using struggling but that is dealing with conflict and and having a difficulty time walking through it wrecking, you know recommending that they they pray out loud together, even though that can be a helpful beneficial wonderful thing. Might not be the the best timing to encourage something like that. And so I think we certainly
prayer we would encourage how in the way that it is engaged is important
to think about based on the relationship dynamics that are happening. Okay? Okay. Um, I’m going to ask one more question here and then we’ll go to some specific resources. And and if you have questions out there if you haven’t chatted them in feel free to chat them in or we’ll we’ll let you chime in here in just a second a couple minutes.
Um, but you know, one of the things that I’m gonna ask you Kaleb just to be thinking about. What is one practical level of advice that you would give someone who’s stepping into it? And and I’ll start and give you time to kind of think about you know, you’re practical level but I would say one thing for me that I’ve learned is don’t over complicate this. There are times to be a little bit more formal or to make sure things happen or whatnot but going out to eat, you know once a month or every other month or whatever the right pacing is and just having some conversation together is helpful in itself. If you go with that right mindset of
seeking relationship a curiosity to learn, um, you know, I think sometimes just generally in mentoring we eliminate ourselves
from it because we think it’s gonna be too hard or too much time commitment or to formal or we don’t have anything to offer and the reality is what a mentee is often wanting is just relationship.
And some way to journey alongside them. And so just that idea of
of you know a meal once a while together and some some good conversations can be critical. You know words are not always remembered presences, you
know, and then that’s there’s truth to that. There’s truth to that that patient persistent presence, but for you Kaleb, what is what is a practical skill that you’ve learned just in your experience what what is important for for anyone who’s stepping into this mentoring space to remember? So one thing that comes to mind for me Arlan, is just the importance of feeling like I get both the wife and the husband that they they have space that they feel understood by me because because sometimes
that doesn’t always happen. I I can understand one but not the other and oftentimes if I’m having a difficulty time understanding one. I don’t understand their story. I don’t understand what’s behind it. And so being able to kind of spend time on that can be a helpful a helpful thing. Making sure both sides. Yes, both both wife and husband. Yeah.
So here’s a series of. I really appreciate that you Kaleb. Here’s a series of just some resources that we put together and the websites there that these are live links and and handout is going to be posted on
the our website on this webinar page if you want to access it later.
But if you go to our website and go into the community section of our website right there near top, there’s a whole section on on marriage mentoring or building up marriages, it’s called. And it lists out a whole
series of resources on different levels somewhere like laying the foundation. I think it’s called and and now there’s like general
encouragement and then there’s one section on more marital distress type areas, but there’s podcasts, webinars, discussion questions, or things to think about they’re all laid out there in a way that could be referenced or resources for you as you walk into that. And then we have a series of
webinars report like this one on different topics that can become discussion. It can be a great opportunity say hey watch this
webinar and we’ll watch it and then we’ll talk about it when we get together next and just see what we thought about that or podcasts. We have podcasts specifically in that marriage section. Um, and then there’s also this idea of maybe even an assessment where you kind of get a sense of where these couples are coming at you hit we have the Prepare/Enrich here Kayla speak to that just a little bit. What is the Prepare/Enrich and when would it be appropriate to use that in a setting like this?
Yes, so Prepare/Enrich is a relationship inventory. It covers a number
of different domains in the relationship and then some personality features and then what’s called a couple’s map. But so really any time it can be used we use it with premarital couples. We use it with married couples. Both married couples that are struggling but also those that are just looking for enrichment and one of the things I like about it, Arlan, is if it’s wherever it’s at it is a help facilitate and really zone in on specific areas of the relationship that the couple has said. Hey, this is an area that we struggle in or this is not you know, this is the strength or whatever. So I think you’re using what they’re giving and then from that facilitating some dialogue around that area sure so and and there’s different, you know, on there. There’s some they can go out and do it on their own Prepare/Enrich.
They need a you know, if they do the Prepare/Enrich, it’s they need a facilitator but there are the couple checkup for example is one they can go out do on their own and then bring the results and then as a mentor couple you can sit down with them and and talk through it. Use it
for some discussion points or talking points or something. Right,yep.
Yep. Um, I’m gonna open it up for any questions that are out there if anybody has one feel free to unmute and just ask a question about three or four minutes left before the top of the hour. I will say this one question that came up often in those in those registrations was how
do I even get started with this? Um, you know, and that’s that’s a little bit of a hard question to answer because it depends some churches.
I know actually do pairing up of premarital couples with somebody so you you have the luxury in some ways of saying okay. Yeah. No, we’ve been charged and the couples agree to get together and spend some time together. And and that’s a great way to kind of, you know, make it happen. Otherwise, I think the idea of just being very prayerfully sensitive to what the spirit might be putting on your heart.
And being willing to to reach out to a newly married couple and say would you like to have dinner and and just start there, you know and then see where it goes if it goes, well you maybe you have another meal together or if it doesn’t go as well you had an you had a meal together, you know that type of thing, but I think there’s a lot of ways but I think the
intentionality of opening yourself up to it is a great starting point. For the health of, the for the health of the opportunity to use gifting and encourage the health of the church. Yeah, I think even Arlan even expressing like expressing that sometimes you know in the ministry. We’re not aware that a couple has a heart for that or desire that and that would be a wonderful thing to know, you know, it’s the Elder or the ministers that oh this couple really desires to step into this and what are ways that we can help, you know facilitate. I think that. Yeah make your make your desire known is power. Yes. Yeah.
Any questions that anybody has or anything that anyone wants to ask on any of the topics feel free to unmute your mic and ask? Otherwise I really and thankful for your time Kaleb. Thanks for taking some time and and walking through these hopefully we struck a balance there
of the right mindset some some specific approaches for conversation and then just some simple resources that can can point us in the and get it started as we offer support. But let’s just end where we started. This is a calling an opportunity of the church, healthy marriages lead to a healthy church which lead towards a healthy mission and to walk alongside and journey together. It can be an exciting thing to build that relationship with that with the young couple and just be someone they can turn to or someone they can that they know they will listen to them or or be as sounding board to them. Thank you for your interest and we wish you God’s blessings as you step into this journey.
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