An interview with Leeland.
Do you and your spouse have mentors for your marriage? Forging a friendship with a couple who has been married longer than you can be a great way to gain support and insight into married life. It’s important for you and your spouse to connect with another committed couple that’s passionate about marriage–and about guiding the two of you toward lifelong love.
Marriage mentors can help during all of the three seasons in your marriage; we call this the Marriage Mentoring Triad. We look at the triad as three sides of a triangle that make up three major seasons every couple experiences:
Let’s take a deeper look at how your marriage mentors can help you navigate each part of the triad.
It’s important for you and your spouse to connect with another committed couple that’s passionate about marriage.
During the Prepare phase of your marriage, you and your spouse are starry-eyed and full of young love. This is the launching phase of your marriage; maybe you’re engaged or newly married, and you’re just setting out on your adventures together.
Marriage mentoring can be very powerful during this phase of marriage because after you’ve crossed that threshold and the honeymoon is over, you’ll realize marriage isn’t simple. In fact, it can be downright hard, even during the early years.
Having mentors who can provide constructive and helpful perspective on the challenges you’ll face after the wedding will help lighten the emotional load you and your new husband or wife might be feeling. Your mentors can help bring humor back into a situation that might feel tense and unsteady, now that your new reality is sinking in.
Your mentors should be willing to share stories from their early years of marriage and be willing to be vulnerable enough to share both their missteps and victories. You should be able to ask them for their take on things like first conflicts, first holidays, financial management, and clashing family expectations. They’ll help you see that you and your spouse can survive the challenges you’re experiencing because they did, too.
The Repair phase of a marriage is the most difficult to go through, but at some point, every couple has to walk through it–sometimes more than once. If you and your spouse are in the Repair phase after going through some really difficult or traumatic times, you’ll want to seek out a marriage mentor couple who has not only experienced something difficult together, but who has also come out on the other side stronger than before.
Couples who have been through difficult times themselves have a story to tell about their marriage. When you’re in the trenches, you need a loving, experienced couple who knows what you’re going through and has walked in your shoes. The ideal mentoring couple will have gained strength and health in spite of the challenges they faced, and be willing and able to extend help to you and your spouse.
When you’re going through a hard season in your marriage, nothing compares to having a mentoring couple who have faced catastrophe together. Whether you’re dealing with financial disaster, infertility, unresolved conflict, or infidelity, connecting with a couple who has weathered the same kind of blow to their marriage is so helpful. Through the relationship you develop with your mentors, you’ll be able to see that if they made it, so can you.
Often, couples don’t tend to think about the status of their marriages until they’re in a crisis; it happens to the best of us. But what if we considered the state of our marriages when we’re in a good place? The Maximize phase is a great time to bring in marriage mentors who can help us take our marriage from good to great.
If things seem to be going smoothly in your marriage, it can be easy to just maintain status quo and avoid rocking the boat. But why not intentionally look for ways to increase your marital satisfaction–even just by 10% in the next year? Seeing that kind of growth in your relationship could make a world of difference for you both.
During this season, connecting with a mentor couple can help you get inspired to set and meet specific goals for growth in your marriage. You’ll also have the opportunity to learn from your mentors’ mistakes so that you have the chance to avoid making the same ones yourself in the future.
Think of mentoring as an investment for your marriage. Not only will you make lifelong friends and learn a lot along the way; you’ll also nurture the lifelong love you launched when you said, “I do.”
Copyright © 2017 Drs. Les & Leslie Parrott, Check-out the SYMBIS Assessment
We sat down with Mac Powell, front man for the multi-Platinum rock band, Third Day. Long known as Christian music’s premier live band, Third Day has played for audiences reaching into the millions all around the world.
We’re at a smaller venue today; do you have a preference?
In a way, it allows us to return to our roots, to play in a more intimate setting. We’re able to share more stories about where the songs came from. It’s a great reminder of something we did when we first started out. There is an intimacy factor, in the sense I can see almost each person I’m singing to, and that’s not normal. In the larger venues you can only hope that what you are singing and what they are seeing on stage is connecting, but you never know.
Mac, what do you hear God saying to Third Day?
I hear God saying continue on, keep doing what you’re doing. And at the same time, not resting on things we’ve done in the past. As Believers, you just can’t rest on something you learned ten years ago or a week ago – you need to continually seek God through prayer and scripture and through his people in community.
What does God-centered intimacy look like in your home?
Prayer is a big part of our family. We pray together every day and pray as a family every day. As simple as it sounds, praying at dinner is a big deal. I know that’s a simple thing, but something many families don’t do. For us to grow in our faith, there must be three witnesses in our lives: seeking God and his spirit through prayer, the word of God, and the church, God’s people.
Your wife was a big influence to you spiritually.
Yes. I was a Believer, saved at a very early age, yet I was going through that thing in high school, living for myself. But, my wife was very strong in her faith. Her witness to me was a big part of what brought me back to God. That’s not something I want my girls doing, dating guys who aren’t believers.
What is the one thing that needs to stay a priority in your marriage?
Because we have five kids, it’s so easy to spend time with them and not with each other. We’re very good about making sure we have quality time together, just the two of us, at least weekly.
Our latest date was an afternoon. Working around our kid’s school schedules, usually Tuesdays and Thursdays are days we can go to lunch together and catch up on what’s going on.
Despite our hectic schedules and a large family, we’re good about carving out time for each other. That’s important for every couple. It’s so easy to lose focus and forget about how your relationship was before life got busy; you forget why you wanted to be with each other. It’s easy to forget those little romantic details, a note or a call.
Does being on tour make time with your wife harder to navigate?
Sometimes it is tough. You never get used to it, but you learn to adapt. My schedule is unique; many times the tour allows me to be home Monday through Wednesday and traveling Thursday through Sunday. When I’m home, I am home completely and keep work to a minimum. And there are times where I have a month off and hardly have anything. We need to adjust and keep each other a priority.
We’ve been married 17-years. What I tell people is if you have your priorities right and you can keep focusing on that, it just gets better and better. I am more in love with my wife than I’ve ever been, and life with children gets better and better. Whether you’re starting out or married a long time – it can and should be something that continues to grow and get better.
Copyright © 2013 Growthtrac Ministries, all rights reserved.
In marriage, more than any other relationship, patience is a daily necessity toward building deeper intimacy.
And while we find inordinate amounts of patience daily to deal with our clients, coworkers, children, or friends, our spouse often receives our leftovers.
Scripture provides a great deal of wisdom on this topic.
There are two areas in marriage where I notice a lack of patience shines through frequently: communication and household tasks.
The more I observe women, I see our innate desire for details patience is a daily necessity toward building deeper intimacy, and understanding in our world. When I witness a wife ask her husband about his day or how he feels, and he responds with “fine” or “good,” the full meaning behind his words does not compute. More details are required.
Husbands, if you respond with a deep heavy sigh or a short, irritated response as your wife tries to understand you, this erodes love and connection. A sure-fire way for a husband to destroy intimacy is to show impatience and irritability because his wife is seeking more information. Remember, filling in the details demonstrates your wife’s desire to build intimacy with you.
Wives, you’re not off the hook. When your husband makes a concerted effort to help, it’s important to say, “Thank you” or “I appreciate you.” If you correct his efforts based on unreasonable standards of perfection, you send the message he is incapable and unnecessary. He’s unlikely to accept constructive suggestions and refuse to help in the future, thereby destroying the intimacy you crave. Remember, different does not mean wrong. Praise your husband—and he will go to the ends of the earth for you.
In my life, I found praying for patience costs me something. But God offers me something in return . . . change.
Patience is the companion of wisdom. — St. Augustine
Copyright © 2016 Sheri Mueller, Growthtrac Ministries
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