Did you know in every movie there is a guide?
You’ve seen guides in nearly every story you’ve read, listened to, or watched: Frodo has Gandalf, Katniss has Haymitch, and Luke Skywalker has Yoda.
The guide, not the hero, is the one with the most authority. Still, the story is rarely about the guide. The guide simply plays a role. People are looking for a guide to help them, not another hero.
–Donald Miller ‘Building a Storybrand’
So who’s a guide and why are they so important? A guide could be your parents, a football coach, an older friend. Someone who is pouring into you without expecting anything in return. Do you have those type of people in your life? Someone who “realizes the epic story of life is not about them but actually about the people around them.” – Donald Miller.
We call those people mentors. We see mentors in the formal professional programs at work but how does it work outside of the Fortune 500 companies? Perhaps you have been the recipient of this type of program but did it include your spouse? Who’s guiding you in your marriage? Should you have such a guide?
The closest program I’ve seen that took an interest in marriages was a mentor program called The Ambassador Program by High Tech Ministries (HTM.) This ministry encourages faith through stories and community. HTM wanted to raise up new leaders to support and eventually replace their current leadership. The Ambassador Program was birthed out of this idea.
My husband was picked to join a small group of HTM men who would meet for a year, read books, net them out, memorize scripture and basically become accountable to each other. During this program the men were challenged and mentored on what it looked like to be a devoted follower of Christ, a great husband, a workplace minister and a praiseworthy role model for their children.
Outside of High Tech Ministry, I haven’t seen anything else that supports couples on a granular level with their marriage journey. The church has done a great job at creating small groups for married couples to join for 18 to 24 months and our church dives deeper with a marriage curriculum called Thrive, which meets for 8 weeks. But afterwards, who is walking with us? Most couples who finish Thrive are hungry for Thrive 2.0. They’ve experienced how it feels to have so much in common with other marriages. They realize everyone is experiencing frustrations in their marriage. The perception of other marriages having it all together is dispelled. Community and trust have been built.
So how can we create this type of engagement, this type of community organically amongst ourselves?
Because Russ and I have benefited so much by the Guides in our lives, we want to help establish a way to connect you with a mentor or perhaps become a mentor.
But first I want to address the resistance. You know, the part where I wrote, “…or perhaps become a mentor.” Did you quickly shut down the idea of becoming a mentor?
- Nope, not interested.
- If you knew my past, you wouldn’t want me talking to anyone!
- Or I don’t have anything to offer, I’m barely keeping my marriage together.
- Or maybe it’s a bit more vain like mine when I was asked to mentor a girlfriend of mine. I didn’t want to be considered the “older woman.” Surely I’m not at that stage of life yet? I actually ignored her request for a year. I kept running from it until I sat with a woman half my age who was asking me several marriage questions. It was then when I realized that mentoring is simply sharing your life experiences.
If you’ve been married for 5+ years, you already have the 20/20 hindsight that so many younger couples could benefit from.
Experience doesn’t make you wiser. Evaluated experience makes you wiser.
As a married couple, who are you evaluating your experiences with? We can’t count on seeing things clearly when emotions are involved. It’s why athletes go further with a coach. It’s why a financial counselor is better at helping save for your retirement. It’s why we turn to counselors for clarity.
So what if we matched up a list of married couples who are seeking a mentor?! Would you be interested? Need a few more questions answered?
- How much does this Married Couples Mentor Program cost?
- It’s free for this first trial period.
- Do I need to sign up immediately if I’m interested?
- The first 10 people who sign up will be part of the program.
- 10 Mentee Married Couples and 10 Mentor Married Couples
- What if I know a couple who would like to participate but they aren’t members of this website?
- You have to be an IntentionalMarriages.net Member to participate.
- Once we’re matched up, what’s the next step?
- We’ll provide you the contact information and you set up a time to meet.
- Goal is to meet 2-3x/year
- Can we meet online via Zoom/Skype?
- Yes, but we prefer your meetings to be in person, especially the first one.
- What is the agenda when we meet?
- It would be the mentees responsibility to bring a list of marriage questions to ask the mentors.
- What if we’ve been married for more than 5 years but would like an opportunity to be mentored?
- Sign up as a mentee and experience being on the receiving end to truly know and understand what it will look like on the other side of being a mentor.
- Ok, I like the idea but my past has a bunch of bumps along the way.
- Even better! No one wants to follow perfection. That’s exhausting. And perhaps you can help prevent your mentees from making similar mistakes?!
- We’re not in a good place in our marriage right now. Maybe later.
- Maybe signing up for a mentor instead of being a mentor is exactly what you need right now? Or perhaps it’s more serious and you’re in a need of a counselor to help resolve your issues? Sometimes answering the question honestly to yourself will help you take the next steps.
We need you! The mentees really need you! Russ and I did not start this website because we thought we were experts. We recognized the importance of passing along what we’ve been taught and the mistakes we made along the way. Our marriage is far from perfect but we lean on our Guides and Mentors. As independent as Russ and I are, we cannot do this marriage journey alone.
We believe many of you couples have wisdom to share with younger married couples. And the investment of time is 2 to 3 dinners. Small investment but huge impact! You can change the trajectory for a couple in need of your advice or provide much needed encouragement!
Without good direction, people lose their way; the more wise counsel you follow, the better your chances. –Proverbs 11:14
We care about your marriage and we want you to tell a powerful story to your family and future grandchildren.
What if your story read like this…Life was fun and easy in the beginning but eventually we hit some rocky stages. But we stayed in community with others and sought guidance. We found similarities with other marriages and felt less alone, debunking the idea we were the only ones struggling. Later in our marriage, we turned back around and reached out our hand to younger married couples and taught them how to be intentional and love each other through life’s natural ups and downs.
You will have impacted not only their marriage but their children’s lives and the generations that follow. That could be your story, your legacy.
What’s your story going to be?