Without a doubt, one of the best decisions that Barry and I ever made after we got married was to find a set of mentors. My only regret is that we waited so long to do it. Having a set of mentors is a smart decision for any couple…..they give you advice, hold you accountable, and they pray with you when you need it. Plus, they’re really awesome to have around for fellowship.
Our mentors are Roger and Lori Holbrook. They just so happen to be Barry’s kin, so that’s a nice plus. When we asked them to be our mentors, I was really nervous that they were going to say no…..but we were blessed when they said yes. We hold Roger and Lori in very high esteem – they are a blessing to us. When Barry and I aren’t sure about something in scripture, we ask them. When I don’t know why Annie is behaving like a wild native, I ask Lori. When I’m worried about something, I ask them to pray. When I need someone to give me a hard time, I go over to Roger’s house.
There are a few key things you must keep in mind when choosing a mentor. I’ll outline those below. Please, please think about getting one. You won’t regret it. Pray and ask the Lord to show you who might be a good choice for you and your spouse.
1. They must be of your same faith. It would not be a good idea for you to choose a Catholic mentor if you are Baptist. You must know that they share the same values as you. If you live your life by the Old and New Testament it probably wouldn’t be a good idea to have mentors who thought the Old Testament was outdated.
2. You must be able to see their “fruit.” If I’ve seen it once, I’ve seen it a million times – people go to church and act all holy……then the next day, they’re out yelling and boozing around. Uh, no. Not a good mentor choice. You want your mentors to LIVE what they say. It will be pretty obvious if you’re around them for any length of time.
3. They must be a lot more mature in their faith than you are. It would be sorta silly for you to have mentors the same age and maturity level as you. How much more do they know than you? How much longer have they been around? You want to make sure that they are firm in their faith and have a strong biblical knowledge. How else are they supposed to train you?
4. It’s NOT a good idea for your mentors to be your parents. Let’s face it…..sometimes your parents say what you want to hear. Sometimes they don’t want to hurt your feelings. They want you to be happy – that MIGHT cause them to sometimes sugar coat things. Or to leave some things unsaid. You want your mentors to be the type of people who are very honest. This part might be hard for you, like it is for me. I can honestly tell you that Lori has called me on things a few times – things I needed to hear, but didn’t want to hear. And yeah, I cried all of those times. But I know I’ve learned from it and I’m stronger for it.
5. How did their kids turn out? This is VERY telling. Parents who have trained up their children in “the way they should go” usually see fruit. Would it be a good idea for you to get parenting advice from someone who is estranged from all their children? It’s about as good as taking parenting advice from an author who has no kids…..or an author who drove his/her children away.
6. They must be someone you can trust. You must know that what you say to your mentor doesn’t go any farther. How else can you confide in them? If your mentors are going to go to church and “raise up a prayer request for you”, airing all your dirty laundry – or go to the beauty salon and tell Mable that you used your credit card without telling your husband, then that probably isn’t the mentor for you. I know I can trust Roger and Lori 100%.
You must be able to have fun with them. Some of the most fun fellowship we have is at Roger and Lori’s house. I love being with them and I love their kids. We all have so much fun….and Roger is a real cut up! Annie loves every one of them, and when she’s there she really buddies up with Sam (age 16). Sam likes to show Annie his frogs.
So, there you have it. That should give you a good start at choosing a mentor. It’s a great uplifting experience for any couple. You should always have someone to keep you accountable. Being married is hard stuff – wouldn’t it be nice to know you have some advocates who will pray with you along the way?