his post is one in a series of frequently asked questions by those who use the Creating a Gospel-Centered Marriage seminar series as part of their church’s pre-marital program. The responses are written as we use them at the Summit Church. Your church may need to tweak the responses in order to better fit your ministry context.
- What if the couple comes into the program late (close to their wedding)?
- What if we think they need to meet with a more experienced counselor? What if we think they do not need to get married… at least not in the time frame they’ve set?
- What if we’re uncomfortable talking about [blank] or don’t feel like we do a good job with [blank]?
- What should we know about pre-marital couples (just in case we forgot what this season of life was like)?
- Are there articles or books I need to be reading?
- What if we learn the couple is living together?
Mentors are not expected to be excellent or expects at every area of marriage. That would be an unrealistic expectation to put on any couple. One of the greatest facets of the mentoring relationship will be for the engaged couple to learn how to talk about their strengths and weaknesses in a grace-based environment. You will teach this by modeling how to talk about your own strengths and weaknesses as a couple.
If there is a specific subject you prefer not to address, hopefully you can find a facet of the broader subject to address. For instance, if you are uncomfortable talking about debt, then within the “finances” section you could direct the conversation towards budgeting.
If you are uncomfortable with an entire subject, then you might enlist a couple from your small group to take that meeting. In that case you would want to explain to your couple that you want them to have someone more skilled or consistent in that area to discuss that subject with them.
More often than not (unless this is a point of active division between you and your spouse), then the seminar will cover the “how to” and provide the tools for each subject. The role of the mentor is to provide testimony to the content of each seminar and be a relational resource who gets to know the couple well enough to guide them through the trail-and-error process of implementation.