I got lost on my first hike up the tallest mountain in the Northeastern United States. While I knew that “up” was always the right direction, at some point on the trail I took a wrong turn. I expected to meander along quaint streams in a flower-filled valley. Instead I climbed vertical rocks on all fours. A trail guide would have steered me better.
I needed my grandfather. For forty years he made a habit of hiking Mount Washington, but his knees no longer permit him the pleasure. Upon my return, he unpacked the journey with me. He knew where I was going, where I went wrong, and where I needed to get back on track. He also knew the strain in my legs, the bite of the wind above the tree line, and the thrill of reaching the summit. On the journey of marriage, we need such practical and poetic guidance. Sadly, couples often discontinue their search for guidance once the wedding bells chime.
Premarital counseling can be a popular practice. This can take many different forms, ranging from informally visiting with a pastor to more structured meetings with a professional counselor. The process can be fun, intimidating, and enlightening. And the discount on the marriage license provides great incentive. While I certainly recommend premarital work, I also know that advice is often best received once the going gets tough. Consider seeking out a mentoring couple early on in marriage.
A mentor couple shares their wisdom by imparting experience and knowledge through shared life. This is key. Mentoring is not solely the giving of advice. In fact, a couple that feels only the need to give advice should be cause for concern. Here are a couple of things to consider when looking for a couple to mentor your marriage:
[Read the rest of the article at Start Marriage Right.]