Over the past two months I’ve talked to several people concerned about their friends marriage. I’ve heard sad stories of adultery, of one partner making personal life changes and not including their spouse or family, of depression and of no physical intimacy in a very long time. Each of these marriages had at least one thing in common. They have friends who care. However, in most of those I heard about the friends listened and prayed which is HUGE, but the help stopped there. Today’s post is not long and involved but it is not necessarily easy. As friends we need to listen. We need to pray. We need to speak truth to our friends, even if it is difficult. Watching how Jesus lived in the New Testament is our example. He loved people. He did not condemn them but he did speak up and tell them the truth. He did give them hope and life eternal. Nearly everyone I spoke with said, “I don’t feel qualified to help them.” or “I just don’t know what to do.” I’m here to give you a few suggestions.
1. You did the right thing when you listened and did not condemn.
2. You must pray, preferrably with them to start with and then ongoing.
3. Help them find the help they need.
Pastoral or professional counseling and/or marriage mentoring. Couple to couple mentoring is proven to be very effective in the restoration of marriages. Fortunately here in Iowa we have trained mentors around the state. These mentors are volunteers who have been trained and really care. The dynamic of having both the men and women together while meeting is incredible. There is no opportunity for one partner to say, “you’re just taking their side because you are on their side.” (woman to woman or man to man) There are two unbiased people listening to the struggling couple. They each pick up on different things and can really maximize the time spent. They are trained to encourage professional counseling for deeper issues that are beyond their life experience and education.
Your part is helping to connect the hurting couple to conseling or mentors.
How do you do that? You talk to your friend and encourage them to do this. If they consent make sure they or they with you, talk to their spouse and get their consent as well. When that is accomplished you can assist them in connecting to help in your area. If you don’t know how to find these people in your area please contact us at Treasure Chest Ministries. We will give you the contact information you need. At this time we are aware of many mentors in Iowa and some in Nebraska.
If you are interested in becoming a marriage mentor couple contact us as well. We would love to explain how you can become a mentor couple and/or help to develop a mentor ministry in your church or community.