Except that it doesn't always work that way.
I know I'm in a baby marriage. My husband, Dave, and I will celebrate our 9th anniversary on October 18. And let me tell you, I have no idea what I'm doing half the time. And when I do think I know what I'm doing, Dave doesn't always agree. I don't always know how to tell if I'm the one who's "off" or if he is. I can't always tell if I'm acting disrespectfully, or reason out how to respond differently after a conflict. I don't know if my expectations are reasonable. I don't always know if I'm making a mountain out of a molehill or a molehill out of a mountain.
And that, my dear Warrior Wives in baby marriages, is why every single one of you need connections with older godly women.
Many of us have read those verses in Titus 2:
But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine. Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness. Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. Likewise, urge the younger men to be self-controlled. (Titus 2:1-6)There is no reason why you, as a young wife, have to figure everything out on your own.
Sure, you can bounce situations off your friends and get their opinions, but when it comes down to it, your friends are probably all in baby marriages themselves. You need to connect with a woman who has had the benefit of hindsight, who has persevered through struggles, and who has learned to rely on God through the good and the bad.
Sure, you could read marriage books, but there's nothing quite like the benefit of having a relationship with the person giving you counsel. That person knows your personality, knows your husband, knows your strengths and weaknesses and can offer counsel specific to your own situation.
I know finding that godly woman and starting a mentoring relationship with her is not as easy as it sounds on paper. I know this because I've been there. Early in our marriage, Dave was struggling with alcohol consumption and giving up a single lifestyle, and I was struggling with anger. And not just irritation-anger...the kind of anger where I called him nasty names, threw his failings in his face, and I might have thrown a plastic cup of water at him. Sometimes I actually struggled with wanting to hit him, and I know I did during a few arguments. I finally hit a desperation point, knowing that our marriage could not continue along this path and asked an older woman to mentor me. So let me tell you what I think it takes to start this kind of a relationship:
You need to lay out your life and be ok with not looking perfect. You have to be ok with someone else knowing the secrets of your marriage and the burden you are bearing.
You truly do sometimes have to just summon up some nerve and ask for help. You cannot always sit around waiting for an older woman to figure out you're struggling. If you don't know any older woman, you're going to have to step out of your comfort zone to find one.
If you begin a mentoring relationship, you need to be prepared to hear some hard truths. Don't expect to have every emotion validated and to be vindicated in every situation.
Mentoring is not about figuring how to change him; it's about changing you. You need to be open to hearing truth and considering the fact that you might actually be a problem in your marriage. You need to be willing to put in some work and change behavior, words and habits.
Are there any of you who've had any kind of a mentoring relationship (formal or informal)? What was the biggest lesson you learned through that relationship?
Any other qualities you think are necessary for a good mentoring relationship?
Sharing with: The Alabaster Jar, The Better Mom, Graceful, Seedlings in Stone, Tell Me a Story, Time Warp Wife, Far Above Rubies, Growing Home, NOBH, The Wellspring, Women Living Well, Wifey Wednesday, Encourage One Another, We Are THAT Family, A Wise Woman Builds Her Home