I am a 25-year-old woman, and I desire to be married. I am very involved in my church, serving in several places. I feel called to ministry and am pursuing that through my church. I have been a believer since I was 4 years old, but while my mom is a believer, my dad is not.
That is where I feel like I've hit a hard spot. I have been pursuing marriage, meaning that I am trying to meet and get to know godly men from my church. I feel like I need to do something more, though. There is an amazing godly couple that has been a blessing in my life, and an awesome example of what the covenant of marriage between God and two people should be. I have been thinking of going to them and asking them to help me seek out that kind of a marriage. I know it sounds strange, but I am so not interested in dating the way the world does. Does this show a lack of discernment? Is it a bad idea simply because this couple is not a part of my "physical" family?
I am still praying about addressing them on the issue. If it is an OK thing to do, how do I approach them about something so personal?
Thanks for writing. I think it's commendable that you're going about getting married the way you are. Though it would be ideal to have such input from your parents, as you've pointed out, this isn't always possible. Even if they are on the same page spiritually, distance (geographic, emotional or relational) can interfere.
Thankfully Paul provided a remedy in the advice he gave in Titus 2. Speaking about the range of ages in any church body, he encouraged the older believers to counsel the younger ones.
Not only is it "an OK thing to do," I think it's a great idea to seek out older, wiser Christians for counsel in the area of marriage, as well as the many other life challenges that arise during your 20s and beyond. No matter what season of life we're in, we can always benefit from wise counsel.
Getting wisdom from someone who's further down the road is invaluable. And even if they've had a bumpy road, they're able to provide better scouting than your peers — who are typically in the same place you are, still discovering those bumps themselves through trial and error. You never know where a mentor's insights in the form of advice, open doors and relationships may lead.
One of the keys to a successful mentoring relationship is something you're already aware of: finding a person, or people, who have strengths in the area you are trying to improve. In your case, that means approaching a couple that models a vibrant, godly marriage to help you in the area of marrying well.
It sounds from your letter that you are already friendly with this couple. If it's true that you already have a friendship with them, I think the best approach is the direct one. Let them know you desire marriage, that you admire their relationship with one another and that you've prayed about the possibility of them mentoring you in this area. Then ask them if they'd pray about it, too.
As you'll see in the answer that follows this one, the structure doesn't require formality and the time commitment is variable, based on your needs and their availability.
I wish you well.
Copyright 2006 Candice Watters. All rights reserved.