One of the things that makes Salem, Salem, is that it truly is a multi-generational church. Because of that, Salem has a unique opportunity to see one generation reach out to another to point them to Jesus. One way we can do that is by having our more seasoned married couples mentoring our younger ones. These young couples need all of the help that they can get – and by loving on them, the older couple’s marriage will probably be strengthened as well. Here are five ways that an older couple can help a younger couple.
Pray For Them
There might not be anything more beneficial for a young married couple than to know that there are people praying for them. I know that my wife and I have been able to face so many obstacles in our marriage with confidence because we have known that people were faithfully praying for us. Don’t just say you will pray for the couple but pray with them while they are present. This models prayer as a couple together for the younger couple and allows them to hear the exact prayer you are praying over them. Tell them you will be praying for them and actually follow up on it! Send them a text and let them know when you do. When you do this, you might be surprised how praying specifically for others changes your prayer life.
Meet With Them Together
Take them out on a double date, invite them over to your house, or go do something fun together. Spend some time getting to know them as a couple. Get to know how they interact with each other, how they love each other, and how they approach marriage. This is a great time to talk with them about life and marriage. Open it up for questions. Talk to them about how God has used your marriage for his glory. Talk about how your marriage was when you were their age. The struggles you faced earlier in your marriage might be what they are going through today. It is always great to see how God used circumstances in your past to help others today. Be open, but remember that some conversations are not appropriate for mixed company.
Meet With Them Separately
Because some conversations are not appropriate for mixed couples, it is often necessary to meet one on one. There can be a lot more openness when two men or two women are sitting together talking. A more seasoned husband or wife can walk a younger one through learning how to communicate with their spouse. It is important to remember the issue of confidentiality. A good rule of thumb is to keep everything confidential unless you have discussed the need to share. The goal is not to keep secrets, but to help the younger couple share and talk through the issues they face in life.
Tell Them The Good Stuff
Marriage is an amazing gift that God has given some of us so we can pursue Jesus together. Unfortunately, marriage is on the decline in America both in practice and in view of its importance. One of the reasons for that is because married people don’t sing the greatness of it the way that they should. Think about it, we hear more jokes about the frustrations of marriage than we hear men and women standing up and screaming how awesome it is. We need older couples to proclaim the goodness of marriage to the younger generation. They need to see the beauty of it in an honest, open way.
Young married couples need examples. They need to see that marriage can last. They need to see that marriage can be used for something greater than themselves. Serve the church with your spouse. Pray with your spouse. Go to church with your spouse. Go on a mission trip with your spouse. Love your spouse. Enjoy your spouse. When you do these things, others see it. It gives the younger generation hope that in a world that celebrates going from one partner to another – the ancient path of one man and one woman still is a better way. The best way you can help a younger married couple is to love your spouse.
Talk about this with your spouse. Look around you and see if there is a young married couple that you two can mentor. The most difficult thing about this is actually putting yourself out there and asking.
One generation shall commend your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts. – Psalm 145:4