They mentored us through moments spent in their presence and through our observation of their lives
Now a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was an eloquent man, competent in the Scriptures. He had been instructed in the way of the Lord. And being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things concerning Jesus, though he knew only the baptism of John. He began to speak boldly in the synagogue, but when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately. (Acts 18:24–26)
Building a Healthy Relationship
Happily ever after is not a natural outcome of a wedding. This may burst someone’s fantasy marriage bubble, but there is no such thing as a perfect couple—nor a perfect marriage. You can, however, have a good and healthy marriage. The goal is not perfection but a healthy and growing relationship.
Often you need other people to help you stay on the road to healthy. In my own marriage, I think of the example of Sandra and Al, who mentored us in serving God in the military. I think of Pat and Sue who mentored us in the art of hospitality—and taught me how to make gravy. Bruce and Karen have mentored us in the area of generosity and service to family and community. None of these couples sat down and taught us a specific how-to lesson. They mentored us through moments spent in their presence and through our observation of their lives.
Aquila and Priscilla
Mentoring is a principle seen in the lives of Aquila and Priscilla. Paul mentored them and they, in turn, mentored Apollos. Even though he was a good speaker and knew the Old Testament Scriptures and the teaching of John the Baptist, Apollos did not know the full story about Jesus. Aquila and Priscilla listened to him teach and perceived his need for the rest of the gospel story. They took him aside privately and filled in the gaps—that Jesus was the Messiah, that he had been crucified and resurrected, that he had ascended to heaven, that the Holy Spirit had come, and much more.
Together, Priscilla and Aquila invested their lives in building relationships. Their hospitality and mentoring had a powerful influence on the church in Corinth and beyond. Just like the couples who had an impact on my husband and me, Priscilla and Aquila were willing to take the time to help others become better.
Look around for couples you admire, people who are strong in their faith and have qualities you would like to develop in your own marriage. Invite them for coffee or a meal and ask their input on issues that concern you. You do not—and should not—have to make this journey alone. God has placed people and resources to help you grow in your faith and in your relationships. You and your spouse also have stories, skills, and lessons learned that you can share with others.
Who might you consider as marriage mentors? What questions would you want to ask a marriage mentor?
Prayer for the Journey
Lord, give my husband and me teachable spirits. Open our eyes to people who will encourage us and help our relationship grow stronger. Help us be willing to share what we have learned with others also. Amen.
1 Elmer Towns, How to Build a Lasting Marriage: Lessons from Bible Couples (Shippensburg, PA: Destiny Image, 2003), 70.