Mid-Life

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Mentoring Tips

Make one-to-one mentoring easier by learning what to do and what not to do.  Click to learn more.

Tip#1 – Find your PLACE

  • Pray: simple yet powerful act
  • Listen: people want to feel heard
  • Ask: good questions foster productive dialogue
  • Consider: think slowly and biblically
  • Encourage: uplift rather than beat down
Tip#2 – Avoid the common mistakes

  • Fixing: this is a person, not a project
  • Preaching: walk alongside, don’t talk at or down to them
  • Carrying: show concern but don’t carry too heavy a burden
  • Blaming: no condemnation in Christ Jesus
  • Rescuing: you are not their savior!
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Scriptures
Hope
Help
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Conversations
Starters
    • Do you believe that you have entered into a season of mid-life questioning? What discoveries or emotions have surfaced?
    • In what way is your spouse involved in this process with you?
    • What expectations for your life have not worked out for you?
    • Do you have children—adult or still living at home? How have you seen God working in them?
    • What big decisions have you made recently and how did you make those decisions? What have been the results?
    • Where would you say you have been looking for meaning, satisfaction, and contentment?
    • How much time do you spend thinking about the past?
    • Are there any mistakes you’ve made in the past that you sense a need to revisit and perhaps make right? Any areas where you need to seek forgiveness from someone?
    • Do you realize and believe that God can even use your mistakes for His glory and for your good? (John 18:15-18,25-27; 21:15-19)
    • I believe the most important relationship in your life is the one you have with Jesus Christ. Can you tell me what that means in your life?
Deeper Questions
    • If you were to go back and change anything that you’ve done, what would that be? What would you do differently?
    • Can you tell me a little more about what you believe about God?
    • Can you tell me a little more about your relationship with God? Looking back, have there been times where He has been especially meaningful in your life… where you knew He was carrying you? How have you seen God’s hand?
    • Can we talk about how to maintain a relationship with God as your “first love?” (Revelation 2:4-5) Do you have that?
    • Would you mind reflecting a little more on the important relationships in your life? Which ones have stood the test of time? Why do you think they lasted this long? Any ones you wish were still active? Why did they stop?
    • Have you really taken the time to wrestle through your regrets and turn those over to God? Have you experienced His forgiveness and a new start? If not, would you like help doing that?
    • Can you tell me about some of the things you are most looking forward to in the second half of life?
    • What is the best way that I can encourage you and pray for you right now? Are there any issues that you are especially interested in discussing and seeking God’s wisdom for together?
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Resources
Online Helps
Other Ministry Links
Books
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Encouragement
Quotes
  • - John Yates, How a Man Prays for His Family, p. 21

    “Most of us have large challenges in our families.  Ironically, it is this sense of failure and great need—our sense of being overwhelmed by so much responsibility—that can actually be the starting point of a genuine intimacy with God in prayer.”

  • - Robert Lewis, Raising a Modern-Day Knight, p. 83

    “Nothing grates on a man’s spirit quite like irrelevance. The knowledge that our best efforts and heroic deeds were meaningless is a bitter pill to swallow.”

  • - Bob Buford, Halftime: Moving from Success to Significance, p. 111

    “While the first half is all about gaining, which sometimes results in loss, the second half is more about releasing and relinquishing, which usually results in strength.”

  • - Bob Buford, Halftime: Moving from Success to Significance, p. 67

    “It is not unnatural nor should it overly concern you that you feel the need for a change. The mistake most people make when they begin to feel this way is to ignore the voice that is telling them to stop and listen.”

  • - Bob Buford, Halftime: Moving from Success to Significance, p. 68

    “Since you cannot go back and undo past mistakes, you really have only two options. You can dwell on them and become consumed with the effects they may have had on your family and career. Or you can come to terms with them through grace, accepting them as poignant markers from which you can learn something valuable for the second half.”

  • - Stephen Arterburn and Sam Gallucci, Road Warrior, p. 28

    “If we can learn to make connections and build relationships for business purposes on the road, then we can surely do so where it matters most—in the home. We can still let God into our hearts and ask Him to help us redefine what it means to be a success.”

  • - Stephen Arterburn and Sam Gallucci, Road Warrior, p. 48

    “God created us to thrive in relationship with others, and the results of our relational investments will last beyond our lives on this earth … How much money we made will be irrelevant from an eternal vantage point. How successful a career we had will likely not be remembered as well as the time we spent face to face with those we love.”

  • - Crawford Loritts, Never Walk Away, p. 27

    “We work harder and longer hours to make more money so that we can improve the lifestyle of our families. Although we may improve their lifestyles, I wonder if we are improving their lives … As fathers, we must understand the truth that, to our families, our presence is more important than anything else–including extra money.”

  • - Dennis and Barbara Rainey, The New Building Your Mate’s Self-Esteem, p. 222

    “Many Christian families today lack a sense of unified purpose and, instead of turning outward, are turning inward–not toward one another, but toward self.”

  • - Bob Buford, Halftime: Moving from Success to Significance, p. 169

    “When you come to the end of your time here on earth, you will not be judged for what you had but by what you did with what you had.”

  • - Robert Lewis, Rocking the Roles, p. 124

    “In his forties your man will likely hit that middle-aged crisis of wondering whether his life counts for anything. Even if he’s achieved some success, he might say, ‘So what? Is this important? Does it really matter? What’s next? Where do I go from here?’ These are good questions for him to ask. But in sorting them out, he needs someone special to talk to about the tremendous feelings of doubt and fear and insecurity they stir up. He especially needs a sensitive wife who can help lend perspective to his accomplishments and what he’s done right. You, more than any other person, can build him up during a period of instability.”

  • - Bob Buford, Halftime: Moving from Success to Significance, p. 163

    “Regardless of your financial condition, as you approach midlife, you will likely begin to get restless with your current work. Pay attention to that restlessness, because it is the yearning of your soul to become what you were divinely wired to be.”

  • - Howard Dayton, Your Money Map, p. 240

    “According to Dr. Howard Hendricks, of the 2,930 individuals mentioned in the Bible, we know significant details of only 100. Of those 100, only about one-third finished well. Of the two-thirds that did not finish well, most failed in the second half of their lives.”

  • - Bob Lepine, The Christian Husband, p. 55

    “In order to live as we were designed to live, we must be in pursuit not simply of manhood but of godly masculinity. That begins by being men who are rightly related to God, who understand what it means to fear him, and who respond to that fear by being alert, standing firm in the faith, and being men of courage.”

  • - Stormie Omartian, The Power of a Praying Wife, p. 52

    “If your husband didn’t have praying parents, you can step in the gap. You can pray for his eyes to be opened to see what God wants him to do, and where God is leading. Your prayers can help him feel appreciated and encouraged enough to recognize he has worth no matter what he does. You can assure him that God has uniquely gifted him with ability and talent and has something good ahead for him. Then pray for God to reveal it and open a door of opportunity which no man can shut. Your prayers can pave a path for him.”

  • - Dennis and Barbara Rainey, The New Building Your Mate’s Self-Esteem, p. 256

    “Why is acceptance so important to a man? Because without it, he will feel that you are pressuring him to become something he’s not. With it, he will sense that you love him for who he is today and not for what you hope he will become.”

Next Steps
    • Esteem the mentee for reaching out for help and encourage them to believe God is still at work in them
    • Encourage the mentee to confront any regrets honestly and not to let those regrets paralyze or control them
    • Encourage them with Scriptures of hope and help
    • Encourage them to know that there can be great value in asking others for forgiveness and in seeking to reconcile
    • Encourage them not to settle for isolation, but to do the hard work to move forward together in marriage
    • Remind them that God has a plan and that He provides the power to make it happen
    • Remind them that their spouse is not their enemy but can be an ally in this process of re-evaluation
    • Encourage them to believe that God still has great things ahead and that there is still time to build a lasting legacy
    • Encourage them to answer the midlife question “Who am I?” beginning with their relationship to God
    • Encourage them not to make rash decisions around money or other important life decisions, but to patiently yield to God
    • Encourage them to protect their marriage and not be naïve about extramarital temptations during this time.
    • Encourage them to consider attending a FamilyLife Weekend to Remember marriage getaway together to rekindle and renew their love.
    • Encourage them to ask God for new opportunities to love and serve others, and to look expectantly for those opportunities
    • Encourage them to remain in community and not to isolate from others who care… spouse, trusted friends, pastor, etc.
    • Encourage them to stay connected to a local, bible-believing church