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!
    • What does unclear communication with your spouse look like? Sound like? Feel like?
    • Have you shared your true feelings with your spouse lately?  How did it go?
    • What would your spouse say you’re communicating non‐verbally?
    • How do you respond when your spouse is critical, demanding, or harsh toward you?
    • Have you ever read any books or materials on communication? What insights have you gained?
    • What things get in the way of clear communication with your spouse?
    • How does your regular schedule affect communication? Are there practical habits that make communication difficult—things like watching television, eating dinner separately, etc.?
    • Knowing that men and women often differ in their communication styles, are you making the effort to discover your spouse’s preferred style?
    • Do you sometimes expect your spouse to read your mind or think that if they were paying attention they should know what you want without you saying it?
Deeper Questions
    • Who makes the first effort to recover a broken conversation, you or your spouse?
    • Do your words or tone invite your spouse to be open and honest or do they sound demanding and controlling?
    • Do your conversations have a “stand together” feel or a “me against you” posture?
    • Do your words reflect a desire to serve or a demand to be served?
    • How often do communication problems lead to conflict in your marriage?
    • Have you given up on sharing your true feelings with your spouse?
    • When is the best time and place to start conversations with your spouse? Have you taken that approach lately?
    • When is the worst time and place to start conversations with your spouse?  have you taken that approach lately?
    • Are you personally continuing to learn about good communication? Do you lead in confessing and repenting of bad habits?
    • What repeated patterns have you noticed in your communication?  What wisdom have you gleaned from that knowledge?
    • What is one step you can take in the right direction and how can I help you do that?
Online Helps
Other Ministry Links
  • Visit Peacemaker Ministries to learn and apply the powerful conflict resolution principles God has given to us through Scripture.
  • - Tim Kimmel, The High Cost of High Control, p. 54

    “Dialogue is a family treasure—the gold and silver that finances our hopes and underwrites our dreams. It may draw laughter, tears, or anger, but when tempered with grace, it gives individuals a sense of high value.”

  • - Robert Lewis, Rocking the Roles, p. 79

    “Most men are not necessarily unwilling to meet their wife’s needs; they simply are unaware of what those needs really are.”

  • - Robert Lewis, Rocking the Roles, p. 64

    “A servant-leader husband is interested in arriving at the truth, in knowing what is right, not in who is ‘winning.’  He’s a man of truth, not a scorekeeper.  And he knows that his wife brings a valuable perspective and sensitivity to many issues that he barely understands.  So he values her input, and together they determine what is right.”

  • - Tim and Joy Downs, Fight Fair!, p. 132

    “The name we give to something shapes our attitude toward it’.”

  • - Fred Stoeker, Every Heart Restored, p. 88

    “While it may seem bizarre and shallow to women, we men can honestly think that if we’re happy, our wives are happy, and we won’t know otherwise unless you say something.”

  • - Emerson Eggerichs, Love and Respect, p. 30

    “Why is communication between husbands and wives such a problem? It goes back to the fact that we send each other messages in ‘code,’ based on gender, even though we don’t intend to. What I say is not what you hear, and what you think you heard is not what I meant at all.”

  • - Stormie Omartian , The Power of a Praying Wife, p. 36

    “It’s not the words we speak that make a difference, it is the power of God accompanying them. You’ll be amazed at how much power your words have when you pray before you speak them. You’ll be even more amazed at what can happen when you shut up and let God work.”

  • - Dennis and Barbara Rainey, The New Building Your Mate’s Self‐Esteem, p. 110

    “In marriage, one of the most important things about a couple is what they say to each other. When positive words flow, the relationship is robust and flourishing. If the lines of understanding and positive communication go down permanently, it is only a matter of time before that marriage dies.”

  • - Dennis and Barbara Rainey, The New Building Your Mate’s Self‐Esteem, p. 149

    “Try not to discuss a problem in your marriage or family with accusing words such as ‘You never …’ or ‘Your ideas are always …’ Those kinds of extreme statements verbally link your mate with his performance, insinuating that he is a failure. Instead, use your words with discernment to help him see the distinction between his personhood and his performance.”

  • - Gary Thomas, Sacred Marriage, p. 233

    “The tongue can be cruel in two ways: by speaking evil, or by refraining from speaking good. We need to recognize the offensiveness of pervasive silence within marriage. There comes a time when silence is healing, but there is also a malicious silence … When I refuse to speak out of cowardice, selfishness, or weariness, I am taking a step back as a Christian.”

  • - Martha Peace, The Excellent Wife, p. 156

    “No skill will help a wife more in conflict with her husband than the ability to communicate biblically. Biblical communication is based on the principles of God’s Word. God’s desire for a wife is to train her tongue to respond properly in every situation. It can be done. Getting control of her tongue is one of the wife’s first steps in biblically submitting herself to God and her husband.”

  • - Paul David Tripp, War of Words, p. 236

    “Each of us needs to face how powerful the war of desire is in our hearts—how easy it is to have our words shaped by no higher purpose than our own pleasure. We need to recognize how often we speak as if we were totally unaware of the Lord, His work, and His call to be instruments of His grace.”

  • - Emerson Eggerichs, Love and Respect, p. 66

    “When a wife does not speak ‘respect language,’ after a while her husband isn’t interested in communicating. Who wants to keep talking to someone who doesn’t speak your language? So the husband goes quiet.”

  • - Emerson Eggerichs, Love and Respect, p. 148‐149

    “How can you be an understanding husband? The most powerful weapons you have are your ears. Just listen to your wife, and she is much more likely to feel understood … As a husband, if you can grasp that you don’t always have to solve your wife’s problems, you take a giant step toward showing her empathy and understanding.,, Trying to fix instead of listen is often a big point of conflict in the marriage.”

  • - Norman Wright, Communication: Key to Your Marriage, p. 97

    “Listening means that you’re completely accepting of what is being said, without judging what the person is saying or how he or she is saying it … Acceptance doesn’t mean that you agree with the content of what your spouse says. It means that you acknowledge and understand that what your spouse is saying is something he or she is feeling.”

  • - Paul David Tripp, War of Words, p. 126

    “We must begin by admitting that people and situations do not cause us to speak as we do. Our hearts control our words. People and situations simply provide the occasion for the heart to express itself.”

  • - Norman Wright, Communication: Key to Your Marriage, p. 81

    “You can view your spouse’s words either as an attack or as information that is strongly expressed. The choice is yours.”

Next Steps
    • Great job reaching out for wisdom in how to communicate better!
    • Read any of the online articles listed in this guide.  Read the articles first for yourself and choose one or two that seem to apply to your situation. Then let’s discuss this material together.
    • Read any of the scriptures of help and hope in this guide and let’s discuss.
    • Please know that you are not alone, communication problems are the number one cause of marital frustration for many couples.
    • Communication is a skill that can be learned and improved over time, so keep at it.
    • Try and carve out regular time to focus on communication with your spouse.
    • Remove distractions as much as possible (e.g. TV, internet, cell phone, kids)
    • Consider attending a FamilyLife Weekend to Remember marriage conference
    • Plan a date night very soon.
    • Pray together every day… this habit invites God’s voice into your relationship and makes it a three-person conversation.
    • Take the initiative to re-open communication despite any differences… risk being vulnerable.
    • Seek first to understand, then to be understood.
    • Remember that you cannot control your spouse, only God can do that.
    • Remember that non‐verbal communication is often more important than verbal.
    • The goal is not just to speak the right words but to communicate the right heart
    • That timing is vital when approaching your spouse! (Proverbs 27:14)
    • Make a “wish list” of 3 things you desire in your relationship with your spouse.
      Take turns sharing your “I wish” statements with your partner and describe how
      you would feel if your wish came true.