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!
    • How long has it been since your marriage ended?  How did it end (i.e. who filed for divorce, was it mutual, etc.)?
    • What would you say were the things that led to your divorce?  Have you taken time to prayerfully examine your part in that?
    • What can you tell me about how you got to this current point in your life?  Can we unpack that journey together?
    • At this point in your life are you committed to following God’s will no matter what?
    • Have you given reconciliation with your former spouse a chance?  What did that process involve?
    • Beyond talking to me about this, what steps have you taken to resolve your issues? Have you sought the help of a pastor or Christian counselor?
    • What do you believe God wants for your children in all of this?
    • What have you learned about yourself from your divorce?
    • What problems are you still having with your ex-spouse that need to be resolved? Have the two of you at least moved back to a friendship level?
    • What has been the most difficult part of being divorced?  What has that looked like on a daily basis for you and how can I pray for you in that area?
    • Do you pray for your former spouse?
    • Is your desire now to remarry?  Have you taken time to examine your motives for wanting that at this time?
    • Remarriage is often more difficult than a first marriage. What counsel have you received about the issues you will face once remarried?
    • How can I be an encouragement to you right now?
Deeper Questions
    • If you could sit down with your former spouse and have a healthy, honest discussion about what went wrong, and seek forgiveness and healing, what would you say to them?  Do you think God could ever arrange for that discussion to occur?
    • Do you have any ongoing regrets about the past that maybe we can prayerfully discuss together?
    • What would give God the most glory in your life now?  What can you do to take a step in that direction?
    • If you are considering remarriage, what do you believe will be different this time around?
    • What have you learned about yourself from your past marriage (e.g. about your needs, feelings, goals, the way you handle stress, the way you handle another person’s anger)?
    • Without beating yourself up or causing unhealthy condemnation, what have you learned about how the kids (if you have kids) have been negatively affected by your divorce?  What steps are you taking to help them recover from that?
    • Have you had time to recover emotionally from your failed marriage?  Has there been a process of repentance and forgiveness?  Tell me more about that.
    • Can I ask you if you’ve ever really given complete control of this part of your life over to God and His Lordship?  Would you like help doing that?
    • I believe the most important relationship a person has in life is the one they have with Jesus Christ.  Can you tell me a little about what that means to you?
Online Helps
Other Ministry Links
  • DivorceCare Help and healing for the hurt of separation and divorce
  • DC4K (DivorceCare for Kids) Helping children recover from the hurt of divorce
  • - Gary Thomas, Sacred Marriage, p. 115

    “An intact marriage is an ideal worth fighting for.  But that doesn’t mean we should treat those whose marriages have crumbled as second-class Christians.  Jesus spoke of high ideals and absolutes—but he loved real people with acceptance and grace.”

  • - Jim Talley, Reconcilable Differences, p. 23

    “Even though you may never get beyond a normal friendship level with your former spouse, you need the emotional stability that positive emotions give you.  You need the support of your former spouse in dealing with your children who learn quickly that they can play one against the other when Mom and Dad don’t agree.”

  • - Jim Talley, Reconcilable Differences, p. 29

    “What would you expect to happen between you if you both this moment appeared before God, with the Holy Spirit holding hands with each of you, as it were?  Wouldn’t you be forced to reconciliation in the presence of the King of peace?  That is in effect what happens every day when two believers pray … Jesus told His disciples, ‘If therefore you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother [or sister] has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar, and go on your way; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering’ (Matthew 5:23-24).  These words apply also to your ex.”

  • - Jim Talley, Reconcilable Differences, p. 79

    “If you’re struggling emotionally, you need to stay out of another relationship.   All you do is take that baggage with you, and it can strain the next relationship to the breaking point.  Can you imagine the cumulative effect of all those unresolved emotions—those left over from the first relationship added to those of the most recent relationship?  You need to regroup and stabilize yourself before you consider another relationship.”

  • - Jim Talley, Reconcilable Differences, p. 112

    “The grieving process after a divorce is often more severe and prolonged than after the death of a mate.”

  • - Dave Carder, Torn Asunder, p. 243

    “It is inevitable that conflict will arise between the two of you in the future, regardless of what happens to the marriage.  The less able the two of you are to resolve your own differences, the more fractured your children will be.  Unresolved parental conflict causes children to take sides, a destructive pattern.”

  • - Ginger Kolbaba, Surprised by Remarriage, p. 42

    “I’m convinced that divorce is a death.  And death affects every part of our lives—including, potentially, our spiritual lives.  Until we deal with that death and bury it properly, we don’t give our new marriage a real chance at success.  We don’t allow God to work fully and completely in our lives.”

  • - Ron Deal, The Smart Step-Family, p. 101

    “One of the great ironies of divorce is that you may have hated your ex-spouse at the time of the divorce, but now you have to find a way to cooperate with him or her for the sake of the children.”

  • - Nancy Leigh DeMoss, Lies Women Believe And the Truth That Sets Them Free, p. 86

    “There is no man on the face of this earth who can satisfy the deepest longings of a woman’s heart—God has made us in such a way that we can never be truly satisfied with anything or anyone less than Himself (Psalm 16:11; 34:8-10).”

  • - Jim Talley, Reconcilable Differences, p. 104

    “I find that many people want instant solutions to everything.  They want to stop hurting; they want things to be right, nice, peaceful, and secure—now.  In reality, emotionally it will probably not be that way for quite a while.”

  • - Nancy Leigh DeMoss, Singled Out For Him, p. 15

    “The season of singleness is not a time in limbo, waiting for the right partner to come along so we can get on with our lives.  Those years of singleness provide an incredible and unique opportunity to be devoted to Christ and His kingdom in a way that married men and women simply do not have the freedom to pursue.”

  • - Ron Deal, The Smart Step-Family, p. 123

    “The bottom line—barring legal abuse, the more spiritually upright parent does not have the right to control the other parent, his or her lifestyle, or access to the children.”

  • - Nancy Anderson, Avoiding the Greener Grass Syndrome, p. 76

    “When Ron and I got back together, we didn’t feel like we were in love, but we began to behave in loving ways, and loving feelings slowly followed… The nicer we were to each other, the more we liked each other; the more we liked each other, the nicer we treated each other.  We began a positive cycle of kindness that grew into love.”

  • - Jim Talley, Reconcilable Differences, p. 99-100

    “The most harmful thing you can do during an attempt at reconciliation is to stir in the physical element.  To achieve genuine reconciliation, you need to reconcile emotionally first and take some positive relational steps before going too quickly into the physical … If you are divorced, the physical relationship must wait until remarriage.”

  • - Jim Talley, Reconcilable Differences, p. 13

    “People make their biggest mistake when they feel they can deal with the moral and emotional parts simply by walking out and saying they are not in love anymore… Sooner or later their miscalculation catches up with them.”

  • - Jim Talley, Reconcilable Differences, p. 127

    “The goal of reconciliation is restoring your relationship with your ex to the friendship level, even if it cannot lead to remarriage.”

Next Steps
    • Seeking a mentor is a positive thing after your divorce.  Consider other areas where you are doing the right thing and be encouraged.
    • Take a moment and thank God for how He is working in your life right now. What do you have to be thankful for?
    • Listen to the broadcast series “Coping with Divorce” and discuss any discoveries with a mentor.
    • Be sure you are involved in a local, Bible-believing church for spiritual growth and accountability.  Many churches even offer Divorce Care and Divorce Care for Kids groups that are helpful.
    • Prayerfully read the following Scriptures relating to divorce/remarriage and discuss those with your mentor (1 Corinthians 7:11; Matthew 19:3-12; Mark 10:2-12; 1 Corinthians 7:39-40).
    • If you know Jesus Christ, God has not abandoned you and He is still faithful. Think about how you have seen Him walk alongside you today.  Praise Him for that right now.
    • Do you know any marriages that God has restored even after divorce? It is possible He will do the same for you. But if nothing changes, how will you move forward?
    • Even if your marriage relationship is never reconciled, pray about what you can do to begin restoring your relationship with your ex to the friendship level.
    • Is there a mistake you continually beat yourself up over?  If so, commit now to follow God wholeheartedly and put that behind you.
    • Determine some tangible ways you can live at peace with your former spouse.  If at all possible go the extra mile, especially if kids are involved.
    • Be honest with yourself, viewing yourself with an accurate, biblical self-image.  Ask others who know you well if they see you differently and if so, how.
    • Seek God first and trust him with all the other unresolved details of life (Matthew 6:33).  Ask God to help you do that today.
    • Read the Remarriage with Children mentor guide for insights.
    • Be honest about your feelings right now.  Sometimes it is helpful to journal those feelings—write them out on paper and then talk to God about them.
    • Prayerfully consider if there are ways you have offended your spouse that you have not asked forgiveness for (Matthew 5:23-24).  Then asked God to help you have the grace to make it right.
    • Consider one way that you may be able to cooperate with your ex-spouse for the sake of the children.  Try to do something today that would truly bless your ex-spouse in some way.