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!
  • Psalm 145:18 (the Lord is near)
  • Proverbs 12:25 (anxiety weighs a man down, but a good word makes him glad)
  • 1 Kings 5:4 (He has given rest on every side, neither adversary nor misfortune)
  • Psalm 46:10 (be still and know that I am God)
  • Psalm 131 (I do not go after things too great or difficult for me; I have composed and quieted my soul)
  • Proverbs 16:3 (commit works to the Lord, and plans established)
  • Ecclesiastes 2:24 (to eat and drink and know my labor is good)
  • Psalm 1 (like a tree planted by living water…prospers)
  • Matthew 11:28-31 (yoked with Christ, burdens light)
  • Matthew 6:19‐34 (do not be anxious; God provides)
  • Isaiah 26:3-4 (peace for those who fix their thoughts on God, trust in the Lord forever)
  • 1 Peter 5:7 (cast all your anxiety on Him for He cares for you)
  • James 5:16 (prayer of the righteous accomplishes much)
    • How did things get so stressful? Was it a gradual process or did it feel like it happened overnight while you weren’t looking?
    • Have you taken time to write down all the stress factors in your life? If not, would you do that? Can we discuss that list?
    • Do you feel overworked, either at your job or at home? What is driving you to work as hard as you do?
    • How would you describe your family’s schedule?
    • Are you able to give time to your spouse, family, and church?
    • Do you and your spouse discuss and agree on major decisions before making them? (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12)
    • Are you a two-income family? What led to that decision? Do you ever have stress over money?
    • When was the last time you really got to rest, relax, and recharge? When was your last vacation? (Genesis 2:2-3)
    • What small, practical steps could you take today that might reduce the amount of the stress in your life?
    • Can you tell me about your relationship with God? Is that part of your life a source of strength or a source of stress? How so?
Deeper Questions
    • What is driving you to work as hard as you do or to go as fast as you’re going?
    • Would you consider yourself a workaholic?
    • Are you able to give sufficient time to your spouse and family? How would they answer that question about you?
    • What does prayer mean to you? Are you taking time to stay connected to God as the source of a fruitful life? (John 15:5)
    • Do you feel like you and your spouse work together as partners, or does a lack of marital teamwork contribute to the stress level you are experiencing? (Malachi 2:13-14; 1 Peter 3:7)
    • Some stress comes at you and is unavoidable—but I’ve discovered that it’s easy to make things worse on my own.  Have you discovered the same thing and what has that looked like specifically for you?
    • Significant debt can be a huge cause of stress in many marriages.  How would you describe the financial part of your life? Would you feel comfortable talking more about that and exploring any positive changes that could be made?
    • Can we talk more about having a relationship with God through Jesus Christ? I believe that is the real source of rest and peace in the midst of life and I’d love to share more about that with you if you’re open.
    • Have you opened your heart up to God lately and asked for His help?
    • Is it possible that the stress is God’s way of trying to show you changes that need to occur or areas where repentance needs to take place?
    • How can I pray for you?
    • What is one step you can take in the right direction and how can I help you do that?
Online Helps
Other Ministry Links
  • Military Ministry A bridge to healing for returning warriors, veterans and their families
  • - Dennis and Barbara Rainey, Pressure Proof Your Marriage, p. 65

    “Twice a year, we highly recommend getting away for at least an overnight stay—without the kids. … This could be as simple as checking into a hotel across town, or a trip to another city. These getaways are especially important when you are faced with certain decisions … Furthermore, when both spouses share in the decisions that increase and decrease pressure, they take ownership of the direction of their marriage, which can minimize tension.”

  • - Dennis and Barbara Rainey, The New Building Your Mate’s Self-Esteem, p. 141

    “Giving your mate the freedom to fail communicates that you are on his team, regardless of the outcome. It tells him that even if he makes a mistake and fails, you will be there to help him up, dust him off, and encourage him to try again. The issue is not whether he will ever fail, but rather whether he will get back up and whether you will be at his side.”

  • - Dennis and Barbara Rainey, The New Building Your Mate’s Self-Esteem, p. 180

    “Your mate needs you to be a cheerleader, not a preacher. Praise and applaud your mate’s right choices; don’t just tell him what he does wrong. Most likely he already receives daily reminders of his failures from a host of other people.”

  • - Heather Jamison, Reclaiming Intimacy, p. 63

    “Many young adults faced with financial pressures don’t realize, as I didn’t at the time, that happiness doesn’t come with what you have but with how you perceive what you have. The ultimate solution to financial stress comes only through placing your trust in God as your provider and source of contentment. In the Bible, Paul had learned to be content with much or little. Young couples in new marriages have the opportunity to grow spiritually by developing the virtue of contentment.”

  • - Dennis and Barbara Rainey, Two Hearts Praying as One, p. 38

    “Experiencing the presence of God together in prayer is a wonderful way to defuse workplace stress and reconnect as husband and wife.”

  • - Bob Lepine, The Christian Husband, p. 77

    “In addition to being in constant communion with God, we are to spend regular periods of time in focused, one-on-one interaction with our Creator.  And what a privilege!  To have access to the throne room of heaven anytime we choose is a divine benefit we should not ignore.”

  • - Dennis Rainey, Moments Together for Couples, August 27 devotion

    “We seldom think of careerism as an ‘affair.’ But it is. What is an affair? It is breaking your marriage vows and giving yourself to someone or something else—a person, a career, or material possessions.”

  • - Dennis and Barbara Rainey, Pressure Proof Your Marriage, p. 51

    “Whether you know it or not, your marriage is susceptible to the ‘American Dream Syndrome.’ Through an endless parade of messages in this media-driven culture, you and I are sold the notion that we can have it all—and what’s more, that we deserve to have it all.”

  • - Dennis and Barbara Rainey, Pressure Proof Your Marriage, p. 69

    “Choose to say ‘NO’ frequently … so you can say ‘YES!’ where it really counts. Often the most courageous and powerful word in our vocabulary is the word no. Whether in your finances, in your relationships, or in your activities and commitments, learn the power of saying no more often than yes.”

  • - Dennis and Barbara Rainey, Pressure Proof Your Marriage, p. 77-78

    “Set aside one day in seven to rest from your work, to re-engage your focus on the Lord, and to abide more fully in Him. I’m not necessarily suggesting that your Sabbath be on Sunday, although we think that’s the best day. Pick your day. The key is to set aside one in seven where you say no to the errands and the to-do list. Where you step off the treadmill, catch your breath, and regain some margin. A day where you relax, pray, read Scripture, go fishing, take a walk, or take a nap … The Sabbath is God’s invitation to draw near to Him, to rest in Him, and to linger by His still waters. That’s how He helps us ‘detoxify’ from the pressures of the week.”

  • - Nancy Leigh DeMoss, Lies Women Believe and the Truth That Sets Them Free, p. 120

    “Frustration is the by-product of attempting to fulfill responsibilities God does not intend for us to carry. Freedom, joy, and fruitfulness come from seeking to determine God’s priorities for each season of life, and then setting out to fulfill those priorities, in the power of His Spirit, realizing that He has provided the necessary time and abilities to do everything that He has called us to do.”

  • - Nancy Leigh DeMoss, Lies Women Believe and the Truth That Sets Them Free, p. 226

    “All of us have had seasons when we feel we just can’t keep going; we just can’t take any more. As with every other of deception, the key to defeating this lie is to counter it with the truth. Regardless of what our emotions or our circumstances may tell us, God’s Word says, ‘My grace is sufficient for you’ (2 Corinthians 12:9).”

  • - Howard Dayton, Your Money Map, p. 85

    “Most of us struggle with too many things to do and too little time in which to do them. The good can become the enemy of the best.”

  • - Dennis and Barbara Rainey, Starting Your Marriage Right, p. 233

    “To disarm travel-related issues, the two of you must agree that the work necessitating the travel is important and God’s plan for the road warrior. If after prayer and discussion you both agree that the job is God’s will, then dealing with the stress and inconvenience will be easier.”

  • - 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.”

  • - Emerson Eggerichs, Love and Respect, p. 196

    “From the very beginning, man was called upon to ‘work in the field’ and to provide for his family. The male feels a deep need to be involved in adventure and conquest. This is not an option for him; it is a deep-seated trait.”

Next Steps
    • Esteem them for reaching out for help in this area of life
    • Encourage them to take this online pressure test and to discuss the results with you
    • Encourage them to consider attending a FamilyLife Weekend to Remember marriage getaway
    • Encourage them to read an appropriate Online Help or resource from those listed in this Mentor Guide and discuss that with you
    • Let them know they are not alone, stress is common to all marriages
    • Assure them that stress management is a skill that can be learned
    • Encourage them to read God’s word about the “Sabbath” rest and to open their heart to God’s wisdom in that area of life
    • Encourage them that small changes can lead to big results when it comes to stress, but that stressful things will continue to “pile up” if not addressed
    • Encourage them to set aside some time to make a list of what’s truly important in their life and to include their spouse in that exercise if possible
    • Encourage them to not lose heart or give up hope… that God can still give them the “abundant life” He desires, but it will take some significant adjustments and could take time
    • Encourage your mentee to get involved in a local, Bible-believing church for spiritual growth and accountability