Remarriage couple

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 previous marriage ended? How did it end? Why did you decide to remarry?
    • Who were the people you turned to for support during the breakup of your first marriage? Was your current spouse one of those people?
    • What differences are there between your current relationship and your previous one? What similarities have you noticed?
    • What have you learned from your past marriage (e.g. about your needs, feelings, goals, the way you handle stress, the way you handle another person’s anger)?
    • In what ways do you believe you have grown to be a better spouse through what you have learned?
    • How are the qualities of commitment, trust, forgiveness, and hope exhibited in this marriage?
    • Did you anticipate remarriage being in some way a “cure” for the effects of divorce? What has surprised you?
    • I believe that the most important relationship in your life is the one you have with Jesus Christ. Can you tell me what you believe about that?
Deeper Questions
    • Fear of repeating past mistakes can be a paralyzing feeling. Are you ever afraid that your past will repeat itself?  That past mistakes will reappear?
    • Do you experience any guilt over your previous marriage?  Guilt is another powerful factor and can come because of unfulfilled expectations, how your children’s lives have been disrupted, broken commitments you’ve made, etc.
    • Is there any residue of anger that spills out into your relationships? Anger is also a frequent companion in remarriage. Anger can be about the past or the present. Sometimes anger takes on the form of resentment or bitterness.
    • During your divorce, how did the other significant people in your life respond? Would you want to discuss how those positive or negative attitudes affected you or still affect you?
    • Would you consider sharing with me the steps you’ve taken in the process of forgiving your previous spouse? What steps have you taken in seeking forgiveness and how did your former spouse respond?
    • What steps have you taken to restore your former married relationship to the level of healthy friendship, especially for the benefit of any children involved? How has your former spouse responded to those efforts?
Online Helps
Other Ministry Links
  • Smart Stepfamilies For a healthier and more peaceful blended family
  • Visit Peacemaker Ministries to learn and apply the powerful conflict resolution principles God has given to us through Scripture.
  • - Ron Deal, The Smart Step‐Family, p. 87

    “I believe two key barriers to marital oneness in stepfamilies contribute to the higher divorce rate: parent‐child allegiance and the ghost of marriage past.”

  • - 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. 58

    “People in stepfamilies are not ‘second‐rate Christians,’ simply because there is no such thing as a ‘first‐rate Christian.’ We’re all sinners and all less than perfect. All our families are less than ideal. And we all need a Savior.”

  • - Ron Deal, The Smart Step‐Family, p. 184, 187

    “Money will always be a major issue for remarried couples because trust, commitment, and the guarantee of permanence are the underlying issues. … The initial stepfamily money management system needs to be flexible, not carved in stone. … It’s an ongoing process that requires compromise and renegotiation.”

  • - Laura Petherbridge, When Your Marriage Dies, p. 19‐20

    “When you suffer a severe loss, your body and mind need to mourn in order to heal. If you don’t allow yourself that necessary time to grieve, but instead try to anesthetize your sorrow with new relationships or other numbing agents, the healing process is jeopardized. It’s up to you to choose whether to work through grief or to avoid it. The decision you make will affect your future for a long time.”

  • - 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. ”

  • - Laura Petherbridge, When Your Marriage Dies, p. 120‐121

    “If our works determine our usefulness to God, none of us could pass muster. We’ve all failed Him. To say divorce eliminates our value to God infers that divorce is more powerful than Christ and the price He paid for you. Is anything more powerful than the blood of Christ? No.”

  • - 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. “

  • - Laura Petherbridge, When Your Marriage Dies, p. 63

    “God hasn’t left you. But sometimes when our grief becomes intense, it feels like He has. In times like this, we must trust what we knew in the light to still be true in the darkness.”

  • - 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. “

  • - Gary Thomas, Sacred Marriage, p. 25‐26

    “Some of us ask too much of marriage. We want to get the largest portion of our life’s fulfillment from our relationship with our spouse. That’s asking too much. Yes, without a doubt there should be moments of happiness, meaning, and a general sense of fulfillment. But my wife can’t be God, and I was created with a spirit that craves God. Anything less than God, and I’ll feel an ache. ”

  • - Ron Deal, The Smart Step‐Family, p. 21

    “When stepfamily life gets tough, remaining dedicated to your commitment is a day‐to‐day decision. … Commitment requires that you strive for a better life together, even when you don’t feel like putting forth your best effort or have convinced yourself the marriage should have never happened in the first place.”

  • - Gary Thomas, Sacred Marriage, p. 123‐124

    “If we are serious about pursuing spiritual growth through marriage, we must convince ourselves to refrain from asking the spiritually dangerous question: ‘Did I marry the right person?’ Once we have exchanged our vows, little can be gained spiritually from ruminating on this question. A far better alternative to questioning one’s choice is to learn how to live with one’s choice.”

  • - John Trent, Breaking the Cycle of Divorce, p. 81

    “We need to remember that fears grow in dark places, and they shrink in the light of day. Our private imaginations can be such dark places. Talking openly with our spouses about our fears, along with our needs and expectations, can bring them into the light.”

  • - John Trent, Breaking the Cycle of Divorce, p. 96

    “The greatest power to make lasting change comes from gaining an accurate understanding of God and His love for you.”

  • - 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.”

Next Steps
    • Encourage your mentee to be adaptable and flexible—remarriage requires many adjustments from everyone
    • Encourage your mentee that they are not alone in struggles as most remarried couples go through difficult adjustments
    • Encourage your mentee to exercise empathy, the ability to be sensitive to the needs, hurts, and desires of others, to feel with them, and to experience the world from their perspective
    • Encourage them to work through problems remembering that their spouse is not their enemy
    • Encourage your mentee to develop the ability to give and receive real, authentic, biblical love (1 Corinthians 13:4‐7)
    • Encourage your mentee to develop emotional stability and self-control over the full range of their emotions
    • Encourage your mentee to invest in improving their communication skills, taking the risk to express honestly, making the commitment to listen, and taking the bold steps to act
    • Encourage your mentee to look for the similarities in their relationship rather than focusing on their differences—a starting point to building future compatibility
    • Encourage your mentee to understand similarities and differences of family background in particular and how this can develop understanding and balance together in the current marriage
    • Encourage your mentee to become active in a local, bible‐believing church for support and accountability
    • Encourage them with scriptures of help and hope
    • Encourage them to consider attending a FamilyLife Weekend to Remember marriage getaway
    • Encourage the mentee to be aware of Smart Stepfamilies ministry
    • Name one thing that you most enjoyed about your relationship today and one thing you were dissatisfied with in your relationship today.  Discuss these with
      your spouse and determine if either of these represents patterns you see
      repeated often.