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 kinds of things get in the way of sexual intimacy in your marriage? Are you looking for creative ways to change those?
    • Have you and your spouse discussed your desires and expectations in the area of sexual intimacy? What did those discussions look like? Were they productive?
    • What priority do you put on sex? How does your spouse differ?
    • Have you ever sought help in this area? From what source(s)?
    • Are you familiar with the physical and emotional gender differences involved in sex? How have those affected you?
    • Where have you turned in your life to learn about sexual intimacy? Did your parents offer any instruction? Were they affectionate with each other?
    • Have you ever read any books about sex in marriage? What did you learn? Did you discuss this material with your spouse?
    • Have you considered what the Bible has to say about sex?
    • Have you made your bedroom a place that is conducive to romance and sex for both of you? How do you think the mood would change if you eliminated the clutter or distractions?
    • Are you and your spouse affectionate with one another in other non‐sexual ways? Do you hold hands, kiss, hug, snuggle, etc.?
    • What’s one thing that I as your mentor can do to encourage you and help you in this area of your marriage?
    • What does “affection” look like to you?
    • What was affection like in your family growing up (verbal and non-verbal)?
    • What would you like to be different in the way your family (or your spouse) shows affection?
    • How did your father and mother show affection differently?
    • On a scale of 1-10, how much affection do you feel like you have in your marriage right now? What would you like it to be if you could patiently and gently affect
    • Have you and your spouse discussed your sexual past with one another?  When did you do that?  Do you feel that each of you were fully honest in that disclosure?
Deeper Questions
    • What expectations do you have about sex in marriage? What are your spouse’s expectations? Have you discussed those?
    • Can you remember a time when your sex life was a satisfying and rewarding part of your marriage? Why were things working so well then as opposed to now? What specific things have changed? When did things start to change?
    • When you discuss sex, are you affirming of your spouse or do you choose words that are degrading or hurtful?
    • Do you save enough time and energy to enjoy lovemaking or is your schedule so full it’s just one more “to do” on your list?
    • Is friendship and companionship the foundation of your lovemaking?  Could you invest more in that area?
    • Is your bedroom a sanctuary or is it full of distractions, like television, computer, kids’ toys, laundry, or clutter? What if you worked with your spouse to remove those distractions to create a bedroom that felt like an oasis for just the two of you?
    • Do you go to bed at the same time? Do you allow enough time to talk and listen and laugh together?
    • Do you and your spouse practice proper hygiene? If you feel this is a problem, would you be willing to talk to your spouse?
    • Are you and your spouse getting enough exercise to stay in shape and maintain energy for sexual intimacy?
    • Are you or your spouse holding onto bitterness or resentment over past grievances?
    • Does your sex edify your spouse? Are you seeking to meet your spouse’s needs first? How would your spouse answer that?
    • Is the past negatively affecting your sex life? Poor habits that have needed to change? Past sexual sin needing forgiveness?  Past abuse needing wise counsel and healing?
    • Is there any emotional or physical abuse presently in your marriage? What does that look like? Have you sought help?
    • How do you think God views sex in marriage? What changes do you think He would want the two of you to make?
    • Are there specific questions or concerns that you’d like to discuss with me? 
    • What is one step you can take in the right direction and how can I help you do that?
Online Helps
Other Ministry Links
  • - Dennis and Barbara Rainey, Staying Close, p. 253

    “Sex is a thermometer that measures the depth of the relationship … For sex to be truly satisfying to both partners, each has to risk being totally open and vulnerable to the other.”

  • - Robert Lewis, Rocking the Roles, p. 128

    “Few things affirm a man in his masculinity as does his wife’s sexual responsiveness. Spontaneous hugs, kisses, and other demonstrations of affection, as well as intercourse, do more than make a man feel good. These actions meet a much deeper need. They reassure a man. They confirm him in his masculinity!”

  • - Fred and Brenda Stoeker, Every Heart Restored, p. 73

    “The well‐being of a married man’s psyche is tied inextricably to the quality of his sex life. If he feels good about his sex life, that sense of satisfaction spills over into every other part of his experience. And conversely, if his sex life is floundering, then in his mind, other disasters cannot be too far behind.”

  • - Theda Hlavka, Saying I Do was the Easy Part, p. 73

    “When you consider the fact that the sexual relationship is the most complex element of marriage, and no one ever talks about it, it’s no wonder many couples are struggling … Many couples think that if they have to discuss this delicate issue, they’re failures. This isn’t true.”

  • - Linda Dillow and Lorraine Pintus, Intimate Issues, p. 37

    “Hormone levels greatly influence sexual desire. A man is like a river. His testosterone levels flow constant and steady. A woman is like an ocean. Her hormones ebb and flow, depending on where she is in her menstrual cycle. In the early part of her cycle when estrogen levels are high, desire for sex can wash over her with the force of a typhoon. Several days later, after ovulation, she may want nothing to do with sex.”

  • - Chip Ingram, Love, Sex, and Lasting Relationships, p. 134

    “The relationship of marriage provides the only God‐designed setting in which a man and a woman can express deep gratitude to their Creator as they share his gift of sexuality with each other for life … A view of love that has no place for God will produce neither love nor gratitude to God for His generosity.”

  • - Emerson Eggerichs, Love and Respect, p. 253

    “Your husband’s anatomy and design is much different from yours. He needs sexual release as you need emotional release. This is why he loves the act of sex in and of itself. It is a pleasurable act that brings him satisfaction. As a woman, you may feel that the two of you have to feel and be close in order to share sexually. For him, however, it is the reverse: the sexual act is what brings the two of you close!”

  • - Dave Harvey, When Sinners Say I Do, p. 152

    “Marriages that are sexually satisfying in private carry into the public sphere a certain sparkle, an open demonstration of joy and unity that helps point people to the Creator of marriage.””

  • - Dave Harvey, When Sinners Say I Do, p. 154

    “While it can be difficult to start, couples who have worked at openly talking about their fears and expectations around sex find not only a richer love life, but a deeper, more trusting marriage.”

  • - Gary Thomas, Sacred Marriage, p. 195

    “Honestly ask yourself these questions: Is sex something I’m giving to my spouse, or withholding? Is sex something I am demanding, or offering? Is sex something I am using as a tool of manipulation, or as an expression of generous love? If God looked at nothing other than my sexuality, would I be known as a mature Christian or as a near pagan?”

  • - Robert Lewis, Rocking the Roles, p. 129

    “The most important thing to a man in sex is how his wife enjoys his lovemaking. Real sexual fulfillment for a husband ultimately does not come from the pleasure he receives, but from the pleasure he senses you, his wife, receive from him! … On the other hand, a wife who gives in to her husband’s advances with an ‘I’ll let him have what he wants’ attitude deeply frustrates him. He will pick up on it easily, and it will stir up more insecurity than pleasure. He’ll come away feeling empty and having questions about himself.”

  • - Fred and Brenda Stoeker, Every Heart Restored, p. 72

    “When we wives disobey God and do not make ourselves sexually available to our husbands, we block off their main, natural route for expressing intimacy. Of course, in the wake of his sexual sin or his addiction, it may be necessary to mutually agree to a sexual moratorium to allow the healing process to begin.”

  • - Dave Harvey, When Sinners Say I Do, p. 165

    “Bitterness is one of the most common causes of neglected sex. From the soil of anger and unresolved conflicts, it grows quickly into a virulent week that chokes out intimacy. Married people turned bitter use their bodies as a weapon, a weapon that harms by withholding. A weapon used to punish the other person for sinning against us. This calls for forgiveness.”

  • - Dennis and Barbara Rainey, Rekindling the Romance, p. 176

    “Your marriage doesn’t have to settle for mediocrity. There is a plan that delivers hope. The God of the universe who created a billion galaxies and flung them into space created romance for you and your wife to enjoy. I’m convinced that God wants your romance to blossom and grow, not shrivel up and become non‐existent; He wants you to experience great sex, satisfying oneness, and a whole new level of intimacy you never dreamed possible.”

  • - Gary Thomas, Sacred Marriage, p. 159

    “While men may need to be reminded of the importance of frequent nonsexual touching, many wives have learned that if a woman is not pursuing her husband sexually, just about every other movement toward her husband may go unnoticed.”

Next Steps
    • Esteem them for acknowledging the need to invest in their marriage by improving their sexual intimacy
    • Let them know they are not alone. Many people struggle to mature in this area of marriage, but it’s worth the investment!
    • Encourage them with Scriptures of hope and help
    • Encourage them to understand the basic gender differences regarding sex and how this can lead to mutual self‐sacrifice
    • Encourage them to pray every day together, even if it’s just for a moment or two—“first love” can lead to mutual love
    • Encourage them to not give up or lose hope, and to not even consider divorce as an option
    • Encourage them to watch out for argument triggers that have a way of killing any hope for tenderness (James 1:19)
    • Encourage them to put their thoughts down on paper if it helps diffuse the strong emotions involved
    • Encourage them not to settle for isolation, but to do the hard work to move back toward one another sexually
    • Remind them that they cannot control their spouse, only God can do that
    • Encourage them to consider attending a FamilyLife Weekend to Remember marriage getaway
    • Remind them their spouse is not their enemy
    • Encourage them to choose a good Christian resource on sexual intimacy in marriage and to read it with their spouse
    • Encourage them to realize that neglecting marital sex puts the relationship at risk—in other words, it’s worth the time!
    • 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.
    • Talk to your spouse about what affection was like in your family growing up (verbal and non-verbal).
    • Think about how your father and mother may have shown affection differently.
    • Discuss ways your family could express more affection for one another.
    • On a scale of 1-10, rate how much affection you feel you have in your marriage right now. Talk about what you would like it to be if you and your spouse could agree on how to gently and patiently bring about change.
    • Consider discussing your sexual past with your spouse in a way that is open and honest.
    • Talk with your spouse about what helps you to get in the mood for sex.
    • Ask your spouse how often they would like you to initiate sex.
    • Discuss with your partner the frequency of sex in your marriage and if you each feel this is satisfactory.
    • If there are any specific sexual acts that make you uncomfortable, discuss those with your spouse.
    • Try to think of one thing you could you do to make your sexual relationship more gratifying.