It’s not unusual for younger women to ask older women for some advice on marriage. Sometimes friends ask friends, nieces ask aunts, granddaughters ask grandmothers, daughters ask moms. It’s natural for women to want strong, healthy marriages and to talk to others about how to do it better.
As the older woman, one thing to guard against here is husband-bashing. It starts out simply – they’re just describing what life is like at home. But there is a fine line between giving information and complaining or making a husband sound like a real scoundrel. He might be! But it’s important to remember that he is still made in the image of God and he is still the only man for this woman.
If you have a daughter who is coming to you for advice, be especially cautious. You want to keep the communication open. You want to hear her heart. But as you get caught up in the drama of her life it can be hard not to react to what’s happening to your little girl. You may feel like your son-in-law is a heel and waste of time, but those are never words that should come out of your mouth!
Unless there is abuse (and be sure it actually is abuse) it is your job to encourage her to stay in her marriage, to grow as a godly wife, to remain faithful, and to turn her heart toward her husband. Challenge her to focus on obedience to God in her communication and actions toward her husband. Show her how to be thankful for the man God has given her and to train her lips to speak well of him.
If you are mentoring a marriage, you are swimming upstream. Our culture tells us if your marriage gets hard, give up and get a new one. It’s not popular to encourage women to stay in difficult marriages. But it is God’s way. He says that with Him all things are possible. And that includes finding joy while obeying Him in a not-so-great (yet?) marriage.
If you are mentoring a marriage, may God bless you. It’s a tough job! May the Lord grant you wisdom and strength as you serve Him in this way.
Carla Anne Coroy