Although I don’t know exactly where this saying originated, it has been attributed to African proverbs as well as some African American norms. The whole premise supports mentoring one another rather than depending on some system to do it. The older generation was responsible to take on a mentee and teach them all they know, since hindsight is 20/20.
What if this applied to marriage?
What if every couple who was married over ten years took on the responsibility of mentoring a couple who was married less than five. Then if each couple who’s been married over 20 years took on a couple who was married under 10 years and so on, and so on and so on. This would provide friendship, camaraderie, a listening ear and a shoulder to cry on. It would help a struggling couple make it through and a stable couple laugh at themselves for silly petty disagreements. Couples would be able to be vulnerable and comfortable and most importantly to grow.
The concept is more Biblical than you may know. Look at Elijah and Elisha, Eli and Samuel and even Mordecai and Esther. These are examples where mentoring made a great difference in the life and destiny of an individual. Wouldn’t it be great to make the difference in someone’s marriage?
Now back to mentoring in marriage. The idea is for you to take time with a couple who has less experience than you in this great adventure we call marriage. The other side of this challenge however is for you to avail yourself to the mentorship of a healthy couple that has more experience than you. This means a willingness to watch, listen and learn. Learn the little things that make their marriage work. Things like the way he rubs her feet at night or she gets up and makes his coffee before he leaves the bed. These are the all important little things that can make or break a healthy marriage. This is also a willingness to be told when your ‘stuff stinks”. You give that couple permission to call you on your mess without offense or retaliation. The most important point in these relationships is actually building “relationship”. This will hopefully develop into a lifelong friendship between two couples in order to make your marriage easier to navigate.
So your mission for the week, the month, the lifetime is to find these two couples and get down to the all-important work we will term:
‘Each one teach one’
As iron sharpens iron,
So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.
Psalm 27:17, New King James Version.