Marriage Mentor Training Manual for Husbands: A Ten-Session Program for Equipping Marriage Mentors


Everything You Need to Launch a Marriage Mentoring Program

A sleeping giant is waking up in the church today---YOU---and thousands of couples like you who are making a huge difference in countless marriages. You’ve spent years learning how to make your marriage work. Now, as marriage mentors, you’re ready to help other couples grow stronger in their marriages while taking your own marriage to the next level

Designed by two of today’s foremost ...

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Everything You Need to Launch a Marriage Mentoring Program

A sleeping giant is waking up in the church today---YOU---and thousands of couples like you who are making a huge difference in countless marriages. You’ve spent years learning how to make your marriage work. Now, as marriage mentors, you’re ready to help other couples grow stronger in their marriages while taking your own marriage to the next level

Designed by two of today’s foremost marriage experts, this groundbreaking resource will train and equip you to help others weather the storms and build successful marriages. You won’t find a more thorough, reassuring, and carefully designed approach for marriage mentoring anywhere.

This kit includes a ten-session Marriage Mentor Training and Recruiting DVD, Marriage Mentor Training Manual for Husbands, Marriage Mentor Training Manual for Wives, hardcover edition of The Complete Guide to Marriage Mentoring, and softcover edition of 51 Creative Ideas for Marriage Mentors. All items except DVD-ROM also sold separately.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780310271659
  • Publisher: Zondervan
  • Publication date: 5/28/2006
  • Pages: 112
  • Sales rank: 1,379,235
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.25 (d)

Meet the Author

Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott are founders of and the Center for Relationship Development at Seattle Pacific University. Their bestselling books include Love Talk, Crazy Good Sex, and the award-winning Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts. Their work has been featured in the New York Times and USA Today, and they have appeared on CNN, Good Morning America, and Oprah. They live with their two young sons in Seattle.
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Read an Excerpt

Marriage Mentor Training Manual for Husbands

A Ten-Session Program for Equipping Marriage Mentors
By Les Parrott Leslie Parrott


Copyright © 2006 The Foundation for Healthy Relationships
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-310-27165-7

Chapter One



Should We Do This Training in a Group or on Our Own?

Because we want to eliminate any hurdles that may exist in getting a marriage mentoring ministry off the ground, we have designed our training program to be flexible - so that it can be implemented in a small church of just a few dozen to a megachurch with thousands, by individual couples in the comfort of their own home or in a group of any size. This session of the manual will elaborate on how the training can be used best in either an individual couple or group setting.

If you are doing the training as an individual couple, proceed to the section titled "How Marriage Mentors Learn Best" on the next page. If you are doing the training in a group setting, we suggest that you spend ten to fifteen minutes introducing yourselves to the rest of the couples and, depending on the time available, answering at least one of the following questions:

How did the two of you meet? How did you get engaged? Describe the proposal. Why are you interested in marriage mentoring?

How Marriage Mentors Learn Best

We have taught university courses for nearly two decades. And because our university takes teaching seriously, we often are required to attend workshops on "pedagogy" (pronounced ped-a-go-gee), a five-dollar word meaning "methods of instruction." As professors, we want to know how our students best learn a particular subject, so we in turn can use techniques and tools to help them internalize it and be able to use their new knowledge effectively.

We've given that same serious attention to exploring how you, as marriage mentors, will absorb, retain, and practice the information you'll be learning in this program. We conducted research on mentors-in-training. We've done pre- and post-tests to know what works and what doesn't. We've even conducted research with control groups to know if a particular piece of training makes any difference.

We say all this to let you know that this program is designed with great intention. And as you will soon see, it relies heavily on interaction. Sure, you will read a bit of content, complete a few self-tests, and view some real-live mentors on the training DVD. But much of your learning will take place as you talk with each other - husband and wife. Indeed, you'll learn more from what you say to each other than you will from any lecture, workshop, or seminar on this subject.

Why Do We Need Two Training Manuals?

You may be thinking, This is a couple's training program. Can't we just share a manual? It's a fair question. But let us tell you why having two manuals - his and hers - is essential for this training.

First, you will see that each manual has a session specific to that manual. This is where we speak directly to husbands and directly to wives about what they uniquely bring to the table of marriage mentoring. Each of us is hardwired differently for this task, and to be effective we need to give serious attention to our gender differences as marriage mentors - so that we might use them to our advantage with our mentorees.

Second, even if these unique sections were not included, it's important to complete many of the exercises on your own - before you explore them with your spouse. If you were to see your spouse's answers to particular questions before you answer the same questions yourself, it would influence your response and drain energy and authenticity from your training sessions.

Allow us to illustrate our point by having you do a brief exercise right now.

Note: Before beginning the exercise, become familiar with our simple system of symbols for types of exercises throughout the manual: [*] = An exercise to complete on your own

[**] = An exercise to complete with your spouse, typically a discussion of an on-your-own exercise

[***] = An exercise to complete couple to couple or in a larger group Exploring Potential Fears of Marriage Mentoring (5 minutes) [*] Complete the following two sentence-stems as best as you can - without consulting your wife to do so. In beginning this training program on marriage mentoring, my greatest fear is ... In beginning this training program on marriage mentoring, my wife's greatest fear is ... [**] Once you both have taken a minute to complete these sentences, compare notes. Are the answers your wife gave ones you would have predicted? Do you now know something new about each other that you didn't know just five minutes ago?

You get the point. This workbook will have dozens of opportunities for the two of you to talk with each other; and to make these conversations all they can be, you'll each need your own gender-specific training manual.

Of course, beyond two separate manuals from which to work, there are other ways to ensure you get as much out of this training as possible. We offer suggestions for doing just that in the next section.

How to Get the Most from This Book and Accompanying DVD

George, age ninety-two, and Jane, age eighty-nine, are all excited about their decision to get married. While out for a stroll to discuss wedding plans, they happen to pass a drugstore and stop in. George asks to speak to the owner.

"We're about to get married," George informs him. "Do you sell heart medication?"

"Of course we do," the owner replies.

"How about support hose to help with poor circulation?"


"What about medicine for rheumatism, osteoporosis, and arthritis?" George continues.

"All kinds," says the owner with confidence.

"How about waterproof furniture covers and Depends?"


"Hearing aids, denture supplies, and reading glasses?" the groom-to-be asks.


"What about eyedrops, sleeping pills, Geritol, and Ensure?"


"Do you sell wheelchairs, walkers, and canes?"

"All kinds and sizes," the owner replies. "But why all these questions?"

George smiles and proudly announces, "We'd like to use your store as our bridal registry."

Who can blame them? They're simply preparing, in very practical terms, for their journey together. And that's what we want to do next: prepare you for where you're going as a marriage mentor couple, equipping you with what you'll need to make this training experience the best it can be.

We'll begin with a quick overview of where we're headed, then a look at what's required of you, followed by some simple suggestions for maximizing your experience, and a final note on how to use each of the marriage mentoring resources available to you.

Where We're Headed

Before beginning a new journey, it's always helpful to chart the course. So let's survey the territory ahead.

Here, in session 1, we are merely giving you a few suggestions on how to use these marriage mentoring resources effectively.

In session 2, we paint a big picture of marriage mentoring. In other words, we make sure you understand "the concept" and how it works.

In session 3, we roll up our proverbial sleeves and take a good look at how your gender - as a man - impacts the marriage mentoring process. You see, what you bring to this process, by virtue of your biology, is different from what your wife brings to it.

In sessions 4-9, we teach you the time-tested skills you'll need as you work with your mentorees. These skills are universal, applicable to any and every age and stage of marriage, whether you are mentoring newlyweds or couples in distress.

Finally, in session 10, we help you hone your personal marriage mentoring style by having you explore the three "mentor tracks" to see which one you most lean toward. We also discuss the tremendous benefits of augmenting your marriage mentoring efforts with a small-group experience that your mentorees can plug into.

How It Works

We hope you have already read The Complete Guide to Marriage Mentoring. But if you haven't, you can read it along the way. Think of that book as your "textbook" to accompany this training manual. You'll get far more out of this program if you read The Complete Guide - and it will serve as a good reference long after your training is complete.

Typically your ten training sessions will be about fifty to sixty minutes in length and here's how the topics break down:

Session Topic DVD

1 Introduction none 2 the Big Picture: An Overview of marriage mentoring 8 min. 3 marriage mentoring as a man 3 min. 4 Building Rapport/Walking in Another Couple's shoes 12 min. 5 Working as a team/Agreeing on Outcomes 12 min. 6 Asking meaningful Questions/Listening Aggressively 12 min. 7 Fielding Questions/telling Your stories 12 min. 8 Praying together/staying sharp 12 min. 9 Being Yourself and Going with the Flow 8 min. 10 the next steps 10 min. (incl. 6 min. of promos)

As you can see, most of the sessions will include a DVD component to better illustrate the lesson. And each session will include opportunities for you to interact as a couple.

What's Required of You

If you're like most busy couples, you don't want your time to be wasted. We understand. That's why this material has been trimmed of anything superfluous and organized so that you use the training time productively. Of course, it still requires time. If you are doing the training in a structured group session, that time has been determined for you. If you are doing it as an individual couple, you will need to impose your own structure; we'll help you do that later in this session.

For now, we want you to know that your training time commitment is relatively minimal - ten hours or less - though we provide options along the way where you can choose to add further study.

In addition to some of your time, we also require all of your heart. Sounds a bit daunting, we know. But it's true. If you are going to be an effective marriage mentor, your heart needs to be in it. This is not something you can dabble in to see how you feel about it. Your mentorees have a built-in radar detector for phoniness and they'll see right through you.

Let's do a brief checkup to evaluate your current circumstances and motivation.

Exploring Personal Hurdles and Motivation (5 minutes) [*] List the top three things that are pulling for your time and energy right now. these may be things on the home front, with friends, or at work. _____________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________ Now rate how motivated you are right now to become trained as a marriage mentor. Be honest. You don't have to be at a perfect 10 to continue. You just need to be up front. Not Motivated Very Motivated 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 [**] Once both you and your spouse have answered these questions in your separate training manuals, take a moment to debrief. talk about the issues in your life that are pulling for your time. What can you do to help each other make the time you'll need to complete this training? Also talk about your motivation level. if one of you is more motivated than the other, why is that? if either of you ranked your motivation level at less than 7, do you view this as temporary or are you convinced that marriage mentoring is not something you should commit to at this time? if so, it's best to postpone your training.

A Simple Suggestion

As with any new skill you want to learn or any new knowledge you want to absorb, you will get the most from this marriage mentor training program if you set aside potential distractions, anything that might interfere with the learning process. If you're a multitasker, this might be a challenge - especially if you're doing the training at home - because it means no email, cell phone, BlackBerry, radio, television, whatever.

We can almost feel some of you cringing. Okay, we're not policing you. But you know that you will only get out of this experience what you put into it. So we're simply urging you to give this training the attention it deserves.

Besides, you'll soon realize it's a lot of fun, and you're going to enjoy the benefit of the "boomerang effect" that you've read about (or will soon) in The Complete Guide to Marriage Mentoring.

Note: If you're doing this training as an individual couple, skip ahead to page 18 and the section titled "Marriage Mentor Training as an Individual Couple."

Marriage Mentor Training in a Group Setting

If you are a part of a larger church or community that is launching or has already begun a marriage mentoring ministry, we recommend conducting your training in a group setting. Why? Because there is synergy in meeting together. You'll have common questions and concerns that a facilitator can address to all of you at once.

Most likely, your training facilitator will be a minister or a marriage mentor lead couple. Whether or not they have already completed the training themselves, they simply serve to structure the time, make sure the DVD equipment is ready to use, cover the logistics, and so on.

Choosing Your Schedule

There are three primary schedules for conducting group training. One is not better than the others. They are simply offered as a means to make this training fit your calendar and style.

Option 1: Eight to Ten Weekly Sessions. This is a straightforward series of weekly sessions of about fifty to sixty minutes each, as illustrated in the table on page 15. Of course, even in this scenario you are free to condense the first two sessions and the last two sessions to make the series eight weeks instead of ten. Option 2: Five Weekly Sessions. In this scenario you would condense the training to five sessions of about ninety minutes each, covering two sessions each time you gather. Option 3: A Weekend Training Retreat. You may find it helpful to do all of the training in a single weekend gathering at your church or another getaway setting. On Friday evening you would cover the material from sessions 1 - 2 in about two and half hours of training (with time included for icebreaker activities). On Saturday you would cover the material from sessions 3 - 10 in another six hours of training.

Regardless of how you structure your training, we hope you will incorporate as much fun into it as you can. In a group setting you have the opportunity to interact not only as a couple but with other couples as well.

Note: If you are doing group training, you have now finished session 1 and are ready to consider the big picture of marriage mentoring. Please turn to page 21.

Marriage Mentor Training as an Individual Couple

Some years ago a Leadership Journal cartoon depicted a layman talking with the pastor of his small church and included this caption: "Pastor Marv, we can't revive our church by implementing small groups - we are a small group!"

If you can identify with this cartoon you probably have already realized that your marriage mentoring ministry won't occur on a large scale. In fact, the marriage mentoring "team" in your local church may consist of only you and your wife. Not a problem. In fact, it speaks volumes about you and your passion to build better marriages in your community. You'll soon see that this program will work just fine in your setting.

Or maybe you are part of a larger church that has an ongoing marriage mentoring ministry and you are simply joining the program at a later point. There could be numerous reasons, besides being in a small church community, that you need to go through the training as an individual couple.

We want to assure you that your training as a marriage mentor couple will be every bit as successful as it would be if you were doing it in a group with other like-minded couples.


Excerpted from Marriage Mentor Training Manual for Husbands by Les Parrott Leslie Parrott Copyright © 2006 by The Foundation for Healthy Relationships. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

A Message to Pastors and Lead Couples.
Key to Symbols . 10
Sess ion One
The Preliminaries. 11
Sess ion Two
The Big Picture. 14
Sess ion Three
Marriage Mentoring as a Man/Woman . 17
Sess ion Four
Essential Skill Training .
Skill #1: Building Rapport.
Skill #2: Walking in Another Couple’s
Shoes. 20
Sess ion Five
Essential Skill Training .
Skill #3: Working as a Team.
Skill #4: Agreeing on Outcomes . 24
Sess ion Six
Essential Skill Training .
Skill #5: Asking Meaningful Questions.
Skill #6: Listening Aggressively. 28
Sess ion Seven
Essential Skill Training .
Skill #7: Fielding Questions.
Skill #8: Telling Your Stories. 31
Sess ion Eight
Essential Skill Training .
Skill #9: Praying Together.
Skill #10: Staying Sharp. 34
Sess ion Nine
Essential Skill Training .
Skill #11: Being Yourself and Going with the Flow.
Bonus Skill: Spotting Red Flags. 37
Sess ion Ten
The Next Steps. 40
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First Chapter

Session one
The Preliminaries
Before You Lead
For the greatest experience in leading your mentor couples,
be sure to look over a copy of both the Marriage Mentor Training
Manual for Husbands and the Marriage Mentor Training Manual for Wives so that you're well acquainted with the format. Familiarize yourself with the session outline and gather the necessary materials. Note: There is no video component for this session.
Session Outline (50 minutes total)
I. Welcome and prayer (5 minutes)
II. Icebreaker questions (10 -- 15 minutes)
III. Course overview and exercises (20 minutes)
Schedule, format, materials, etc. (10 minutes)
Training exercise: Exploring Potential Fears .
of Marriage Mentoring (5 minutes)
Training exercise: Exploring Personal Hurdles and Motivation (5 minutes)
IV. Question time and wrap-up (10 minutes)
Welcome and Prayer (5 minutes)
Welcome couples to the group and pray to open the session. Time permitting, and depending on who is doing the training,
you may want to ask the pastor or appropriate member of
the pastoral staff to offer a brief personal welcome and word of encouragement.
Icebreaker Questions (10 -- 15 minutes)
Direct couples to the three bulleted questions on page 11 of the manual. Have each couple introduce themselves and briefly answer at least one question of their choosing. Depending on the size of the group, you may need to monitor time per couple or break into smaller groups to ensure that everyone has an opportunity to share.
Course Overview and Exercises (20 minutes)
This initial session is intended to provide everyone a look at what is ahead for them in the marriage mentor training program,
including the overall schedule, individual session format,
necessary materials, and so on. Present the information contained on pages 12 -- 18 of the manual however you feel most comfortable, whether by summarizing, reading portions yourself,
or having a group member or two do the reading. Don't assume that couples have already read it. During this portion of the session, there are two exercises for everyone to explore, both individually and as a couple
(the first is on page 13, the second on pages
16 -- 17). Introduce them to each exercise, explaining that these are typical of what they can expect throughout the training. Give them about five minutes for each one --- a minute or two for the on-theirown aspect and the rest of the time for discussing answers with their spouse.
Question Time and Wrap-up (10 minutes)
Especially if there are no opportunities for questions during the session itself, be sure to save a few minutes for this at the end of each session. If you don't have an answer to a particular question,
make note of it and try to have an answer by the next session.
Ask couples to read, if possible, chapters 1 -- 7 of The Complete
Guide to Marriage Mentoring before the next session. Then close your time together in prayer.
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