A Mentor's Wisdom in My Life

Mar 13, 2023

by Paige, a mentee

 So this is the joy of marriage! I excitedly kept thinking during my honeymoon last summer. I had just married my best friend and was thrilled our days of long-distance dating were over. But soon afterward, once we returned to our new residence and started doing daily life together in the same location, the honeymoon phase gradually faded and I found myself in a fog of confusion, thinking, This is not the marriage I’d expected. 

And that was just the issue: My husband and I became one flesh yet with two subconscious sets of expectations we had for one another. I hoped he would meet all of mine, but as I sensed his exhaustion in being unable to deliver, I concluded he was missing the mark of the Ephesians 5 passage commanding husbands to love their wives. I thought my heart was properly aligned with God’s Word, but I was too absorbed in myself to notice how skewed it actually was. 

Around that time, I decided to sign up for a 12-week class called Gospel Pathway offered at my church. The class, which was accompanied by weekly meetings with an assigned mentor, emphasized the significance of the gospel and how to directly apply it to specific roots of personal sin. Once my journey down the Gospel Pathway began, weekly meetings with my assigned class mentor followed suit. Through my mentor’s words, God began to humble and heal me, teaching me to forgive and — though I hadn’t been prepared to — seek forgiveness. 

As the weeks of class stretched on, I shared my marital problems with my mentor, partly because they repeatedly came up while I was completing a process to identify my sin patterns. Oh, the irony in that sanctifying work! Trusting that God’s selection of my mentor was absolutely deliberate, I brought darkness into the light. I expressed a lot of feelings, actions, and thoughts during our meetings. As I cried in front of her, I internally urged her to side with me in my marriage struggles, to validate my wounded heart. Though I knew I wasn’t perfect, I was quick to point the finger at my husband, to play the victim as though totally innocent, to question God about the speck in my spouse’s eye rather than confront the log in my own. 

By the grace of God, my mentor obediently refused to let me remain in unrecognized sin. Each time we met, if I had more to share, she kindly listened to my perspective. But she wouldn’t leave it there; instead, she extracted the intentions of my own heart through thought-provoking questions that pointed me back to what God’s Word says about how I am to obey Him unconditionally. She prayed with me each time we met and committed to praying for my marriage in between.

“When you respond in sin to someone else’s sin, you are guilty of sinning,” she explained. I’d sit there, stunned, as she poured truth into my soul. She was spiritually ripping off the Band-Aid I’d used to cover the hurt that was really only there because I’d devoted my affections to another sinner rather than the Holy Father. After the humbling shock of that initial sting, God healed the anger, bitterness, and underlying pride I’d been carrying throughout the early months of marriage — all sins I was guilty of, not my husband. 

Through my mentor’s words of compassion, understanding, Biblical truth, and her prayers, God lovingly exposed how I had been wrongly giving glory to someone other than Him alone. I had sought adoration and fulfillment from an idol whose innate humanness limited his capacity to adore and fulfill me as richly as God always had, does, and will. By the end of Gospel Pathway, my marriage began changing for the better, and with softened hearts, both my husband and I started learning to love each other from the overflow of God’s immaculate love for us. For me, that learning came through my mentor’s wisdom — she recognized and revealed my tendency to look to created things to fill my heart with satisfying love. This world will never quench that longing, she reminded me, but God’s love is a wellspring that never runs dry.

Paige currently resides in Iowa with her husband and their new puppy. Paige fell in love with reading and writing in high school but now celebrates the freedom of getting to do both without a grade attached. Aside from her full-time work as a proofreader for an advertising agency, Paige enjoys serving at church, getting together with friends and family, baking and cooking, learning theology, and weekly ice cream outings with her hubby.

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