Stories - John & Cheryl

Focused on the wrong things.



Like many other conflicted couples, John and Cheryl told us they were spending a lot of time focusing on each other’s faults, which eventually resulted in them simply tolerating one another. Over time, they became busy with parenting, work, keeping up the house, church, and friends, but the bottom line is that they neglected their relationship.

Through the incredible dedication of their mentors and our mentoring process, the Porambo’s became friends again.
 
“We’ve made a decision not to focus on each other’s shortcomings, but to be thankful for the positive attributes.” John went on to say, “This has led to a change in our attitudes toward each other and how we treat each other. We’ve committed to “bless” each other daily. Through intentionally finding ways to bless Cheryl, I’ve realized how much she does for me that I take for granted.”

When asked how different their marriage might look had they not participated in mentoring, John commented, “Without mentoring, I think we would have continued in our path of bitterness, resentment, hurt, and disappointment. Divorce was never in our vocabulary, but we knew that our marriage needed a change.”

Cheryl realizes mentoring also had a positive impact on their children. “I hope they now see us more as a loving couple, not just Mom and Dad who argue a lot. We still have our moments of conflict, but we don’t let our feelings get out of control. We are typically more careful with our words to each other, more forgiving. We are more of a “team” than we used to be. I believe we’re better parents and that we are teaching by example that ‘love is patient, kind, not rude, not self-seeking.” Cheryl was also quick to point out, “We’re not perfect though!”

In remembering their mentors, Cheryl says, “We’ve shared a lot of laughs together, but I would say just knowing that another couple invested so much of their life in us and knelt before the throne of God on our behalf so often is what I will always cherish.” John says, “Our mentors carefully and intentionally made us walk through our personality assessments in detail so that we learned how to best communicate with each other. We learned to focus on and thank God for the positive characteristics of each other, the reasons we chose each other in the first place. I also think the discussions on our marriage being a covenant with God and conflict resolution were insightful and helpful.”

“The best advice we got from our mentors was to always think the best of your spouse. I believe this has really changed our relationship. When one of us is rude or disrespectful, we don’t automatically assume the worst about the other person. It’s about showing the person a little grace!” says Cheryl.

Mentoring helped the Porambo’s learn how to become intentional at blessing each other and make time to patiently communicate. But, most importantly they learned they have to keep God at the center of their marriage.

The mentoring ministry of Strong Marriages helps enrich hundreds of married couples' relationships just like the Porambo's through the gifts and contributions of our ministry partners. With your help, we believe we can do much more. Will you prayerfully consider becoming a ministry partner of Strong Marriages by making a financial contribution? Your gift will enable us to help many more spouses like John and Cheryl by providing them with our resources and processes at a much more affordable rate.