“I Am ME” profiles people teaching relationship and marriage education classes in their local communities. We call this series “I Am ME,” both because “ME” is an acronym for “Marriage Education” and in honor of a poem about self-esteem written by the late Virginia Satir, a pioneer in the field of marriage and relationship education.
“Because life is all about relationships.”
Randy and Angie Mewhirter met in 1972 while serving with Operation Mobilization. Realizing that life was fuller together, they married in 1975. The Mewhirters continued to serve with Operation Mobilization for another two years and in various capacities locally and nationally with Youth For Christ through 2009.
To the Mewhirter family, life is all about relationships. They live that commitment through Relate for Life, working with youth, their parents, and young adults. Randy was trained as a PAIRS instructor last year and teaches relationship skills and marriage education classes in Fresno, California.
With three grown daughters, Angie and Randy Mewhirter live in an estrogen-rich environment. They became grandparents in 2008 and again in 2010, as their oldest daughter graced their family with two more girls.
1. What led you to want to teach relationship and marriage education?
Our passion is to see healthy relationship skills being taught to youth and young adults. We fulfill this by being very active and available to administration, teachers, and youth in local high schools. Marriage Education has all but been abandoned among young people. Healthy skills necessary for a vibrant life are rarely seen at home and often uncomfortable to discuss at school. We want to model and equip our youth for lifelong relationships at home, with friends, in budding relationships, and later in married life.
2. How are the challenges facing young couples today different?
It makes me smile when I think about how life changes; it does and it doesn’t, I believe. Certainly changes take place over the years, and we all have the privilege of facing those changes and growing stronger because of what we face. When Angie and I were talking about marriage we did so with big dreams and a willingness to set aside what did not help us realize those dreams. Today it seems marriage itself has been set on the back burner and that’s a huge obstacle to overcome. Too often, I think today’s relationships are viewed as disposable whether friendships or the best friendship found in marriage.
3. How has being a marriage educator affected your own marriage?
Oh, wow, talk about accountability. Our marriage had sound footing. Years of building a life together, investing in each other and a strong common faith have built on that foundation. Marriage Education courses have made our marriage deeper and stronger. It’s the simplicity of the skills, no earth-shattering new insights or new “deep thoughts,” just simple skills applied daily. That’s transformational.
4. What are some favorite hobbies you enjoy sharing with your family?
Our family enjoys hiking, backpacking, cross-country skiing, camping, motorcycle camping, almost anything outdoors. My wife and I enjoy facilitating marriage education workshops because we do it together. We can’t seem to spend too much time with our daughters and grandchildren.
5. What qualities would you like your family to most admire about you?
I want to be remembered for my sense of humor, laughter is important. My positive attitude, after all, every day is a good day; some days are just better than others. I want my family to remember my abiding faith in God, and that I love all my girls…Angie on down.
Editor’s Note: If you’d like us to feature a Relationship and Marriage Educator in your community, please e-mail their name, contact information, and a brief statement about why you’d like to see them profiled on the FatherhoodChannel.com to firstname.lastname@example.org.