Jump to content

The Christian Protestant Community Forums

Sincerely inquiring about the Protestant faith? Welcome to Christforums the Christian Protestant community forums. You'll first need to register in order to join our community. Create or respond to threads on your favorite topics and subjects. Registration takes less than a minute, it's simple, fast, and free! Enjoy the fellowship! God bless, Christforums' Staff
Register now

Community Fellowship

John Calvin puts forward a very simple reason why love is the greatest gift: “Because faith and hope are our own: love is diffused among others.” In other words, faith and hope benefit the possessor, but love always benefits another. In John 13:34–35 Jesus says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Love always requires an “other” as an object; love cannot remain within itself, and that is part of what makes love the greatest gift.
Sign in to follow this  
Support

You Might Need Marriage Counseling—Especially If You Think You Don’t

Recommended Posts

counseling-marriage-300x128.jpg

After giving birth to my daughter, I just didn’t feel like my normal self. I was grumpy, easily annoyed, and mentally and physically exhausted. I was still reeling from a traumatic pregnancy, and some dear friends suggested I go to counseling to talk it out. I was eager to attend my first counseling session because I thought it would be a prime opportunity to vent about my current challenges.

I went in ready to discuss me and my feelings, so when my counselor suggested we include my husband in the remaining counseling sessions, I was taken aback. I balked at the idea of him attending.

We don’t need counseling, I thought.

Like many people, my husband and I assumed that seeing a counselor implied something was inherently wrong with our marriage. Neither of us wanted to feel like we were failing at being good spouses, nor did we want others to believe our marriage was “on the rocks.”

And yet, because we both desired a better marriage, we committed to biweekly sessions with our counselor.

Overcoming the Taboo

As a Christian woman of color, I’ve noticed that marriage counseling can be taboo subject among both the Christian and the African American communities. I believe this stigma thrives for several reasons.

1. Self-Help Culture

You’ve got to pull yourself out of this. Stop being dramatic; you don’t need counseling. You can help yourself and save the money. At one time or another, I’ve heard counseling dismissed in all these ways.

Such exhortations reveal that many of us have a self-centered view when it comes to growth. Our pride leads us to believe we don’t need help. Instead of viewing counseling as a mark of wisdom, we’re prone to view it as a blemish of weakness.

2. Fear

Sadly, our reluctance to receive help often reveals deep fear. We fear we’re beyond repair.

In years past, I doubted the effectiveness of counseling simply because I magnified my struggles so they seemed insurmountable. In my mind, my problems were too big for even a professional to fix.

3. Misunderstandings

I didn’t grow up in an environment where counseling was regularly discussed or promoted, so I had many misconceptions. I viewed counseling as a response to things gone wrong, as opposed to a precursor for personal growth and healthier relationships. I believed counseling would always be too expensive; I was unaware of the mental-health benefits offered by many employers. I was wary of most counselors because I didn’t want to be influenced wrongly; I didn’t know if could find a Christian counselor who shared my convictions and upheld a biblical worldview.

Humility Receives Help

Initially, because of these misunderstandings, my husband and I both hesitated at the thought of marriage counseling. We were proud. Extremely proud. But during each session, we got a heavy dose of humility as we learned about specific areas in our marriage that needed work.

As humans, our lack of humility can be traced back to Genesis 3. The fall of man immediately followed our prideful rebellion against God in the Garden of Eden. But in his infinite grace and mercy, he didn’t abandon us. He rescued us by sending Christ to save us from sin.

But to receive the benefits of Christ’s sacrifice, we must humbly repent. At the heart of embracing the gospel is humility. God resists the proud; only the humble will receive his grace (James 4:6). This point is central to all of Christian life: We must be humbled. We must recognize our need for help. Our marriages are no different.

Marriage Wellness

These days, our marriage-counseling sessions resemble a routine wellness appointment. Typically, when someone goes to the doctor for a wellness appointment, the doctor simply checks that everything is working properly, but sometimes he or she will find something requiring a bit more attention. This is the case with us. Although we often feel like everything is fine in our marriage, through our counselor we arre able to uncover areas of our marriage that require help.

Now, when my friends discuss their marriages with me, I don’t hesitate to recommend they see a counselor who is godly and possesses a biblical worldview.

My husband and I view marriage counseling as a grace that’s beautifully reshaping our marriage. Our lessons in humility began with taking the first step to pursue counseling, and they continue with each session. Our commitment to continue counseling serves as a simple yet grand reminder of our lifelong commitment to love, honor, and cherish one another.

hN_K9f4BZaE

View the full article

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...