Hebrews 13:4 sums up the Bible's stance on marriage: "Let marriage be held in honor by all." For Christians, marriage is considered a sacred relationship. Those who find their mate and can join together matrimony are truly blessed by God! A blushing bride and giddy groom might easily adhere to the Bible's standards of marriage. However, real life experiences all too easily can erode a couple's feelings and commitment toward each other. The pressures of finances and families and daily tasks of living certainly wear on feelings of love. Because marriage is held with such high esteem within the church community, some Christians might feel ashamed or embarrassed to seek out help. But what you might not know that the Bible actually encourages Christians to seek out wise counsel, according to Proverbs 19:20. Whatchristianswanttoknow.com provides some valuable guidelines for seeking out wise counsel such as experience, knowledge, and discernment.
An experienced counselor (like those at Tim Robbins Counseling) knows that therapeutic rapport is essential to the making progress within counseling. It is a good idea to talk to many counselors to learn their areas of expertise, before selecting the counselor that is best for you. For example, if addiction is the source of your marital misery, it would be prudent to seek out a counselor who has experience in addiction. Also, ask others in your church community for referrals to established Christian therapists in your area. You will certainly feel more comfortable with a new therapist if you know someone whom they have personally helped.
A good counselor should absolutely be familiar with family dynamics to learn more about the nature of your marital struggles. A knowledgeable counselor might consider the dynamics of each partner's family of origin. Foryourmarriage.com identifies the family of origin as "the family you grew up in." The interactions and patterns displayed in your family of origin can play out in your own marriage, for better or worse. When selecting a counselor, ask your therapist if he or she is operates from a systemic standpoint, in which the entire family system is explored, rather than an individualized approach. This approach is essential when seeking a therapist in hopes of healing your marriage.
Your therapist is one that will assist you in making changes to improve your relationship. For that reason, you will want to be sure that your counselor shares or is willing to support your commitment to Christ. You might ask a potential therapist if he or she would be willing to incorporate scripture or prayer into sessions. An ethical and discerning therapist will not push you into making a decision to remain in your marriage or to seek divorce. However, your good therapist will help you to seek out answers for yourself that fit into your Christian worldview.
Selecting a marriage counselor that truly can facilitate healing in your life, might not be easy to find. However, when engaging in the process, seek out the Lord's guidance in prayer. Pray with confidence that the Lord will lead, guide, and direct your to the perfect fit for you and your spouse.