Christian Counseling in Marriage: How is it different?
The American Psychological Association reports that 40%-50% of marriages in the United States end in divorce. Even with headlines screaming the messy details of Brangelina’s breakup or the end of the Blake Shelton/Miranda Lambert marriage, these statistics are still staggering. How many marriages could be saved if the couples sought marriage counseling? The answer doesn’t exist. Neither does the data to show how many couples try counseling before divorce. Marriage counseling is an ambiguous concept and depends on a couple’s personal beliefs. However, Christian counseling will differ from any type of secular advice. What can a Christian couple expect while attending marriage counseling? Below are a few key concepts.
Marriage is a Covenant
For Christians, the concept of marriage is not based on a paper contract that is easily torn up and thrown away. Instead, marriage is a covenant. Merriam-Webster defines covenant as a serious agreement or promise. For a Christian couple, marriage is more than that. Theopedia gives an alternate, Biblical definition based on the Hebrew and Greek origins of the word. For a Christian couple, marriage is a promise made to each other and God. It implies a commitment that will remain in the worst of times, allowing death as the only entity ending the covenant. It is not simply a contract, but fusing two lives into one.
It’s Not About You
Humans, by nature, are selfish creatures. Individuals focus on what they gain from others. This selfish attitude bleeds into marriage as well. Many spouses enter the relationship for what they can get out of it instead of what they can contribute. Scripture contradicts this selfish attitude. Living the Christian life implies that the individual models their behavior after Christ. As indicated in Ephesians 5:1-2, he focused his actions on giving to others. The writer goes on to discuss the specific roles of a husband and wife in marriage. These scriptures indicate that marriage is about honoring, edifying, and giving to each other. It is not about self.
No One Is Perfect
A Christian couple must also accept that no one is perfect. Scripture speaks this truth in Romans 3:23. Everyone makes mistakes and couples should anticipate their spouse’s failures. Christian counseling will reiterate Christ’s call to offer grace and mercy instead of anger or resentment. No human can achieve fulfillment of the soul from another person. A Christian must seek fulfillment through a relationship with Christ, not from their spouse.
Christian Counseling involves many more in-depth topics than those listed above. If you are a Christian couple interested in building a healthy marriage, please contact us and request one of our Christian counselors. Family Restoration Counseling Services strives to serve the entire Dallas community, strengthening the lives of both individuals and families.