Christian Marriage Counseling - The Purposes
Christian marriage counseling is a tool to help people in troubled relationships learn to understand one another and God better. We might think, "I don't need counseling. I can solve my own problems just fine." But if you are here, visiting this site, it's likely you are in a situation that would benefit from an outsider's perspective. Christian marriage counseling can help you see what God wants from your marriage.
Christian marriage counseling generally involves three main areas: 1) problems or issues in general, such as difficulty communicating, a loss of closeness, etc. 2) personal problems that develop or occur within marriage. 3) loss of a sense of God's principles for marriage.
The need for marital counseling cannot be emphasized enough, even for Christians, because we live in a world that often encourages the destruction of marriage. As Christians, we additionally recognize the presence of an enemy, on the prowl to devour (1 Peter 5:8) marriages. From the beginning, marriage has been part of God's plan for His creation, and Satan is vehemently against this precious tradition. If we need evidence that we are in trouble, just take a look at the divorce rate both in Christian and non-christian environments.
Christian Marriage Counseling - Problems or Issues
Christian marriage counseling seeks to address problems and issues. If problems are not dealt with in a timely manner, they can fester and bring further devastation to a marriage. While problems are common to every marriage, Christians have the means to solve them. Think of it as deflecting a virus before it takes hold of our bodies. An appropriate response may not prevent the virus, but it can help us weather the storm and rebound stronger as a result.
So in marriage, it is important to recognize and acknowledge problems early. Marriage counseling brings attention to these problems and helps resolve them. Prevalent problems include poor communication, a lack of closeness or intimacy, nagging, or anger.
At the root of many of these problems is pride. We often believe we can solve our own problems. This can be aggravating in a marriage, especially when one spouse recognizes a need for help and the other refuses. The Bible tells us to examine ourselves (2 Corinthians 13:5). This principle would also include marriages, so if there are issues that need resolution, counseling is a godly choice.
When spouses seek the Lord and are open to counsel and wisdom, they bring hope to their situation and show others that God can help them, too.
Problems may also be relational, a result of not knowing how to interact, whether emotionally, intellectually, or physically. Other serious problems that could develop might be lying, adultery, pornography, emotional wounds, mental conditions, etc. When these problems are not dealt with, they represent a potentially crushing threat to the marriage.
Christian Marriage Counseling - God's Principles of Marriage
Christian marriage counseling helps us refocus on our priorities. It's easy for us to get distracted and lose sight of what and who is important. In addition to helping us find solutions to problems and issues, Christian counseling can provide marital and relationship-building techniques. By offering precepts from God's Word, good Christian marriage counseling can help quench the "viruses" that affect and harm our relationships.
Christian marriage counseling can help us deal with the problems that threaten to tear apart our lives. Effective counseling reassures us that God cares and that He desires to be a central part in our marriage. We can learn principles from God's Word that will remind us in days to come of God's ideals for husbands and wives (Ephesians 5:21-33; 1 Peter 3:1-11). Christian marriage counselors share and encourage these precepts.
How is your marriage? Is there a virus threatening to take hold? Does your relationship need realignment? Are you and your spouse following a biblical precedent?
How to Keep Your Christian Marriage Strong and Healthy
Step 1 - Pray Together:
Set aside time each day to pray with your spouse.
My husband and I have found that first thing in the morning is the best time for us. We ask God to fill us with His Holy Spirit and give us strength for the day ahead. It brings us closer together as we care for each other every day. We think about what the day ahead holds for our partner. Our loving affection goes beyond the physical realm to the emotional and spiritual realm. This develops true intimacy with each other and with God.
Perhaps a better time for you as a couple might be just before you go to bed each night. It's impossible to fall asleep angry when you've just held hands together in God's presence.
Pray these Christian prayers for couples.
Learn these basics to prayer.
Step 2 - Read Together:
Set aside time each day, or at least once a week, to read the Bible together.
This might also be described as a time of devotions. About five years ago my husband and I began setting aside time each weekday morning to read the Bible and pray together -- a couple's devotional time. We read to each other, either from the Bible or from a devotional book, and then we spend a few minutes in prayer together.
We've had to commit to rising from sleep about 30 minutes earlier in order to do this, but it's been a wonderful, intimate time of strengthening our marriage. It took 2 1/2 years, but what a sense of accomplishment we felt when we realized we had read through the entire Bible together!
Find out how spending time with God can enrich your life.
Step 3 - Make Decisions Together:
Commit to making important decision together.
I'm not talking about deciding on what to eat for dinner. Major decisions, like financial ones, are best decided as a couple. One of the greatest areas of strain in a marriage is the sphere of finances. As a couple you should discuss your finances on a regular basis, even if one of you is better at handling the practical aspects, like paying the bills and balancing the check book. Keeping secrets about spending will drive a wedge between a couple faster than anything.
If you agree to come to mutual decisions on how the finances are handled, this will strengthen trust between you and your partner. Also, you won't be able to keep secrets from each other if you commit to making all important family decisions together. This is one of the best ways to develop trust as a couple.
Check out these top Christian books about marriage.
Step 4 - Attend Church Together:
Get involved in a church together.
Find a place of worship where you and your spouse will not only attend together, but enjoy areas of mutual interest, such as serving in a ministry and making Christian friends together. The Bible says in Hebrews 10:24-25, that one of the best ways we can stir up love and encourage good deeds is by remaining faithful to the Body of Christ by meeting together regularly as believers.
Discover practical advice on finding a church.
Learn what the Bible says about church attendance.
Step 5 - Continue Dating:
Set aside special, regular times to continue developing your romance.
Once married, couples often neglect the area of romance, especially after the kids come along. Continuing a dating life may take some strategic planning on your part as a couple, but it is vital to maintaining a secure and intimate marriage. Keeping the romance alive will also be a bold testimony to the strength of your Christian marriage.
Consider these great ways to say "I love you."
Learn 4 simple ways to rekindle intimacy.
Read this tribute to my parent's love.
These 5 steps require real, committed effort on your part. Falling in love may have seemed effortless, but keeping your Christian marriage strong will take ongoing work. The good news is—building a healthy marriage is not all that complicated or difficult if you're determined to follow a few basic principles.
Intensive Christian Marriage Counseling for Couples in Crisis
We are caring, accepting, non-judgmental Christian Marriage Counselors who specialize in crisis Christian Marriage Counseling. We help couples (both married and un-married) who need immediate and highly-skilled help. We help couples heal from deep hurts, loss of love, broken trust, and the pain
of unresolved issues and conflicts.
Is One Hour a Week Christian Marriage Counseling Best for Couples in Crisis?
If you were to need heart surgery, would you want your Cardiologist to do it "a little bit each week?"
Our Marriage Intensives are for couples who need to stop the pain now! Once this kind of "major surgery" has been accomplished, staying on a good path is
much more do-able.
Since most issues can't be resolved in an hour, couples can merely open up old wounds and walk away feeling even more hopeless than before the session. This leaves hurting couples discouraged and vulnerable. With local one hour a week Christian Marriage Counseling, often, by the time couples are just getting to the root of one of their issues--it's time to stop the session.
To date, over 90% of couples who come to our Marriage Intensive leave totally committed to their marriage. This is true even when there has been infidelity or separation. By the end of an Intensive couples have resolved the issues that have caused them such deep pain. Couples are equipped to have the marriage of their dreams!
Small Group Intensives