How to do Christian marriage counseling
The longer I study the Bible, the more mesmerized I become at the wisdom it contains. Though I have read the Bible over and over again, I still find incredible truths that cause me to say, “I never considered that before.”
A Jewel from the Book of Proverbs
A few months ago, I found this verse in the book of proverbs that validated something that I have been thinking and feeling for years as a Christian marriage counselor and coach (I love when that happens.).
As a pastoral care marriage and relationship counselor and a Christian life coach, I am often caught saying the following:
I really do not teach people anything new as much as I show them what they already know to be true deep down inside.
The verse I found in the book of Proverbs was in Proverbs 20:5. It says:
“Counsel in the heart of man is like deep water; but a man of understanding will draw it out.”
The Meaning of Proverbs 20:5
Proverbs is teaching us that the answers to life are often already in the hearts and minds of those looking for help. And, a wise man will simply lead a person through carefully constructed questions, scriptural advice, and Spirit-led instruction to acknowledge what they already know to be true.
That’s Really Good
Have you ever heard a great sermon or read a good book and found yourself saying, “That’s really good.” or “That is so true.” If so, I have a question for you. How did you know it was good?
The answer is quite simple, yet deep in and of itself. You knew it was true because it corresponded with what you already knew to be true deep down inside.
How do People Know the Truth
First off, I do not believe that mankind is intrinsically good. So, if you are inclined to believe that, you may have to check out Romans 7:18 where Paul says:
“For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing:”
However, I do believe that mankind innately has a sense of what is true through three particular ways:
1. Romans 1:18-20 tells us that truth is embedded in the hearts of people.
“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:”
Though our understanding of how God reveals this truth to mankind is greatly limited, I still believe it to be so.
2. People have a God-given conscience that let’s them know when something is right.
Romans 2:14-15 tells us:
“For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)”
3. Experience is a teacher.
Though experience is not the best teacher, it is still one of our instructors. Proverbs 1:20 tells us that “wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets:”
From my understanding of this verse, Solomon is telling us that life has a way of shouting out messages to a world that continues to stop their ears at its lessons.
How I help People to Know the Truth
As a pastor, counselor, Christian marriage speaker, and a life coach, how do I help people to see the truth? Here are a few ways:
1. I teach the Bible.
I believe Bible teaching helps people to reconnect with the truth or the sense of truth that God has already embedded within them. (Romans 1:20)
2. I pick ripe fruit.
Picking unripe fruit only serves to bruise the fruit and frustrate the picker. Some people are just not ready to receive the truth. And, part of the reason why I believe we are successful in helping people see the truth is because I try to only counsel and coach those that are ripe for instruction.
Mark 4:33 teaches:
“And with many such parables spake he the word unto them, as they were able to hear it.”
Though there are also times when hard hearted people also need to hear the truth, I find it beneficial in helping people to say the right things, at the right time, and in the right way.
Proverbs 25:11 states:
“A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.”
The scriptures are telling us that is a beautiful thing to say things in the right way and at the right time.
3. I ask questions.
I have found that asking questions is a great way to lead people to the truth. In other words, if I am dealing with stubborn male that has a dictatorial spirit over his home, I may ask questions like this:
Are you aware of Ephesians 5:25 which tells us that husbands are to love their wives as Christ loved the church?
Did Christ demand respect from the church or earn it first?
Did Christ demand that others serve Him, or did he come to, first of all, serve according to Matthew 20:28?
Do you feel you are emulating Christ’s love for the church?
As you can see in the example above, I am counseling and coaching through questioning. And, my goal is to lead the one being counseled to some very logical conclusions about their life that they already know to be true deep down inside.