Monday, 3 October 2011

Who Can I Turn To?

There may be a time when you feel as though you need to talk to someone other than your spouse about something going on in the context of your marriage. This can be beneficial BUT be very, very careful.

First of all, no one is more deeply concerned about your marriage than God. He is the Creator of marriage and He wrote the Book on marriage. Furthermore when God is at the center of a marriage it brings joy to the couple and glory to Him. He has promised, “If my words remain in you and you remain in me, ask whatever you wish and it will be given you.” (John 15:7) Thus you must be in His Word and what you are seeking must be in accordance with His will. A good way to start would be to go to Ps. 139 and ask God to “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” It is certainly appropriate to ask God to draw your husband/wife to Him and to fill them with His Spirit. What’s not appropriate is for you to be prescriptive, telling God the changes that you have in mind for said spouse. God is smart enough to figure out what is best in your situation.

In addition to God you may feel the need to talk to someone who could help you process what you are experiencing. Examine your heart motivation for wanting to talk to someone else. Are you seeking a solution that would glorify God or do you just want your way and/or to prove you are right? Are you seeking sympathy or is this an opportunity for you to vent about your mate? What outcome are you hoping for? Ask God to lead you to someone who will represent Him in the counsel they give.

You want someone who is (a) spiritually discerning ;(b) able to treat what you share as highly confidential and (c) totally objective. Is there reason to believe that the person’s life experiences and spiritual maturity will provide a good sounding board?

Obviously this person should never be someone of the opposite sex unless it is a parent.

In most cases you would be best served by talking about the issue with your spouse. When trying to resolve a conflict I like to think of it as three against one. Figuratively draw a line in the sand. The problem is on one side and you, your husband/wife and God are on the other side. Seek a solution that will please the three of you and conflict resolution will take on a whole new meaning.

Biblical counseling can be of help and some Christian counselors can help. Make sure the person specializes in working with couples. You might start with your pastor/minister. Some secular counseling organizations have people who can do Christian counseling BUT you have to ask them specifically for Christian counseling. There are others like the Christian Counseling and Education Foundation (CCEF) where they will only do Biblical counseling.

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