Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Discernment Counseling - Sad but True

Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”  Matthew 19:26 

Many of us who do marriage counseling get discouraged.  Depending on whose statistics you want to read, up to 70% of marriage counseling is ineffective.  Furthermore those who claim to be Christians appear to be divorcing at the same rate as non-Christians.  Now there is a new form of counseling being offered referred to as “Discernment Counseling”.  Instead of traditional marriage counseling which attempts to help couples stay together, discernment counselors help the couple weigh the pros and cons of staying together or divorcing.

I guess I would be particularly leery if the discernment counselor just happened to be a divorce attorney.  Frankly if God is not in the equation the discernment counselor may serve a useful purpose.  One reason marriage counseling is ineffective is because the couple waits until things have dramatically deteriorated or one or both have made up their minds to divorce.  They just want to rationalize their decision by going to a counselor so that they can say they have tried everything.  People wait until it is too late.

 My opinion is that many of those couples who claim to be Christian are not.  Because someone believes that there is a God and they do not consider themselves to be a Muslim, a Hindu, Jewish, or a Buddhist they, by default, claim to be a Christian. Hence the divorce rate among Christians is high.  This becomes exacerbated when you consider second and third divorces in the statistic.  In these instances God is still not in the equation.

IF God is in the equation all things are possible.  God is the great Healer.  A suggestion is don’t wait until the animosity between the couple is so thick that you need a machete  to cut through it.

As soon as you sense there is stress in your marriage, be it week one or year four seek out a Godly couple to mentor you, to walk along side of you, to do life with you.  If you prefer a counselor seek a Biblical counselor, not just one who is a Christian.

As a Christian couple you have made a covenant with God and with each other.  One purpose for the body of Christ is to build one another up.  There is no shame in seeking Godly counsel and wisdom. 

I am not a discernment counselor, nor do I have the spiritual gift of discernment.  What I can tell you is God hates divorce, Malachi 2:16


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