Christian couples counseling is an opportunity for married couples to meet with a trained, professional counselor and learn new skills in tackling their relationship challenges. It is an environment where couples can express their concerns, fears, and frustrations without fear of judgment from one another or the counselor. This fosters an atmosphere of safety and acceptance, allowing for vulnerability and trust to grow-two essential elements in any marriage.
While Christian therapists may use different techniques Christian couples counseling and methods, most of them will incorporate biblically-based principles in their sessions. Some common approaches are the Gottman Method and Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT). The underlying goal is to create a safe, non-judgmental space for couples to communicate openly and honestly with each other.
A Christian counselor will offer an understanding and respect for a couple’s faith, beliefs, and moral code. In fact, many couples seeking Christian marriage counseling struggle with issues that stem from their spiritual beliefs and values. These include beliefs about marriage, love, and forgiveness. A qualified therapist will help the couple address these issues while guiding them through therapeutic exercises that promote healing and growth.
One of the most important tools a Christian counselor will provide is a clear understanding of God’s grace. Often times, couples who seek premarital counseling or marital therapy have lost touch with the nature of grace-that is, that no matter what they do, they can receive God’s love and forgiveness (Romans 12:14). The Christian counselor will help the couple understand this concept, and teach them how to extend it to their own marriage.
In addition to teaching a couple about the nature of grace, a Christian counselor will also help them discover the root of their problems. For example, if your husband gets angry every time you talk about traveling, it’s likely because of something deeper in the relationship that needs to be addressed. Trying to resolve the problem by simply telling him not to get mad when you talk about travel is like trying to cut off an iceberg-the root still exists underneath.
The couple will also be taught practical tools and strategies to tackle their challenges. These will likely include communication skills, conflict resolution techniques, and problem-solving skills. These tools will be helpful in helping the couple overcome their difficulties and build a strong foundation for their future together.
Finally, Christian marriage counseling will help a couple prioritize their spiritual intimacy. This may include regular prayer, devotionals, and reading Scripture together. This will allow the couple to strengthen their connection to God and each other, which is critical in any marriage.
Before choosing a counselor, ask for referrals from family members, friends, or pastors who have experience with Christian marriage counseling. Then, search online for counselors in your area and check their credentials. Make sure to find out how much emphasis they place on Christianity in their practice; some may only use a few Bible verses while others are more religiously flexible and may not mention God at all during sessions.