Counsel For Couples: A Biblical and Practical Guide For Marriage Counseling
: You aren't a licensed marriage and family therapist. You didn't do a doctoral dissertation on pastoral counseling. You're simply God's person caring for God's people in the local church. And the marriages in your church need help. Many...
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You aren't a licensed marriage and family therapist. You didn't do a doctoral dissertation on pastoral counseling. You're simply God's person caring for God's people in the local church. And the marriages in your church need help.
Many pastors feel ill-equipped to handle the challenges that arise when a couple is going through marital difficulties. They feel lost and inadequate. What do you say? What counsel do you offer? Should I say anything or just listen? Do I schedule a follow-up appointment? Do I ask questions? What questions?
If you are or have been in this situation before, this book offers you a practical guide to get started with the first sessions and then offers specific guidance on nine of the most common topics that come up in marriage counseling. Author and pastor Jonathan Holmes offers a solid, biblical theology and methodology to help you navigate through the world of marriage counseling with the fundamental conviction that God's word is powerful enough to address the deepest of marital issues, and robust enough to handle whatever might come your way. In each chapter, you'll meet a new couple dealing with a different issue, much like the people in your church, office, and neighborhood. Through the book you'll also hear advice from several respected voices in the biblical counseling community.
Whether you're a novice or already knowledgeable, Counsel for Couples provides theologically sound and biblically practical tools to help you as you help couples in need.
Jonathan Holmes serves at Parkside Church in Cleveland, Ohio as the Pastor of Counseling. He graduated with degrees in Biblical Counseling and History from The Master's College and a master's degree from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Jonathan and his wife, Jennifer, are parents of three beautiful daughters, Ava, Riley, and Ruby. Jonathan also serves on the Council Board of the Biblical Counseling Coalition.
ALISTAIR BEGG (Trent University; London School of Theology; Westminster Seminary) was born in Scotland and spent the first 30 years of life in the United Kingdom. Since September of 1983, he has been the senior pastor at Parkside Church in suburban Cleveland, Ohio. He is the daily speaker on the national radio program "Truth For Life" which stems from his weekly Bible teaching at Parkside, and is the author of "Made For His Pleasure, Lasting Love, " and "What Angels Wish They Knew." He and his wife, Susan, have three grown children.
- :part 1: The Basicschapter 1 – Getting The Lay Of The Landevery Pastor Has Faced A Marriage In Crisis. There Is The Momentary Battle Within---do You Take The Call And Meet With Them Or Give Them A Referral For A Local, Christian Counselor? Pastors Often Suffer A Lack Of Confidence And Competence When It Comes To Counseling. While Many Of Us Feel Able To Prepare A Sermon Or Officiate A Funeral, There Is Something About Counseling Which Can Be Unsettling. As Pastors, We Must See That Counseling Is Not A Separate Calling For The Professionally Trained. Counseling Is Borne Out Of A Theological Conviction That The Scriptures Themselves Are Profitable For All Matters Of Life And Godliness. Chapter 2- Getting To The Heart Of The Issuethe Problems, Which Typically Bring Couples Into Marriage Counseling, Are Rarely The Problems, Which Keep Them In Marriage Counseling. After A Few Conversations It Often Becomes Clear That There Are Deeper Waters That Need To Be Explored. The Constant Conflict, The Rebellious Teen, The Mountains Of Debt, The Cold Sex Life---often Are More Symptomatic Of Heart Issues, Which Need To Be Addressed.chapter 3- Is This Above My Pay-grade?wise Marriage Counseling Should Affirm And Know When To Engage Others For Help. Oftentimes, Lay Counselors And Pastors Find Themselves In Fairly Complex And Messy Marital Issues. How Can We Thoughtfully Engage Others? What Does The Creation Of A Network Of Care Look Like? This Chapter Will Provide Practical Advice On Collaboration And Utilizing Counseling Resources In Your Church, Local Community And The Wider Biblical Counseling Community. Chapter 4- Forgive And Forget? There Are Two Words, Which Come Up In Almost Every Marriage Counseling Session: Forgiveness And Love. Forgiveness Is Critical To The Long-term Health Of Any Christ-centered Marriage. Forgiveness Is At The Heart Of The Gospel Itself, And Yet Ironically, Many Couples Have No Working Theology Of What Forgiveness Is Or How It Operates In A Relationship. Helping A Couple Embrace A Biblical Understanding Of Forgiveness Will Enable Them To Work Through The Difficulties And Struggles Which Marriage Inevitably Brings.chapter 5- Where Is The Love?if Forgiveness Comes Up In Every Session, Then The Topic Of Love Is Not Far Behind. The World Operates On A Love-language Mentality Of 'you Love Me How I Want To Be Loved, And I'll Love You Back.' Could There Be Anything Further From The Biblical Model Of Love? At The Heart Of True, Biblical Love Is Self-sacrifice, And Until That Is Realized, Progress Toward A Healthy Marriage Will Be Inhibited.chapter 6- Structuring Your Initial Sessionshow Does It All Work Together? From Session One To Session Two, What Do You Need To Cover And Why? Biblical Counseling At Its Best And Simplest Is Being Able Talk, Engage, Empathize, And Inquire On Matters Of The Heart.good Biblical Counseling Is Never Simplistic Or Reductionistic. Do We Believe Scripture Gives Us Everything We Need To Know God And Our Own Heart? Yes, And It Is Out Of This Confidence, That Counselors Can Rightly, Carefully And Compassionately Apply Scripture To Life In A Way That Brings True Hope And Change.part 2: Practical Issueschapter 7- My Wife Has Been Cheating On Me!initial Goalsbasic Questions To Askissues To Considerpossible Heart Motivations Scripture Passage/exposition Testimonial'expert' Witness: Chapter 8- I Caught My Husband Looking At Porninitial Goalsbasic Questions To Askissues To Considerpossible Heart Motivations Scripture Passage/exposition Testimonial'expert' Witness: Chapter 9- My Husband Is Not A Believerinitial Goalsbasic Questions To Askissues To Considerpossible Heart Motivations Scripture Passage/exposition Testimonial'expert' Witness: Chapter 9- I Think My Spouse Is Abusing Meinitial Goalsbasic Questions To Askissues To Considerpossible Heart Motivations Scripture Passage/exposition Testimonial'expert' Witness: Chapter 10- My Wi