Marriage Counseling Mistakes
(Maybe We Shouldn’t Call It Marriage Counseling)
Marriage Counseling Mistakes – So many people who need Godly marriage counseling often don’t enroll because of one major misconception.
But before I get into that, let me ask you a question…
When you think about marriage counseling, do you think your life BEFORE the marriage should be discussed?
If you answered “No”, you might be in for a surprise.
One of the worst aspects of marriage counseling done the wrong way is that some issues that seriously affect your marriage just never come up.
Many times these are issues from childhood, from past relationships, or even just traumatic life events that have never been fully resolved.
Sometimes we are so afraid or embarrassed to deal with these issues that they get buried deep down and become powerful hidden motivators for our “hard-to-explain” behaviors.
We start to build fences and gates around them and they become what Christians often refer to as “strongholds”.
Strongholds are spiritual, mental, and emotional “fortresses” that have been constructed over time, usually on the back of false and ungodly beliefs, emotional trauma, or difficult experiences.
Make no mistake about it, marriage counseling that results in happiness and freedom is as much about waging “spiritual warfare” on these strongholds, as it is about anything else.
In the bible, we are instructed,
“The weapons we fight with are not weapons of this world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
– 2 Corinthians 10: 3-5, New International Version
Notice the language used to explain strongholds and the battle against them; words such as…arguments, pretensions, knowledge, thoughts!
Changing your behavior and your life requires exposing, examining and dealing with the arguments, pretensions, false knowledge and destructive thoughts that have taken a lifetime to construct. This applies both to you, your spouse, and sometimes, even your children.
We depend upon the guidance of the Holy Spirit to illuminate such issues (in both pre-marital and marital crisis counseling and coaching) because we know that people bring themselves and their challenges into the marriage.
The huge misconception that really sabotages some people is this idea that “counseling should only talk about our current issue”. That’s wrong!
Everything that has ever happened in that relationship, and other things that have happened in your life and upbringing, may have an effect on what is currently going on and should be brought under the light of God’s word.
Remember this “…Jesus said,
“If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.”
-John 8: 31-32, New International Version
One of the biggest marriage counseling mistakes made is not realizing that your marital relationship problems often have to be resolved by coaching you on life skills, christian living, abuse/trauma recovery or another area that is not obviously “marriage counseling”.
Marriage crisis just happens to be the divine process by which buried needs and challenges in other areas get uncovered.
That’s why sometimes I wonder whether we should even be calling it marriage counseling.
In any case, if you think you may need our brand of intensive marriage counseling, don’t let fear, embarrassment or plain negligence keep you from the blessed marriage the Lord wants you to have.