- Greg Cheney, PhD, LMFT
The Role of Faith in Christian Marriage Counseling
If you're looking for marriage counseling that aligns with your Christian beliefs, you may want to consider a counselor who uses a faith-based approach. Christian marriage counseling can help you and your partner work through issues, improve communication, and strengthen your bond while incorporating your shared faith. When faith is an integral part of your life it makes sense to seek out a marriage counselor that will incorporate your Christian faith into marriage counseling. Here are some important aspects of Christian marriage counseling that can help you strengthen your relationship and deepen your connection with your partner and God.
Understanding the importance of faith in Christian marriage counseling.
Faith plays a crucial role in Christian marriage counseling. It provides a foundation for couples to build their relationship on and helps them navigate challenges with a shared belief system. By incorporating faith into counseling sessions, couples can deepen their connection and find comfort in knowing that their relationship is grounded in something greater than themselves. Additionally, faith-based counseling can provide couples with a sense of hope and purpose, which can be especially important during difficult times.
Incorporating prayer and Scripture into counseling sessions.
One way that faith is incorporated into Christian marriage counseling is through the use of prayer and scripture. A well-attuned marriage counselor will explore with you how faith will be incorporated into marriage counseling. Be sure to talk about what you find most helpful. Counselors may begin or end sessions with a prayer, or use scripture to provide guidance and support. Couples may also be encouraged to pray together or read scripture together as a way to strengthen their bond and deepen their faith. By incorporating these practices into counseling sessions, couples can feel more connected to each other and to their faith, which can help them navigate challenges and find hope and healing in their relationship.
Fostering forgiveness and grace in the relationship.
Another important aspect of Christian marriage counseling is the emphasis on forgiveness and grace. Counselors may encourage couples to practice forgiveness toward each other, as well as toward themselves. This can involve acknowledging mistakes, apologizing, and working toward reconciliation. By fostering a culture of forgiveness and grace, couples can learn to let go of past hurts and move forward in their relationship with a renewed sense of love and commitment. An experienced marriage counselor will also understand that forgiveness is a process and moving toward forgiveness may take time. They will walk with couples on the journey toward forgiveness while prioritizing their genuine experience in the process.
Realizing not all marriages need reconciliation.
Forgiveness is an important part of Christian marriage counseling, but not all relationships should be reconciled. An experienced marriage counselor will prioritize safety over reconciliation. Some relationships become unsafe for one or both partners. When this occurs continuing marriage counseling could contribute to the power and control pattern present in the relationship. Working toward forgiveness is important, while realizing not all marriages should be reconciled. A responsible Christian marriage counselor will advocate for safety over reconciliation.
Encouraging open communication and vulnerability.
In Christian marriage counseling, counselors often encourage couples to practice open communication and vulnerability with each other. This means being honest about their feelings, thoughts, and concerns, even if it may be uncomfortable or difficult. By creating a safe space for open communication, couples can deepen their understanding of each other and build a stronger emotional connection. Additionally, vulnerability can help couples to address underlying issues and work toward resolving conflicts in a healthy and constructive way. Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) is the most researched and effective way to accomplish this. The American Psychological Association identified EFT as the “gold standard” for marriage counseling. Research shows more than 70% of couples treated with EFT move from distress to recovery, and approximately 90% of couples treated show significant improvements in their relationship. EFT accomplishes this through encouraging open communication and vulnerability.
Emphasizing the importance of commitment and covenant in marriage.
In Christian marriage counseling, commitment and covenant are emphasized as foundational elements of a strong and healthy marriage. Couples are encouraged to view their marriage as a sacred covenant between themselves, their partner, and God. This perspective can help couples to prioritize their commitment to each other, even during difficult times. By focusing on their covenant with each other and with God, couples can find strength and support to work through challenges and build a lasting, fulfilling relationship. Christian marriage counseling lays on the Biblical foundation that God loves marriage. He wants to see marriages succeed and longs for couples to experience their relationship as Adam and Eve experienced it at Creation.
Realizing God is already at work in your marriage.
The most important aspect of Christian marriage counseling is knowing God is already at work in your marriage. The fact that you are reading this and looking for insight into your marriage, is evidence of God already at work. You can rest assured that you are not alone in wanting to see your marriage succeed and thrive. God prioritized marriage from the beginning when He created Adam and Eve. He created an environment of vulnerability and trust between the two of them that they enjoyed perfectly before sin entered the world. Throughout the Scriptures marriage is used as a metaphor to describe our relationship with God using phrases like “the bride of Christ.” This theme seen throughout the Scriptures highlights how the marriage relationship is a significant relationship where God intended us to experience love. He longs for you to experience your marriage in the way He designed marriage to be experienced. The Creator of the universe—the One who holds it all in order—is at work in your marriage. You are not alone.
Counseling Services at Valiant Couples Therapy and Marriage Counseling
Christian marriage counseling isn’t the only service we offer in our Fuquay Varina counseling clinic. Other mental health services we provide include online therapy, individual therapy, couples and marriage counseling, Emotionally Focused Therapy, couples intensives, and couples workshops.