- Greg Cheney, PhD, LMFT
What is Christian Marriage Counseling?
Christian marriage counselors are trained in helping people overcome problems in their relationships. They do this by leveraging the couples’ Christian faith as a key resource in theprocess. Christian marriage counselors can help with improving communication, resolving conflict, and experiencing forgiveness
Your Christian faith can provide hope when you struggle in your marriage. But, it can also bring confusion and doubt. Why is God allowing me to experience this? Is my faith not strong enough to see my marriage healed? Why isn't God answering my prayers for my marriage? These are all common questions. It can be difficult to stay true to your Christian faith while you're struggling in your marriage.
You need a Christian marriage counselor who will listen to you and understand what's going on inside your head and heart. They will be able to understand how your Christian faith can be both helpful and confusing. A good Christian marriage counselor will not judge you. They will help you find solutions to your problems while keeping your faith central to the process.
Why Should I Choose Christian Marriage Counseling?
There are good reasons why people choose Christian marriage counseling. First, Christian counselors are trained to work with Christians. They understand how Christianity affects your life, relationships, and walk with God. Second, Christian marriage counselors are trained in helping couples deal with difficult situations. Relationships are difficult, and church culture seems to expect Christians to have it all together. We don’t! Christian marriage counselors can help you navigate church culture. Church culture sometimes seems to say our marriages need to look amazing or it reflects poorly on the church. Third, Christian counselors are trained to help people overcome the struggles in their marriage. They do this while helping couples experience the relationship God longs for them to have.
Christian marriage counselors help couples work through their problems from a Christian foundation. They integrate their formal training into their Christian worldview. They acknowledge that all truth is God's truth. The well-researched ways of helping marriages heal have discovered God's truth that He designed. The strategies for helping marriages that are congruent with a Christian worldview are used. If they are not compatible with a Christian worldview they are not.
Our main approach for marriage counseling and couples therapy is Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) developed by Dr. Sue Johnson. When she considered her 35 years of research and the Bible she stated, "I placed the science of EFT alongside the ancient wisdom of the Christian Scriptures, clear and consistent parallels between EFT and biblical teachings about divine love and God’s teachings about human love leapt out at us" (Created for Connection - The "Hold Me Tight" Guide for Christian Couples, p. 4). The science of EFT discovered how God intended marriage that was modeled in the Garden of Eden and shows us how we can experience these Garden of Eden moments.
What Does Christian Marriage Counseling Involve?
Christian marriage counseling involves talking with a professional about your relationship issues. This means that you will talk with a Christian marriage counselor about your personal life, your faith, and your relationship with God. A Christian counselor will listen to what you say and try to help you find solutions to your problems. They will focus on the goals you have for your relationship.
Christian marriage counseling takes the stance that God loves marriage. He wants us to experience successful relationships. In fact, marriage is used consistently in the Bible to describe our relationship with God. God provides us with an example of a close and trustworthy relationship. He models unconditional love. Yet, a Christian marriage counselor also realizes that not all marriages will succeed. They will help couples through the pain when relationships end. They will help you work toward healing.
How Can I Find a Christian Marriage Counselor?
Finding a good Christian counselor is not easy. There are many counselors out there, so how do you know which one is right for you? Here are some things to consider when choosing a Christian marriage counselor:
1) Read through their bio on their webpage. Do they sound like someone you would feel comfortable with? How do they describe themselves? Do they describe how their experience, skills, and education will work toward meeting your needs?
2) Do they have a degree in counseling, marriage and family therapy, or psychology? Do they have a license to practice in your state? If so, you can feel confident that they have the training necessary to provide counseling.
3) Do they specialize in marriage counseling and couples therapy? Do they have specific training in this area? If so, this is an excellent sign. Marriage is a very complex issue requiring advanced training for competency and effectiveness.
Christian marriage counseling can be a great fit for Christian couples whose faith is a foundation for their lives! Find out more about our team at Valiant Couples Therapy and how we can help.
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, Emotionally Focused Therapy, couples intensives, Christian marriage counseling, and couples workshops.