Overview to Continue Marriage Counseling
This article will explain the practice of marriage counseling from the perspective of the Christian faith. Specifically, this will cover why a couple should continue marriage counseling. Couples may wonder what is the purpose of marriage counseling. We will start with this question and delve into why marriage counseling is not only helpful to do as a couple but why it may be a good idea to continue this practice through marriage.
What is Marriage Counseling?
Marriage counseling, in the Christian faith, comes from the belief that God creates marriage as a blessing and a provision to help believers. Marriage counseling
Marriage counseling is the meeting or meetings that a spiritual advisor, director, pastor, or minister has just with the couple to be spiritually guided and encouraged, specifically in the context of their marriage. Marriage counseling is designed to help the couple prepare for marriage. Pre-marital counseling may include as many sessions as time permits before the wedding takes place however it is encouraged to continue marriage counseling throughout marriage and not only before the couple is married.
Benefits of Couples Therapy
The benefits of couples therapy are to get to know one another in a spiritual sense and in the context of marriage, to be encouraged in their faith, to strengthen the relationship with their pastor or spiritual leader, and to understand better what marriage means from a biblical background.
Another benefit of couples therapy, or continuing marriage counseling, is strengthening your marriage throughout the marriage. Some say that we don’t fully know ourselves or our spouses in the early years of marriage. That is not to say that we don’t know them at all, but as we become much more settled into life and life with our spouses, different elements of our personhood come out. Stress and difficult situations show us that there are aspects of our personalities that we were not fully aware of, let alone of our spouses.
So, as we grow and develop as people, it’s essential to continue the conversation with someone who is qualified and understands the meaning of marriage, the importance of compassion, grace, and mercy, and someone who has the same basic view of what love means, especially when it comes to marriage.
Your pastor or spiritual leader should, by definition, be someone who shares your faith and therefore will be able to express those views with the same perspective.
Types of Counseling Approaches
There are just as many approaches to continuing marriage counseling as there are counselors. The basic elements that should be similar are a foundation on a common text, the Holy Bible, or Scriptures. This must be the common text while you continue marriage counseling to ensure that your agreement comes from the same place.
But when it comes to practices that will help us to get to know one another and where our influences come from, the pastor may use different tactics and exercises to help the couple understand marriage and better get to know one another in unconventional ways.
Common Goals of Marriage Counseling
Before engaging in marriage counseling or before you continue marriage counseling, it’s a good idea to know what your goals are. It is recommended that the goals of marriage counseling are rooted and based on the foundation of faith. That means that the definitions of marriage, the belief of where marriage came from, and the aim of marriage are connected to this goal.
This will take some work, but it’s a good idea for the couple to continue in this conversation outside of sessions. Sure, the pastor will likely give some homework for you to do in between your sessions. Still, it’s also a good idea to have your own conversations to prepare mentally, emotionally, and spiritually as you progress from your first pre-martial counseling sessions and when you continue marriage counseling.
Who Can Benefit From Marriage Counseling?
Those who benefit from marriage counseling the most prepare, commit, engage, and continue. Let’s cover what it means to engage. One of the things that our pastor helped us to understand is that it’s important that what we discuss in marriage counseling is confidential.
It’s critical that what you share in private, confidential sessions is not shared with anyone outside of the 3 of you, only with a few exceptions if something harmful is happening that needs to be reported. But except for those instances, it is not a good idea to share the details of your sessions but rather to do this work privately so that it will be fruitful and productive.
When to Seek Professional Help?
The question of when to seek professional help is a bit of a misnomer. Here’s why. Why shouldn’t a couple take advantage of receiving continual professional help? Here’s an example to help make the point. We make regular visits to the doctor indefinitely. We make regular visits to the dentist indefinitely. We make regular visits to the veterinarian if we have pets.
But when it comes to our marriage, do we think of it as something that needs regular support? As an ordained minister, I would recommend, or rather offer, that a couple always has the benefit of meeting with a professional, their pastor, to continue marriage counseling as regularly as they would like. This is not a common practice, but it could be, and the benefit is guaranteed. Of course, every marriage will have challenges, but when this type of intentional effort is put forth, it always benefits in one way or another.
Couples Struggling with Communication Issues
One of the main issues that couples struggle with is communication issues. Again, as a trained pastor, I would offer that this issue may arise because the communication lines that we started with are not maintained. Again, this is aided by not thinking of counseling and support as something done when something goes wrong or when communication becomes very difficult but something we should establish and maintain from the beginning of our relationship. This will give us the best opportunity to keep healthy communication lines open.
How Does Marriage Counseling Work?
Marriage counseling works in many ways, too many to summarize in a paragraph or post. But the main ways that it works are to help the couple to get to know one another better to have a strong marriage, to help to prepare for challenges that will be faced, and to help sort through difficult seasons and moments in a marriage. But again, marriage counseling should be preventative and prescriptive and not reactionary. We shouldn’t wait until things go wrong to seek out marriage counseling but continue marriage counseling from the time we first establish this helpful practice with our pastor.