Typically, Christian marriage counseling is provided by local ministries and agencies that are funded through a small percentage of the revenues from the Christian community. This is not a “one size fits all” application process, but rather one for which the client must work very closely with their pastors and church members before they can fully participate in the process. All good pastors and religious leaders will agree that true commitment to Biblical truth and family values is a key component to having a successful marriage. The marriage counseling process requires that both partners truly want a change in lifestyle to make them better individuals in the eyes of God.
Counselors will often use many “loaded” or highly emotional loaded words in their conversations with their clients. These types of statements are inappropriate and should never be used by Christian counselors in a marriage counseling setting. Instead these types of language and accusations are only used as a means to an end – namely, to convince the client that divorce is the best option. Often times the pastor or priest will use words such as “immediate divorce”, “spousal rape”, or “unwed mother”. This is wrong, and if these types of words were used in the past, they would have brought about far more negative results than they do.
If you are seeking the counsel of a qualified Christian counselor in Tucson, the question of “What kind of language am I using?” can be answered with this example: “You don’t really need me to prove that I’m a bad Christian, do you? I don’t need to prove anything.” In other words, Christian counselors understand that there are plenty of reasons why one should not file for divorce – a lack of Biblical knowledge is not one of those reasons. A healthy marriage requires honest communication between the partners, and no Christian marriage counselor in Tucson will try to persuade their client to break up a happy marriage based on invalid grounds.
There is another way to determine whether or not you should use the services of a Christian marriage counselor in Tucson: look for one who believes that marriage is between a man and a woman, and that God wants couples to be joined for eternity. If a counselor ignores this basic fact, then he/she is not truly practicing Biblical truth. Also, there is nothing wrong with learning new Christian beliefs – in fact, it is healthier for you to do so. In fact, some feel that the best way to learn new things is to learn them “out of a book”. Counselors who only offer standard “Bible” knowledge or “God’s Word” do not provide true assistance in saving failing marriages.
Another way to gauge the suitability of your counselor is to simply ask him/her what kinds of resources they use when helping couples in trouble. If you are looking for help on a marital problem, then it is obvious that you are unhappy. The counselor should be happy to share with you what books they have on hand (this information should be displayed prominently on the reception desk or near the register). Ask also what kind of resources they make use of when dealing with individual clients. It may be helpful to note that if a counselor cannot answer these questions without referring you to their “other counselors”, then you should probably look elsewhere.
Finally, one of the best ways to determine if a Christian marriage counseling session will prove helpful is to look for the success rate. In other words, how many of these counselors have seen a high success rate? As well, how many of these counselors have seen a very low success rate? You want to avoid counselors whose success rate is simply holding steady; these counselors should be avoided because they are either not good at their job or they are simply ineffective. The only way to tell if a Christian marriage counselor is effective is to call and ask for a consultation, and then see how the session goes. If the Christian counselor does not impress you during the consultation, then it is time to find another counselor.