Marriage Counseling

What are some keys to having a successful marriage:

According to researchers having surveyed over three hundred married couples who had been married for fifteen years or more, one of the most frequently mentioned keys to finding happiness in marriage is having a generally happy attitude toward one’s spouse and viewing that spouse as one of their best friends.

The second key found in that marital survey was the belief in the importance of commitment.

Also high on the list of bringing happiness into the marriage was:

  • Having agreed upon visions or goals in life
  • A desire to make their marriage succeed
  • Sharing genuine times of laughter

Marriage is one of the first topics discussed in the Bible.  It is mentioned throughout the Bible and considered in depth in the New Testament.  What does it say about marital problems and how to help troubled marriages?  Almost nothing.

It does speak to marital tension within the life stories of Lot, Abraham, Jacob, Job, Samson, David, and a few others on occasion.  Marital conflict is often a symptom of something much deeper such as:

  • A lack of love
  • An unwillingness to forgive self and/or one another
  • Anger
  • Bitterness
  • Communication problems
  • Anxiety
  • Sexual abuse
  • Drunkenness
  • Feelings of inferiority
  • Sin
  • A deliberate rejection of God’s will for individuals

Common Goals in Marriage Counseling:

  • Identify and understand specific issues that are creating the problems.
  • Determine the goals or hopes in counseling per individual.
  • Identify obstacles to having effective communication.
  • Problem-solving and decision-making in conflict resolution.
  • Learn healthy ways to express emotions.
  • Rebuilding and enriching the marriage relationship

What are the red flag characteristics in the marriage indicating the need for one or both individuals to change?

The Make-Believe Marriage: is a marriage in name only. Both people are going through the rituals of marriage with either one or both people pursuing individual goals.

The Maladjusted Marriage: is a marriage that doesn’t experience any emotional expression of physical “oneness”.

The Mixed-Up Marriage: is a marriage evident of clear power struggles, tension, and usually criticism of basic values and lack the presence of unity; oneness in mind, will, and emotions.

The Money-Troubled Marriage: is a marriage that is focused on unhealthy use of money and material needs.

The Misaligned Marriage: is the failure of one or both spouses to recognize and respond to God-given roles in marriage.

What does it mean to have a transformed life and marriage?

  • Recognize the powers and principalities involved in the disintegration of your marriage.
  • Recognize that a husband or wife, in their own strength, are susceptible to change and depletion of emotional reserves. God’s strength never falters nor fails in helping godly marriages thrive even in the midst of threatening circumstances.
  • Recognize the value and practice of forgiveness
  • Develop together, a new purpose for your marriage
  • Develop together, a new priority for your marriage
  • Develop together, a new plan for your marriage

In submission to God, from a position of strength rather than weakness, is a choice  to act on faith.  It is the act of choosing to trust God to work His will through your independent walk with Him, in reflecting His design for marriage, in establishing your home, and in submission to allow God to work in all the areas of your lives together, fully yielded to His authorities in marriage and family:

the authorities that have been established by God – Romans 13:1