Jul 3rd 2011, 07:03 PM
I have been having marriage issues, and things have been pretty bad. Today we had a pretty decent conversation about what's been going on and my husband said we do need to go to counseling (that in itself is a miracle, he was always against it). However he is not a believer. I am wary of secular counseling, but not sure if husband will agree to christian counseling. Should I ask him, and can a christian counselor effectively counsel us if one is not a believer?
Jul 4th 2011, 12:17 AM
I will say that non-Christian counselors are still trained professionals and there's a lot of good ones out there. God can use anybody. You have the Bible for your Christian counseling already. God's Word lays out to you both what God expects from a husband and wife. But even unbelievers can be used by God to lend counsel and insight, especially a marriage counselor who has been around the block a few times and who has seen countless couples like you two.
So ... pray about it and let God lead you.
You could seek Christian counsel for yourself, by yourself, and let your husband decide on a counselor for both of you that he is comfortable with and whose advice and guidance he can trust. Since he's offering, let him take the lead on it, and trust God to lead you both to the right person. That's what I would do.
I'm going to be redundant here and recommend "Love and Respect" by Emerson Eggrichs for both of you to read and work through together. It really helped my husband and I in our own marriage (we're both believers) and I've seen that book influence unbelievers and change their marriage for the better also.
Jul 4th 2011, 03:46 AM
If you contact your church office, they might be able to recommend a counselor. I don't know if they would have secular counselors included on their list or not, but it might be worth asking. If you don't think he'll give credence to a Christian counselor ("he only said that because he's a Christian; it's not really applicable to me") then you might be better off at least starting with a good secular counselor. I don't think that will ever fully resolve the problems because ultimately the problem is that we are all broken from the Fall and need restoration through Christ. But maybe it would be a good first step to work toward a point where your husband might be more open to Christ.
Jul 5th 2011, 05:42 PM
A little off topic but I have also been thinking of going to a marriage seminar. Any recommendations?
Jul 5th 2011, 06:27 PM
My husband and I went to one before we were married. It was really great. We went with some folks from our church, because our pastor's opinion is that if you're not actively working on your marriage, you're going backwards.
It was in Orlando put on by Family Life. Weekend to Remember, I think. It was really, really good. An hour's drive so we drove back and forth those two days. Steven Curtis Chapman was there and Bill Bright's widow. Speakers who have been married a long time and who just shared from their heart. At the end they had a re-commitment ceremony and I can only imagine how many marriages were given new life that weekend. There was a lot of laughter and a lot of tears and a lot of people getting convicted to put their marriage front and center and give it the place it deserves.
We actually took their covenant vow papers they gave out, and those were the vows we used in our ceremony and we had it signed by witnesses and framed it, and it's in our bedroom hung up as a reminder of what we promised to each other.
At the end of the day, a marriage is only as good as the two people in it and what they make of it and how serious they take their own vows that came out of their own mouths in front of witnesses. Honestly.