Question:

Does the Christian faith believe in theological counseling? I believe that is what it is called. My boyfriend went through it after his divorce. My boyfriend's ex-wife was committing numerous adulteries. He received counseling through faith with a minister and not through medicines. Do you think this is a good idea for us to do together?


Answer:

I've never been a fan of secular psychological counseling. Its self-imposed rule is not to make moral judgments but rather to help a person accept and live with their own thought processes. Therefore, secular psychology rarely improves a person but instead leads a person to be content with things as they are. I also find it disturbing that so many psychologist have been turning to drugs to manage people's distresses. Drugs typically calm a person down by making them feel disconnected from the issues they face -- but they can't solve the problems. Instead problems tend to build as the person remains disconnected from reality.

Religious based counseling can be better. Such counselors have less restraint in helping a person come to moral conclusions and encourages people to change their behaviors for moral reasons. They also tend to be less dependant on using drugs as a "cure" for problems. Of course, much depends on the standard applied. You can get get good and bad counselors, just as there are good and bad teachers of religion.

That your boyfriend sought out and received advice on how to handle a bad marital situation can be good -- assuming he received good advice that came from God's word.

I strongly encourage people who are about to marry to talk at length with a preacher. There are numerous issues which arise from attempting to blend two people's lives into one. Choices have to be made and God has much to say about what are good and bad choices. "As His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue" (II Peter 1:3). Personally, I don't marry couples unless they sit down and study about marriage with me from the Bible before the wedding.