What if I can't get my husband/wife to go for counseling?

Don't wait; go yourself. If a kindly request for your spouse to accompany you is turned down, don't allow that to hinder you from getting help. When you go alone, don't expect to focus on all the wrong things he/she is doing. A biblical counselor will not allow you to gossip about your absent spouse.* Instead, he will concentrate upon what you can do to improve your own life before God and your spouse. He will also concentrate on helping you to respond to wrongdoing in the proper biblical manner. He knows that he can do little to change someone who is not present; but since you are, he will work to help you to change God's way. If you change, then the situation also will have changed. That is often the beginning of larger changes to come. Counseling will help you to grow noticeably. In time, your spouse probably will comment favorably on this and after a few weeks of lasting change, may decide to accompany you after all. That happens frequently. Sometimes, I ask the spouse “What made you come?" I have had them say such things as, "Well, when my wife came home and sought my forgiveness, that was so different that I just had to come to meet you and see what it is that you are doing." Now, of course, it doesn't always happen that way, but is has happened so frequently it is worth noting. But, we must remember, the changes that the counselee makes, he makes in order to please God—not to get his spouse to come. It's just that when you do one thing God's way, in His providence, he often brings about other unexpected effects as well. If you should make changes only in order to influence your spouse, if no such thing happened, you'd soon revert to your old ways. No, you must do whatever God wants you to do to please Him, whether or not it effects your spouse.

 * Others not only allow, but often encourage it!

Jay E Adams

Institute for Nouthetic Studies

100 White Meadow Ct
Simpsonville, SC 29681

(864) 399-9583




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