As Les and Leslie Parrott said in I Love You More, "Before a single step is taken, before a move is made, spouses will need to realize that it's not who's wrong, but what is wrong that counts."
There is no doubt that the sacrament of Christian marriage is meant to be a sacred and lifelong commitment. The sacredness of the bond is what makes faith-based marriages so powerful and solid, but the strength of that bond can also present a number of unique challenges. When problems arise, division can begin to occur. In those times, resist attacking the person and attack the problem instead. As Les and Leslie Parrott said in I Love You More, "Before a single step is taken, before a move is made, spouses will need to realize that it's not who's wrong, but what is wrong that counts."
Those for whom faith is a central tenet see marriage as more than a mere social contract; the relationship is sacred in the eyes of God. Living up to that commitment and all that it entails can be challenging, to say the least.
Make no mistake - no matter how sacred or seemingly unshakable the bond, Christian marriages have their challenges just as more secular marriages do. A strong faith in God and commitment to one another is no guarantee of success. Many Christian couples have seen their relationships - and even their faith - tested by infidelity, lying, communication problems, financial difficulties disagreements over raising the children, and more. In short, Christian marriages can fall victim to the same types of problems that plague marriages in general.
The key to overcoming these challenges and emerging stronger is for couples to recognize when they need help. It can be hard for proud men and women - no matter what their faith - to ask for assistance, especially when it comes to intimate areas like marriage and relationships. Even so, it is important for couples to overcome this fear and reluctance and seek the help of a trained marriage counselor when needed.
Seeking the services of a marriage counselor is never easy, and choosing the right counselor can be even harder. There are many professionals offering these kinds of services, and it is important for couples to choose the counselor who can best help them to overcome the challenges of their marital relationship.
Understand the Power of Faith
Christian men and women may have at least one important advantage over their secular peers when it comes to marriage counseling. Many churches offer excellent marital and family counseling, combining the tenets of the faith with the tools needed to save a troubled marriage. This kind of faith-based counseling can be extremely effective, and couples who are having problems may want to first turn to their priest or pastor for assistance and guidance.
Even if the church does not offer its own counseling services, the resident pastor or priest may be able to recommend a marriage counselor who sees marriage as a sacred institution. Finding a marriage counselor is always a difficult process, but this kind of first hand recommendation can make choosing the right professional help a great deal easier.
In addition to traditional marriage counseling, Christian couples can also do some important work on their own by reading their Bibles and praying together as a family. This holy book offers a wealth of resources for couples who are facing life's challenges, including some valuable marital advice that has stood the test of time. Praying together while seeking the guidance of qualified professionals can help couples heal their troubled marriages and emerge as a stronger family unit.
Psalm 104 Modern English Version (MEV)
Bless the Lord, O my soul!
O Lord my God, You are very great! You are clothed with honor and majesty, covering Yourself with light as a garment, who stretches out the heavens like a tent curtain, who lays the upper beams of His chambers on the waters above, who makes the clouds His chariot, who rides upon the wings of the wind, who makes His angels as winds, His ministers a flaming fire.
You laid the earth on its foundations, so that it should never be moved. You covered it with the deep as a garment; the waters stood above the mountains. At Your rebuke they fled; at the sound of Your thunder they departed away. The mountains rose up; the valleys went down to the place that You appointed them. You set a boundary that they may not pass over, that they may not again cover the earth.
You send the springs to gush forth in the valleys, which flow between the hills. They give drink to every animal of the field; the wild donkeys quench their thirst. By them the birds of the heavens have their habitation; they sing among the branches. You water the mountains from Your lofty chamber; the earth is satisfied with the fruit of Your works. You cause the grass to grow for the cattle and plants for the cultivation of man, that he may bring forth food from the earth and wine that makes glad the heart of man, and oil that makes shine his face, and bread that strengthens his heart. The trees of the Lord are well watered, the cedars of Lebanon that He has planted, where the birds make their nests, where the stork has its home in the fir trees. The high mountains are for the wild goats, and the rocks a refuge for the badgers.
He set the moon to mark the appointed seasons; the sun knows its time for going down. You make darkness, and it is night, when all the animals of the forest go forth. The young lions roar after their prey and seek their food from God. When the sun arises, they gather themselves together and lay down in their dens. Man goes forth to his work and to his labor until the evening.
O Lord, how manifold are Your works! With wisdom You have made them all; the earth is full of Your creatures—so is this great and wide sea, which is full of innumerable creatures, living animals both small and great. There go the ships, and there is Leviathan, which You have made to play in it.
These all wait upon You, that You may give them their food in due season. When You give it to them, they gather it; when You open Your hand, they are filled with good food. When You hide Your face, they are troubled; You take away their breath, and they die and return to their dust. When You send forth Your Spirit, they are created, and You renew the surface of the ground.
May the glory of the Lord endure forever; may the Lord rejoice in His works. He looks on the earth, and it trembles; He touches the mountains, and they smoke. I will sing unto the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have my being. May my meditation be sweet to Him, for I will be glad in the Lord. Let sinners be consumed from the earth, and let the wicked be no more.
Bless the Lord, O my soul!
Praise the Lord!