RickThomas.net 
4Apr

Ten habits that can change your life

Eight essentials for an immature life NS

I have a miserable marriage and my spouse does not want to work to make things better. My church sent me to you because they said I needed a professional. I’m discouraged and I’m not sure I want to continue in my marriage, though I know I do not have biblical grounds for divorce.

Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce you to a typical conversation in my life. The preceding paragraph is not an exact transcript, though it is a common introduction I hear from despairing people who come to me for counseling.

By the time they get to me, their marriage has been on the rocks for several years. Their church has not made a dent into their problems for various reasons. Typically, they have received counseling from several other sources.

Eight complicating factors

There are always complicating factors in their lives that pushes them farther from the hope found in Jesus. Here are eight of the most common complicating factors I experience from the folks I counsel.

  1. Their problems have gone on for so long that the couple is bitter, angry, and unforgiving toward each other.
  2. One of the spouses does not want to work on the marriage.
  3. The church has not been as effective as it should be. (This is not a criticism of the church. Perhaps the couple is in a good church, but they have not accessed all the church could provide for them.)
  4. They are listening to many different voices, e.g., weak sermons, poor friends, popular books, subjective impressions, and secular counseling.
  5. They have isolated themselves from biblical community–the people who could help them.
  6. They are not willing to do the hard work necessary to change.
  7. They expect counseling to cure, in a short period of time, what they spent years destroying.
  8. They are in a spiritual warfare against the enemies of the spirit world who have set up strongholds to keep them in bondage.

They come to me for two hours out of their week, which is my standard counseling time. If they come back at all, it would be two weeks later, if not longer. Most of the time it is much longer. This gives me two hours to change them (1 Corinthians 3:6).

Upon leaving the counseling session they re-enter their chaotic world. Here’s the math: there are 168 hours in a week. We meet for two hours

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About Rick Thomas

Rick has been training in the Upstate of South Carolina since 1997. After several years as a counselor and pastor he founded and launched his own training organization in order to encourage and equip people for more effective living. In the early ’90’s he earned a BA in Theology. Later he earned a BS in Education. In 1993 he was ordained into Christian ministry and in 2000 he graduated with a MA in Counseling. In 2006 he was recognized as a Fellow with ACBC. Today his organization reaches people in every country through consulting, training, blogging, and coaching.
  • Mike Hawkins

    Good word Rick. Many often think that a once or twice meeting in counseling will change the years of sowing bad seed. May your article encourage many for a lifetime of counseling and community.

  • Mike Hawkins

    Good word Rick. Many often think that a once or twice meeting in counseling will change the years of sowing bad seed. May your article encourage many for a lifetime of counseling and community.

  • Hope4You

    Great reminder that we cannot “fix” those who are struggling, but we are such an integral part of the process as the Holy Spirit gives us wisdom and discernment.

  • Hope4You

    Great reminder that we cannot “fix” those who are struggling, but we are such an integral part of the process as the Holy Spirit gives us wisdom and discernment.

  • Lisa

    I am developing a resource list of homework sources and resources. What are your suggestions? Thanks for this article and for your website, too. They are very helpful!

  • Lisa

    I am developing a resource list of homework sources and resources. What are your suggestions? Thanks for this article and for your website, too. They are very helpful!

  • http://www.RickThomas.Net/ Rick Thomas

    If you’re a member you can go to the resource page on our website and find a lot of suggestions. Also, I would make this article a homework assignment. Having them sign up to read an article a day is a common assignment folks give to those they are helping. They can do that here: http://eepurl.com/JXLTv

  • http://www.RickThomas.Net/ Rick Thomas

    If you’re a member you can go to the resource page on our website and find a lot of suggestions. Also, I would make this article a homework assignment. Having them sign up to read an article a day is a common assignment folks give to those they are helping. They can do that here: http://eepurl.com/JXLTv

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