We love seeing other people’s messy lives. Don’t believe me? Look at the highest rated and most watched television shows. Every week millions of people cheer on as they watch The Bachelor, Catfish, and the Real Housewives of…. wherever.
Watching someone else fall apart distracts us from our own brokenness, even if just for a moment.
But the truth is, we are all jacked up. Really jacked up. We just don’t want others to know it.
If you are married, you have seen the worst of another human being, and they have seen the worst in you. We can fool the world, but marriage exposes our deepest sin. It as designed by God to be that way. But how do you know what’s a normal marriage and when you need professional marriage counseling? Here are five signs that your marriage could use the help of a professional Christian counselor.
1.) You're Dealing With The Same Issues You Were Five Years Ago
If you have made little to no progress on the issues you were dealing with 5, 10, 20 years ago, it’s probably time to get some professional help. If you had the capability of solving the problem on your own, you would have done it by now. Humble yourself, admit there is an issue, and set the appointment.
2.) You Have Something You’re Too Afraid To Share
I have met men (and women) who have been holding in a secret or lie for years because they are too afraid to share it with their spouse. At the core of this problem is the belief that your spouse’s opinion or reaction is greater than the grace of Jesus Christ. You have bought into a lie. If you have something that needs to be shared with your spouse, but you are too afraid to bring it up on your own, seek out a professional Christian counselor and have them help walk you through the process of confession, repentance, restoration and grace.
3.) Every Hard Conversation Turns Into An Argument
I always tell newlyweds to practice fighting. It’s a learned skill that doesn’t come overnight. If you are committed to your spouse for the rest of your life then you have two options: fight nasty or fight fair. The second option leads to a healthy, life-long marriage. The first leads to divorce. There will always be fights, but if you aren’t getting better at fighting, schedule a session or two with a counselor.
4.) You’re Believing Lies About Yourself or Your Spouse
When you get married, you become one with your spouse. This means that not only will you have a hard time seeing yourself objectively, but you will now have a hard time looking at your spouse with an objective perspective. Sometimes you need someone with fresh eyes and ears to give an honest evaluation of you, your spouse and your marriage. And sometimes you need to be reminded of the qualities you once cherished in person you share a covenant with.
5.) Your Marriage is Lacking True Community
I honestly believe that the majority of marriage problems could be addressed before ever needing to see a Christian counselor if couples lived in true Christian community. I’m not talking about surface level friends from church who you attend Bible Study with. I’m talking about the type of friends who have seen you laugh, cry, fight, and raise kids. The kind of friends who call you out on your crap and cheer you on to the finish line.
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