Thursday, June 16, 2011

We Over-complicate Things...

Recently Ben and I have had the opportunity to do some pre-marital counseling with a couple.  It's our first time doing the entire counseling together.  After the first time we met with them, Ben and I looked at each other almost giddy with excitement.


Pre-marital counseling is fun.  Really fun.  Generally, we do more marriage counseling than pre-marriage...just because most of the people around us are already married.  Marriage counseling and fun rarely go together.  Most of the time is spent with two people not-feeling very loving and trying to convince the couple that they can, in fact, repair the damage that's been done...pre-marital counseling involves trying to equip two people head over heals in love,  to avoid the damage in the first place.  One couple is in the valley, and the other, at the top of the world.


In pre-marital you've got two people who are desperately in love, and blissfully hopeful about their future.  They're open to ideas, cautions, and plans.  They want to do whatever it's going to take to keep the loving feeling they have.  They're listening.


I like when people listen.  I especially like giving counsel to people who are actually listening.  As I look at ministry...from my perspective as the pastors wife, my hardest part in it is trying to minister to people who want answers, who want direction, who want to change...but most of the time they are not genuinely listening.  


It didn't take me long in ministry to realize that I was only going to offer advice or counsel when asked...and even then I'm not sure they're always hearing what I'm saying. ;)  


And through all the counseling...there's one lesson that God keeps pounding into my heart:  It is so, so much easier to avoid the pitfalls of life, than it is to get out of them.


It's true in marriage, and it's true in life.  


I think we make life more difficult than it needs to be sometimes.  Is life full of hard stuff?  Yep, for sure.  But do we add selfish over-dramatics to it as well?  Often.


I came across this verse this morning:  Micah 6:8  "The Lord has told you what is good.  He has told you what He wants from you:  Do what is right to other people.  Love being kind to others.  And live humbly, trusting your God."


Sounds like a pretty good verse to build a healthy, godly marriage and life on. Nothing fancy, nothing complicated...just a matter of doing.  That verse is going on my fridge.  Today.

6 comments:

  1. Hey Sarah, My blog peep, Joyce, is celebrating 27 years of marriage today. Her mother gave her this advice when she first got married:

    "There will be days when you will wake up and look over at your husband and feel like you are the luckiest girl in the world. Remember that feeling because some days you will wake up and look over at your husband and wonder how in the world you ended up married to him. Just carry on, because eventually that other feeling will come back around again, maybe in an hour, maybe in a week, maybe longer, but it will come back around if you keep calm and carry on."

    I thought it was great advice and wanted to share.

    Blessings, SusanD

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  2. Yeppers. Agree. Agree. Agree. :)
    Have you read the book "When Sinners Say I Do" by Dave Harvey? It's a super good book full of the Gospel for marriages! Great pre-marital reading and wish it could be mandatory for those 5+ years in, too!
    Mark Driscoll said in a workshop, "The most important day of your marriage is not the first day but the last".
    Thanks for being willing to counsel both the couple on the mountain and in the valley! God will use your faithfulness for His glory!

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  3. Great verse and you're SO right - we DO make things more complicated than they need to be.

    Awesome post!
    -FringeGirl

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  4. Great verse! Check out http://www.prepare-enrich.com for an amazing counseling resource. We use it @BranchChurch and have found it very helpful.

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  5. So true! So many people who come to a pastor for counseling ESPECIALLY marriage counseling, do not want to hear what they do not want to hear!
    They come in convinced that we are going to fix their spouse and all will be well. Or that we will tell them it's ok to get divorced, because their spouse is hopeless.
    Not fun!

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  6. This is wonderful! Micah pretty much summed it up and I, too, am going to take that verse with me into my day.

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