Assessing Safety in Destructive Relationships

Denise is a 28-year-old mom with two small children. She has recently confessed that her husband has “a really bad temper.” Recently, when she and her husband Doug were arguing, his anger scared her to the point that she told their home group leader about the incident. The home group leader has been trained well … Continue reading Assessing Safety in Destructive Relationships

The Epidemic of Non-Physical Domestic Violence

Smartly-dressed Mike and his wife Debbie walked into my office for their first session. One look at Debbie revealed that she had been crying, but was trying to hold it together. Mike exuded smug self-confidence. Debbie’s head hung low, Mike’s was held high. As they told their story, details began to emerge. Mike and Debbie … Continue reading The Epidemic of Non-Physical Domestic Violence

Helping Men Become 3:7 Husbands

In my clinical practice, I counsel a lot of men who have hurt their wives - emotionally, verbally or even physically. Every counselor who has worked with a couple in an abusive marriage knows how often Christian men will misuse the teaching of 1 Peter 3:1-6 to manipulate, control and dominate their wives. Sadly, many … Continue reading Helping Men Become 3:7 Husbands

Three Important Environments for Marriage Preparation

One of the most consistent themes that emerges in counseling young couples, especially in the critical first five years, is the dramatic difference between the time and money that was invested in their wedding compared to the time and money that was invested in preparing for the rest of their lives together as husband and … Continue reading Three Important Environments for Marriage Preparation

Recovering Redemption

A mom home with her four preschoolers got devastating news in the form of a phone call from her husband: “I’m not coming home…ever.” Persistent depression hounded a young pastor since childhood, even after he fell deeply in love with Jesus as a college student. A teenage athlete from a nominally Christian home chased girls, … Continue reading Recovering Redemption

A Biblical Anatomy of Conflict

Sadly, when many of the couples I counsel first enter my office, conflict is frequent and often volatile. Sometimes, the issues couples fight over are so minor that they can’t even remember the cause of the fight by the time they come to counseling. Still, the fighting is constant. They are asking, “Why do we … Continue reading A Biblical Anatomy of Conflict

Redeeming Marriage in Community

Marriage is hard. Even in the best marriages, the heart of each spouse tends to turn inward and build the kingdom of self. Most of my marriage counseling clients at least claim to be believers in Christ. Most of them regularly attend a bible-teaching church. Most of them are in some kind of small group … Continue reading Redeeming Marriage in Community

Priorities in Finding A Godly Spouse from Genesis 24

In Genesis 24, Abraham decides that it is time for his beloved son Isaac to have a wife. Now, in Abraham's day, as in some places in the world still today, marriages were "arranged" by the families of the bride and groom. So, like all good dads of his time and place in history, Abraham arranged … Continue reading Priorities in Finding A Godly Spouse from Genesis 24

Ten Gospel-Centered Books on Marriage

According to Ephesians 5:22-33 and 1 Peter 2:13-3:7, God created marriage to be a sweet picture of the Gospel in action. Therefore, the goal of biblical counseling with married couples is to, by God’s Spirit, point them to the Gospel and its magnificent implications for marriage. In that regard, I highly recommend and use each … Continue reading Ten Gospel-Centered Books on Marriage

Helping the Student Who Self-Injures

Self-injury (sometimes called "cutting") is the intentional infliction of injury to self without the aid of another person for the purpose of venting anger or self-justification. The intent is typically not suicidal. The self-injurer wants to live, but is simply trying to cope with extreme self-hate or anger. Although cutting the skin is the most … Continue reading Helping the Student Who Self-Injures