What is central to Christian life? Let us consider four foundational relationship components where we experience this life:
1) A personal relationship with Jesus Christ: John 3:16 tells us, “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” All men in this world have a reason for hope and Thanksgiving, because of the love of God that is made known to the world through Jesus Christ. We can have this hope in our lives when we accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. In Philippians 4:4-7 it is written, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.As we mature in faith, our awareness of God’s love grows, and our spirit becomes gentle. This means we become sensitive to the fact that God is with us, dwells in us, and desires to care for us and in turn for us to care for others.
2) A marriage relationship: gives us a physical sense that we are not alone. This relationship is the foundation of family life where we experience joy, blessing and love. In the intimacy of this relationship, we also have the opportunity to experience deep transparency and accountability that helps us grow and mature. If we are single, our marriage commitment is now spiritual and can be fulfilled in our connection with family
3) A family relationship: flows from the heart of marriage commitment. Through marriage two families become one, and children become a tangible way that we pass on faith, hope and love. As children in a family, we are guided by effective parenting to understand the joy of life, and the challenge to connect in genuine relationships.
4) A spiritual family: is our church and the spiritual center of our family life. This means even if we are orphaned, widowed, single or divorced, we are never alone or completely abandoned. God has established a place for us in this unique community, and provided a spiritual family to which we can enjoy deep commitment. The church is an extension of our flesh and blood family. As our connection to this spiritual family grows, we open to new levels of transparency and accountability to others, which further helps us see and realize the ability to follow Jesus. Our sense of blessing and joy is strengthened as we grow in our ability to genuinely love others past our biological family. As connection grows, we also gain a sense of security that no matter what happens in life, we will never be alone, because God has provided us fellowship through this extended family that can nurture and protect us.In Christian life, God designed us to thrive in the context of these relationships. A foundational challenge in life is to retain a sense of hope, no matter what situation or crisis we face, and realize that our lives have meaning, and purpose. Many people believe that Counseling is best engaged when our minds and lives are in a significant crisis. In truth, this is when Counseling is least effective. Therefore, it is most effective to use counseling to identify the foundational Christian relationships where there is a struggle to connect and cultivate loving bonds. When these issues cannot be easily resolved, this is the optimal time to seek out Christian counseling.
At Christian Counseling Associates, we are passionate about providing counseling at any stage of challenge or crisis. However, we also provide programs like Marriage Tune Up, Christian Active Parenting, Transparency and Accountability therapy groups (TAG Groups) to work with issues before they become unmanageable. It is often in these places where we make the largest clinical impact in our local communities.