This is a weekly post that highlights resources from other counselors that I have found helpful. The counselors may be from the biblical counseling, Christian psychology, integration, or secular counseling traditions. By linking to a post, I am not giving it my full endorsement, I am merely indicating that I believe it made a unique contribution or raised an important subject for consideration.
10 Things You Should Know about Sex by Paul David Tripp
God in his great wisdom, for his glory and our good, has chosen to place us in a world where sex is a significant part of the human experience. The issue of sex is important and unavoidable because God, in wisdom and love, chose it to be.
- If you enjoyed this post, you might like this set of resources on sexuality, the church, and culture.
How to Be a Safe Space for the Same-Sex Attracted by Rachel Gilson
Lily was crushed. She’d told just a member of her church her secret, and the member warned her that if anyone else found out, she would probably lose her position teaching the youth. What was this secret so deadly that she would be warned to hide it? Lily is same-sex attracted. Neither the struggle nor the terror is uncommon. How, then, do we create an environment in our churches, small groups, and families where we can even have this conversation, where Lily can share her struggle without fear? Here are three places to start.
- If you like this post and want to learn more, consider my book Do Ask, Do Tell, Let’s Talk (podcast overview).
When don’t we support victims of abuse? by Phil Monroe
I think most Christians want to believe that the church is a safe place for the most vulnerable among us. But this has not been the case for far to many who report child or adult abuse and harassment. Now, as a son of a pastor, I am well aware of the challenges pastors and church leaders have in leading their congregations. Frequently, the leaders need the wisdom of Solomon, especially in cases of life and death conflict. The work of pastoring through abuse allegations is never easy. Don’t let your love of the church stop you from reading the rest!
- Sometimes its our theology that gets in the way. Here is a post that can help you think through the issue of abuse: We Are Equally Sinful. We Are Not All Equally Broken or Toxic.
Recovering the Cure of Souls by Jared C. Wilson
From my ministry vantage point at Midwestern Seminary and in getting to travel quite a bit and meet young and aspiring pastors around the world, I have been greatly encouraged by the increasing sense of what I can only call the “pastoral temperament” I sense among the younger generation. What I mean is, I sense—and I hope that I’m right—that something that has come alongside the gospel recovery movement is not just a recovery of theology, expositional preaching, missional church planting, and the like but also a recovery of the active and intentional shepherding of the people of God. Our ancestors used to call this intentionally relational shepherding “the curing of souls.”
- If you like this post, you might like this article as well – Why Your Pastor Can’t Be More Practical than You Are Honest.
The gift and power of emotional courage by Susan David (video 17 minutes)
Psychologist Susan David shares how the way we deal with our emotions shapes everything that matters: our actions, careers, relationships, health and happiness. In this deeply moving, humorous and potentially life-changing talk, she challenges a culture that prizes positivity over emotional truth and discusses the powerful strategies of emotional agility. A talk to share.
- If you are struggling to reconcile your faith with strong-difficult emotion, this post may be helpful – Sometimes Faith Requires Caring Less.
What I’m Reading
Descriptions and Prescriptions: A Biblical Perspective on Psychiatric Diagnoses and Medications by Michael Emlet. OCD, ADHD, PTSD, Bipolar Disorder . . . these are not just diagnoses from the DSM; they are part of our everyday vocabulary and understanding of people. As Christians, how should we think about psychiatric diagnoses and their associated treatments? We can t afford to isolate ourselves and simply dismiss these categories as unbiblical. Nor can we afford to accept the entire secular psychiatric diagnostic and treatment enterprise at face value as though Scripture is irrelevant for these complex struggles.
Instead, we need a balanced, biblically (and scientifically!) informed approach that is neither too warmly embracing nor too coldly dismissive of psychiatric labels and the psychiatric medications that are often prescribed. Biblical counselor and retired physician, Michael R. Emlet, gives readers a helpful way forward on these important issues as he guides lay and professional helpers in the church through the thicket of mental health diagnoses and treatments in a clear, thoughtful primer in which the Bible informs our understanding of psychiatric diagnoses and the medications that are often recommended based on those labels. This first book in the Helping the Helper series will give readers biblical, gospel-formed categories that will help them understand and minister to those who are struggling with mental health issues.
Tweets of the Week
Counsel people, not issues. Doing this reminds those we care for that they are not defined by their issue.
— Andrew Dealy (@AndrewDealy) January 30, 2018
Our default is to believe that what is normal for us is healthy. This is dangerous because it means that the longer I live with something unhealthy, the less likely I am to see it.
— Dave Hughes (@DaveEvanHughes) January 30, 2018
When I feel crushed by guilt, I must remember this: that a Christian is not a person who never sins, but rather a person who, when confronted with sin, repents and falls upon the mercy of God.
— Amy Mantravadi (@AmyMantravadi) February 5, 2018
On the Lighter Side
Because, “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones,” Proverbs 17:22.