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.
Helping Victims of Domestic Abuse by Diane Langberg
Domestic abuse is something you as a pastor may encounter, or it may be a “silent sin” within the church that goes unseen. Either way, it is a reality, and one for which we must be prepared. But how do we do this? How can we prepare to minister to victims of domestic abuse? Below, I share four common pitfalls of pastors and leaders, then conclude by explaining how the church is called to act in these situations.
- A first step in helping victims of domestic abuse is making sure you know How to Develop a Safety Plan for Domestic Violence.
Cultivating Praise in Marriage by Aaron Sironi
So you might expect me to say—just do more of it. Husbands: Be more affirming! Wives: Give more praise! But here’s the thing that’s easy to miss. Praise and affirmation spring from enjoyment—they flow naturally from delighting in and valuing something or someone. This means that not affirming our spouses is deeper than a matter of words; it’s a matter of not valuing them enough. So the question to ask is not, “How can I learn to praise my husband or wife more?” as if just speaking more words would solve the problem. The proper question is: “Why don’t I value and enjoy my spouse more?” Affirmation spontaneously overflows when you appreciate and enjoy someone.
- While this is written for husbands most of the principles are transferable for wives and help cultivate affirmation in marriage – 7 Ways to Keep Your Wife Beautiful for Life.
Why We Should Use the Language of Brokenness by Jared C. Wilson
It’s an opinion that pops up in my social media feeds every now and again from well-meaning believers critical of the therapeutic influence on Christian preaching and teaching. “Stop saying people are broken. They’re sinful. That’s the problem.” Or some variation of the same. At a speaking engagement recently a fellow in a Q&A time asked for my thoughts on the language of “brokenness” in preaching. Is it okay to say people are broken? Or that the world suffers from brokenness? It’s obviously on people’s minds.
- If you want to be more precise in your language of brokenness in a way that does not neglect sin but leaves room for suffering, consider my post The Difference Between Guilt, Shame, and Regret.
The Challenges of a Church-Based Addiction Ministry by David Dunham
I firmly believe that the church should be on the front lines of addiction ministry, but such ministry is not easy. Working with addictions and those enslaved to them is complicated, time-consuming, and painful. It can be tempting for churches and Christians to romanticize this type of ministry, to talk about it with lots of poetic and dramatic language and yet fail to consider the cost of entering into this work.
- If you want guidance on Starting an Addiction Recovery Ministry at Your Church, here you go.
Schizophrenia: Living in Fear by Allie Burke
As someone with schizophrenia, lately I have been struggling with my day-to-day responsibilities. Every task that looms over me feels like a mountain I don’t know how to climb, even if I have done it a hundred times before. If I had to count how many times a day I say to myself, “I can’t do this,” I would definitely run out of fingers. I replay in my mind all the things I have done wrong, all the mistakes I have made, and I can’t stop it until it ends with “you’re such a loser.” Even if I’m doing all the things right, it always ends with this.
- If you want to think more holistically about the subject of mental illness, consider my post 18 Questions about Faith and Mental Illness.
What I’m Reading
Psychiatric Disorders Curriculum by David Powlison, Ed Welch, and Michael Emlet. There are no easy answers or quick fixes for the kind of brokenness that psychiatric disorders describe. People struggling with complex problems hurt deeply, feel socially isolated, and are often misunderstood. Diagnostic labels like OCD, PTSD, Bipolar Disorder and ADHD have become commonly used in our culture, and many in the church live with the struggles these labels describe.
Tweets of the Week
Have correct theology
Labor for justice
Liberate the oppressed
Memorize the Bible
Gain a platform
Grow in wokeness
Evangelize unreached peoples
Fight against heresies
Create political progress
Win the argument…
“…but do not have love, I am nothing.” 1 Cor. 13:1-3
— Garrett Kell ن (@pastorjgkell) March 15, 2018
1. Generally in the black church, you learn about Jesus through Moses. Evangelicals, Paul. That's why evangelicals struggle w/social issues.
— Anthony Bradley (@drantbradley) January 4, 2017
Jesus suffered in our place, not just for our salvation, but as a divine guarantee that one day suffering would die and we would live with him in peace and harmony forever.
— Paul David Tripp (@PaulTripp) March 20, 2018
On the Lighter Side
Because, “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones,” Proverbs 17:22.