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.
5 Things the Church Does that Enable Abuse by Dave Hughes
With all that in mind, I’ve been thinking though about some of the things in our own church culture that, while well meaning, can enable abuse and create environments that are enticing to abusers and dangerous for abused. Put another way, how do we make our “hospitals” safer for everyone? I don’t have all the answers but I can think of a few things that might help:
- If you were challenged by this post and wondered what to do next, consider reading my post “Why We Should Always Teach Romans 13 with Romans 12“
Disability and a Theology of the Body by Michael Emlet
How attuned are you to your own body in everyday life? We are most aware of our bodies when we find ourselves at either end of the spectrum of pain and pleasure. We “know” (experientially) we are body when we face pain, disability, and limitations in bodily function. We also “know” we are body (and revel in it) when we have experiences of sensual pleasure—good food, music, sexual intimacy, and more. Whether associated with painful disability or pleasurable delight, we want our experiences as bodily creatures to be understood through the lens of Scripture. If we are not guided carefully by Scripture, it’s very easy to gravitate toward a distorted theology of the body that either exalts or demeans the body’s importance. This can lead to potential distortions in ministry to those struggling with disability.
- If you are looking for a theology of ministering to suffering, consider my article Gospel-Driven Counseling for Suffering SUFFERING_GOSPEL_article_Hambrick.
After reading, You Are Not Alone, I was impacted most significantly by the reality that there is no perfect parent. You may be thinking, well, duh, I know that already. But hear me: we all start out wanting to be that perfect parent. We vowed to not make the mistakes we saw other parents make; we dedicated ourselves to do whatever it took to bring our kids up in the knowledge and admonition of the Lord. We believed that if I do this, this will be the result. I used to look at troubled kids and say, “I wonder what mistakes their parent made?” And foolishly concluded, “Well, that won’t happen to me!” What brought the message home loud and clear was the example of God, Himself. God is the perfect Parent. And look how we turned out. How does knowing this help me? God having troubled kids is part of a perfect plan. He is my children’s ultimate parent. I fail. He does not. Yet, even in my failure, His plan will prevail for His glory, my good, and my children’s good.
- Our Connections Pastor recently posted on a similar subject “Q&A: How Do You Serve Families With Special Needs?“… oh, and did I mentioned Danny Franks also released a new book this week. Please do your church a favor and get this book. I get no kickbacks. It’s just a really good and needed book.
- If you have a teenager straying from their faith, you might also benefit from this post ““Mom/Dad, I’m Not Sure I Want to be a Christian Anymore…”
Are Some Sins Worse Than Others? by Nick Batzig
One of my close friends was telling me about a recent interaction he had at a Reformed seminary with a student who was preparing to go into college ministry. In the course of their conversation, my friend and this seminarian entered in on the subject of sexual sin. This young man insisted that there is no sexual sin that is more heinous than another. My friend pushed back on that idea, explaining to him that the Scriptures and our Reformed Confessions teach otherwise. The young man then gave my friend the common rebuttal, “Jesus talked more about self-righteousness than sexual sin; and, he said that self-righteousness was worse than sexual sin.” Ironically, this response only lends support to the idea that some sins are more heinous than others. However, it has sadly become the most common way in which many pastors have recently sought to downplay the severity of sexual sin. Contrary to the current narrative, the Scriptures, the Reformed Confessions and principles of nature teach us that some sins are more reprehensible than others.
- If you are wrestling with the implications of this post, you might benefit from reading my post “We Are Equally Sinful. We Are Not All Equally Broken or Toxic.“
7 Signs You’re Parenting Right According to a Clinical Psychologist by Nadene van der Linden
Parents often worry that they are failing their kids. Modern parents hold themselves to higher standards as we guide our children to adulthood. It’s easy to get caught in a comparison trap with other parents or look for outwardly measurable signs of our success. In my work as a clinical psychologist, there are seven signs I see that tell me a child has an awesome parent.
- Here is a re-cap of on the traditions I’ve started with my boys to elicit more of the traits in my interactions with them: #ManTrip7: High Roping and Zip Lining into 6th Grade.
What I’m Reading
Developments in Biblical Counseling by J. Cameron Fraser. Are you looking for a brief introduction to what the biblical counseling movement is and how it has changed over the years? In Developments in Biblical Counseling, J. Cameron Fraser turns a journalistic eye to this question and presents a concise assessment. Introducing us to the formative work of Jay Adams, Fraser outlines several themes of biblical counseling that became foundational for the movement as a whole and observes how the movement received criticisms from outside and made necessary developments from within. He points out that some of these developments have an affinity with Puritan approaches to counseling that Adams rejects but may point in a more consistently biblical direction.
Table of Contents:
1. Some Foundational Views of Nouthetic Counseling
2. Some Criticisms of Nouthetic Counseling
3. Some Developments in Biblical Counseling
4. Biblical and Puritan Counseling
Tweets of the Week
The one quote that I make sure to put into every wedding ceremony I do:
“It is not your love that sustains your marriage, but from now on, your marriage that sustains your love.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer
— Benjamin Kandt (@BRKandt) January 15, 2018
I’m CONSTANTLY amazed by the ways that working out affects my mental health!
— Chelsea P Sobolik (@ChelsPat) January 18, 2018
The words we speak, in public and in private, can never be unsaid. They can be forgiven, but not unsaid.
We must ask God to guard our words.
— Jeremy Pierre (@jeremypierre) January 22, 2018
Clarity compels meaning
within the ambiguous.
Ambiguity creates humility
within the certain.
has a monopoly on
— Paul Maxwell (@paulcmaxwell) January 22, 2018
On the Lighter Side
Because, “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones,” Proverbs 17:22.