For some time now, our house has been a hangout spot for college-age folks. They come to read and talk about the Bible on a weekly basis. Most of these friends are single, yet they desire to find a spouse. My wife and I can relate as we are not too far removed from this age group. But singles often feel isolated in the church. How can we better minister to them? In Craig Marshall’s 2014 workshop on singleness, he covers the following helpful points that benefit biblical counselors as well as the church at large.
- Empathize and Engage
- Help the Counselee Think Through Singleness Biblically
- Encourage the Counselee
- Encourage the Church
Typically, “why” questions are ineffective in counseling, as people are more likely to blame their sin on the behavior of another. This is especially true in the case of abusers. Asking an abuser why he hit his wife will open the door for him to blame her perceived lack of respect or submission, her chastisement of him, or some other aspect of her behavior that provoked him. This is not what the biblical counselor is after. Instead, asking “what” questions provides more specific, accurate, and valuable data. For example, asking the counselee “What did you expect your wife to do after you began calling her those names?” can expose the true desires of the heart. Through “what” questions, the counselor can discover the lust for control, desire for power, and overwhelming pride that is generally driving abusers. With this step, the biblical counselor should begin to look out for true, biblical repentance.
A heartbreaking trend began recently on social media. In the wake of the abuse exposed in the entertainment industry, women across the globe started speaking out about the harassment and abuse that they too have endured.
Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are virtually overwhelmed with the hashtag #metoo, identifying people who have suffered at the hands of an abuser. As each high profile case hits the headlines, our hearts are burdened by the victim’s suffering and we long to help.
Over the years, IBCD has invited pastors and counselors to share with us how to speak the truth of God’s love tenderly to those who have been abused. The Word of God is a powerful comfort that rescues the weak and needy (Ps 82:1-4). We want you to know that these solid, biblical resources are now located together in one place and can be easily accessed as you seek to minister the love of God.