Counseling brought us together.
Counseling brought you together. I think that’s actually a great jumping off spot. Because as I sit here today biblical counseling in many ways is part of the Christian culture. It’s relatively accepted. You both were there, the pioneers in the early days. The first question I’d like to ask is, what did the landscape looked like when you first became engaged in biblical counseling? Really maybe even before that for each of you individually, who got on board first with this concept of biblical counseling?
Well for me, it was, I was at a seminary. Was so ignorant to guys who say, you are a Armenian. Like a Armenia, Italy. I mean, I was totally ignorant. I was a jock. I got to seminary unconverted and partly, part of the conversion was seeing Jay Adam’s counsel and use the scripture and see people’s lives actually transformed. For me, it was part of my conversion and coming to grips with who I was with the seminar, it was more as a guilt trip. Kind of an interesting, it was a long story. That was for me the introduction to biblical counseling and so that shaped my whole Christian experience as well as ministry per se.
In the realm of biblical counseling we find that people come and they’ll sit across from us and emotions are very much on the forefront of at least people’s dispositions if you will. What is some of the encouragement or counsel that you would give to somebody who’s a biblical counselor who is potentially dealing with somebody who’s in an emotionally charged situation? What are the things that you’d say hey be aware of this, be cautious of this? Is there some practical insights that you might give just right off the top of your head?
Yeah. I would say that as a biblical counselor, one, we can’t afford to ignore the way people end up feeling. Whether you’re dealing with somebody that needs to forgive somebody or you’re dealing with a person that has uncontrolled anger, the fact is that the emotions play a significant role. You have to be aware not just of faulty thinking patterns or sinful behavior patterns, but how are the emotions at play here? Are they driving the person, which is often the case.
I would say then secondly that we need to be very much aware of the relationship between the way that we think and the way that we feel. At least in my perspective, one of the burdens of biblical counseling is to get people thinking biblically which in turn, I think, helps realign their emotions.
- Listen to this episode: 013 Interview with Brian Borgman
- Learn more about Brian Borgman
- Listen to Brian’s talks from the 2016 Summer Institute
- Read Feelings and Faith
- Read After They Are Yours: The Grace and Grit of Adoption
- Listen to Does God Care How I Feel?
- Listen to The Grace And Grit Of Adoption Part 1
No, I know. It’s just me and the Bible and God. I just latched onto that and that was like, “This is what I’m suppose to be doing.” Now, when I thought about that, I thought just in my little church. I had no clue that what would happen did happen.
Along that line, as you’re looking at Titus 2 and thinking of women who are now empty nesters and understanding Titus 2 are supposed to be pouring into these younger women but maybe they feel like they’re not prepared enough. They haven’t set down when they’re 33 and thought, “This is the trajectory I’m going.” What would you say to them as they find themselves hearing that passage and thinking about their particular stage in life?
I think several things. A godly, mature woman need to understand Bible doctrine and be able to explain it. She needs to, of course, be able to explain the gospel. Just basic doctrine. She also needs to know the specific verses for the women and children and then in the context and how to explain those. Then she just needs to not be selfish. These empty nesters, like me and I’ve been en empty nester for quite a while, they tend to be selfish and they won’t get involved. They’re only playing with their grandchildren or they’ve gone to aerobics. That’s where they are. They’re just not obeying the Lord. I did write a book about this and it’s called Becoming A Titus 2 Woman. It’s for all women: young, single, married or old. They need to be thinking in these terms. I tried, in the book, to tell them how, by God’s grace, that they can practically develop this godly character and then what it looks like to teach and exhort the younger women.
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Confession of sin for a believer, a justified believer of Christ is the precursor to gospel confession.
I like talking about the magnitude of my sin and reminding myself of what I deserve for my sin because it just sets me up to appreciate the grace of God.
When you read the Puritans, like in the Valley of Vision, sometimes if you look at particular lines, you think, “Man, those guys are beating themselves up,” but look at how those prayers finish. They’re just setting themselves up to be dazzled by the grace of God. If I confess my sins, and I want to make this point tomorrow that I should not just confess my sins but I also need to make gospel confessions regarding my sins, that Christ has died for my sins. He has provided atonement for my sins, and there is no condemnation. Who is there who condemns? Christ is the one who has died, and as God has justified me, who shall separate me from the love of Christ? My goodness, if my confessions of sin always climaxed with gospel confessions like what we see in Romans 8, then it’s a wonderful discipline when those things come together.