Marriage Crisis

Devotional

The Relationship Counseling We All Need


If you find yourself in a marriage crisis right now, you’re not alone. Over the next few days, we’ll explore some stories from real-life people who have made it through addictions, affairs, and brokenness. They’ll share what they’ve learned through the mess and give us some practical tips for navigating situations that seem too much to handle. But first, what if you’re trying to prevent a marriage crisis in the first place? Here’s some general relationship counseling advice anyone in any marriage could benefit from. 


Wouldn’t it be great if we had classes like “People Skills” and “How to Budget”? But of all the classes we would have found useful, I think none would have been more important than a relationship counseling class. Why? Because we all have holes in our relationship knowledge. We’re good at navigating certain situations … and at a loss when it comes to others. If “Relationships 101” were a real class we could take, here are a few of the basics we would learn.


4 of the Best Pieces of Relationship Counseling for Everyone


1. We are all flawed. And we marry flawed people. I used to find myself drowning in a dreamy standard of marriage that I couldn’t meet. The resulting stress wreaked havoc in our home. I needed to embrace a big dose of God’s grace so I could then extend a big dose of grace to my husband. God’s grace, extended through one another, is probably the most important ingredient in any relationship.


2. Focus on that which is praiseworthy. It’s so easy to focus on what’s wrong. However, the Word of God tells us in Philippians 4:8 to focus on that which is pure and admirable and praiseworthy. Living any other way stifles the abundant life God has in store for us. It takes discipline to focus your attention on what’s good, but it’s a blessing to both your relationship and your soul to learn this valuable lesson.


3. Good relationships take effort, time, and investment. We all come from parents we didn’t choose, in cities we didn’t choose, in a time in history we didn’t choose. But God can use our relationships to make us into better people—if we are willing to put in the time and effort. We can’t change others, but we can choose to have a gracious and forgiving heart. 


4. The greatest of these is love. Love is patient and kind. It does not brag and is not arrogant. It does not act unbecoming or selfish. Love covers sin and does not expose it. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things. 1 Corinthians 13 is often preached as a standard of conduct we must achieve. However, it is a beautiful picture of how Christ loves us. As we comprehend and embrace His love for us, it will spill over into our relationships. 1 Corinthians 13 is the best “relationship counselor” for those of us who need it. 


Not a bad syllabus, right? But no one actually graduates from the “Relationship 101” class. We will spend our lives learning more about this subject. Life beckons us to study well. A wise life is well-lived and is deeply rooted in relationships well-loved!


—Roxanne