Lutheran Church Extension Fund
Give your marriage a lift: See a counselor!

Give your marriage a lift: See a counselor!

My last two blogs were a waste of time. Let’s fix that.

I wrote, “Have a deep conversation with your spouse!” and then, “Set some good boundaries at home!” Yeah, yeah, blah, blah, blah. You’ve heard it all before a thousand times.

I bet Barna would tell me, “Darrell, your response rate was just under 1%!”

We’re focusing on marriage and family life this month. Those two blogs were true enough. This one actually makes a difference. Allow me to kick you in the pants.

Make an appointment with your spouse to go and see a marriage counselor for a good marital tune-up at least once every few years.

For Carol and I, the issue that finally got us to go see a therapist for the first time was a recent transition. We took a call and moved. Carol sacrificed a great job, all of her friends, and a home she loved.

We found Helen, talked it through (with Helen’s considerable assistance), and found relief. Thank you, Helen. Seven years later, we moved again. Same thing. Thank you, Al.

Carol and I were delighted by the joy and relief we found in a good counselor’s office. The mood changed. Reset button. Confession and absolution. Dying and rising. New beginning.

We wonder why we waited so long. Don’t wait.

Instead of transitions, you might be working through one of the other numerous issues church work couples deal with: grief and the accompanying anger or resentment; broken trust that needs restoring; maybe even help with communication and setting boundaries!

A surprisingly high number of church workers say they have no one that they can talk to honestly and openly about things that are bothering them. I suspect that the number is even higher for our spouses.

In case you’re wondering, I can already hear you saying, “But we don’t really have any issues in our marriage!” Seriously?

I’d encourage you to make something up! Find a reason to call the Employee Assistance Program of your insurance company (for Concordia Plans/CIGNA: 800-605-6621) and get approved for a few sessions. My experience is that even the healthiest marriages have a few things rumbling around under the surface that your therapist will help you uncover and address.

Because church work spouses need a relief valve.

They need a safe place to blow off some steam. And a helper who will make sure that they are truly being heard.

And church workers (read here: “especially Pastors”), are often much better listeners at church than they are at home.

We could all work on better communication around the difficult topics church work couples need to discuss. And we could all use some help setting appropriate boundaries.

If you haven’t ever, or for some time, sought out the guidance of a Christian counselor for a good marriage tune-up, I’d strongly encourage it.

There. Consider yourself kicked in the pants. Now read this together and make a plan.

Thanks for reading.