Course Study By: Dr. Grady
Christian counseling can be defined as a central and critical relationship between people who care. Christian counseling deals with people as one who have been created by God. These people are in the like image of God. The Christian counselor must be saved and very mature in the word of God.
A Christian counselor must use Christian counseling at all times by encouraging and guiding people that are facing many problems. Their stress is one of innermost feelings. All the secular doctors in the world cannot assist them as a Christian counselor filled with the Holy Spirit.
I once read a book, Released From Bondage, that explained the guilt many people have and exactly how to become totally released from any bondage. A Christian counselor wrote this book. While reading Released From Bondage, one can feel the guilt disappear as they read. This book was only written through the guidance of the Holy Spirit in my opinion.
Christian counseling can help the conflicts and social pressure. The stress today is keeping up with the world is not understood by a non-Christian. A person that is not saved and mature cannot possibly know the difference between Spiritual release and worldly bondage. Christian counseling separates this immediately.
Every Christian worker should consider the emphasis he places on counseling. He should keep in mind that God is intensely interested in the individual. In Jesus’ ministry here on earth, He manifested His interest in individuals. True, the throngs pressed him and He fed the multitude, but Jesus called His disciples one by one. Jesus met Nicodemus alone to talk over the things of God. Another time Jesus sat by a well and explained to a woman of Samaria how she could have satisfying, living water. And in a jostling street procession Jesus looked up and spotted a man sitting in the branches of a tree. Jesus ordered the man to come down. Then Jesus left the throng and went with Zacchaeus to his home so that He could personally discuss this man’s needs. Christ heard the pleading cry of poor blind Bartimaeus and stopped on His way to minister to him and to give him sight.
Jesus gave His life for each individual and salvation is an individual matter. Counseling was His major tool in winning people to Himself. Counseling to my understanding is best described as the story of the wondering sheep. The good shepherd left the ninety and nine to help one, poor wandering sheep. Can we do less than give people our personal attention? It is God’s way and it is the effective way to help people with their individual needs.
The goal of an effective counselor is to know God and to make God known through the help of the Holy Spirit to all people. A good listener is a must for an effective counseling session. Taking time with people is a process within itself, and understanding what people are saying is most important. Humble and staying professional as Jesus did is the way into the hearts of others. The counselor should be respectful and be respected. The counselor must understand that he or she is not the judge, only a Christian counselor.
Team playing is a must and Jesus showed exactly what team playing was when He washed the disciples feet. Jesus showed that the greatest counselor in history was a servant. Jesus guarded Himself from being manipulated and used by deceitful people. Counselors should never meet the opposite sex in an un-supervised area. Honesty is the best in all cases and one must guard from lies from either side.
Prayer before and after meetings keeps both sides under the accountability to God. A good counselor must live what he counsels and be a Godly person .We read that the feeling of our infirmities in Hebrews touches Jesus. Jesus wept when He came to the grave of His friend, Lazarus (Jn. 11.35). Jesus mourned for the city of Jerusalem as He poured out His heart over its wayward, indifferent condition (Matt. 23.37). Sympathy is communicated by a gentle approach and kind words. Yet a counselor cannot afford to let his heart run away with his reason. He is of little effect if he becomes ill. This only aggravates the situation. In such cases the counselor, as well as the counselee needs help. We as counselors are and never will be as strong as Jesus, but with good training and the Holy Spirit’s help we can counsel others.
The counselor is the Christian leader who guides the person through spiritual growth, and allows that person to deal with the problems here on earth. The first role of the counselor is to assist the person to relax. Showing warm understanding and letting that person know that things really are all right. The counselee must trust the counselor and this is accomplished by a slow warm process. The fruit of a Christian will show out to the counselor immediately and the counselor must help one who is not saved to come to the Lord for salvation.
A good counselor will be energetic, and a good listener. The counselor cannot get involved physically with the counselee. The counselor must be able to filter all the things that may not be true when listening to the counselee, not because this is absolutely what the counselor believes to be true. A true counselor will build a slow, strong, effective relationship with the counselee.
The counselor must focus their attention on the counseling process. During each interview subject concentrate on the therapeutic process of Why, what, where and how are good places to start on each subject that is brought out. Record this information and develop a pattern in the counselee’s thinking habits.
The counselor must realize that a person’s unfortunate situation is not unfamiliar to the counselee at all. Many times they are moving to fast and must be calmed and slowed down.
The counselor must realize that objectivity is seldom achieved through too close identification. Only as a person remains some distance from an object can he discern its true perspective and its comparative size. A friendly distance allows more accurate judgment.
The counselor must commit the problem to the Lord. He knows and understands that He is able. Worrying about a problem is an indication that the counselor may not trust the Lord. The Christian counselor can maintain a sympathetic yet objective attitude towards cases by praying about them and committing them to God. This allows the counselor to achieve a healthy balance in helping those who have serious problems. A counselee wants help, not hindrance. Unconsciously, he seeks in his counselor an example of poise and composure. It is the privilege of the counselor to be this man or woman.
One day when Job’s sons and daughters were feasting and drinking wine at the oldest brother’s house, a messenger came to Job and said, “The oxen were plowing and the donkeys were grazing nearby, and the Sabeans attacked and carried them off. They put the servants to the sword, and I am the only one who escaped to tell you (Job. 1.13,14).”
Job, one of the wealthiest men of his day, was in financial disaster. All in one day, he lost everything he owned through theft and through natural disaster, which was lightning. We do not know how Job reacted to the deaths of his servants. At some periods in history, servants were considered as property and would not be mourned any more than their monetary equal in cattle or sheep. Job, I believe mourned all because he was a man who trusted and loved the Lord.
Crisis in life may not be that one has lost his oxen, donkeys, camels, or sheep lately, but one could use their home, furniture, clothes, car, stocks and bonds, real estate, and other personal treasures. One could have just lost a loved one.
Crisis intervention presents help immediately to the people facing crises. The counselor is to help the person cope with the crisis. The counselor is to help remove the negative results of a crisis. The counselor is to educate the person in handling future crises. The counselor must always present the facts biblically. A good example here is to use Scripture to help someone get through a death, “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassion never fails, they are new every morning, great is your faithfulness’ (Lam. 3.22-23).” “My God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus (Phil. 4.19).”
The extential crisis is a combination of the first two discussed here. This crisis involves people who are saying, “What next for me?” Faith is there for many but the thoughts continue on asking, what and how is going to happen next?
The counselor should handle each case differently as far as dealing with individual personalities. Making contact with the counselee is a good first intervention. Get to the hurt and show an interest and concern. Get the person removed from the hurt and secure their body and mind. Find the resources that they need spiritually and physically. Help the counselee make plans and goals in their new life. Teach them not to be concerned of yesterday, but only today and set plans and goals and make them accountable to these goals. Encourage, give hope, and be there for the past because the past will certainly come back to work on their mind. I personally believe this is the devil the bad spirit using this to attach the good.
Referrals should be made when the counselor has reached the end of the rope with a counselee. Some people need other opinions and this is a good time for the counselor to call upon those counselors who may be able to help the counselee. According to the references in the text it is good to have a file of references for the emergency crisis.
Anxiety can only be freed by the peace of God. Fear, withdrawal, discouragement, unwise decisions, sickness, and other physical disorders can occur from worry and stress, or anxiety and worry.
Paul writes, “Be anxious for nothing, but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made known unto God. And the peace of God which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
Many people have made mistakes that have cost them dearly for becoming over anxious or a need to get something accomplished by them without the guidance of God. Many do not even know why or what they are doing because they are of the world and not of the Spirit. I personally believe that this points out the fruit of the Spirit.
The subject of loneliness is real for everyone on earth. Most Christians are lonely. Being lonely is the reason why we should become involved in Christian work. Loneliness is most evident to me because one of my ministries is mostly with senior citizens. The loneliest people in the world are these people. The loneliest are those who are not saved, but for those who are saved things are not much better. I have seen a husband loose his wife and never get over the hurt and at the same time just because that person is a pastor, an evangelist, or a saint in the church he carries a smile and hides his hurts. It is my dream to have a worldwide ministry for the senior adults who are hurting. Go to them counselors and keep them involved in something. Become their best friend even if you are a relative, become their best friend.
Loneliness has brought many to death soon after their loved one has passed on. Many who are lonely become emotionally disturbed and physically sick. God is their only hope. I show the film presented by Dr. Van Impe concerning the Book of Revelations to my people in the senior adult world. They seem to have a great peace come over them when they see the living water and the fruit beside the stream. The seem to become more content when they really understand that they will know their love ones and that they will have a kingdom of friends and love ones for eternity very soon.
Depression is an act of sometimes simply feeling sorrow for yourself. Depression often occurs when bad things happen to good people. Depression occurs when one has a funeral in his or her heart for a love one who has moved away, a friend that might never be seen again or just the memories of the past. Depression is a killer, and one should see a Christian counselor to help them become released from such bondage.
Anger is a subject of many problems in today’s society. Anger gets people into trouble in every aspect. People become angry sometimes because they just do not feel loved. They become angry because they cannot have their way.
By defining anger as the emotion of self-preservation of your worth, needs, and convictions, it is easier to detect your moments of vulnerability to it. But while we recognize our times of vulnerability, we still need to answer a common question: Is anger good or bad? There are times when anger is incorrectly associated with trivial matters. And there are times when it may be associated with legitimate concerns, but is managed irresponsibly. Balance is found when anger is linked to a responsible issue and is communicated in a proper manner. This requires delicate sifting through the options of anger management, a challenge to be explored in detail by a Christian counselor.
Anger can be analyzed to be nonproductive by understanding this cycle. Resistance by others begins to create increased confusion that leads to painful circumstances and involves angry emotions that results in an effort to change one environment. They quickly think that insanity may just be doing the same thing over and over and expecting something different to come from each occurrence. Anger results sometimes when some try to control others. Christian counselors much approach with extreme caution those who think they are being controlled.
Guilt is simple to most people but very complex to others. Guilt can be something inflicted on us in life that was not our fault. Guilt can be not bringing your children up in a Christian fashion. Many things can create guilt, but how to get ride of guilt is the subject at hand. A Christian Counselor can handle guilt by helping that counselee understand that Jesus Christ died for our sins and we have no burden of sin that cannot be forgiven if only we repent. For those who are guilty because of others they must understand the separation and pray for others because they are released from bondage of guilt through Jesus Christ.
No man should ever make one feel guilty. Jesus said that He would send a helper, the Holy Spirit. God puts on our heart spiritual guilt for repentance, but earthly guilt from others should be removed.
The Christian counselor must be patient with some one who is depressed. The counselor must use every God given talent and skill and seek the Holy Spirit to assist in every move. Everything dealing with a person in depression will have to be removed slowly. A Christian counselor must be able to detect movements from the body, expressions, and jesters as a tip that person is ready or not ready to listen to the opportunity of being released from bondage.
Getting to the bottom of the problem is most essential in stopping the counselee from becoming angry, or more depressed in the future. This also allows the counselor to help that person set a pattern, goals and becoming accountable for their actions in the future.
Everything must be brought out into the opening and it is the job of the counselor to receive the necessary involvement from the counselee to acquire this information. Danger to the counselee’s body concerning physical harm or death must be dealt with in a Christian biblical manner to have the counselee understand that not only is this against the law of the land but against the law of God and is not moral.
Anger is the most critical point of ones life. God has a way of allowing good Christian counselors to help people in these bondages of guilt. The Christian counselor must be trained, skilled and filled with the Holy Spirit to tackle some one with a guilt problem. The counselor must determine the cause of the guilt and solve that problem first. The understanding of the Bible is most important here. The counselor should get that person in bible training. Forgiveness is very important, and Christian counselors must teach and get the counselee to understand that as God forgave the person so should he or she forgive others who might have been involved.
One final word from personal experience is that getting someone to talk about his or her problems is the most important roll in a Christian counselors job. I personally realized this when my professor of The Book of Romans pointed out so perfectly that one should use his testimony to help others come to salvation. This was really the icing on the cake for me. Use your circumstances Romans 5.l-4, to present salvation whenever you have the opportunity.
Counselors must be aware that anger is something that is not normal. Anger is when one has lost his adult thinking. I once took a course in child thinking, adult thinking, and critical adult thinking, by Bob Avery in Odessa, Texas. The most important thing that I learned was when one is in the critical adult thinking, he or she must be brought down into the child thinking even before adult thinking can be utilized. Only when adult thinking is in action can one reason with another. I use the example of when your mom bought an item and your father came into the house from work and found out, all terror broke out, that is critical adult, adult is when one can think and conduct business properly. Child thinking is when you are thinking of golfing, fishing, or just doing something you really enjoy.
Secular measures are important but to help angry people one must use the Holy Spirit working very closely with God’s word. I feel that I am very qualified on this matter because I have been there, and struggle often with this problem of anger. God’s word has helped me most of all to grow and mature and realize that God controls this world, not me.
Guilt is the result of many factors and the Christian counselor must know how to help that person be released from the bondage of guilt. We are to equip ourselves as Christian Counselors in order to release others from bondage.
For God to join some one with another they must be equally yoked as for as being a Christian. Many people say that they are living in guilt because their husband or wife left them. The Bible says they are released if that person has chosen to leave them, and that person was not a Christian to start out with. Were they every married in God’s eyes to begin with?
The Bible says it is better to remain single if possible, but if one cannot because of reasons spelled out in the Bible then one is to marry (I Cor. 7.1). (II Cor. 6.14,15) states plainly, “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers? FOR what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?”
I could really get involved in the marriage, divorce and remarriage subject but this is not the subject at hand here. God hates divorce but He does regulate divorce in The Book of I Corinthians, chapter seven.
Singles are lonely and everything discussed in the counseling of lonely people must be considered in counseling the single person. The counselor needs to define the difference between friendship and romantic love. The counselor must advice the counselee that God gave them a mind, a bible and the Holy Spirit to guide them to do the right thing.
Singles are ok, they are needed and they should have no guilt about being single. There is a difference of one being single. There is a difference of one being single and one becoming single. These differ so much that the counselor must handle their problems in a different manner. Lonely singles unmarried are much different than lonely singles that have memories of marriage and the guilt of the past.
Skills necessary are to listen to their problems, lead them to the bible for Scripture to show them the correct manner in which they are to live. The counselor must help the counselee find reassurance. It is important for the counselor to reassure that God knows what is best and will do what is best for us when Christians obey. Selecting the correct mate can be important and the counselor should show the counselee how this is done.
Pregnancy is a tough topic with many married and unmarried couples today. Women in the Old Testament wanted to bear children because they perhaps would be the one to bear the Messiah. Women today want children because they are very lonely and want something that they can have to call their own for security. Their ownership has to be counseled by a Christian counselor to make the mother understand that their child is God’s child just as Jesus was God’s son and Marry was the caretaker of the Child.
Divorce is a controversial subject and many Christians are struggling with this problem. The Bible says God hates divorce but regulates divorce in Corinthians. The people can choose to remain single or they can return to their mate is one view point. The other viewpoint is that if the text of the bible is understood and taken exegetical from the verses and these verses followed as to detail. This detail taken into context as to what it says, what it means and how to apply it, and then followed in detail, then the bible says in some cases it is all right to remarry.
I teach a seminar that we conduct periodically concerning marriage, divorce, and remarriage. These conclusions are strictly from the bible and contain all Scripture. Guilt from this subject is one of the largest problems in counselee’’ minds.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure underlies the philosophy of premarital counseling. A few interviews before the wedding conferring frankly and confidentially with a counselor may well prevent numerous difficulties and heartaches after marriage.
Persons who seek marriage guidance come to the counselor for a variety of reasons. Many couples consider counseling an intelligent, an educative step to take in preparation for marriage as well as certain aspects unique to their particular relationship. The counselor’s job is to free them to enter marriage with greater confidence and with determination to build a successful and happy union.
Other couples have doubts, anxieties, and mixed feelings about whether or not to marry. They wonder if all persons approaching marriage and anxious or if their feelings stem from something deeper than altar panic.
Some engaged couples bring very disturbing and knotty problems, rooted in the personality structure of one or both of them. The source of their problems is often deeply buried and far too complex for them to handle.
My personal ministry with the senior citizen and counseling those people has become growing in number. The growing number of older persons contemplating remarriage or a first time marriage during middle years is seeking marital guidance. Emphasis in the past has been on helping young couples with their marriages, for the older couples have been considered old enough to know what they are doing. This is an inadequate statement and not true. Many older people are not saved and we sometimes think so because they have been around a long time.
The counselor should of course have all the usual skills, bible understanding, able to discern the Scripture to the counselees through the help of the Holy Spirit, and to guide those seeking help to a happy marriage.
The first concern of child rearing and adolescence is for the parents not to command or provoke their children in wrath. Showing a lack of respect, physical abuse, and mental abuse are all these acts of wrath on your children. The Bible teaches plainly that children are to obey their parents, and I personally believe that this pertains to parents saved or unsaved as to morals and plain conscience.
Parents should be good listeners for their little children and always think Biblically for decisions pertaining their children. God gives all His children unconditional love and so should we to our children. The bible also so says not to spare the rod. Many parents take religion instead of Christianity and use this to cop out on their children. Sparing the rod, they say is the Christian way and that parents should only talk to their children. American schools, parents and leaders of their country had better wake up. Do not spare the rod, get prayer back into the schools, and pastor stop being coward when it comes to telling your people what they do not want to hear. A pastor, a counselor or any parent are not different as their actions are watched carefully by children.
I believe that many in the world do probably not understand the word adolescence today. This course has presented the question and deserves an answer biblical. The adolescence can be one or ninety-nine. Jesus picked the little child up and basically made a point to His disciples that we are all children and Spiritual children, and a good counselor should point this out to the and are all like little children in the eyes of God. The difference here is physical counselee.
Our text plainly shows how counselors should activate the minds of children and show how counselors should become involved with their little activities at a very young age. Drawing, writing, watching films, puzzles or any activity the children are doing allows the counselor to utilize his or her skill. Showing love, and honor and good actions from the counselor is very important. One might say well I am not a counselor. God says we are all counselors of the word, teachers of the word and evangelist to all.
A Christian counselor will listen to both sides of a story or problem between parents and children. The Christian counselor then will back up all decisions from the Bible and explain in the manner necessary for the children to understand and of course the parents to understand. I have personally found from teaching typology that one can use third grade on up to the senior citizen and they usually respond to this type of teaching.
Making parents accountable is very important. One might say what kind of accountability are you talking about. This is theology and must be said in understandable and accountable words.
Communication is most important, but even more important Christian communication must be evident in all things discussed. Parents fear loosing their children and the parents sometimes feels by using the rod that they be taken to jail. God is the only person that one is accountable to, and, by following His word, one cannot go wrong. There is certainly a difference in correcting and beating and in no way do I advocate this. Law enforcement governs such unacceptable actions. One will answer to his wrong doings. God knows the heart. The counselor must understand that building a good relationship with the parents and the children is first in acquiring Christian counseling.
Finances are important in God’s work. God wants us to have the financial security that we deserve. God showed man string and man wove it into a rope. God showed man wire and man wove it into a cable. God showed man strong and man made into strength. All these things God allowed man to mature with. Finances are no different that building a house. One must, through faith, build his financial security by first tithing to the Lord from the first time the first stand of rope or wire is woven. God says it is a sin and pastors, and saints had better face up to the fact that if they expect something for nothing they are going to be waiting a long time. We take time here to make a statement that Grace is free. Your salvation is absolutely free and has been freely from Jesus. Eternal Salvation is given through the blood of Jesus. Counseling on this subject must be biblical and filled with the Holy Spirit. God does want us to be financially secure or He would not regulate or discuss throughout the Bible tithing and storing.
Many people will say that the Bible does not discuss the middle aged, but this is absolutely not true. Young adults and middle age people are given Scripture on how to deal with their children and along with other duties of how we are supposed to act and become. Biblically sound and Biblically correct God’s word guides us through all ages.
Young people today face more problems than any other generation due to transportation, television, computer, radio, newsletters, newspapers, and other modern technique dealing with guns, dope, and other temptations available through the devils work. Bible quotes of past times covered some of the problems but not all. A good Christian counselor must be able to relate those problems of the past to the problems of today and help the young adults of today. The Bible shows us David’s fear of death at all times from Saul. Joseph and how his total life was in a danger some from being sold by his brothers. Jesus nearly being pushed off the cliff in the book of Luke is a good example how young adults are treated. Bible verses all over the Old Testament and the New Testament show how young adults subjected to wrong doings. John a young follower of Jesus Christ was treated no different than the older disciples.
Laziness is condemned in the Bible. Work is the proper way to follow the Bible. Many people do not understand the different types of work. Spiritual work is most important and the understanding of physical work is necessary. Jesus was a carpenter and stopped being a carpenter to take on a new works. Spiritual works requires much study and preparation and one must have exercise within the mind and fingers. Vocations are important and must be chosen with the help of God. Works can be defined as The Five Christian Crowns of a Christian.
Financial counseling is one of most important because of the issues of hospital and housing expenses in today ‘s world. A professional financial counselor should be a Christian financial counselor that effectively gets the point across to all age groups concerning biblical basis, dealing with basic concerns while here on earth concerning finances.
Vocational Christian counselors can be more prepared than others because of the quick moving economy today and the rapid way we receive economic results. The availability of training programs and just simply allowing the counselee to study what they might be interested in doing for a vocation is more readily available today. Christian counselors and introduce Scripture into ones training and allow the Holy Spirit to come into that counselees heart which will result in the answer for his or her vocation.
Young adult Christian counseling is difficult today because of the availability of the temptations at all times in front of that young person. Times have changed and people should realize that Christian counseling is most important for the youth and young adults.
Middle age people need more skilled Christian counselors and they must contain skills dealing with the meshing of the young adults way of life and the dealing with the senior adult ways of life. The Christian counselor must be biblical, but also must be able to talk and teach the middle age to look at more open windows on a daily basis.
The senior citizen counseling is very important because this is their last chance to openly change their lives and many times come to salvation. Age means nothing concerning salvation. We are all children in the eyes of God. A Christian counselor must be able to use the skills of many because these people have been around and are extremely wise of the world. The Holy Spirit must prevail in these cases.
All of us are going to die unless the Lord comes first. Some of us will have long, lingering illness. Some of us will be killed in accidents. Some of us will die suddenly from disease. Some of us will live a long time; however, we now have 100,000 people of 100 years old in the world today. Some of us may be that number. In counseling all ages of today we must consider that the counselee may need different types of counseling skills. We should sharpen our pencils and minds and use the Christian counseling in a more effective manner. We must deal with all ages in our counseling.
Sex is not for out side of a marriage. The Old and New Testaments are full of Scripture concerning the subject of sex. God designed sex to be for marriage. The act of marriage is Godly and two people become one. God’s command is to be fruitful to all.
Incest has taken place throughout time. False gods have been worshiped and sexual acts performed in front of these gods. Fornication and adultery are not allowed in the Bible and people concerning adultery in divorce many times misunderstand fornication. People who beat others in a marriage have conducted fornication. Spiritually thinking God must not allow one to be mistreated and expect that person to live in bondage in marriage under cruel circumstances therefore, adultery is fornication by mental and physical abuse as well as being adultery by sleeping with some ones wife. God hates divorce but God regulates divorce in Corinthians. God regulates divorce and these regulations are spelled out in detail.
Homosexuality is not allowed in the bible and is strictly prohibited by God. There is absolutely no regulation concerning homosexuality and if it were all right there would be something written as such. God destroyed Sodom, turned Lot’s wife into a pillow of salt. God does not look upon homosexuality as nothing but immoral.
The greatest skill knows what the Bible has to say concerning sexual issues and being able to discern the Scripture. A good Christian counselor must be firm in his belief. Taking time to listen is the most important part of a Christian counselors job. The counselor should be a good educator and must be able to conduct a quick picture of what is going on in a counselee’s mind concerning sexual acts.
The counselor must be able to demonstrate with proper questions the necessity for the counselee’s needs. The counselor must be sensitive to those needs and assist the counselee to obtain the needs. Practical and understandable advise is a must in Christian counseling.
Jesus was compassionate. Jesus healed many in the time He traveled and taught. Today the same type sickness is all around us. Drugs, alcohol, mental problems, and certainly physical sickness is not to be excluded. One is just as bad as the other and should not be over looked by the Christian Counselor.
The Old Testament seems to have recorded more physical sickness noted that the times of today. The Old Testament people seemed to think that sickness was the result of sin, and when Jesus appeared physically on the scene, He made clear the way of Spiritual understanding.
Paul had a thorn in his side throughout his entire ministry and asked Jesus to take this pain away. Was it physical or Spiritual? God said to Paul absolutely not. A good Christian counselor will say absolutely not in some cases and prove through Scripture, why not. Paul told Timothy to use a little wine for his stomach, and a good Christian counselor must be able to discern the Bible concerning alcohol. I would say there are two reasons for this. The Old Testament was in the times of bad water, there was certainly not water treating plants around and they could have had to drink water with wine mixed to kill the bacteria. They still dilute the wine in those countries with water to this day.
The complete concept here is that there is neither drugs nor alcohol, neither physical or mental sickness that are not totally curable by the Holy Spirit. A counselor must be able to discern the bible from worldly to Spiritual. One on one just as Jesus Christ did here on earth is the proper procedure.
As a Hospital Chaplain for several years, I feel that the skills learned were many and became very beneficial. We meet many people with different problems and many different sicknesses. Going out to the patients is absolutely not like the patients coming to you. The counselor must be ready for different personalities all in one day and sometimes within one hour of visiting. The main skill personally utilized is smiling and being friendly. Professionalism is a must and dress is a must in the outer first impression of many patients.
A strong listener is essential in sickness no matter what sickness is involved. Making sure that the patient’s family is all right is very important through the process of counseling. Speaking to small groups then becomes a skill within
Job experienced many examples of grief in the Old Testament. Joseph probably grieved many times over for his family that had sold him. David grieved when Saul sought to kill him. Mary certainly grieved in the time of her son’s death, Jesus Christ. When people are grieving they need help from a Christian counselor that will supply the skill of listening and just being there. Remembering you later will start one to request your help. Grieving can be held in and a good counselor must show the counselee how to let it all out.
Self esteem comes from feeling that one is worth something to some one or something. A Christian counselor can demonstrate love to that person and show Scripture to the needed and help the self-esteem come back to the person feeling terrible.
God did create us in His own image and we are worth something. We have a different capacity than an animal and we must remember this at all times. We are inferior to others; we are in God’s image. We are the light of the world through Jesus Christ. Many people get faith confused with Christ. We worship Christ through our faith. Christ loves us and takes care of our Spiritual needs. A helper I will send you, and He did send the Holy Spirit.
A Christian counselor must be able to laugh through tough times. A counselor must be prepared to assist the mother of that newborn baby that just died. Skills are through the Holy Spirit and needed help is available for the counselor to perform properly.
Discovering the root of a problem seems to solve several problems for the counselee in most cases. Grief is tough for many people and a counselor must be a good listener and give reassurance. Being there for the counselee is most important because self-esteem is necessary to solve most problems in their lives.
The Spiritual aspect of counseling is derived through the Bible and the assistance of the Holy Spirit. Secular counselors sometimes leave out this issue and Christian counselors can use their training to led some one to salvation. Once this salvation has occurred the Holy Spirit can work within the person saved and counseling becomes more acceptable. Guilt is the major cause long-term grief; long-term self-esteem, and Spiritual maturity. As we go to Jesus Christ for help we must remember that He all knows and the Christian counselor must remember that the Holy Spirit is there for us also.
Presented here is case history by Dr. Grady for the purpose teaching others that experience is most important. One must begin the work the Lord has called them to do, but many times do not know where to begin.
The Bereaved Children
A case at the hospital that I worked as chaplain was one of a child who had lost a parent. This has been on my mind since that day, and this paper has given me the push that I needed in researching this type of counseling. I have chosen books that seem to be important in the child’s counselee program which will be set aside in this paper, but I would like to mention some of these books before starting the paper. “How to Minister in times of Crisis”, “What should we say to a Child Who Has Lost a Loved One or a Friend”, “How to Help a Heartbroken Friend”.
A Christian counselor, pastoral counselor, or just a mother and father should read and enjoy how to help children when in need. No one wants to be the bearer of bad news of telling a child the dreaded news of death. The words do not come very easy. There is the difficulty of showing compassion to a child who may be in shock or just simply not believe you. The most important thing is to stay with that child as long as possible.
Do not discuss medicine or try to use tragedy, just be honest, loving, concerned and be a friend. The counselor cannot tell the child that he or she knows how they feel. They do not know how they feel because even if they had an exact type of tragedy in their personal life, everything is not the same and they do not know how they feel. The counselor must avoid bringing up other problems similar to the counselee’s problem; they really do not want to hear this.
Crises are occurring all around the room when things like death occur. Nurses are moving quickly and do not think for once that the child does not know what is happening. All people present, including family members elsewhere are confronted with quick and lasting decisions. The death of the love one confronts the problem of tragedy, loss, emotions and most of all stress. A case in the past personally taught me that cultures have different ways of expressing and coping with the crisis. There was an African American family who had lost a child that was three months old and this was certainly not like the deaths that I had recently taken care of in the past. This is also related to this same subject because the family had other children and the other children demanded later in the day, to be brought to the hospital to be checked. Children worry to and death is very dramatic to the child.
When counseling to this child one must not ask why or what happened, but where is the child’s mind now where will this death lead the child. Time is precious in this situation and the counselee, even though a child needs the attention just like the older person does. Children often get left out and this is a terrible mistake. They have fear, doubt, and blame God many times. Spiritual guidance is necessary to help this little person.
Patience, time, love, compassion, understanding and every skill the counselor have must be used on these little children. Another case I experienced was dealing with a child as his mother was dying. This case was not simple and involved a little boy who dearly loved his mother. But a little boy who also was one who had been told about Jesus by his mother many times. The mother had taken care of this little boy and the last thing she worried about was that little boy who could never take care of himself. These children do know love, compassion, and all the other skills because they know little of the other world around them. This little boy knew about Jesus and as the night went on he seemed to accept that his mom was not going to be seen by him that night. Counseling to a little child about death seems to loose the major point in a real situation and counseling the little boy about how to talk to Jesus about his mom became important. All the books in the world will not show one this but the Holy spirit certainly will lead the Christian counselor in times of need.
Children need to know that the things happening quickly in the next twenty-four to forty eight hours are necessary, but the child needs to know exactly what is happening to his mom and what to expect. The fear in these children is unbelievable and the guilt within their little minds starts to be evident immediately. The Christian counselor must help to get rid of this guilt and answer all questions involving this death.
The Christian saints who are in church that experience these things are more readily open to the Christian counselor and especially the children. Children who have been taught about Jesus, and heard that Jesus died on the cross for our sins, can somehow understand that their mom is all right because she is with Jesus in heaven. The church must train the saints to be ready and all Christian counselors must be quick to help those little children.
Older people start showing emotions and seem to leave the children to fend for themselves. The case where I counseled was not this way but many times this happens and I have witnessed children standing in a corner or by a coke machine trying to figure out where they are. A counselor must understand that adults do things and children follow the same actions. This is not new by any means to our culture. We learn from watching others. Examples of things like an animal that has died sometimes brings their memory back into reality. They figure out with your help that one dies just like the little animal but once they are dead they just do not move or breath, but still look the same. The book, “Telling a child”, points out that when a child is told about death the matter of death should not be the concern, but the way the child feels about the death is most important.
The child must be calmed down to counsel, and one parent of brothers and sisters may help to get that child relaxed with the counselor. Then after the child is relaxed the counselor should use truthful biblical teachings concerning coping with the death. Pain, shock, unbelief, fear, and even sometimes hate reaches out of the child and this has to be taken care of immediately. Love is the key and children build these tragedies into their lives quickly and many die of old full of the same problems they received immediately as a child when they lost that family member. Personally I went to the problem and counseled my little child and asked the family to please get him to his pastor or a good Christian counselor often.
There is a major difference concerning the subject of when to talk to a child about death. My personal reading is definite on the subject of immediate, but the readings also bring out the point of when the child asks a question about that mother, or grandparent. A good Christian counselor will be ready for this and not even be present.
This shows good homework by the counselor to have schooled the rest of the family on being ready for the subject and what to say when the subject is brought up. Many counselors just do not think of talking to the principal of the school, the schoolteacher, the Sunday school teacher, and of course with the permission of the family first. This is most important in good Christian counseling the child who has lost a parent or grandparent.
The Christian counselor must deal with the most important issue of not letting that child blame God and turn from the light to the darkness. I believe that mental health begins with a true knowledge of God and who we are as His children no matter what the age. My case was explained that God would never forsake him, and has prepared a place for your mom in heaven and if he wants to see his mom again that he must keep his faith. If you know that your sins are forgiven, that God will supply all your needs and enable you to live a responsible life in Christ, and if you will not fear death because eternal life is something your mom and you possess now and forever. If you know that, and if you deeply know and believe that, would your mom be all right now, and you also all right now and both forever?
I pray for the day that all people will not hurt and especially little children. I pray that Christian counselors will get the picture and can define their ministry with simply two questions answered. Does the gospel enter into the counseling procedure? Are hurting people just a product of their past, or are they primarily a product of the work of Christ on the Cross? Past experiences for that little child can have a profound effect on present day living and perspectives, but can we be free from our past as counselors if we allow this child to carry this guilt to senior citizen age. I personally know that many senior citizens are like little children and have not been released from that guilt. You cannot fix the past, you cannot go back and undo what has been done, but you can set free the person from bondage by establishing a new identity in Christ for that person by helping the child accept the light and the truth offered through faith and in Jesus Christ.
Our struggle is not against the flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Breaking the bondage of that little child is the most important thing a Christian counselor can do.
The children are in the world; one does not have to look for them in the streets. They are in your homes, churches, hospitals, they are everywhere and we as pastors, counselors, saints must take notice and not let our little children become middle age children, and the senior adult children that have never been released from bondage.
This course writing serves two purposes. The first purpose is for those who are considering counseling. The second is for the reader that simply starts reading the writing, and in many cases can figure out of lot just by readying. What the course is not written for is the one needing the one on one Christian counseling to take enough from this writing to know to seek out the Christian Counselor; one trained and well understands the Bible. The Christian Counselor must be filed with the spirit of God, and gifted as such.
God Bless, Dr. Grady