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Christian Counseling - Generational Change

Consider a man who is having difficulty in his marriage and with his children. As a result of being on the verge of divorce, he embarks on a therapeutic relationship. He first begins therapy at the request of his wife. Actually, it is likely more of a demand than a request. You see, being a father and husband has not come naturally to him because he never had a healthy example of a loving father and husband in his own home as a child. At first, he engages in therapy to simply avert disaster in his marriage. He tries to deal simply with behaviors that would fix the problems as quickly as possible. As therapy progresses, he begins to deal with the darkness that is his own heart and starts the process of deep healing. Rather than simply behavioral change, he is changing his heart. This is a long and often painful emotional process. Yet, the man perseveres through the pain. Through the commitment to therapy, he finds that his marriage has improved, and he has grown as a man.

The above-described change would be enough to make the pain and cost of therapy worthwhile. Yet, that is not the only hope that therapy provides. Some of the benefits of therapy the man may never see with human eyes. This is the generational change that can happen as the result of someone facing their issues.

One of my favorite books in the Bible is the book of Ruth. For one, it is one of the only books that focuses on a woman and the incredible impact that a faithful woman can have. I also love the end. I always enjoy the end of movies when they tell you what happens to the characters in the future, and Ruth ends the same way. (Spoiler Alert). If you have never read the book of Ruth, go read it now before you continue reading this. What is amazing is that at the end of this book that in large part is about simple acts of faithfulness, we see the ultimate payoff. Ruth is part of the Davidic lineage and, as such, part of the lineage of Christ. How about that for generational impact!

The generational change for the man in our story? As a result of the difficult work that he has done to be a better husband and father, his children may never have to experience the pain that he has. You see, they will have a good example of a father and husband in their childhood home. In addition, they will see the courage of someone who was willing to lay down their pride and face themselves. This change does not necessarily end there, but can go on for generations.

Many of you can probably point to a change like this in your family. Whether it was the first person to go to college or the first person to accept Christ, these people in our families open a door of possibilities for all who follow.

If you are thinking about therapy and the process of change, but are hesitant, think about the possible growth that can happen in your life today and the lives of future generations. If you are in therapy and going through a particularly painful time of self-discovery, keep you eyes on the prize and know that the courage and faithfulness you show today will echo through generations.

1 comment (Add your own)

1. Bonnie Maki wrote:
Read the Book of Ruth. Reread it, and many times over, I guess once is not enough. If you have known a Boaz I sure would like to know one too. I do agree that the generation change is a dramatic change in a persons life and family. Change is good. Finding that out every day. Also, seeing that life is much better when we have others pulling for us and we give they give, and blessings flow out. Work situations, supervisors, head of departments, the community that we live in, the church we attend. Christ is the answer, His love is the love of a giver, I want to give, and He receives, I want to receive as well. Blessings

01/29/2012 @ 5:15 PM

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