God is the source of any true healing in our lives. Yet, many have already tried praying harder —without results.by Daniel L. Weiss
Letters such as this represent just a fraction (of a fraction) of all the messages sent to Pure Intimacy, but the points raised here are important enough to examine for all Christians who wonder about the intersection of faith and psychology.
As you browse this site, you will notice that as we tackle issues of sexual brokenness, addictions, and intimacy disorders, the path to healing we prescribe involves the re-integration of the human person—body, mind, and spirit.
Too often, people focus on a person’s “bad behavior.” Behavioral treatment emphasizes stopping the abuse of the body through alcohol, drugs, sex, or other substances and actions. While this bodily abuse is the most visible sign that something has gone wrong in a person’s life, it really only represents the tip of the iceberg. Far more significant dangers lie beneath the surface with damaged thoughts, emotions, and a wounded spirit.
The writer of the letter above understands that God is the source of any true healing in our lives. Yet, many have already tried praying harder and going to church more frequently—without results. Treating the festering wound of unresolved trauma will likely not be achieved without the help of a trained Christian counselor, who can also help an individual examine how his woundedness has kept him in rebellion against God.
The theological component of this process involves an accurate view of sin. Perhaps you have heard the “chicken and the egg” question about sin: Are we sinners because we sin, or do we sin because we are sinners?
An appeal to the Bible shows that both propositions are correct. We have inherited sin though the Fall, but also compound this original sin through our sinful actions. Complicating matters, others sin against us, causing further injury. While Christians know that God says His grace is sufficient for us, our sin-damaged relationships often keep us from accepting the grace needed for daily living. God’s love is complete, but sin often prevents us from claiming it in our lives.
Just as the pastor helps us sort through the theological aspects of life, the Christian psychologist helps to sort through our mental and emotional wreckage. These professions do not replace one another, but serve as complements in the process of restoring God’s original design for our lives.
Founder and Chairman of Focus on the Family, Dr. James Dobson has frequently dealt with resistance among some in the Christian community uncomfortable with psychology. Yet, Dr. Dobson makes a clear distinction between secular counseling and that informed by Christian faith. He is opposed to any secular and humanistic methods that contradict the Christian faith. He explains that, as with any other profession, the Christian therapist must use godly discernment and filter everything through the screen of God’s Word.
The Christian approach to counseling and recovery seeks to re-integrate the body, mind, and spirit, and to heal the wounds that keep any of these components from working properly. If our wounded spirits are not restored in Christ, our thoughts and emotions cannot be redeemed. When the thoughts and emotions driving our behaviors aren’t healed, we will continue to act in harmful ways.
As you review the resources offered on Pure Intimacy, examine your life and faith with an eye for any aspects that have become dis-integrated from the whole. One of the most profoundly Christian acts of obedience is to open yourself to the transformative work of the Holy Spirit as He seeks to restore you—body, mind, and soul.
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