Are you and your spouse on the verge of divorce? If so, counseling may be the best option for you at this point. In most cases, counseling is usually the couple’s last resort. However, it may be the most effective option to choose. In fact, counseling can be very effective if both people approach the sessions with an open heart and a determination to honor wedding vows.

          If you and your spouse want to go to counseling, I recommend you find a good, credible Christian counselor. However, you must keep in mind that counseling is never a quick fix for marital problems. Actually, things may get more troublesome as you openly address issues that are causing problems in your marriage. But don’t let that scare you. Remaining calm and open-minded will help you to overcome the challenges you may face during counseling. Your counselor will act as a facilitator, assisting you and your spouse in discussions with each other.

          Just stay focused on saving your marriage and, most importantly, learn how to show your spouse unconditional love during the process. Don’t allow your emotions to rule, causing you to possibly say or do things you will regret.  

         In addition, you may consider taking a trip to a Christian bookstore or your local library to find books to help you understand your spouse’s needs. It is always a good idea to honestly evaluate your marriage periodically to clear up any underlying, unresolved issues.

          Additionally, it is extremely important that you effectively communicate with each other. Here are two communication strategies you can practice at home:

          Mirroring: This strategy involves one partner speaking while the other is listening attentively. When the speaker has finished, his or her partner (the receiver) repeats exactly what was said, and then asks, “Did I get everything you said?” If not, the exercise is repeated. This forces the receiver to listen to the speaker rather than trying to think of a response and missing what is being said. Once the receiver has successfully repeated the speaker, the roles are reversed.

          Use a script: If one or both of you find it difficult to speak your mind clearly, it is a good idea to write your thoughts on paper and then recite them aloud to your spouse. This script will help you focus on the issue and clearly relay what is on your mind.

          Periodically, during counseling or conversation at home, ask each other these questions:

               How are we doing?

               How is our communication?

               What areas need improvement?

               How am I improving in the area of meeting your needs?

               Have I been insensitive recently?

          These are all practical ways you can demonstrate your decision to operate in unconditional love with your spouse. By making an honest effort, you are making it your business to love your spouse the way God intended you to.

          However, if you are considering separation or divorce for more critical reasons, such as physical abuse, verbal threats, or sexual abuse, contact your local domestic violence shelter for free counseling and other emergency services.  You do not have to remain in a life-threatening situation, hoping things will get better. Instead, find a safe place to stay and use your time there to think things through. Be sure to seek professional guidance when making plans to remain safe

Creflo Dollar