As we serve within a community of believers, our willingness to acknowledge neediness becomes an asset. Each time the questions arise, “Where is God in this? Does God even care?” presents an opportunity for one another soul care and as Christians, God’s Spirit drawing us back to certainty of his never-changing truths. I’m sharing frequently asked questions concerning biblical counseling, otherwise known as soul care.
"Come to me all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls." – Matt. 11:27 & 28
When Should I Seek Biblical Counseling?
As Christians we take God at His word. But sometimes we struggle to know how His truths make a difference in life lived out. Most Christians feel this way at some point or another; it may be a fleeting struggle or one that stretches out over seasons of our lives. Our experience of disconnect with God’s presence is connected to where we find ourselves in the unfolding of God’s plan throughout history. Truth is, our faith is not yet sight (2 Cor 5:7) and in our fallen world, we are merely sojourners (1 Peter 2:11). However, a day is coming when we will see Jesus face to face, and he will change us in an instant. It’s easy to imagine that we won’t feel distance in that moment, but that moment has not yet come. To not yet enjoy perfect connection is a rightful reason for confusion and for us to to seek answers when we experience personal hardship. When life gets rough and problems start mounting, a counselor can do much to help. A biblical counselor can offer you a trustworthy perspective, grounded on truth.
"Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is." - 1 John 3:2
What is Biblical Counseling?
Biblical counseling is a process where the interpretation of God’s Word is related individually. We can work to change the outward behavior of a person, but if we don’t change the heart-based motive, counseling is ineffective; God is actually concerned with what goes on in the heart and why we do a certain thing. A God-designed anthropology means the human problem cannot be separated from the fall of man. I think that is a big part of understanding who we are as people: our identity. The problem has been laid out already, sin and all of its impacts (whether we suffer in this life due to other people’s sin or our own sin), the struggles that are there, but then also the solution.
In short, biblical counseling is theology applied. God’s infallible truth enables Christian women to authentically overcome struggles, establish practical life skills, and grow in grace and knowledge. This is accomplished by speaking the truth in love and applying Scripture to the need of the moment. The beauty of the gospel is not just salvation, that we get to gain heaven and be with God forever, but it’s the fact that God is now conforming us and transforming us to the fullness of God’s image. We are still in a fallen world. We still have a sinful flesh, and yet the command by Christ to live holy lives is possible because of the gift of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit uses His sword (the sword of the Spirit) and the very Word of God. Those two things work together: The Spirit of God uses the Word of God to accomplish this task.
Biblical counseling is a fluid event and process, as part of the great commission, whereby one or more theologically and relationally qualified people provide spiritual, emotional, and behavioral service, comfort, and guidance in love to one or more people through the truth and power of God’s Word under the ministry of His Holy Spirit. – Association of Biblical Counselors
You can hear more from Ed Welch here.
How Will Biblical Counseling Offer Help and Hope?
I understand loneliness and discouragement, but I also know the grace and peace from God who meets us in those moments, drawing us ever closer to Himself. Through biblical counseling, application of solid truth enables Christian women to endure and flourish. It is good and right that we should want our heads and hearts to align and with God’s help. When women feel like God isn’t there, I walk alongside them. While working to help them find their answers, ministry of the Word provides Gospel-centered foundational tools for both coping and growing through these seasons of life. I see my ministry to women as one of help and hope. Helpful, hopeful counsel that comes from the Lord is saturated and filled with the Scriptures. The Bible advises Christians: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” (Phil. 4:6). Yet, there are times when it is hard to pray alone: God may feel distant, our problems may feel too great to overcome. As your counselor, I will pray with and for you in specific ways.
So as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might for all endurance and patience with joy; giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. - Col. 1:10-12
In addition, I must consider two objectives in a Word-driven ministry: helping women see Christ, and helping them deal with things that keep them from seeing Christ. If change is to be made, it must be made in us. When our designated meetings are followed with scripture reading, homework, and prayer, our working together paves the way for the Holy Spirit to complete what was begun. This is God’s will for us for sanctification: That we will be conformed to the image of God so that we worship Him rightly and live in peace with others. It is my humble desire to glorify God in the details only He can accomplish in real-life transformation.
"My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me." - John 10:27
What is The Counselor’s Goal?
God created us and then because of the fall, it’s impacted every aspect of our being. Though I strive to honor Christ in all I say and do, I recognize that the same things I am aiming to reorient in my own life (disordered desires, affections, and behaviors toward the Lord) are oftentimes the very needs that the counselee walks in the room with. I believe that every aspect of man is affected by the fall and its main effects are on the mind. Whether the need for counsel is sin, suffering, or a difficult transition, I think about dealing with the whole person, not just one aspect. This is really my goal in counseling: to orient people’s hearts, minds, and behaviors back toward the way God intended. A big part of biblical anthropology is recognizing the fact that we are creatures in need of saving. In biblical counseling, my doctrines that I believe to be true about humanity are consistent in the way that I think about counseling, and in the way that I practice counseling.
As a biblical counselor I answer to a higher authority. My personal work is to assist in equipping Christ’s church while offering help for troubled lives. Life is ever-changing, but I serve a God who speaks to the souls of His people through his unchanging scriptures. It’s my desire to explain biblical truth clearly, while praying God’s Spirit will open eyes so people might accept that truth. Because there is one Body and one Spirit, I am committed to serve Christians of various denominational backgrounds. I affirm the Apostles’ Creed, Nicene Creed, and the Baptist Faith and Message 2000.
My approach to biblical counseling is considered Phase Two biblical counseling, whose models display a compassionate sin/suffering balance. Others who practice Phase Two counseling would be Paul David Tripp and Ed Welch. However, it is best seen in the past work of David Powlison. It’s my hope to both encourage and challenge women to know God and to love God “through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence.” I believe the Bible, when accurately exegeted, calls me to this type and style of ministry.
"May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence," - 2 Pet. 1:2
Do you feel a disconnect between what you believe and what you experience? You may read and know God’s promises of peace, but it could be that it feels like peace has not settled into the hard places. Whether due to circumstances or limitations, many things might seem beyond our grasp. How do we think biblically about that experience? Our Savior doesn’t ignore the hardship and pain that comes with living in a fallen world. Jesus Christ meets us right where we are. Resolve, assurance, and peace can be yours.
Training & Licensure
Counsel is provided in accordance with sound interpretation of the Holy Scriptures. No claim is made or implied to licensure by the state of Arkansas or any other state. For additional information about one another soul care, go here. Go here to learn about my training. For further information, I refer you to Central Affirmations of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary’s Biblical Counseling Program.