When a couple seeks marriage counseling, one or both
have recognized that the marriage isn=t
working and that they are falling short of what could
be. Although the focal problems may be issues of
money, sex, communication, impurity, disciplining the
children, dealing with in-laws, etc., usually the
underlying issue is the division or separation that
exists at the heart level.
Separation is a fundamental work of sin. This
can be seen in the transition from Genesis chapters one
and two to Genesis chapter three. In chapter two,
the man and the woman were cleaved together, one flesh,
naked and unashamed (vs. 24-25). They dwelt in the
garden where God walked, and together shared in the
mandate to be fruitful, multiply, and have dominion over
every living thing on the earth (Gen 1:28).
Once sin entered through their response to the
temptation, they hid from God (Gen 3:10) and the unity
between the man and the woman broke down (Gen 3:12,
Our goal in marriage counseling is to help couples
end the separation and division and to lay hold of unity
or oneness of heart that was God=s
plan at the beginning. This can only be attained
as each spouse allows Jesus Christ, who has already
broken the power of sin and opened the way for
reconciliation, to deal with them at the heart level.
Attempting to bridge the gap first at the level of
surface issues generally does not release much grace.
Rather it at best achieves something like one sees in
detente, demilitarized zones, peaceful coexistenceB
where there are still separate, independent countries
each pursuing its own national interest.
It is better to get at the heart. Through the
Word of God and the power of the Holy Spirit, Jesus
reveals those areas that are withheld from God and/or
from spouse and are given to self. Through
humility, faith, and obedience, each spouse can receive
grace to put away the things in their own heart that
separate, and draw near to God and to spouse. As
they grow closer knit, more of one heart and mind, they
can begin to mutually agree on answers to the surface
problems and work together to carry out those solutions.
And in the doing of that, they experience the power and
soul satisfaction of walking together in agreement.