This year, Hope Counseling Services has been focused on strengthening marriages through a variety of ministry activities.
On Friday January 31, Hope sponsored a marriage counseling training seminar with guest speaker Jonathan Holmes. This equipping seminar drew 55 pastors, counselors, and lay leaders–a group of people on the frontlines of marriage counseling for couples in need. Participants commented that they walked away with excellent tools not only for helping marriages in their spheres of influence, but improving their own marriages as well.
The next day, Hope Counseling sponsored a marriage enrichment seminar, also led by Jonathan Holmes. Over 210 attendees benefited from scriptural wisdom and real-world strategies for their marriages. The seminar focused on what it means to build and maintain a gospel centered marriage. Jonathan shared with us how the storyline of the gospel orients us to the goal of marriage, which is making each of us like Christ for God’s glory. He also taught on how to navigate conflict in a God-honoring way that moves spouses towards one another rather than against one another. And finally, he emphasized how forgiveness, sought and granted, must be the central plot-line to any gospel-centered marriage. It was a fruitful day of teaching that blessed all in attendance.
Our counselors are spending focused training time this spring to navigate particularly troubled marriages. There are times that marital dynamics are so destructive and entrenched that the situation feels hopeless and disorienting. We want to be helpful and wise when we counsel marriages in the uttermost times of crisis and need. Moreover, we aim to be a helpful resource to churches in these challenging marriage counseling situations. We have seen God work in some of the most difficult of marriages. And we routinely receive requests for marriage counseling when couples feel hopeless and stuck. We are humbled and thankful for the opportunity to provide practical and Christ-centered help.