Discipleship or Counseling?

At one point a young husband reported that his wife, who was seeing a Christian counselor at the time, was benefitting from what had become more of a discipleship relationship than a therapeutic counseling relationship. I realized that my years in relationship with a Christian counselor were much the same thing…discipleship. This was once widely done in extended families and community churches where aunts, cousins, grandmothers, Sunday school teachers, Bible study leaders, pastors’ wives, volunteers, and others fulfilled discipleship roles in younger women’s lives. Today we have paid staff, professional counselors, scattered families, fewer volunteers, dwindling Sunday school opportunities, independent detailed packagd Bible studies that are scripted for 1 hour and 15 minute sessions without extensive intimate exploration and application lives too busy for discipleship relationships…..and our society is paying the price in more and more people with little resilience, on medications for anxiety, depression, and other mental health diagnoses, marriages that cannot survive tough challenges, and so many other symptoms of societal decline. We need Christians to take up the call to nurture others in the faith, not just for the transmission of the gospel, but also for the sake of family.  (CBB 7/23/2015)