The family unit is an institution created by God. As humans, we are not to live in a void but to share this life with others. Your family can be the people closest to you, who know you best and love you anyway. Family can also be the people who drive you up the wall, as all families have some degree of drama and obstacles. Family issues occur in all families.

Consider Christian counseling if you seek a unique approach to reuniting your family. It offers a distinct solution, bringing your loved ones together and fostering a deeper connection with Jesus Christ.

Why seek Christian counseling for family issues?

Jesus should be the cornerstone of every family. When we make decisions based on faith and prayer, how we handle family issues changes. We can do more and love more through the lens of Jesus Christ. His Holy Spirit allows us to find peace amid trials.

Christian counseling uses the best psychological methods combined with biblically-based principles to help clients and their families heal. Christian counseling differs from secular counseling because of the hope offered through Jesus. God is there when the world feels like it is crashing in, and He longs to help us through the hard parts. Christian counseling melds hope and freedom in Christ with new skills and techniques to help us control our thoughts and emotions.

Topics in family issues

Christian counseling not only helps to strengthen your family’s spiritual walk with God and relationship with Jesus but also tackles obstacles that are common within the family dynamic. It may feel like no one else deals with the family issues that you do, but others have faced similar problems.

Rest assured, your Christian counselor is highly knowledgeable about family issues and their potential to either divide or unite a family. Unresolved issues can lead to breakdowns in communication, leaving behind lasting emotional scars.

The following is a list of common family issues approached through Christian counseling.

Parent and child relationships

The parent-child dynamic is complex. Issues in a parent’s life, the parents’ relationship, and changing hormones in both adults and teenagers can cause obstacles. When a parent struggles with their own mental health, stress, relationships, or financial strain, it can bleed over into their relationship with their children. Children pick up on the stress.

On the other hand, children and teens face their own unique challenges between school, family responsibilities, extracurricular activities, changing hormones, and parental and academic expectations. This can make the home a battlefield for a season.

Sibling rivalry

Sibling rivalry and competition are real and can cause issues in the family. You may have one child who lives with a mental or physical condition that the other children do not understand. A middle child may feel all the attention goes to the older or younger siblings. This is sometimes seen in families with a significant age gap between children or in blended families.

If the parents are divorced, children may vie for one parent’s attention. This can lead to verbal assault or physical harm between siblings. Although siblings sometimes argue and fight, counseling can teach children how to resolve conflict without insults or physical fighting.

Issues between parents

The relationship between parents can have a bearing on the family. Often, children pick up on turmoil between parents and react to it. Fear can take hold if children believe or learn that their parents are getting divorced.

Other issues, such as financial strain or infidelity, issues that are typically kept from children, may become the focal point of the relationship. Counseling can help families sort out their feelings and find ways to move forward, even if the parents can no longer stay together.

Blended family

A blended family is created if the parents are divorced (or never married) and marry someone else with children. Emotions can run high in a blended family as children try to adapt to a new adult presence in their lives. Personalities may clash between the new stepparent and stepsiblings.

Sibling rivalry may peak as children try to find their place in the new family. The former spouses (the children’s other parent) may also take an active role in the family, which can lead to clashes between adults. Counseling can help blended families co-parent.

Substance abuse and addiction

Substance abuse and addictions affect the whole family. The Bible speaks of generational curses, and some may argue that addiction is one of these. Children who grow up in homes where drug use is rampant are at an increased rate of repeating those behaviors.

Addiction can destroy relationships, and sometimes, finding the grace to forgive someone with an addiction is challenging at best. Even when you love the person, forgetting hurts and betrayals can feel impossible. Forgiveness is not forgetting; it is not allowing the memory to stop the family from reconciling once the person is sober.

Chronic illness

If a family member struggles with a chronic illness or terminal condition, the family feels strain and grief. Chronic illness can prevent a family from enjoying events or making plans together. Caring for someone with a chronic condition can take a physical and emotional toll on each member.

For example, if one parent suffers from a chronic illness, they may not be able to attend their children’s school events, games, or concerts. The spouse may suffer from caregiver burnout and depression. Depending on their ages, children may lash out and hurt others or isolate themselves to assert some control in an otherwise uncontrollable situation.

Death, grief, and loss

Everyone grieves differently. It is how we process grief that determines the impact on the family. A family member can get stuck in one of the five stages of grief: denial (shock), anger, bargaining, depression, or acceptance. Acceptance is the goal in the healing process, but many people get stuck in the depression stage.

Grief can cause people to make rash decisions or behave outside their character. Many families have faced obstacles after the loss of a loved one. Grief can also appear after a devastating loss, such as losing a job, business, or home.

Trauma

Whether it is trauma sustained from an accident, natural disaster, abuse, neglect, or abandonment, trauma can make a lasting impact on a family. Specific conditions can stem from trauma, such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), anxiety, phobias, and depression.

Christian family counseling seeks to find ways for the family to cope with trauma positively with proven psychological methods and faith-based principles. You can rely on the skills learned in counseling to manage trauma symptoms while strengthening the family bond.

What to expect from family counseling

Each person responds differently to counseling. The benefit of family counseling is that you learn to work together as a unit. You learn to resolve conflict, control anger, communicate better, and respond appropriately. Your relationship with Christ is strengthened as He becomes the cornerstone of the family.

You can choose to meet for family sessions in person at a counseling center or through virtual sessions at home. Depending on your reasons for counseling, you and your family may only need to participate in a few sessions. In between sessions, your family will practice the skills taught and report on how well things worked. In the next session, you will learn if you need to tweak a technique or try something new, making counseling adaptable to your needs.

Bring the family closer with Christian counseling

Christian counseling is an opportunity to resolve family issues, offer forgiveness, accept grace, and learn skills to help the family in the future. With evidence-backed psychological methods and faith-based principles, you can bring your family closer to one another and their relationship with Jesus. Call us today to schedule a session with a Christian counselor specializing in family issues.

Photos:
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