Many many people have had to reach out for counseling at least once in their lifetime. Some, more than a few. It can be a scary thing to try and decide who to reach out to especially in a world where finding someone to trust is hard.
Finding a Counselor can also be intimidating. After all, you probably are remotely concerned with their credentials as well.
There are some obvious qualifications to look for in your search for a Counselor. Here are a few of my suggestions:
- First you need to decide do you want Christian Counsel or Secular Counsel. Human Counselors addressing human problems tend to lean on humanistic approaches.
- If you decide on a Christian Counselor, then make sure they have their first credentials…are they knowledgeable in the Bible? Do they speak and live their own advice?
- A Christian Counselor should always counsel with the Bible as the ultimate authority. If they do not consistently reference the Bible they should not call themselves a Christian Counselor
- Christian Counselors are not gods, but they are to represent Christ. They should counsel with the mindset of Christ. They should live by the show-n-tell method.
- A Christian Counselors motive should not be the latest trend but scriptural imperative.
- The Bible is the standard not only for what the counselee must become, but also for how he must become it. God’s word never becomes obsolete.
- The Counselor should give clear evidence of a personal, passionate relationship with Jesus Christ.
Some things you might ask your Counselor: Are you married? Do you have a family? Do you go to Church? Do you pray with your Counselee’s? What education do you have?
The Bible teaches that there is wisdom in a multitude of counselors (Proverbs 11:14, 15:22, 24:6). If you belong to a church, it is important to seek the counsel of your pastor (Hebrews 13:17)
God has placed your pastor in the local church to give direction and care for the body of Christ.
The pastor is also the first resource to ask about finding a Christian counselor. He cares for you; He is responsible to God for you; He probably knows individuals in the area or state that can serve you well and with integrity.
Counseling is an interactive process. It is built, established, and maintained on the basis of trust. Open and honest dialogue between a counselor and a counselee is the most important component of building trust. If you cannot establish this foundation of trust early on—if you are not confident that the counselor will be wise, biblical, loving, and faithful in your interaction—you may need to look elsewhere.
On the other hand, if you find a wise counselor who uses God’s Word to help you grow in your Christian walk, in your marriage and in your family, Scripture says you will be blessed! As Proverbs 3:13 tells us, “How blessed is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gains understanding.”
God Bless! Have a great day!