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Why (I Think) Everyone Should Have a Counselor

Why (I Think) Everyone Should Have a Counselor

This past weekend Zac and I celebrated 18 years of marriage.

Before we get into the sticky stuff—I cannot imagine a more incredible gift of a husband. We are best friends, he supports my dreams, isn’t afraid to kick me in the tail and also loves me unconditionally. We love Jesus and we always have—we came into marriage with pretty minimal baggage and yet still…

MARRIAGE IS DANG HARD. And being in ministry for most of our married life—I can tell you that marriage gets difficult for almost everyone.

I believe this fact occurred to me soon after coming home from our honeymoon—it was our first huge fight. Huge as in…complete with me throwing something, slamming the door and driving away.

It was a scene from a movie…in fact, come to think of it, I am pretty sure I ripped it off from Meg Ryan. But in the movie…when the girl runs away the boy comes after the girl.

So I waited and waited and waited for him to come chasing me, driving slowly around the block several times. This was before cell phones (can you even imagine?) so I knew if I went too far, he would worry and call the police. So I just circled the block.

After a dozen circles and no sign of a distraught Zac in the yard calling 911, I decided it was time to relieve my fraught-with-worry new husband…I opened the door to our little apartment and Zac had fallen asleep on the couch watching football.

Over the next five years, there were more slammed doors and a lot of football before I emotionally began to just shut down. Now to be fair, we got married as little baby children (20-year-olds). Oh my word! What on earth? This was just barely legal.

And it wasn’t long before young marrieds became young parents and we found ourselves treading the deep waters of parenting toddlers and difficult ministry and unable to fight in a healthy way. I opened up to a mentor about some of our relational tensions and she suggested that we seek out a marriage counselor.

“A counselor?!” In my mind, counselors were for people about to get a divorce. While our marriage could certainly improve…we weren’t that bad?!