Christian Counseling and Use of Time Video Blog

God expects us to be good stewards of all gifts and time is one of them.  In the Parable of the Talents, Jesus speaks of the anger of the master over the servant who did little with the talents and buried them.  Hence as Christians, we are called to share our gifts and cultivate them.  When sloth enters into the equation, one wastes time and squanders chances to better oneself on multiple levels.  We have many different responsibilities in life and a true vocation.  We need to live each day and fulfill daily duties.  By giving God each day, we are better able to fulfill our many duties.

Christian Counselors can help guide individuals to better using their time and finding their true vocation. Please also review AIHCP’s Christian Counseling Certification

Time management is a key that can also help individuals better balance work, school, family, responsibilities and leisure.  At the center must be time for prayer and God to properly direct our energies to where they need to go.  Morning Offerings to God help dedicate each day to God and help us focus our energy to Him.

 

 

 

Please also review AIHCP’s Christian Counseling Certification.  The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification as a Christian Counselor.

 

 

Please review the video below

Christian Counseling and Qualities of a Christian Marriage

God created marriage as a bond between man and woman.   He blessed the ideal in Eden with Adam and Eve and Jesus Christ further blessed it at Cana.  It is hence a sacred institution.  In marriage, the unity of the Trinity is reflected in the deep love between man and woman during the conjugal act with the creation of child; One love but three persons.   When marriage is defiled, then God’s plan is defiled.  Divorce, infidelity and disrespect of spouses degrade and reject the Divine plan of love found in the sacred vow.

Maintaining a healthy relationship that includes mutual respect is necessary for a healthy marriage.  The sacred vocation and vow requires effort and respect on part of both the husband and wife.  Yet like all relationships, a life long commitment can be difficult especially in modern society and its throw away mentality.  Instead of fixing things, modern society looks to replace.  Unfortunately, marriage is treated the same way.

Keeping something pure and maintaining it takes time, commitment and effort.  It is critical for spouses to work with each other as a team towards a common end but it also involves mutual respect and handling anger, crisis, division, loss, and pain.  The grace of the Sacrament of Matrimony fueled by the Holy Spirit can help couples reach this difficult goal but it takes prayer and a constant effort of consecrating one’s marriage to Christ.  Christian Counselors, Pastors, Marriage Counselors and other therapists can help guide couples to a long and fulfilling marriage but many couples need additional help in identifying issues and conflict resolution.  In identifying key aspects of a healthy relationship, the article, “Counseling Tips For A Healthy Relationship” by Henry Smith identifies four key elements.  Smith points out respect, encouragement, listening and goodness to each other as key points.  Regarding respect, he states,

“Respect between partners is an essential aspect of any healthy Christian marriage. Christian marriage counseling can provide valuable tips and advice on cultivating and maintaining respect. One important tip is always to consider each other’s feelings and emotions. Couples should open up lines of communication with one another, ask questions respectfully, be actively empathetic to each other’s points and perspectives, work together on issues, and trust each other’s judgment. ”

“Counseling Tips For A Healthy Relationship”. Henry Smith. March 22nd, 2023. TechBullion

To read the entire article, please click here

Obviously within Christian marriage, the first key is identifying the permanence of the institution.  Individuals who are prepared in Pre-Cana or other Church services in marriage preparation can help individuals cherish their vow and the sacred nature of it.  Secondly, Christian Counselors, Pastors and Marriage Counselors need to reinforce the illustration of Christ and the Church as a symbolic example of husband and wife.  The husband loves his wife, as Christ loves the Church, even unto death, and the wife is obedient and respectful to the husband, as the Church is to Christ.  With such a connection and mutual relationship, neither ever crosses any lines in regards to dominance, abuse, or ridicule.  This creates a perfect harmony.

The fruits of a good relationship are children, stability, good example, fostering of the faith and glorification of God through one’s vocation.  The union, even if children are never conceived, still provide the couple with intimacy, love, support and unity with each other.

One learns that all love, whether romantic, or that of family or friends is a love that is selfless.  Love is hence patient and giving and exists for the happiness of the other.  Love in marriage is no different.  Love never fades but remains a constant.  In looking to fulfill a more perfect marriage, couples need to look no farther than the love of St Joseph and Holy Mary.  The Holy Family is the perfect example of love.  St Joseph remains a role model for all husbands and fathers and Holy Mary remains a role model for all wives and mothers.

The Holy Family remains the paradigm of Christian Marriage. Please also review AIHCP’s Christian Counseling Certification

 

Characteristics of a Healthy Christian Marriage

A healthy Christian marriage is characterized by several key traits that are essential for building a strong and lasting relationship. These include:

Prayer

Couples need to pray together and put their relationship in the hands of Jesus and Mary and Joseph

 

A family that prayers together, stays together.  Families and marriages that center around prayer, mass or church, or prayer before meals, strengthen the family together. It further protects the family from secular and demonic sources that will look to tear the family apart.  The family as the building block of society is crucial to society’s success.  Fostering the laws of God and a prayerful life and sending that message out to the world is one of the primary vocations within marriage.   This is how the family itself becomes a discipleship and church within its own right.  Hence families that have a strong devotion to God and pray together and create great change for the world and share Christ with it.

Trust

Trust is the foundation of any healthy relationship, and Christian marriage is no exception. A husband and wife should be able to trust each other completely, knowing that they are committed to each other and to God.

Communication

Effective communication is essential for building intimacy, resolving conflicts, and making important decisions together. Husbands and wives should be able to communicate openly and honestly with each other, expressing their thoughts, feelings, and needs in a respectful and loving manner.

Respect

Mutual respect is crucial for maintaining a healthy Christian marriage. Husbands and wives should treat each other with dignity, honor, and kindness, recognizing each other’s strengths and weaknesses and valuing each other’s opinions and perspectives.

Love

Love is the hallmark of a healthy Christian marriage. Husbands and wives should show love to each other in tangible ways, such as acts of service, quality time, and physical affection. They should also be committed to loving each other unconditionally, even in the face of challenges and difficulties.

Communication in a Christian Marriage

Communication and intimacy are crucial to a Christian marriage

 

Communication is one of the most critical aspects of a healthy Christian marriage. Effective communication involves more than just talking and listening. It requires a willingness to understand each other’s perspectives, feelings, and needs, and a commitment to resolving conflicts in a loving and respectful manner.

One of the keys to effective communication in a Christian marriage is to create a safe and supportive environment where both partners feel heard and valued. This involves setting aside time for regular communication, listening attentively to each other, and avoiding criticism and defensiveness.

Another essential aspect of communication in a Christian marriage is prayer. Praying together can deepen intimacy, foster spiritual growth, and provide a sense of unity and purpose. It is also an opportunity to seek God’s guidance and wisdom in the decisions and challenges of life.

Financial Management in a Christian Marriage

Financial management is another critical aspect of a healthy Christian marriage. Money can be a significant source of conflict and stress in any relationship, but it can also be an opportunity for growth and stewardship.

One of the keys to financial management in a Christian marriage is to establish a shared vision and goals for money. This involves setting a budget, saving for the future, and giving generously to others. It also involves being transparent and accountable with each other about finances, avoiding debt, and making wise investments.

Another essential aspect of financial management in a Christian marriage is to seek God’s guidance and provision. Trusting in God’s provision can help reduce anxiety and stress about money and free up resources for more meaningful pursuits.

Conflict Resolution in a Christian Marriage

Conflict is inevitable in any relationship, including Christian marriage. However, how couples handle conflict can make all the difference in the health and longevity of their relationship.

One of the keys to conflict resolution in a Christian marriage is to approach conflicts with a spirit of humility and grace. This involves seeking to understand each other’s perspectives, acknowledging each other’s feelings, and working together to find a solution that honors God and each other.

Another essential aspect of conflict resolution in a Christian marriage is forgiveness. Forgiveness involves letting go of past hurts, extending grace to each other, and seeking reconciliation and restoration. It is a powerful tool for healing and strengthening relationships.

Intimacy in a Christian Marriage

Intimacy is a vital aspect of a healthy Christian marriage. It involves more than just physical intimacy but also emotional, intellectual, and spiritual intimacy. Intimacy is a gift from God that is intended to be enjoyed and celebrated within the context of marriage.

One of the keys to intimacy in a Christian marriage is to prioritize time together. This involves setting aside time for regular date nights, weekend getaways, and other activities that promote closeness and connection.

Another essential aspect of intimacy in a Christian marriage is to be intentional about meeting each other’s needs. This involves being attentive to each other’s love languages, expressing physical affection, and creating a safe and supportive environment where both partners feel valued and cherished.

Roles and Responsibilities in a Christian Marriage

Roles and responsibilities are an essential aspect of a healthy Christian marriage. They provide structure, order, and clarity to the relationship and help each partner to fulfill their God-given purpose and calling.

One of the keys to roles and responsibilities in a Christian marriage is to understand and embrace each other’s unique strengths and gifts. This involves recognizing and respecting each other’s differences and working together to achieve common goals.

Another essential aspect of roles and responsibilities in a Christian marriage is to seek God’s guidance and wisdom. Praying together, studying God’s Word, and seeking the counsel of wise mentors can help couples discern their roles and responsibilities and fulfill them with joy and purpose.

Challenges and Solutions in a Christian Marriage

Marriage is permanent and a sacred vow before God. Christian marriage must emulate the Trinity in love

 

Christian marriage is not without its challenges. Couples may face a variety of issues, such as infidelity, addiction, infertility, and conflict with in-laws. However, with God’s help, these challenges can be overcome, and the marriage can become even stronger and more beautiful.

One of the keys to overcoming challenges in a Christian marriage is to seek God’s guidance and provision. Prayer, Bible study, and fellowship with other believers can provide comfort, wisdom, and support during difficult times.

Another essential aspect of overcoming challenges in a Christian marriage is to seek professional help when needed. Christian counselors, pastors, and mentors can provide guidance, accountability, and practical tools for addressing specific issues and building a stronger marriage.

Conclusion: Striving for a Healthy and Godly Christian Marriage

In conclusion, a healthy Christian marriage is a beautiful and powerful testimony to God’s love and grace. It is built on a foundation of trust, communication, respect, and love, and reflects the image of Christ and the church. By following biblical principles and seeking God’s guidance, couples can build a marriage that honors God and fulfills their purpose and calling. May we all strive for healthy and godly Christian marriages that bring glory to God and bless our families and communities.

Christian Counselors can  help couples find solutions and joy in their marriage.  Christian Counselors usually are pastors or spiritual directors with an understanding of applying Christian and Biblical principles to real world problems.  Christian Counselors can hence bring God back into someone’s marriage.  Please also review AIHCP’s Christian Counseling Certification and see if it matches your academic and professional goals.  The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification as a Christian Counselor.

Additional Resources

“The 7 Commandments of Christian Marriage”. Ron Edmondson.  March 20th, 2019.  Crosswalk.  Access here

“7 Important Responsibilities of a Christian Wife”. Lesli White. Beliefnet. Access here

“7 Marks of a Godly Husband”. Lesli White. Beliefnet. Access here

“Practical and Biblical Christian Marriage Advice”. Mary Fairchild.  April 29th, 2019. Learn Religions.  Access here

Counseling through Church Corruption

Many Christians lose their faith because of scandal and abuse in the Church.  Those of high standing and public view hold a far greater responsibility before Christ to live by a code of good moral conduct.  Hierarchy, pastors, priests, leaders and counselors need to represent the best the faith has to offer but unfortunately on many occasions, they fail to display those standards.  As human beings, anyone is subject to error, mistakes and sin, and one cannot judge others short comings but when the face of the faith is on display, these individuals should be examples of virtue not vice.

The Church as the Bride of Christ can be seen in two ways.  From a spiritual sense and metaphorical sense, the Church is perfect.  The Church is inspired and fueled by the grace of the Holy Spirit.  It is protected and guaranteed through the words of Christ that the “gates of Hell shall not prevail against it”.  Yet, it is also a Church that exists on Earth.  The Church Militant on Earth is comprised of sinners and imperfect beings.  The Church on Earth is comprised of sinners for sinners.  It is a society of saints and sinners and everything else in between.

Due to Church corruption, many leave the faith and never return

 

Some of the worst human beings bore the name Christian at one time, while some of most saintly persons professed the faith with equal vigor and love for Christ.  Yet the Church at times fails throughout history.  It always finds a way, through the Holy Spirit, to find reform, but it shows the reality of human beings and the temporal world.  Satan looks to destroy the Church from without but finds special delight in corrupting it from within in his attempt to capture souls.

Divine and Human Institution on Earth

It is important to realize that the Church is founded by Christ.  It is energized and fueled by the grace of the Holy Spirit.  Its foundation is the blood of Christ.  In this, it is Divine.  Although, it always exists as the Church Triumphant in Heaven, it also exists albeit imperfectly as the Church Militant.  The word militant is fitting.  On Earth, the Church is an constant war with the evil one for souls.   The Church as the face of Christ on Earth, looks to bring truth and the Gospel to nations, but within this war, Satan looks to destroy and corrupt it.  He can never truly corrupt the faith itself, but he can distort it and corrupt individuals who profess it but ultimately, he can never prevail.

The Church as a human institution on Earth consists of the baptized who become part of the Mystical Body of Christ.  As a human institution, it possesses human qualities.  The Church possess a human organization of things. It is structured to deal with human issues in a fallen world.  It is made of imperfect people trying their best to preach the Gospel.  In this as a human institution, people can make mistakes.  Individuals can disagree, splinter and divide.  Through Satan’s cunning, the Church itself is divided into Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant pathways.  The Great Schism between East and West and the Protestant Reformation are all glaring examples of the human side of the Church.  It shows the division and hate that can be utilized between brothers and sisters of Christ.

Church Corruption

The history of the Church Militant is beyond mere grievances but also horrible atrocities and corruptions.  Many evil church leaders used the Church and Faith as a way to galvanize the people against others.  Horrible crimes against Jews spread throughout Europe since the Middle Ages.  Others through the Inquisition, executed heretics or other Christians who viewed aspects of the faith differently.  Witch hunts in Europe and America sought the death of so many women.   In times of war, the image of Christian nationalism was invoked.  Propaganda through Christ to commit the most un-Christlike crimes were authorized in the Wars of Religion which scarred Europe between Catholics and Protestants.  In all probability, like the Pharisees before them, these type of “Christians” would have also crucified Christ if He spoke against them.

Beyond atrocities, corruption within the institution of the Church have also been rampant throughout history.  Religious offices for sale, or religious leaders fighting for power and wealth within a religious institution have occurred throughout history.  The Papacy during the Dark Ages and Renaissance Periods was one of the most corrupt offices in Europe.  The Popes of his era behaved more like princes and war lords resorting to killing and bribing for office.  Many scandals involved mistresses and various worldly pleasures over the austere life and love of the poor demanded by Peter and his successors. One can still witness today these scandals within the Church but also so-called Mega-Churches where “men of God” are later found to funnel money or have side mistresses at their call.

The misuse of religion for war, greed and political power has occurred throughout the history of the Church

 

The most grievous offense is seen today as well with the corruption of the priesthood in the Catholic Church.  In the Latin and Western Church, this offense spread through the seminaries and led to various pedophile priests preying upon children.  To make matters worst, Bishops downplayed or hid these corruptions for fear of marring the image of the Church and their power and office.  Bearing in mind that the percentage of bad to good priest was nonetheless low, the damage still was in the thousands to numerous young children forever traumatized by these evil men posing as pastors.  Again, the most unforgivable element was the cover up and fear of loss of power, prestige and money over the care of souls.

Role of Heresy

Satan also looks to corrupt the human side of the Church through corruption of doctrine.  Many “isms’ counter to the teachings of Christ, claiming to be Christian, have emerged from within Christian communities.  Many heresies have dealt with the nature of Jesus Christ as both God and man.  Other heresies deal with other doctrinal issues that deviate from Scripture, Church Councils, or teachings from the Apostle’s Creed.

While free will is essential, corruption of the soul through false teaching is a dangerous death to the soul.   It is important to proclaim the true Gospel of Christ and warn others of false and untrue teachings.  Unfortunately, throughout the history of the Church, individuals have been cruelly tortured and executed over the matter of heresy.  Satan was able to corrupt even the defense of truth to violate human rights.  This is an extreme that can never be taken.  In defense of truth, Christians are called to correct others without judgement and hate but only with love and compassion.  The moment forceful conversion and change is exhibited upon another human being, one commits an even greater sin that any heresy can hope to become.

The Inquisition and Wars of Religion all showed the dark side of justified opinion of truth.  In defending Christ, Church authorities become the most un-Christlike.  It is hence important to live a truthful life to the doctrine of Christ but also a respectful life of the views of others.  Christian charity demands defense of the truth but in such a gentle way it is seen as love and exhibited more through good example.

Reactions to Corruption

Christian Counselors will see many  individual reactions to this type of corruption within the Church.  Many victims of abuse especially will have anger and hate in their hearts.  This type of scandal destroys faith and turns many away from the Church.  This scandal is a great scar on the Church and Christ will certainly proclaim justice over the evil, but in the meantime, the faithful and laity face uncertain times.  Many suspect leadership, others abandon services or Mass, others utterly walk away from the institution.

The biggest problem is many associate the sins of humanity within the Church with the Faith itself.  Those who proclaim the Gospel but are hypocrites turn many away from the Faith to other religions or secular life styles.  For some it may be an excuse to exercise religious laxity, but for others, who are truly mortified by the corruption, or traumatized personally, the choice to move on from the Faith is a painful and personal choice.  These individuals lose faith in Christ or any moral teachings.  This type of ad hominem view where one hates not only the messenger but also the message is a large problem in the modern Church.  Repairing these breaks will take generations.

Like Christ, we must face the hypocrites and preserve the faith despite corruption

There is yet another reaction to the corruption.  Instead of rejecting the faith, one seeks to reform it.  The seed of faith within the individual is so strong that the love of Christ and His message can never be stolen.  Instead of hating the message, these individuals look to punish the wicked.  Many work for reform within the Church and found organizations that watch those in power.  This is nothing new.  Throughout the history of the Church, reforms and counter reforms have occurred.  The grace of the Holy Spirit encourages saints of the time to rise up against the evil within the Church.  Numerous religious orders and movements have existed within the Church which have turned against the corruption.  Orders have revitalized spirituality within the world through their example and preaching.   Individual reformers from the local level to the global level throughout the history of the Church have also risen to reform institutions.  Great councils of the Church have been called and reformed evil practices and corrected false ideas.

Proper Guidance

Church leaders need to address corruption within the faith, whether thousands of years ago or yesterday.  One should not deify the Church or condemn the Faith, but one cannot put one’s head into the sand and ignore historical realities.  In understanding that many evil individuals have sabotaged the Church in the past, then only then can one find ways to prevent future sabotage.   Good Christians should never allow the face of Christ to become nationalized, or used for secular propaganda and should hold individuals accountable for their crimes and sacrilege.

It is hence important for Church leaders to apologize for past errors and offer reparations for these sins.  The hierarchy needs to realize that while its purpose is to teach it can also learn from the laity.  While the ministers teach and lead, they must also acknowledge their own weaknesses and seek mutual guidance when in doubt.  While authority is God given by Christ, one must be accountable for that authority.  Hence Church leaders must acknowledge short comings, expose corruption and hold themselves accountable to God and their flock.  In lieu of Christ, the Good Shepard, the ministers, priests and bishops hold a high standard to Him.  It is a fearful position to hold and they should recognize this grave responsibility in correlation with their own salvation.

Christian Counselors can help others through this abuse and corruption by explaining that the Church is both human and divine and laying down the differences in these two paradigms.  Christian Counselors can also help others find justice and healing of trauma.   Counselors need to address trauma, condemn the action and individuals but also re-direct the justified anger to the corrupters not the message of the Faith itself.  Those who corrupt the faith cause so much scandal and pain, but one cannot allow them to also steal one’s treasured faith.  Instead, one should fight for their faith and like a reforming saint proclaim the Gospel and expose the wolves in sheep’s clothing.

Conclusion

The Church is both human and divine.  On Earth it is open to corruption and has been corrupted numerous occasions but Christ foretold that the gates of Hell would not prevail against it.  Individuals can reject the faith due to the hypocrisy of others or fight for its purity.

We cannot allow others to nationalize and weaponize the face of Christ

 

Every person within the Church has a particular talent and it is up to that individual to best serve the Church.  Allowing human corruption to destroy one’s faith and turn one against it is ingenious way Satan steals souls. It is hence important to hold to one’s faith, to fight corruption within the Church, and to spread the Gospel of Christ.

If you would like to learn more about Christian Counseling and helping others through trauma, then please review AIHCP’s Christian Counseling Certification.  The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification as a Christian Counselor.

Additional Resources

“Medieval Church Corruption”. June 6th, 2017. World History. Access here

“How Can We Help Victims of Clergy Abuse?”. Romeo Vitell, PhD. February 27th, 2019. Psychology Today. Access here

“Popes Behaving Badly: 8 Dreadful Papal Scandals From the Middle Ages”. Stephanie Schoppert. March 26, 2017. History Collection.  Access here

“When Religion Promotes Violence”. Andy Tix, Ph.D. January 31st, 2018. Psychology Today.  Access here

“Top 10 Heresies in the History of Christianity”. J. Patrick Hornbeck II.  October 24th, 2011. Fordham News.  Access here

 

Abraham as an Example of Obedience and Trust

One of the most obedient servants of God was Abraham.  As the father of nations, Abraham was held to a high standard, but God tested him.  God tested his utter obedience to the very thought of sacrificing his own son, Isaac.   While, in modern times, the whole idea of giving one’s son as a sacrifice may seem odd, this showed Abraham’s utter devotion to God.  His obedience was complete.  He did not expect answers or demand an explanation, but he obeyed God.

Of course, the image of Abraham sacrificing his son, was in fact, a pre-cursor to what God the Father Himself would offer, His only Son.  God never expects more than one can give but does He does expect trust and obedience.  From that trust and obedience, Abraham was rewarded but so was humanity.  It was God who would offer His Son as the most perfect sacrifice.  In this way, Isaac becomes a pre-figurement of Jesus Christ while Abraham becomes an example of a perfectly obedient servant.

The article, “5 Lessons We Can Learn from Abraham” by Matthew Poyer looks at the obedience of Abraham.  In his article, he points out how Abraham is obedient even till this most horrible and terrifying command.   Abraham understands the depth of sacrifice, obeys and shows important qualities in fulfilling God’s will and command. Poyer illustrates 5 lessons we can learn from Abraham in his unwavering faith and obedience to God.  The article states,

“Is there anything in your life that is a little too precious? Could you be making an idol out of something that God merely intended to be a gift in your life? Only you really know. But understand, God is always at work, molding and shaping us for His purposes. This sometimes comes by sacrifice…by testing and by trusting. When that happens, let Abraham’s example be a blueprint for your obedience. And let the Lord’s faithful sovereignty encourage you unto completion.”

“5 Lessons We Can Learn from Abraham”. Matthew Poyer.  Crosswalk.  March 2nd, 2016.

To read the entire article, please click here

Abraham is an example of trust and obedience to God even until the ultimate sacrifice

 

Commentary

Abraham is a figure in the Hebrew Bible who is considered by many to be the first patriarch of the Jewish people. He is also an important figure in Christianity and Islam, and is revered as a prophet in both faiths. Abraham is said to have been born in Ur of the Chaldees, and to have lived most of his life in the land of Canaan. He is known for his faithfulness to God, and for his willingness to sacrifice everything for His sake.

Abraham’s Obedience and Trust in God

The obedience of Abraham is a fascinating topic of discussion among religious scholars. On the one hand, some argue that Abraham’s obedience to God was a key factor in his being considered a righteous man. On the other hand, others argue that Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his own son Isaac demonstrates a level of fanaticism that should not be condoned. Regardless of which interpretation one subscribes to, there is no doubt that the obedience of Abraham is a significant event in religious history.  The trust of Abraham is a common theme in religious texts. It refers to Abraham’s willingness to put his faith in God, even when it goes against his own logic or desires. This act of trust is often seen as the cornerstone of Abraham’s relationship with God, and is used as an example for believers to follow.

Abraham’s Sacrifice

The story of Abraham’s sacrifice is found in the book of Genesis, chapters 22-24. In this story, Abraham is asked by God to sacrifice his son, Isaac. Abraham does as he is asked, but at the last moment, an angel of God intervenes and tells Abraham to stop. The angel tells Abraham that because he was willing to sacrifice his son, Abraham’s obedience has been counted as righteousness.  The Old Testament figure of Isaac can be seen as a prefiguration of Christ. In Genesis, Isaac is born to Abraham and Sarah in their old age, just as Christ is born to Mary and Joseph in their old age. Isaac is also nearly sacrificed by his father Abraham, just as Christ is sacrificed on the cross. These parallels show that Isaac is a figure who points to the coming of Christ.

Christians learn from Abraham because he was the father of faith. He is someone who believed in God and followed His commands even when it was difficult. Abraham is an example of what it means to have faith and to be obedient. Christians can learn from his story how to have a strong relationship with God and how to live out their faith.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Abraham’s obedience and trust led him to be greatly blessed by God. His faithfulness was rewarded with material possessions, a great reputation, and a legacy that continues to this day. Abraham’s example shows us that if we are obedient and trust in God, we will be richly blessed as well.  God never expected a human sacrifice, but wanted to test Abraham.  Instead, we learn that God always wishes give more than He ever takes.  Instead of Isaac being sacrificed, God gave humanity His only Son, Jesu Christ.  Jesus would be the perfect sacrifice.

Christian Counselors can utilize the story of Abraham to better teach others about obedience and faith in God’s design and not to question God but to simply obey, trust and believe.  God has what is best for one.

Please also review AIHCP’s Christian Counseling Certification and see if it meets your academic and professional goals.  The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification in Christian Counseling.

Additional Resources

“Abraham – Walking in Faith”.  Susan Curry. Bible.org. August 28th, 2009. Access here

“Abraham’s Sacrifice According to Christianity and Islam”. Bilal Atkinson. The Review of Religions. July 9th, 2022.  Access here

“ABRAHAM’S SACRIFICE OF ISAAC EXPLAINED”. Admin. Salvation by Grace Through Faith.  April 12th, 2019. Access here

“The Ram’s Substitutionary Atonement for Isaac”. Scott LaPierre. April 16th, 2020.  Access here

Christian Counselors should emphasize the healing light on sexual abuse

God’s grace can heal any abuse. Christian counselors need to emphasize the healing nature of God at all times

American Institute Health Care Professionals’ insight:
Allowing Christ to enter into the soul can heal many children from abuse.  The inner light can overcome any darkness.  Christian counselors need to help children find that light when needed.  Christian counselors, ministers, therapists, parents, and all adults are called to help abused children find the healing light of Christ.
#christiancounselors

See on www.csmonitor.com

Eastern Fast and Western Fast: The Difference?

Become a Certified Christian Counselor:  East and West Fast Differences

Christian Counselors can help many confused Christians of both East and West regarding fast rules and regulations.  Christian Counseling sessions can include a time for informative exchange of information.  One such conversation can include both Eastern and Western guidelines.

The History of Differences

Even prior to the schism of the Eleventh Century, the East and the West had begun to diverge socially from each other.  While the Eastern empire continued to prosper, the Western empire began to crumble as barbarian invasions crippled it during the Fourth and Fifth centuries.  Traditions that were once universally shared began to erode hence creating two different social and cultural traditions of Christianity.  While sharing the same faith and professing the same lord, the West began to adapt to the culture that had subdued it.   In fact, as Rome christianized the barbarians and became the only light of the dark ages, it also was changed in some ways.
The See of Peter became a secular throne as well as a spiritual one which whether for better or worst would shape the future of the papacy and its interactions with the new found kingdoms.  As these changes progressed, the church itself would become a central figure in the new culture of Western Christendom.   While there were many differences between East and West such a celebrant priesthood, the role of the pope, the filioque and other minor rules, the two churches continued to exist as one universal church.  These issues would later lead to a schism between the two heads of Rome and Constantinople.
Among the minor differences were fast rules.  The East then and as well as today, subscribed to a stricter Lenten code.  This included days of Abstinence from meat products on both Wednesday and Friday.  It also included Lent starting on Monday instead of Wednesday.  A final difference was regarding complete fast days.  The East subscribed to no dairy and meat on the first day of Lent and Good Friday.
The West would adapt to its new found converts and only enforce no meat on Friday, start Lent on Ash Wednesday and not enforce dairy on complete days of abstinence.
Since then, these rules have continued to exist in both churches.  Slight differences include Latin age requirements of 21 to 59, while Byzantine requirements are for all who can receive communion.
The Eastern Churches in union with Rome also maintained their traditions but coincide with the West in regards to the Gregorian calendar, while the Orthodox hold firm to the Julian calendar–which ultimately places Easter usually on a different day. A final difference is the East counts Sundays as part of the consequent forty days of Lent, hence the Eastern Lent ends the Friday before Good Friday, but Holy Week still involves fasting as a separate period of purification.  The West counts its Lent to the day prior to Good Friday and recently included Good Friday into the Easter Tridiuum till Easter Vigil.  All fasts are still imposed the final three days.
Whether Eastern or Western, Catholic or Orthodox, or Catholic or Protestant, all can agree sacrifices and offerings to God as a universal whole are important.  This Lent, no matter what rules or regulations bind us in charity, let us all offer together to God remorse for our sins and thanksgiving for the sacrifice of his Son.
If you are interested in Christian Counseling Courses, then please review the program. If you would like to become a certified Christian Counselor, then please review also the courses that lead to certification.

Mark Moran, MA