Below are a couple of dozen short tips to Pastoral Counselling that might be useful for you!
Today, I heard the sad story of a man who feels stifled by strong women. He was born into a family where Dad was weaker by nature and thus unable to make firm decisions for the home. His mother smother him with a love that was manipulative. She cajoled her children till she got her way even after they were independent adults. In one sense, she did the family good by holding the children together. However, being of a tender personality, this dutiful son submitted to her to the point where he could not relate healthily to women in general, and to his dear wife in particular. Whenever feelings of abhorence there were for Mum had been submerged for years and therefore were not easily recognised by him. The subconscious repression of hostile feelings eventually caused him to repress his real personality well. Outwardly, he ceased to be the person that God made him to be while inwardly, the real man struggled to be himself.
This brother thought that marriage would free him from such an oppressive mother-son relationship. Sadly, however, it made him feel worse. His wife had a strong will too. Help! This time, there was no escape!
Both of them fear You, Lord and seek to honour You in their lives...though their life together has been one round of misunderstandings, arguments and tears. Both desire an atmosphere of mutual give and take, of patient and gentle words. But each approach to contentment turns out out to be another mirage.
Father God, how you must long to hold them in Your loving arms. If only they would lie still, receive Your healing grace, and rest in Your new creation of feelings, thoughts and hope in them...all over again.
Bring repentance, bring forgiveness, bring healing, Lord. Do anything...just so that Your children will be able to experience Your breakthrough in their lives. In Your mercy, hear our prayer.
For Meditation and Prayer:
Ephesians 6:1-4; Isaiah 53:4-5; 55:6