Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Six Ways to Help a Friend's Struggling Marriage

It's common to know someone whose marriage is in trouble and to be unsure how to help.

Here are 6 practical ways you can help.

1. Pray for them. Ask God to intervene in their marriage. Ask God to give you and others wisdom to know how to help. Pray in their presence as well as when alone. Send emails and note cards of encouragement.

2. Listen. Listening doesn't mean simply hearing. It involves empathizing, seeking to understand and expressing genuine interest.

3. Don't give advice. Your main job is listening. Leave the advice giving to a Pastor, Counselor or Mentor.
4. Don't make the problem worse. Don't allow your support to be seen as an encouragement to give up or get a divorce. Your job is to help steer them toward the proper help and reconciliation (If addiction or abuse is involved, make sure they get the professional help they need and are safe).
5. Help them think outside the Divorce box. Booklets such as When Your Marriage Needs Help, Should I Get a Divorce, and Marriage and Conflict can give couples both research and practical advice to help them consider the facts about divorce and how to get the help they need for their marriage.
Help them find the right help. Locate a good, licensed Christian counselor in their area. Ask your pastor or Christian M.D. for a referral. 

6. Refer them to solid Christian-based books and seminars. Visit any Christian Store  for marriage books, broadcast CDs and resources to strengthen a couple's faith through a difficult time. Key resources like Yes, Your Marriage Can Be Saved, Love and Respect, Love Must Be Tough, First Five Years of Marriage, Help! We are Drifting Apart, Breaking the Cycle of Divorce, Healing the Hurt in Your Marriage and others can provide needed encouragement and direction.

Culled from Focus on the Family

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