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To Husband and Wife:

As you work toward a decision concerning your need for marriage counseling, consider the following concepts that guide the counseling we offer:

1.  It is the role of the husband to invest in the health and happiness needs of his wife: This is to the extent that if she is unhappy and broken in health, he should consider in what ways her support needs have not been met.

2.  While God rules the universe in a power position over us, he relates to us through Christ as a shepherd and also as a support vine to a branch in a support relationship beneath us.

3.  Brokenness in a marriage can be rooted in a broken theology (understanding about God). Whatever a husband believes about God, either that he relates to us as a rule giver making demands on us or as a support person beneath us to support our response to him, he will tend to relate to his wife in the same way.

4.  Christ in his relationship to his bride, the Church (Ephesians 5:22-33), is the Scriptural model for the husband in his relationship to his wife. "Husbands, love your wives just as Christ loved (unconditionally valued) the Church and gave himself up for her" (v. 25).

5.  Christ also identifies himself as a Vine and as a “husbandman” (gardener) in his relationship to his bride (John 15:1-8).

6.  The home is mostly an organism rather than an organization. (The Church is also an organism.) The dynamics of leadership and relationships in an organism are different than in an organization.

7.  The New Testament word "head" means "fountainhead" when referring to the husband in the organic home, and does not mean "ruler" as when referring to the head over an organization or institution (in the way that Moses in the Old Testament was the head over the nation Israel).

8.  The word "authority" when used in the context of the organic home means "freedom to act." Christ's authority in our lives is not imposed but invited when we open the door of our heart to him. This means, the husband's freedom to influence his wife is not imposed, but must be an opportunity he earns.

9.  It is not the role responsibility of a wife to be a resource for the moral and spiritual support needs of her husband. The only appropriate support a wife gives her husband is that which flows back to him out of the strength she has received from his support in her life.

10. The word "submit," in the context of an organic relationship, does not mean for a wife to surrender her freedom to her husband's rule or control, but rather to "give him opportunity for influence" as illustrated by opening a door (Revelation 3:20).

11. Our goal for marriage counseling is to

  • Support husbands for
    • understanding God’s Plan for the husband in a marriage – that he is to be a resource to support his wife and for
    • making personal choices for his life that help establish him in health and happiness - so that he is supported for serving his wife as an advocate for her health and happiness;
  • Support wives for
    • making personal choices for her life that increase her in health and happiness,
    • identifying resources for her life that support her for making those choices, and for
    • understanding about God's care and favor for women and children;
  • Teach communication skills from the grace perspective that help reduce tension in the relationship. 

12. When a husband does not accept his role as a support resource to his wife in the way Christ models it, we offer his wife counseling support for her faith renewal.

Don Whisnant, DCC, LCPC
GraceRenewal Counseling

To Prospective Counselee:

GraceRenewal Counseling is different than traditional or even Christian counseling. Its first focus is to support counselees for learning how to read the Scripture (and to do it every day) in order to hear the Holy Spirit 
  • communicate Truth to us (mainly that God loves [values] us unconditionally) and
  • call us to open the door of our heart per Revelation 3:20 in order to be increased to a fuller measure of Christ (Ephesians 3:19; 4:13) - which is the meaning of the word "worship" and the beginning of the solution for meeting every healing or support need we have. 
Don Whisnant, DCC, LCPC
GraceRenewal Counseling