If you were in church on Sunday you will recall me telling a story about a young married couple, who after just a few years decided the only way to save their marriage was to try counselling. They had been at each other's throats for some time and felt that this was their last straw.
When they arrived at the counsellor's office, the counsellor jumped right in and opened the floor for discussion with a good question.
"What seems to be the problem?"
Immediately, the husband hung his head and said nothing. On the other hand, the wife began talking 90 miles a minute describing everything wrong in their marriage.
After 5 - - 10 - - 15 minutes of listening to the wife, the counsellor went over to her, picked her up by her shoulders, kissed her passionately for several minutes, and sat her back down.
The wife sat there speechless. The counsellor looked over at the husband who was staring in disbelief at what had happened.
The counsellor said to the husband, "Your wife NEEDS that at least twice a week!"
The husband scratched his head and replied, "I can have her here on Tuesdays and Thursdays."
A counselling session doesn’t actually go that way, not the ones I’ve been to anyway. But counselling can be just as interesting ;)
The first time I went for counselling, I have to admit, I did not want to go. My minister at the time thought it would be good for me, especially because I was engaged to be married. My parents were divorced and I, like many other children of divorce, had a perspective on marriage that the minister did not think was particularly healthy. It seemed healthy enough to me, but went anyway. In retrospect I wasn’t ready to learn anything. My attitude really did suck.
When I went again later in life, I wanted to go. I was a little more mature and a little more open to change. I had begun to realize that I was bringing baggage not only into my marriage but all my relationships. I was ready to try to sort that out.
So that time I went armed with questions. Let me tell you had prepared some very good questions for my counsellor, like: Why do I get so angry when ___________? Why do I feel so ________ when _________ does this or that? There were more, trust me.
But what ended up happening was that the counsellor asked me the questions — and in hindsight they were more piercing and poignant that what I presented. They were questions that ultimately changed the trajectory of my life.
I learned a couple of important things through that experience:
1. When we need help, it’s wise to find someone who’s wiser than us, who can help us find direction.
2. That one of the best ways to find truth is often on the other side of a good question.
If you read the Gospels – Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John – you know who else asked some really good questions? Jesus.
Jesus asked questions, over and over and over again. You can barely read a conversation before you see Jesus throwing a great question back to those who are asking questions of Him, like Why are you so afraid? or Do you believe I can do this? or Why do you doubt?
This Sunday at Amberlea we will be in part two of a sermon series called Wonderful Counsellor. As we move closer to Easter we will look at another great question that Jesus asks.
So, why don’t you plan to join us? That’s a good question and here is another one: Why don’t you bring a friend?
Let’s let Jesus, by the power of the Holy Spirit, be our Wonderful Counsellor!
See you Sunday!