Pastoral care and Counseling is one of the important ministries in the Church at any place in the world. Our churches are filled with people who experience crisis, lost, loneliness, anxiety, depression, divorced, and family problems. Pastors have a huge opportunity to help people just by listening and encouraging those in household of faith. In some cases it is just enough to listen and teach biblical principles of living but in the other cases there is the need to be specifically train people for a specialized ministry of counseling with deeper problems. In the context of my Country, Russia, I choose three issues which mostly need response in the churches. These issues are Premarital Counseling, Marriage Counseling and Crisis care and Counseling. Most of the times we do not feel comfortable to talk about these issues on the church but it do not mean that the problems do not exist. To have a healthy church these issues need to be addressed and pastors need to learn how to approach people because the people are not going to approach pastors first and ask for help. Part I: Premarital Counseling
Psychologist Carl Rogers once gave a sobering perspective on marriage. "If 50-75 percent of Ford or General Motors cars completely fell apart within the early part of their lifetimes as automobiles," Rogers wrote, "the public outcry would be overwhelming and drastic steps would be taken to correct the situation." But this happens to many marriages and hardly anyone rises any complain. Divorce is fre¬quent, fewer than half of the marriages that persist could be considered successful, and often couples seem unable or unwilling to correct the situation. The same situation and attitude to marriage we have in Russian, people usually get marry in age of 20 and mostly marriages fail after first three years. When I was getting my bachelor degree, 90% of my classmates were getting married at ages of 20 - 21 but 95% of them got divorced in the senior year of College. I am talking about secular world and we may have a different statistics among Christians but the fact is that young people have no clue what marriage is about. There are many reasons for the present instability of marriages, but one of the many causes of failure is built prima¬rily on sexual attraction, the desire to escape from a difficult home situation, a vague feeling of love, or some equally fleeting motive. Many marriage relationships are too flimsy to survive the pressures, challenges, and storms of daily living. Unprepared for the stresses or for the effort and determination required making mar¬riage work, many people prefer to give up and bail out. That which was meant to be meaningful and fulfilling thus becomes frustrating and personally devastating. I believe that if the society in Russian would pay more attention on premarital counseling in the church and outside then the family institution would have grow stronger and that would lead the country to success because the foundation of any country is the family institution. Premarital counseling seeks to help individuals, couples, and groups of couples to prepare for and build happy, fulfilling, Christ-honoring, and successful marriages. There are many values in premarital counseling if it is done carefully and consistently by the pastor. One of these values is the satisfaction that it brings to him personally. One pastor cannot change this societal attitude by himself, but each one can experience the inner reward of knowing he has done his part to change this pre¬vailing attitude. The values of premarital counseling are first of all to help the couple to approach marriage more realistically because they are aware of only two things that they are in love, and they want to spend their lives together. Another value of premarital counseling is that it affords each partner a better understanding of himself. A value of great importance is the knowledge that each partner gains of the other through...
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