Most of you know that counseling married couples together in an abuse situation is a serious error. It just is not to be done. The wicked one will simply lie, wear a mask, and afterwards use the session to further attack his victim.
As I was thinking about this recently, I had some further thoughts about counseling in general – especially when the counselee is a wicked deceiver. And this thought came into my mind: How is a counselor able to counsel? The truth is, most counselors are not able to counsel. Why? Because they lack wisdom and they lack the truth. Think about it. Where does the counselor get his/her “data”? New client walks in, sits down, and the counselor asks “So, Bob, what is the problem?” (Thinking of “What About Bob” here).
Where is the counselor going to get the information? From Bob! It is Bob who tells the story. Bob who provides the data. “Everyone is against me. My wife just sets me up for failure. And now the pastor is telling me I need to get counseling. That’s why I’m here. I really want to save my marriage because I know that is what God wants.”
Think about it. Counseling is actually an impossible task unless the counselor knows the truth. Without the truth, a counselor who wades in where angels have the sense to fear to tread, is going to be like a medical doctor diagnosing and prescribing without really knowing what the problem is. And that is a disaster. Much “counseling” is a disaster – particularly so-called “biblical counseling.”
Here is a case from Scripture – it is a kind of counseling scenario. Real life. You could also call it a courtroom setting. But whatever the name, the fact is that the counselor is being called upon to make a judgment. What is the problem? Who is the victim? Who is the evil one? Take a look at this case. No witnesses. Just one person’s word against another. No DNA testing possible in those days. How in the world is Solomon going to sort it out?
1Kings 3:16-28 Then two prostitutes came to the king and stood before him. (17) The one woman said, “Oh, my lord, this woman and I live in the same house, and I gave birth to a child while she was in the house. (18) Then on the third day after I gave birth, this woman also gave birth. And we were alone. There was no one else with us in the house; only we two were in the house.
(19) And this woman’s son died in the night, because she lay on him. (20) And she arose at midnight and took my son from beside me, while your servant slept, and laid him at her breast, and laid her dead son at my breast. (21) When I rose in the morning to nurse my child, behold, he was dead. But when I looked at him closely in the morning, behold, he was not the child that I had borne.”
(22) But the other woman said, “No, the living child is mine, and the dead child is yours.” The first said, “No, the dead child is yours, and the living child is mine.” Thus they spoke before the king. (23) Then the king said, “The one says, ‘This is my son that is alive, and your son is dead’; and the other says, ‘No; but your son is dead, and my son is the living one.'”
(24) And the king said, “Bring me a sword.” So a sword was brought before the king. (25) And the king said, “Divide the living child in two, and give half to the one and half to the other.” (26) Then the woman whose son was alive said to the king, because her heart yearned for her son, “Oh, my lord, give her the living child, and by no means put him to death.” But the other said, “He shall be neither mine nor yours; divide him.”
(27) Then the king answered and said, “Give the living child to the first woman, and by no means put him to death; she is his mother.” (28) And all Israel heard of the judgment that the king had rendered, and they stood in awe of the king, because they perceived that the wisdom of God was in him to do justice.
Why was the king able to figure this one out? Because the wisdom of God was in him. The Spirit of God was operative in him. Solomon is an Old Testament picture of Christ the King who will one day render perfect justice to everyone. Impossible to dupe Him.
Now, I want to ask you. How many people today who are supposedly doing “biblical counseling” are actually indwelt and led by the Spirit of God? How many of them really have been given the wisdom of God? I can tell you. Not very many at all. How do I know? Because the normal, typical outcome of cases of domestic abuse is that Solomon gives the lying party the child! Because the norm is that counselors (be they pastors or church members or “professional biblical counselors”) are siding with the guilty. Believing the liar and discounting the innocent.
People frequently ask me, “can you recommend a counselor or church to me that is wise in regard to domestic abuse so I can get help?” The answer I give? “No, I don’t. Not unless you can travel hundreds of miles to consult the one or two that I know. I can direct you to some books and resources where you can find God’s wisdom for your case, but basically I highly advise you to steer clear of counselors and pastors.”
These things apply to cases that do not involve domestic abuse too. Think for instance of the client who tells the counselor “I am afraid I am going to get fired from my job. I work really hard. But my boss has it in for me. He and another co-worker are all buddy-buddy and they just don’t like me.” And my question is, how does the counselor know about this case? Answer: From the information the counselee has provided. In fact, without the client’s permission, the counselor is forbidden by law from contacting the boss and the co-worker to get further information. In the case confronting King Solomon, there weren’t even any other sources of information to consult.
When it comes to domestic abusers hiding in the church behind an unholy charade, the fact is that almost all pastors, church members, “biblical counselors” and book-writers are ignorant of the mentality and tactics of these evil ones. And yet they are functioning as counselors. If they had been sitting on the seat of judgment when those two women came to Solomon, they would have handed the infant over to the liar and thrown the innocent mother in jail. Or at best they would have said “we don’t know for sure, so we are going to give shared custody and you can each have visitation rights.”
Do I exaggerate? Nope. Nope. Nope.