The Effect of the Modern Evangelical Culture on Marriage

by Erik Sundquist, Director, Safe Harbor Christian Counseling

Nearly 25 years ago, I was involved in 2 very well-known Christian ministries on my college campus. In fact, I met a beautiful young lady at one of these groups whom I would fall in love with and marry…we have been married for 23 years and have 2 children. At these campus ministries we were taught to give our testimonies in a 3 step process.

•Step 1: Share how big of a mess my life was before I had Jesus in my life
•Step 2: Share how I met Jesus
•Step 3: Share how good my life is now since Jesus has solved my previous problems

I would love to hear people’s responses to this formula – especially people who have been Christians for a long time. Is this how your life has played out in reality? What has been the impact of this formula on your own soul – do you feel more alive inside as you seek to extrapolate this recipe across your life? How have those around you who do not share this perspective view you and the gospel in terms of credibility?

Let’s think about how the modern evangelical culture affects our marriages for a moment – I have observed that our modern evangelical church culture still espouses the views in this simple 3 step process. So, here we are as Christian couples who are trained that we are supposed to have it all together because we have Christ. The longer we have had Jesus, the more “together” we are supposed to be. Does anyone see the dilemma in this?

Relationships function best when we are open to the possibility that we are wrong and can see situations from the viewpoint of another. This becomes more difficult when our spiritual system says that we have to be “correct” or we are less spiritual.

This formula has profound implications for how we deal with (or don’t deal with) our own brokenness in our present relationships. We need places where anyone no matter where they are in their spiritual journey can feel safe to pull the fig leaf back and be honest! It is my prayer today that I can be this type of person for those around me today.

About Safe Harbor Christian Counseling

Safe Harbor Christian Counseling serves local communities by providing Christian-based, clinically sound counseling so that people experience the recovery of their hearts. Our unique approach to marriage counseling, family counseling and individual counseling includes offering an inviting atmosphere whereby a healing relationship is experienced in the counseling room. Safe Harbor consists of 7 partners with over 70 counselors trained in the mental health field.
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