It is always interesting to me when clients come to therapy with their own solutions to their problems. They say they want to have a better marriage or do life better but when I try to help them see the way to change they resist and tell me something like “I don’t think that’s what’s going on with me, my childhood was great, I’ve already done therapy for being abused, I’m not insecure, I do not feel like I’m codependent, I don’t want to hear about God,” and so on.
The ones who say “I don’t want to hear about God” are the ones who usually need God the most. I don’t ever talk about religion in my office, but God and religion are not the same thing. Religion is about rituals that man uses to get to God. The truth is, nothing can make you misunderstand God and who He is more than religion. But I will talk about that another time.
If you are sick, and you do not have a medical degree then it does not make sense for you to tell the doctor how to treat you. My doctor has told me things that I did not agree with or understand but I followed her instructions anyway and sure enough, she was right. I stopped second guessing her every since I experienced the same thing in my office.
I have a few clients who’s marriage is literally upside down. They have hit a wall that they cannot climb or go around but they will not let me tell them how to move the wall. Why? Because they do not want to hear about the only wall mover for marriage there is…God. So I give them all of the “tools” and book knowledge I have only to keep circling back and hitting this wall where there is a deeper issue.
I believe marriage is God’s idea, but MY belief is not what makes it true. It is true whether I believe it or not. You decide what you believe, but you do not decide what an absolute truth is. You can absolutely decide there are no absolute truths, but that still does not make your decision true. A better way to make my statement about marriage is this: Marriage is God’s idea, and I believe it. Interestingly enough, clients will say they believe marriage is God’s idea but they are not open to hearing what the creator of marriage says about it.
I asked a client the other day, “If I told you that there is place in North Houston where amazing things happen. It’s right off the feeder road and when you walk inside you immediately feel something different. There’s a lady there who will give you a pink pill and a blue pill to be taken at the same time at exactly 3:12. When you take the pill you won’t feel anything immediately but within the hour you will notice that your anxiety is gone, your negative beliefs are gone and you can now have a clear mind to build a great life. What would you do?” He said without hesitation “I’d drive to North Houston.”
How interesting is that? You have no idea if this will work but you are willing to try it because nothing else has worked so far, and yet you will not try God. What’s the worst that can happen? Try God and see and if He doesn’t change your life you can easily go back to how you have been living.
It reminds me of the story of Naaman who had leprosy. He went to see Elisha so that Elisha could heal him. Naaman was not a “believer,” but rather a pagan (not a believer in the God of Israel). When Naaman went to see Elisha, Elisha did not even come out to meet him, but instead sent instructions on what to do. Further more, the instructions were did not make sense to Naaman and he became very angry. See, Elisha had told him to “go and wash seven times in the Jordan river and your flesh will be returned and cleansed.” The thing about the Jordan was that it was dirty…kinda like Galveston. So Naaman was angry and about to leave until one of his servants said to him, “If the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? So you should certainly obey him when he simply says go and wash and be cured.” So Naaman went down to the Jordan river and dipped himself 7 times and was cleansed. It says that his skin was as healthy as a young child (2 Kings 5:1-15).
When you decide to help for a problem you do not have the answer to, be open to hearing what the ‘answer giver’ has to say…what’s the worst that can happen?