In Part 2 of “Words of Counsel,” Hibbs provides practical helps and guidelines for how counselors can “let words work” when writing to those who are hurting and struggling. Even if you don’t see yourself as a writer, you still offer written words to those you help—even if only in an email—and Hibbs will help you do that in increasingly thoughtful ways.
We naturally think of “counseling” as happening when two people get together for a candid conversation. But effective counseling can also take place through written words—the Bible is indisputable evidence for that! This is the first of a two-part series by Pierce Hibbs about how wise and well-written notes, emails, letters, articles, books, and other literary ways of counseling can work. This first installment gives the theological big picture of how God has designed words to work.
Critiques Gary Chapman's book, The Five Love Languages. Chapman gives advice on improving marriages by having spouses identify and respond to each other's preferred love language, but this actually centers on the self-centered nature of the individual desiring to change (manipulate?) the spouse's behavior. Powlison offers another alternative: "Jesus puts things in a different light...The love of Christ speaks a 'love language'--mercy to hellishly self-centered people..."
A case study in premarital counseling, with complications that threatened to disrupt a church. Walks through how it was handled, how meetings were scheduled, and what happened. Discusses three communications problems that were unearthed and s olved: making uncritical assumptions about what someone else meant; escalating the problem by exaggerated language; a significant-other-person problem when a third party got thrown in the mix between two persons.
Unfolds communication goals and principles from Galatians 5-6 using a case study of marital communication breakdown. 5:13-15 shows how words destroy: people serve selfish goals rather than to serve in love, they forget God, and they eat each other up. Galatians 5:16-6:2 teaches how to speak words of redemption into a world of sin. Unpacks 10 specific aspects of speaking redemptively.
Unfolds the particulars of Ephesians 4 and Proverbs 18 for communication basics. Your "heart attitudes" are the overall concerns that direct your communication choices: do you have Ephesians 4:1-6 concerns in mind when you communicate with others? Communication involves listening as well as speaking: "To be an attentive listener you must not demand or expect to be on center stage." Ephesians 4:25-32 lays out four rules of verbal communication: falsehood vs. truth, bitterness vs. reconciliation, unwholesome vs. edifying words, malicious vs. gracious talk.