by Terry Coomer
I often tell people that as a Pastoral Counselor, I am picking up where dad and mom left off. That is, the number one thing that I do as a Pastor, Biblical Counselor, and Marriage Speaker is move people out of a feelings dominated controlled life and into a controlled by the Holy Spirit, Biblical principled driven life. In essence, I am teaching them what they failed to learn as a child.
Proverbs 22:6, Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
Did you notice the word train? The most important thing for a parent to do is to see their child come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. The next thing is to understand they as a parent are to be a trainer. You are to be a trainer of your children to not live a feelings dominated life but a Biblical principled life. However, you must not be living a feelings dominated life yourself or your training will spiritually fail. Most parents try to teach from an emotion led life which does not work. The child goes into adulthood still being an emotion led child.
Romans 6:11-13 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.
Adults Are Led by Biblical Principles Not Feelings
Children are motivated by feelings. That is their primary rule of law. That being said, a person has never really entered adulthood if they have not learned to follow Biblical principles in spite of where their feelings are leading them. A Christian must learn what it means to be controlled by the Holy Spirit at the point of impact.
Unfortunately, a good number of our married couples are little people in big people’s bodies. Though they have secured a decent education and established a nice career, they stopped growing emotionally a long time ago or never learned how to grow emotionally to begin with. When they feel angry, they act angry. If they feel like pouting, negative behavior ensues. They say whatever comes to their mind and show their spiritual and emotional immaturity. This is nothing less than childish behavior, and, sad to say, it is what keeps me busy as a pastor and marriage counselor.
I have found that until someone learns to say yes to Biblical principles and no to their childish emotions, they will never learn how to properly deal with their marital issues. They will be up one day and down the next, and they will take their marriage on a perpetual roller coaster ride.
Our goal for every counselee is spiritual and emotional maturity by learning how to apply Biblical principles to their life and to stop, think, and turnover to the Lord at the point of spiritual impact in their life. This is the point where Satan puts outside pressure on your life to try to get you to react like a child with childish behavior. Satan seeks to control the Christians life by placing outside pressure on them to control their soul which is the seat of their mind, emotions, and will. He will then control their decision making. They will react in their emotion led life rather than to submit themselves to God and make Jesus Christ real in their life at the point of impact.
James 4:7, Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
This is your goal to teach as a counselor. They are in your office because they are immature emotionally and spiritually. Their childish behavior has put them there.
Another tool that is very effective that I have used with couples who say, “I do not love her or him anymore.” I have often encouraged men and women in a troubled marriage to ask themselves the question, “If I felt love for my spouse today, what would I do for them?” Then, I advise them to go and do according to their answer. To be honest, it is a very powerful step for spouses to take, and there is a sense where it must be done in faith that their feelings will eventually agree with not only their actions, but Biblical precepts.
I Corinthians 13:4-5, Charity (love) suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
Did you notice “love is kind?” Most people respond when I ask the above question say, “I would be more kind.” Next question how specifically would you do that? When they give you the answer encourage them to do it as an assignment.
by Terry Coomer
Original article can be found at http://fortheloveofthefamily.com/2014/03/dealing-with-childish-behavior-in-your-marriage/