Marriage Counseling

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Screen Shot 2014-07-08 at 2.32.13 PMWe are passionate about marriage at The Austin Stone Counseling Center.

Our counseling staff see couples everyday who are at all points on the spectrum – some are in crisis, some are stuck, some are just wanting more out of the marriage but don’t know how to get there.

We see 3 primary ways of engaging and helping couples have healthy, gospel-centered marriages:

1. Preparation – A strong marriage is built on a strong foundation. We offer professional PreMarital Counseling as well as Pre-Engagement counseling. Read More

The Cross and Criticism

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Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetMany people walk through life crippled by criticism. It can sting hard and have a lasting affect, whether for a few hours, the day, or even years. In this poignant article, Alfred Poirier provides biblical wisdom on dealing with criticism by looking at it in light of the cross. I have personally benefited from reading and re-reading this article over the years and have recommended it more than any other to those I have counseled. Here is an excerpt:

In light of God’s judgment and justification of the sinner in the cross of Christ, we can begin to discover how to deal with any and all criticism. By agreeing with God’s criticism of me in Christ’s cross, I can face any criticism man may lay against me. In other words, no one can criticize me more than the cross has. And the most devastating criticism turns out to be the finest mercy. If you thus know yourself as having been crucified with Christ, then you can respond to any criticism, even mistaken or hostile criticism, without bitterness, defensiveness, or blameshifting. Such responses typically exacerbate and intensify conflict, and lead to the rupture of relationships. You can learn to hear criticism as constructive and not condemnatory because God has justified you.

Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who is he that condemns? (Rom. 8:33-34a).

Let a righteous man strike me—it is a kindness; let him rebuke me—it is oil on my head. My head will not refuse it (Ps. 141:5).

If I know myself as crucified with Christ, I can now receive another’s criticism with this attitude: “You have not discovered a fraction of my guilt. Christ has said more about my sin, my failings, my rebellion and my foolishness than any man can lay against me. I thank you for your corrections. They are a blessing and a kindness to me. For even when they are wrong or misplaced, they remind me of my true faults and sins for which my Lord and Savior paid dearly when He went to the cross for me. I want to hear where your criticisms are valid.”

The correction and advice that we hear are sent by our heavenly Father. They are His corrections, rebukes, warnings, and scoldings. His reminders are meant to humble me, to weed out the root of pride and replace it with a heart and lifestyle of growing wisdom, understanding, goodness, and truth. For example, if you can take criticism—however just or unjust—you’ll learn to give it with gracious intent and constructive results.

 
Click here to read the full article.

The Marriage Mirage

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Screen Shot 2014-06-05 at 3.33.47 PMKristi Hanusch sits on her kitchen floor. Lately, she’s been suffering from intense migraines, the latest physical manifestation of a half-decade of strife and sickness. In her hand is relief: a tiny, white, round piece of relief. She takes the pill and closes her eyes. Ten minutes later, she takes another one.

And then another one.

The relief she so badly wants is too slow to come, so she tips yet another pain reliever into her hand. “This is it. This is how people kill themselves. They take these medications to feel something other than life, to balance between wanting to feel something and wanting to feel nothing. Then they die.”

Read the full story here.

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