28 April 2005

Grief Counseling

I recently picked up Ken's copy of Jay Adams' classic pastoral counseling book, "Shepherding God's Flock," and read the section on grief counseling. Adams sees grieving people as ministry opportunities. I agree - it is important for pastors to minister to people who are grieving, especially since it is something that everyone will experience. We won't all get married, or have children, etc. ... but grief necessarily is something that we all go through.

Today I talked with a friend who is still grieving over the loss of her father several years after his death, mostly because she still has issues with him that she needs to forgive. I suppose forgiving someone who is dead is mostly for your own benefit - to eliminate bitterness which can eat away at your soul. My friend is certainly struggling; she cannot mention the subject without tears.

I wonder if Ken and I will be able to counsel people who are mourning the loss of a loved one - or even more complicated situations like this one. (By the way, incidentally - according to Jay Adams, the "Pastor's Wife" is not an office, and should not be treated as such. Thank you. How liberating.)

6 comments:

E,L&M's Mom said...

You have a special heart for people and their needs! God loves you and he will continue to use you to love his flock, pastor's wife or any other kind of wife. You are terrific!

emiline said...

:) thanks mom. you are terrific too. i'm going to go check out your blog now. are you a professional blogger?

E,L&M's Mom said...

I don't know about professional, but I am experienced. Well, I guess if you are dressed correctly and you have experience, that makes you a professional, so, sure.

Russ said...

Hey Em,
I have an aunt who recently lost her dad, with a lot of unresolved hard feelings lingering. Neither she nor her father were Christians, so he is gone forever to her, without any hope of reconciliation. It has been really hard trying to comfort her, what can you really say to a person in that situation?

I personally think that you would do wonderfully in counseling those who mourn, since in my humble opinion, one of the first and most important steps is to really care about people- which you clearly do, since you are talking about it in the first place:)

E,L&M's Mom said...

Clearly, life is challenging. And clearly, Russ, you are a caring person too. I will pray for your aunt, and for you, as you seek to love her to Christ. :) Baby steps...

emiline said...

Wow, Russ,
It is a whole different ballgame when the person isn't a Christian. It seems like the goal would be to lead them to Jesus through their grief. You have your work cut out for you.
Does your aunt live nearby...?
I bet Jay Adams addresses this issue, but probably in another book. I have a lot of reading to do.