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Help and Hope for Couples and Families

This week the blog is sponsored by Baker Books, who on September 15, 2020, released a new two-book equipping series by Dr. Bob Kellemen.

Dr. Kellemen, a pastor, professor, counselor, and author of over 20 books, had several specific audiences in mind as he penned each book.

First, as I crafted these two books, I pictured pastors. The typical pastor had at most one course on counseling, and it’s usually a course on individual counseling. Most pastors have never had a single course on how to do marriage and family counseling. These pastors increasingly face more difficult and complex marriage and family situations. I crafted these two equipping books as training manuals to increase a pastor’s level of confidence in their competence in Christ to help the couples and families in their churches.

Next, I pictured counselors. When I use the word “counselor,” I’m not just picturing professional Christian counselors or biblical counselors with a degree. In the biblical counseling world, we have 1,000s and 1,000s of trained lay counselors. Also, in the biblical counseling world, we believe that God calls each of us to be a one-another minister. So, I wrote these training manuals in a user-friendly way so that everyone who cares about marriages and families can be further equipped to provide biblical soul care.

I also wrote these equipping guides for professors and students at Bible colleges, Christian colleges, Christian graduate schools, and seminaries. Most classes in marriage and family present a theology of marriage and family relationships. They don’t provide how-to training that equips students to get couples and family members talking to each other so they can address heart issues and learn to work through problems long after the counseling is finished. Gospel-Centered Marriage Counseling and Gospel-Centered Family Counseling fill this gap by equipping counselors to help couples and families to move from hurting each other to finding healing hope together in Christ.

I also wrote these books for couples and parents. Each book begins with several practical chapters that paint a biblical portrait of a healthy marriage and of healthy family life. Those chapters are like flashing neon lights pointing to the beautiful biblical goal we’re moving toward throughout the books. Readers of advanced copies have graciously said that those initial chapters are “worth the price of the book’ and could be a stand-alone book for couples and parents.

With these audiences in mind, I designed both books as training manuals with over 250 skill-building exercises to develop marriage and counseling competencies, with scores of real-life counseling vignettes to illustrate how to apply the principles in the books, and with nearly 1,000 counseling dialogues that model how to help couples and family members to relate God’s truth richly and relevantly to their relationship. My goal is that readers would be equipped to competently and compassionately relate God’s Word to specific situations in marriage and family counseling sessions.

Learn more or purchase them here:

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