Every two years I have the exciting opportunity to go to the World Conference of the American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC) and meet with thousands of people who work tirelessly to support marriages and families. When I’m there (as I was two weeks ago), I want to wrap my arms around them and say, “Thank you!!” Because I’m not a counselor or therapist or marriage mentor, I feel such gratitude for these folks who are the “boots on the ground” to serve couples or individuals in times of deep need. I love being able to (hopefully) serve and equip any of you who serve others. (And if you happen to be reading this from AACC, welcome!)
So whether you encourage marriages informally as a mentor or friend or work officially as a counselor or pastor, I want to encourage you today. With a simple truth that I’ve seen strongly in our research over the years: that some very small adjustments can make a big difference to transform struggling marriages. To be clear, these small changes can’t “solve” big systemic issues that might be in play (addiction, the effects of childhood abuse, and so on) but they will often make those issues easier to solve. And although in a few cases it is best to wait (for example, in a truly abusive marriage, ensuring safety would come before any of these factors), in most cases you can see some truly astonishing results from simple changes.
Here are a few of those simple things—new information, attitudes, and actions—that will help you do that!