As a biblical counselor, I sometimes encounter counselees who seem immobilized. They appear simply unable or unwilling to move forward, languishing in despair, relational struggle, and sin. Even when seeming to understand Scripture and claiming conviction, they remain unchanged.
In one such occasion I was helping Ron, a professing believer, evaluate his role as a husband and spiritual head of his home. Over three meetings we had examined his salvation and studied numerous scriptures pertaining to spiritual submission (Jas 4:5-8), authority (1 Cor 11:3), leadership (Eph 5:22-29), love (1 Cor 13:3-7), forgiveness (Matt 6:14-15), and accountability (Rom 14:11-12).
In each example the counselee expressed grief and claimed conviction to lead and love his wife as Scripture instructs. But near the end of the third meeting the discussion veered off course:
Ron: I know the Bible is true and God expects me to do these things. But how can I?
Counselor: What do you mean?
Ron: How can I lead when my wife will not cooperate? How can I love someone who is cold and distant?
Counselor: So you are unable to obey God’s teaching because of your wife’s condition?
Ron: I would be a better Christian if I were married to a godly woman. I just don’t see how I can do anything until she gets it together.