A major misconception that many can have is that the experience of salvation will erase all emotional pain from the past or we automatically have the skills to heal from sexual abuse, addictions, etc. The Bible says we are new creatures in Christ and old things are passed away. (We must not allow our past to define who we are today in Christ Jesus!) This is true, but this truth needs to be explained. When God forgives our sins, He forgets them. We are now a new creation in Him. He paid the price on the cross for our sins. They are forgiven and forgotten by God. But God does not erase our experiences in life, our memories or our emotions attached to those memories or addictions we may have.
Allow me to share just a few of the issues that I counsel. I’ve been counseling as a Certified Pastoral Counselor for 24 years for local churches where I live and nationwide by phone/Skype for the past 12 years. I counsel pastors and lay people. The counseling is in strict confidentiality. I counsel sexual abuse recovery, porn addiction recovery, healing for damaged emotions as a result of abusive family parenting, marital difficulties, divorce recovery, grief issues, anxiety, depression, anger management, etc. These and many other problems create spiritual, emotional and relational problems.
We can be saved but have a distorted God concept because of past abusive experiences, ungodly parenting, etc. If a person cannot trust his/her parents, how can they trust God whom they have not seen? Salvation redeems us from our sins but does not remove our brokenness. Isaiah 61 tells us in prophecy that Jesus came with the good news and He also came to bind up the broken in heart and set the captives free (I say – free of our stinkin’ thinkin’).
It was my Bible-based counseling education that gave me the tools of understanding how to be a ‘healing helper.’ I was raised in a godly Holy Ghost home. My parents loved God, they loved each other and they loved us children. Our home was a safe environment. We enjoyed peace and harmony with God being the center of our lives. I did not understand how to help hurting people who were saved but came from broken life experiences.
My father (Elder Raymond Theobald was an Eschatology theologian) loved God’s Word and poured it into my life and I was teaching from the Word on marriage/family and Christian living. People loved my teaching, but they would come up to me with their painful broken stories and I did not know what to tell them. They were saved, but they were hurting. I knew better than to tell them to just, “Go pray and give it to Jesus!” Some had been praying for years and were stuck in their pain. This is what drove me to seek a Bible-based counseling education. Learning how to use the Word of God to transform people’s thinking revolutionized my life for God’s glory. (Read ‘About Ministry’ on website: www.carolclemans.org).
I heard a pastor challenge other pastors with this statement, “When people come to you for counseling, tell them to go pray in tongues for one hour. If they will do that, they will have the answers to their own problems!” My spiritual heart sank!! This kind of statement puts additional pain and guilt on the hurting person. They now feel guilty for asking for help and they feel guilty because their prayer life has not brought spiritual, emotional and relational healing. The deeply hurting person needs a loving, kind, spiritual, knowledgeable, wise person who knows how to take the Word of God and help them become transformed by renewing their minds with God’s truth!
Romans 12:1-2 (NLT) And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. 2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
In 24 years, I have counseled numerous people who were sexually abused from the ages of 3 – 18 years by a father, brother, stepfather, step-grandfather, grandfather, uncle, family friend, church person, pastor, etc. Most of these people were raised in the church with these abusive people in their lives. Many people who are addicted to pornography were sexually abused as a child and they struggle with same-sex identity and a jumble of distorted emotions about self, God and others.
Praying in tongues for one hour does not remove all the pain of this distorted thinking. Yes! Prayer is a constant part of the healing, but the major healing comes from knowing what scriptures to share with these hurting people that will give them the tools to change they way they think about themselves from God’s viewpoint.
Even though they are saved, they feel shame, unloving, dirty, unworthy, useless, helpless and hopeless. They do not feel God loves them and they do not love themselves. Praying in tongues (Romans 8) is praying God’s perfect will. Praying in tongues (Jude) builds up our most holy faith. But praying in tongues does not teach a person how to change their thinking from all their negative emotional pain. When we know the truth, the truth shall set/make us free!!!
It is God’s Word that will change the way we think. They must learn not to speak the negative lies that Satan has been telling them for years. They have thought and talked the negatives lies until they believe they cannot change. They have to learn the truth about forgiving – it will set them free. They must learn to rewire their brain according to the Word of God:
Romans 8:1-2 (NKJV
8 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. The person who was abused usually takes on the guilt that belongs to the perpetrator. When they are in Christ Jesus and walking in the Spirit they need to be transformed by renewing their mind with God’s truth that they did not cause the abuse – there is no excuse for any of kind abuse – all the guilt belongs to the abuser!
Another major issue for an abuse victim is feeling completely unloved by God, self and others. Their God-worth is in the pits. The truth is that our worth comes from the fact that God is our Creator and is our Savior. We can do nothing to earn our worth. He makes us worthy – not based on our performance or our past.
When a hurting person seeks godly counsel for the brokenness in their life, please do not condemn them and tell them to go pray. The articles on my website are for the purpose of informing ministry leaders that there is hope and healing for the hurting through transformation according to God’s Word.
One in three females and one in four males are victims of sexual abuse. Approximately sixty percent of American pastors have admitted the use of porn or the addiction to porn according to Focus on the Family. Men and women in our churches battle with these issues. All of these problems destroy marriages and families right in the church.
On my website: www.carolclemans.org, I have a book list of recommended reading to help understand the above issues based on the Word of God. Our leaders must become educated on how to be ‘healing helpers’ through the Word of God. Many people suffer spiritual abuse because they seek help and then are condemned for not praying enough or not working in ministry enough or are told to just forget the past! God’s Word has the answers!!! Emotional healing takes time to learn God’s truth and transform the distorted thinking to God’s truth.
If you are a pastor and would like help in this area, please contact me – (636) 448-0121. I have pastors who use my counseling ministry as an aid to them in ministry. They refer hurting people to me for counseling. I’m like an ‘off-campus’ counseling pastor. I counsel in strict confidentiality. I ask for a minimal ministry offering per one-hour session. Some pastors are willing to cover the cost of counseling or offer a co-pay to their people.
Pastor Daniel Batchelor, Superintendent of the Department of Education with the UPCI is on my board of directors for Life Enrichment Ministries, Inc. I do counseling in the Mississippi District as requested by Superintendent David Tipton, Jr. My first ten years of counseling was provided for Bishop Kenneth Haney at CLC in Stockton, California until he went to St. Louis, MO. I taught six years at Christian Life College under the leadership of Dr. Dan Segraves – one of six subjects being “Principles of Counseling.”
My heartbeat is to help the hurting heart that is saved to grow and heal spiritually, emotionally and relationally by the Word of God. Everything I teach, write and counsel comes from God’s Word. When I teach for churches and conferences, people line up wanting to counsel with me because I give them hope for healing through God’s truth.
I’m praying that church leaders gain a greater understanding of the major need to become educated in God’s Word for emotional healing. As we constantly study God’s Word, we must add to our knowledge how to use the Word of God to bring hope and healing into hurting hearts that are saved, but are what I call the ‘walking wounded.’ Hurting people hurt people. Healed people share their healing with others and God uses the healed person to touch hurting hearts for His glory!
In 2004, a young woman called me for counseling because of sexual abuse, gender identity issues, porn addiction, etc. In the spring 2014, she graduated with her master’s degree in Christian counseling. She was a former graduate of one of the UPCI endorsed Bible colleges yet was full of emotional pain. When we started counseling in 2004, she was considering suicide. Her life and testimony proves that we can be transformed by renewing our minds with God’s truth.
Go to my website: www.carolclemans.org for 300+ articles, teaching CD’s and DVD’s that are available plus my book: God’s Design for Marriage – soft cover or eBook: amazon.com. My website is a resource for all people in ministry and for those who are hurting. (Email: firstname.lastname@example.org – (636) 448-0121).
Carol P Clemans: Twitter, Periscope, You Tube channel, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram, FB: Life Enrichment Ministries, Inc. (501c3), Carol Theobald Clemans, Group: Growing in God Spiritually, Emotionally & Relationally. (Holy Ghost 61 years, Bible teacher over 50 years, married to Rev. Harold Clemans 46 years, Certified Pastoral Counselor 24 years, mother/MieMie 41 years).
© Carol Clemans – May 2016