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1 Other books by the author Pearls: Scriptures To Live By Mental health Bible concordance. Over 2,500 Scriptures for counsel and guidance. Compiled under 172 mental health topics. Christlike: Walking The Walk A Scripture-based description of what it means to be a mentally healthy Christian, and how to become more Christlike. Visit the author at Counseling4Christians.com The #1 Christian Counseling Internet Site on the Web To schedule a presentation at your church or organization, please us at:

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3 Personal Study Version GODLY COUNSEL Scriptures For Today s World Written by Dr. Brian Campbell In Collaboration with Rev. Jim Angelakos

4 Acknowledgements A special thanks to Rev. Jim Angelakos for his help and encouragement throughout this project. To my father and mother, who dedicated their lives to me, and who raised my brother and me in a Godly household. Copyright Copyright 2010, by Dr. Brian Campbell (All Rights Reserved (Revised Edition)) Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version, NIV. Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica, Inc. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. Note: In this book, the words of Christ are printed in italics. Consistent with modern editing practices, beginning and ending ellipses have been omitted when only partial quotes of Scriptures have been utilized. Also, quotation marks have been omitted except where they were necessary for clarity. Because of these editing practices, please always consult the original biblical text before quoting any Scriptures in this book.

5 Contents Foreword: This Book is About God s Word 7 Lesson: 1. Abortion 9 2. Addictions Adolescent Rebellion Anger Anxiety/Worry/Fear Backsliding Belief/Salvation Christ, Who He Is Citizenship Communication Death and Dying Depression Divorce Forgive/Forgiveness Grief Judgmental Love Marriage Money/Riches Parenting Persecution Prayer Pride Self-Esteem, Low Sexual Sin Sin Suffering Temptation Thinking, Healthy Trouble/Hardship Truth Unemployment Weak/Tired 235 Topical Index: 239

6 For our children and grandchildren, Anyone can count the seeds in an apple, but only God can count the number of apples in a seed. (Robert Schuller) Pass it on. ( : ; ; ; )

7 Foreword This Book Is About God s Word The Word of God is living and active and relevant to today s world and to today s problems. There is no greater authority for Christian living than God s Holy Word. Whatever your problem, concern, or question may be, God has provided valuable guidance and counsel in the Bible. This book is a follow-up and companion to a previous book authored by Dr. Campbell entitled: Pearls: Scriptures To Live By. Pearls grew out of Dr. Campbell s work as a Christian psychologist. It consists of over 2,500 Scriptures for counsel and guidance, compiled under 172 topics relevant to Christian mental health. The idea for the current work, Godly Counsel, was first suggested by Rev. Jim Angelakos, who saw a need for a Synopsis (summary) of topics covered in Pearls. Many of the subjects covered in Pearls are synthesized and subsumed under the major headings in Godly Counsel. Focus On The Scriptures This book is primarily about Scriptures how they speak to mental health issues prevalent in our society. As you read the Synopsis for each chapter, take time to read the Scriptures that relate to the summary text. The Scriptures are conveniently located at the bottom of each page. Please take time to read the Scriptures supporting the text. The Scriptures will change your thinking, and ultimately change your life. Topical Index If you do not see your problem/concern among the major Lessons included in this book, please consult the Topical Index (p. 239).

8 Lesson 13 Divorce I hate divorce, says the LORD God of Israel. (Malachi 2:16) Divorce: the legal dissolution of a marriage Divorce rates are soaring worldwide even among Christians. The impact of divorce can be felt throughout the family system and the damaging effects can extend from one generation to the next. God s Word takes a very firm stance on divorce. It is only permitted under very narrowly defined circumstances. Synopsis The Lord God Almighty hates divorce. 1 He allowed divorce at only one point in history when Moses and his people walked this earth. 2 Prior to that time (from the point of creation to the time of Moses), divorce was not permitted. 2 Interestingly, the Bible reveals that the exception God made for the followers of Moses (i.e., divorce) did not remain for long. When Jesus began His ministry on this earth, He proclaimed to His followers that divorce was no longer permitted. 3 There was only on I hate divorce, says the LORD God of Israel. (Malachi 2:16) 1 Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. (Matthew 19:8) 2 It has been said, Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce. But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, causes her to become an adulteress, and anyone who marries the divorced woman commits adultery. (Matthew 5:31-32) 3

9 Divorce 9 only one exception, and that was for marital unfaithfulness (sexual intercourse outside of marriage). 3 If a man or woman got divorced for any other reason, and then got married again, Jesus said he or she would be committing adultery; 4,5 also, if a man were to marry a divorced woman, he would be committing adultery. 6 Later on, the apostle Paul reaffirmed what Jesus had proclaimed. 7 In addition, Paul provided further information and clarification regarding divorce. For example, in the case where a believer is married to an unbeliever, if the unbeliever wants to stay in the marriage, then the believer is not permitted to divorce. 8,9 I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery. (Matthew 19:9) 4 And if she divorces her husband and marries another man, she commits adultery. (Mark 10:12) 5 Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery, and the man who marries a divorced woman commits adultery. (Luke 16:18) 6 To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband. But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife. (1 Corinthians 7:10-11) 7 If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her. (1 Corinthians 7:12) 8 And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. (1 Corinthians 7:13) 9

10 10 Divorce However, if an unbeliever leaves the marriage, then the believer is no longer bound in such circumstances (and is permitted to divorce). 10 Thus, the Scriptures reveal only two exceptions where divorce is permissible, namely: marital unfaithfulness, 3 and abandonment by an unbeliever. 10 If you divorce for non-biblical reasons, God commands that you stay unmarried or else reconcile with your former spouse. 7 Even the process of separation (as an alternative to divorce) appears biblically questionable as a long-term strategy or permanent solution for dealing with difficult marriages. 7,11 Finally, in the instance where a man or woman is married and the spouse dies, he or she is free to marry again, as long as the other person is a believer. 12 God s Guidance If you are divorced, thinking of getting a divorce, or considering marrying someone who has had a divorce, you should seek godly counsel. The situations surrounding divorce are often complex and typically require thoughtful prayer, 13 biblical guidance, 14 and wise But if the unbeliever leaves, let him do so. A believing man or woman is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace. (1 Corinthians 7:15) 10 Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. (1 Corinthians 7:5) 11 A woman is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to marry anyone else she wishes, but he must belong to the Lord. (1 Corinthians 7:39) 12 Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. (James 5:13) 13 Your statutes are my delight; they are my counselors. (Psalm 119:24) 14

11 Divorce 11 wise counsel. 15 As you seek guidance, study God s commandments and turn to the Holy Spirit for help the great Counselor, who will guide you into all truth. 16,17 Finally, if you are in a divorce situation, try not to be argumentative. 18 And if you are divorced and have children, make every effort to provide for them financially, and for your ex-spouse (if necessary); if you do not provide for your relatives, and especially your immediate family, the Scriptures suggest that you are denying your faith and are worse than an unbeliever. 19 The purposes of a man s heart are deep waters, but a man of understanding draws them out. (Proverbs 20:5) 15 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever the Spirit of truth. (John 14:16-17) 16 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. (James 16:13) 17 Don t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. (2 Timothy 2:23) 18 If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. (1 Timothy 5:8) 19

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