Biblical Foundations of Counseling

--Donald W. Welch Ph.D., LMFT

Dr. Welch left his full-time teaching post to move his family and Enriching Relationships, Inc. to California where he currently serves as Founder and Executive Director of the Center for Enriching Relationships™.


Christian counseling, more than any other field of study, focuses on the very core of who we are as God’s creation. This helping ministry first attempts to assist people in their understanding of who they are in relationship to God their Creator. Second, Christian counseling assists those who are committed in applying their relationship with God to forming healthy relationships with those around them. Essentially, it applies God-ordained principles to relationships, recognizing “that the Scriptures are more than a description of human nature, a listing of moral principles, or a guidebook for behavior. The Bible calls for commitment and obedience.”4

The Bible contains numerous references to the importance of good counsel. From the very first days in the Garden of Eden when God counseled Adam and Eve, there was a need for objective counsel that would help people rise above their subjective outlook on life. Throughout its pages, the Bible continues to espouse the importance of wise counsel for abundant living. During the wilderness years, Moses sought God’s counsel and utilized this counsel as he led the children of Israel. Isaiah presented counsel through his prophetic announcements. Jesus, our supreme role model, frequently sought counsel from his heavenly Father throughout his earthly ministry (Luke 3:21; 6:12; 9:29). From the forty days in the wilderness to his grueling moments in Gethsemane, Jesus continued to seek his Father’s counsel. Jesus also prayed for his counselees; in John 17:21, Jesus prayed that his disciples would be one, as he was one with the Father. The apostle Paul provided counsel on a number of occasions. For example, he encouraged and admonished the young pastor Timothy.