Counseling must emphasize the holiness of the body
There has been a over-emphasis on the value of soul when one looks at the essence of human nature in Christian Counseling Programs. Merely because the soul survives the temporal reality and the body dies, people have come to the conclusion that the soul is superior. This is even the case among Christians who are far from Platonic in judgment on the body. Christians have always revered the body as more than a shell but a temple of the Holy Spirit. While this respect has existed it seems in popular thought that it is the soul that ultimately makes us human and hence is superior. The truth is the body plays as an important role as the soul in defining us. It is not only a temple of the Holy Spirit and our soul but is a interwoven element of our
human nature and without our unique body we would cease to be human or exist at all. It with this in mind why Christ himself promises the resurrection of every human body to be reunited with one’s soul.
One should only teach a philosophy that emphasizes only the most respect for the body. The body while being an integral part of our human nature is a sacramental sign of the soul to the world. With this in mind, our bodies reflect the desires of the soul. Our eyes should only seek beauty and truth, our hands should never commit evil and our tongue should never speak untruth. Instead our bodies should do the work of the Lord in this world. In essence, our body is a temple of the Holy Spirit.
In this regard, any sins that harm the body, or stain the purity of the soul through physical actions are strictly forbidden in Christianity. Philosophies that reduce the body to a mere pleasurable object are condemned as well as philosophies that limit the body to only a shell of the soul such as Reincarnation. Also philosophies such as Manichaeism that teach all matter, including the body as evil should be strictly condemned.
Counselors should avoid various extremes. They should avoid extremes that devalue the body such as Reincarnation or Manichiean philosophies and should also avoid idealogies that idolize the body at the expense of eternal salvation.
If you are interested in Christian Counseling Courses, please review the program.
Mark Moran, MA, GC-C, SCC-C