There are at least three basic elements according to Jay Adams.
1 "to teach" The term "didasko" does not imply any problem, but simply suggests the communication of data (teaching); making information known, clear, understandable and memorable.
2 "to admonish". Here is the idea: the sense of admonishing with blame, and to rebuke. That is never well liked. The idea of "nouthesis" gives the idea, there is going to be some kind of confrontation in which the objective is to effect a character and behavior change in the person you are talking to one on one
- Here is what Adams said,
"Nouthetic confrontation, that is one on one, in its biblical usage, aims at straightening out the individual by changing his pattern of behavior to conform to biblical standard."
So I wanted to deal with the "what" rather than the "why." You know the why? The reason people get in trouble or have trouble, even if they don’t know that they are in trouble with God, is their relationship with God and others because of their sinful nature..
Christians do not have to ask the question "why". They already know why fallen human nature acts sinfully. Many do not see the "what" as sinful behavior. It’s a chemical imbalance or "I don’t see why it’s a problem."
By the way, nouthetic counseling doesn’t take weeks to solve, unlike what most psychiatrists are saying is needed -- months and maybe years
"What" leads to solutions to problems'
"What are you doing?" That is a very good question to ask, rather than "Why did you do that?"
Now you might think: Isn’t that what a Christian should do? Yes, but it’s often the last thing we do. We will use the secular points of view. We will say, "I am depressed." "I have a chemical imbalance." "I am bi-polar." etc. Most of the time we will know the secular term and not the biblical term of our problems. All these terms are secular and are not biblical terms.
Can I ask, "What does God say about what you are doing?" And secondly, what can be done about this situation? Many times they don’t like these questions.
HERE IS THE POINT OF NOUTHETIC BIBLICAL COUNSELING CONFRONTING:
Biblical counseling seeks to correct sinful behavior patterns by personal confrontation and repentance. "The what you are in to, or what you are doing, by biblical standard is not what Christ would have you to do." And what are you going to do about it?
Until they see and understand the "why" they won’t clearly see why the "what" is wrong. And they want see why the need to change is needed. The "why" of every problem is sin. When we understand the sin problem we will have and idea that the "what" is wrong.
So the point is to try to bring about change of direction in the thinking and behavior that would be beneficial to the person and be glorifying to Christ rather than what is most convenient for the person.
Adams says this:
- "Any biblically legitimate verbal means may be employed that will bring about change in the direction of greater conformity to biblical principles and practice."