You can help hold together what God has joined together.

When marital difficulties reach the crisis stage, who is called? Often the pastor. Sometimes awfully late in the process. Sometimes after the marriage has shattered into tiny pieces. But many times the couple can return to wholeness-if everything goes right.

Recently LEADERSHIP surveyed pastors to find which pastoral-care crises they considered most difficult and frequent. Then associate editor Jim Berkley sought the key crisis-counseling principles pastors and counselors suggested for their colleagues. He compiled his findings into Called into Crisis: The Nine Greatest Challenges of Pastoral Care (LEADERSHIP/Word, 1989), part of THE LEADERSHIP LIBRARY series.

The following excerpt looks at the particular crisis of marital problems, which ranked near the top.

Every once in a while I hear of a couple married dozens of years who "never quarreled once." I always wonder if they're amnesiacs or liars.

Place two sentient people together in marriage, and conflict is bound to occur. In measured doses, ...

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