Jean’s Guilt- Homework Assignment

I’m sharing this homework because I think it can be beneficial to some people. The name Jean in this assignment is fictitious.

Counseling Scenario

Jean came from a dysfunctional home where her biological father abandoned the family and her mother was physically abusive toward the children. As a result, Jean was removed from her home and placed in foster care. Eventually, she was placed in a loving Christian home. As a result of a more stable situation, she made a profession of faith in Jesus Christ. However, Jean “looked” for love and became involved in an immoral relationship which resulted in a pregnancy.
Jean experienced tremendous guilt about her pregnancy and comes to you for counsel.
How can the doctrines of Christ and the Holy Spirit minister to Jean?

Jean’s Guilt
I can relate to Jean. I am also from a dysfunctional family. When I was 17 years old, I got pregnant. I can understand wanting to feel loved by someone and wanting to be special. I can also understand how sex in a relationship can offer a false sense of love. One of the things we all want is to have someone to love us and be special to them. My relationship with my boyfriend seemed to fill the emptiness I had. I saw my self-worth and value in my relationships with others and what I could do for them. It was not until after I became a Christian that I learned God’s love defines who I am, not other people. It took time for me to get to know and trust God. It is God’s attributes of care, love, faithfulness (trust), goodness, mercy, compassion, etc. (Lambert, 2016), that causes me to love and want to please him.
It seems like Jean needs to learn about her self-worth and her value in God’s eyes. She is a child of God and can have forgiveness and peace with her pregnancy. Paul tells us that our flesh is at odd with our Spirit (Galatians 5:16-17, New International Version), but Jesus intercedes on our part when we make mistakes and ask for forgiveness. This forgiveness is offered to us through Jesus’s blood when he was sacrificed on the cross.
The story of the adulterous woman where Jesus wrote in the dirt (John 8:1-11) is an excellent example of the mercy and compassion Jesus offers us. But it is also an example of Jesus telling us to stop sinning. At the end of the story, Jesus tells the woman he does not condemn her, but “Go now and leave your life of sin” (v. 11). Jean can find some comfort in Jesus’s forgiveness, and she can keep returning to that comfort in Jesus when she struggles with the guilt of her mistakes. Eventually, with God’s attributes, she will realize that if God can forgive her, she can forgive herself.
In addition, Jean’s foster parents can extend grace, support, and comfort to her. The story of the adulterous woman can also be an example for the foster parent for forgiving Jean and offering her kindness. We are all sinners, but the difference between Christians and unbelievers is we are forgiven because we have repented of our sins. Roman 3:23 says, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God—.” It would be great if foster parents could support Jean’s decision to raise the baby or give it up for adoption.
God bless.

Lambert, H. (2016). A theology of biblical counseling: The doctrinal foundations of counseling ministry. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan

Although I didn’t directly say it, I believe Jean’s guilt is because she was under the conviction of the Holy Spirit and she needed to repent (The Holy Spirit doctrine).

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