Why total restructuring is an important component to dealing with sin

Jay Adams defines “total structuring” as “looking at the problem in relationship to all areas of life” (The Christian Counselor’s Manual, [Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1973], 410). This means that when dealing with sin, we need to look at all contributing factors, not just at the sin itself.

So, if a pastor counsels someone struggling with homosexuality, he must look at every other aspect of a person’s life the homosexuality touches.
If the counseling focuses upon only the issue of homosexuality, usually it will fail. Poor health or lack of sleep (to consider only one area) can lead to a general inability to withstand temptation and a tendency to revert to old patterns, since they offer the course of least resistance and effort. Even rectal problems often associated with homosexual sin can become a trigger for failure. Medical attention may be required. Failure to perform properly at work, worries over financial incompetence, poor family or social relationships, and lack of prayer and Bible study all may lead to similar reversions. On the other hand, homosexual activities have so interpenetrated and affected each area of life that social and family failures, etc., inevitably result. Unless he shores up each of the areas of his life before God, they will constantly tend to drag him back toward homosexual sin in spite of good intentions. (410–411)
This reveals the importance of making certain each area is in tune with God’s precepts to help combat sin.  While a simple call for a cessation of the activity is not bad, it may be ineffective unless the counselor takes the time to disciple the person in how to strengthen other areas of weakness.

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