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Blending your Christian Family
People are messy, love is messier
Raising a family is difficult, planning to rise above hard times when one is blending a family can be down right impossible. Although an individual or family cannot plan for the unexpected, they can try to plan for the difficult by imagining the challenges and then multiplying them by ten. Now if you haven't blended yet, think about it... will it be worth it?
“Christian blended families are becoming more and more commonplace; God places a very high value on family and taking care of and supporting each other. Men should manage their families well and raise children who respect them” (1Timothy 3:4, 2012, p.1).
You have fallen in love, now it is time to introduce the children, and that seems to go well, but whose side do you think the non bio dad is going to take the moment his daughter is blamed for something? Or the first time non bio mom attempts to end the bad behavior and put everyone in their respective corners, all the warm fuzzy feelings have a way of flying out the window. "Before getting married you and your future spouse need to come together and discuss many things. You should discuss the extent in which the ex-spouse will be involved in the family. You should also discuss discipline. Before marriage is also a time when relationships and bonding need to occur with the children" (Collins, 2009, p.1).
I am here to tell you do not throw in the towel, do not give up!!! Children test their life perimeters. They want to know that their house is a safe place, that you both love them, no matter what happens they can trust in that.
Blended families get cheated because they cannot start slow and build over time, life gets started right away. Everyone's routines must be learned and have to continue, unless the routine is destructive or just plain wrong... but then how is that bad behavior altered or changed? If the new dad has just married a mother of teen aged boys, bad behavior is approached cautiously. New dad has to go off of mom's authority, his own authority has not been earned in the beginning. He has to show love, concern, and affection towards the new children before he has chance of assisting mom in addressing any of the issues.
And there are issues. Any single mom, super women or otherwise knows that over time raising children by herself there are issues. Teenagers depend on super mom to be her super self, work a lot of hours, possible go to school to better their lives, and may even be involved in a civic way with her community. They depend on her to be tired, away, and to be very busy. Bad habits form. Bad habits turn into bad behavior's and then presto you have teenagers that are used to having limited supervision, and one tired parent delegating and regulating that turns into two. Sometimes that family implodes, and the second marriage ends in divorce.
What Kind of Foundation is your Family Unit Built Upon?
This is where the expression let's see what your made of is realized. Is your love strong, is it built on a strong foundation? It is better to find that out before marriage, giving everyone time to adjust (living separately), but if we are way past that, and now you are married trying to figure it out.. my suggestion would be, no matter what do the work, make it happen, and if you have to...fake it till you make it!!!
So here you are in the full throws of marriage, the children are being children, there are financial pressures, all of the things that you thought could go wrong, and some that you did not even consider have happened. That husband/ or wife of yours that you just adored is starting to get under your skin. You thought you knew everything about them, well... all of the important stuff. This next part is important, you cannot know everything there is to know about someone. There are several reasons for this. One, because people do not even know themselves-we are fluid ever-changing creatures. Two, people always put their best face on when they are dating, but a person can only pretend to be perfect for so long, and then it is going to get tiring.
Your Children are Watching You!
Now you know they are not the perfect, adorable creature that you believed they were, now what? You took vows, for better or worse, for sickness and in health... and you have children looking up to you both, depending on you, watching the people you are individually and as a couple. They are learning how to be, and who to be from you. Marriage should never be taken lightly, and if you arrived at a place where it was taken lightly, and you have a blended a family, stop it!
This marriage may be your second, third or possibly your fourth marriage. I want to say in the least judging way possible, if you have done this several times, it may not be the other person’s fault, it seldom is anyhow. Look at yourself, always, anyways, and do what you can. We can only control ourselves, and if we are worrying about what we cannot control it is not a very effective or productive use of our time. Do it better this time, observe the golden rule. Treat your spouse how you want to be treated in all instances, and see if you can find once again the adorable qualities. Make time to date your spouse, at least once a month. Do not let daily stress win, communicate even if it is only through humor- talk daily. Be a united force, show the children that you are both on the same team, they won’t say it but they will love the structure and the peace of a home built on a foundation of rock.
Men Want to be Respected, and Women Want to be Loved
There are days when you are going to wonder whether you made a mistake, when relating and being a couple with children will seem impossible. You will be right it will be difficult, but it will be worth it. Men want to be respected and women want to be loved. The problem is women do not feel like respecting their husbands when they are not feeling loved, and men do not want to show their wife's love when their wife's are not showing them respect. I say to you whether you feel like it or not, do it, and the result you are looking for will happen. You will get the love that you are looking for from your spouse, and your heart will continue to be soften towards him/her, and for the whole messy blended situation. People are messy, life is messy, love is worth it.
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- What does the Bible say about Christian blended families?
What does the Bible say about Christian blended families? How can a blended family (with stepchildren) achieve unity?
- The Smart Blended Marriage | Focus on the Family
Most remarried couples can beat the odds of divorce and build a successful blended family if they know how to overcome the unique barriers to marital intimacy in a blended family.