A step family is formed by the marriage or long-term cohabitation of two individuals, when one or both have at least one child from a previous relationship living part-time or full-time in the household. The individual who is not the biological parent of the child or children is referred to as the step parent. Step families are also called blended families.
Blended families can be trying and come with so many of its own trials and tribulations due to the different expectations and dynamics of each adult or child involved. It can be successful but you as a couple you need to first put God first and secondly your spouse. You as a couple whom the children involved will be watching need to have established a biblical foundation with each other. Where God is front and center of your marriage. You need to discuss how discipline for all children involved will be handled and be sure you both agree.
I think what we need to understand when blending families no matter the age of the children involved is that we as the adults need to understand it cant be my children vs. your children this point may seem insignificant or unimportant to some, but it has a profound effect upon how you relate to the children in general and the effectiveness you will have in reconciling conflicts. You will end up dividing the family when you say your children vs. my children that is what happens and the children involved hear this and react to what you are saying which can cause them to feel not excepted.
The child has been given to you by God for you to nurture under God’s authority. So we are instructed by God to love all children not just our own.
Many times a child will try to put a wedge between the step parent and the natural parent this could be because it doesn’t except the step parent involved or the changes going on within the family. It is important when this happens that you and your spouse don’t get caught up in this but stand together. Your marriage and the harmony of your family depend on it.
Communication is very important in your relationship, without it you will slowly drift apart and your marriage will not last. To keep your relationship alive you must be able to compromise and be patient. Think about it. There is no better way to resolve conflicts than to listen and respond to others in love. Effective communication enables you to find the forgiveness, reconciliation, and the solutions you desire. The most dangerous thing is when individuals give up trying to communicate.
When there is going to be a family discussion or decision to be made within the family or in regards to the children learn to first pray. When doing this you are turning to God to guide you in resolving the conflict. Speak to the children involved be quick to listen and slow to speak allow the child to express what they are feeling. Today’s world seems to be yelling at the children and or saying “Because I said” How is a child ever going to make decisions or understand consequences to there actions if you don’t explain to them your reasons.
Doing things together as a family is VERY important. Rather it is going to church, football game, baseball game, picnic, shopping, reading the bible, prayer these are ways to bring your family united as one. Learn to laugh with each other and simply take the time to get to know each other and what each person involved in your family can contribute.
It takes time to build a strong family foundation especially within blended families. But we first must remember sometimes the best thing to do when children are involved is allow them to get to know you as a friend someone who loves them and has there best interest. It really depends on the age. Teenagers and older seem to have a harder time excepting a step parent. They have there own mom or dad and will often say they don’t need another. Maybe they have been involved in a step parent situation before and it wasn’t a pleasant experience. We all have a past and it’s important to respect that and work threw each others differences. I have struggled with this myself and am learning that until I turn it over to God and even though he knows our heart and our thoughts he needed me to reach out to him and ask him for his strength and guidance. Getting consumed with the negative of rejection or disappointment isn’t the answer. However prayer and seeking God is.
If God makes us one Body in Christ, shouldn’t you seek to be one family too?