Welcome to the toughest job two divorced people will decide to do together. Creating a Blended family that lasts. No matter how much you love someone the hardest part of a second marriage is blending two different worlds together. A blended family that lasts is crucial.
If you think that you can wish your way into a successful blended family you are wrong…
… but there is hope.
Let’s look at some foundation mindsets to create a blended family that lasts.
Can my new blended family really last?
Yes! But the keyword is “WORK“. You have to create a mindset that this family will work and then start NOW. Don’t think that you can start when things start to collide. The “never give up” mode can easily fade when there are constant battles between siblings, co-parenting, and your new marriage.
You can slip very quietly into “I Quit Mode” when things start to get dicy and gritty and you just feel overwhelmed with it all. New marriages are tough enough and then you add on top of that, stepchildren, extended family, the ex., grandparents, and guilt. Creating a peaceful blended family takes time.
How much time? That cannot be measured. Each family is different and you cannot give your marriage a time constraint. The truth is if you lay a godly foundation before you blend your marriage and your family then the odds everso increase in your favor.
How should a blended family work?
There are no right or wrong answers to how to make a blended family work. The truth is you have to establish with your new spouse what success is going to look like as a newly established blended family. God should always be the foundation on which you build your new blended family first and foremost and whatever comes after that is up to you and your new spouse.
With that being said, do not let any outside influences change your picture of success. We all get this Brady bunch mindset as we are preparing for the wedding and reorganizing the house to fit everyone together. But alas, the honeymoon is over reality comes in like a hurricane.
So to create a mindset of success when all is going wrong remember what Peter says in the New Testament.
Remembering to give grace freely. The same grace that was given to us by God should always be given back to our family.
Who should come first in a Blended Family?
As you stepped into my new blended family, you will probably have cooked up an idea as to what this new family will look like. One big word of advice: throw that image out the window.
Fighting over children and their priorities will creep into your marriage and your attitude. The problem is when we enter into a blended family we put the children up on a pedestal and put our marriage on the back burner.
The next thing you know you have children that don’t respect your new marriage and it can easily cause resentment between you and your children. So stop before you start and establish that neither your children nor his children will destroy the marriage. This new marriage should be final and no child can or will divide you. This can be difficult, trust me, as a bonus mom I sat many times alone in tears over fights about my not so blissful life among stepchildren and my new marriage. It was an Elder in our church that gave us that sane advice.
You cannot help the children adjust to all things new in this relationship if you and your spouse are not on the same page foundationally. This may take some work and lots of prayer but that’s ok, nothing of value comes easy.
Create a family covenant if necessary, so that you can look back at it often as a reminder of what you wanted to establish in your blended family. It can recenter your marriage.
If you have children that are struggling with the new family dynamic, seek counseling for them. It is often better for children to talk to someone outside the family where they can express their fears and frustrations over divorce and remarriage than taking it out on you or your spouse during a fight.
When is it time to quit?
While there are times of frustration and bouts of anger, you have to understand that failure is not an option. God hates divorce and the stats show that church people are just as susceptible to a second divorce as non-church people, no one is immune. Satan would love to have another broken marriage notch on his belt.
Blending families together will create lots of new challenges between you and your children and your step-children as well as the other parents. Don’t give up, as you begin your walk with your spouse, remember these simple things.
- Pray daily together
- Pray over your stepchildren first, and then your own
- Take time to spend time with your spouse with no talk about children.
- Love them all deeply
- Last stay in God’s word
I have attached a pdf of scriptures on healing. As you blend your family do not forget everyone has wounds, especially the children. Take some time to go over these scriptures with your children and your spouse.
I hope it will remind you that Christ is the great physician and through him, our wounds are healed.
Because he first loved us.