The Stepfamilies: The Changed Family On The Family

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Numerous magazine articles and books are published each year about the effects of blended families, or stepfamilies, on the children and stepparents involved when people divorce and marry again. Sadly, as many authors write about this issue affecting Christian families as well as non-Christian. Statistics show that divorce affects both equally in today’s society with little difference being shown in how devout the couples are.

Little is said either way however, about the effects of blended families on the natural parents, those who bring their own children to a second marriage. Natural parents are often neglected in the analysis of what makes blended families work, their feelings are often ignored in the struggle to build a stepfamily, and they all too often must live with two (or more) people they love hating each other and making life miserable for everyone concerned. Consequently, parents needs to be aware of the emotional risks involved in creating a blended family and need to realize that the role they take upon themselves is often one of mediator and referee.

My husband I learned this lesson by experience when his young son from a former marriage lived with us following our wedding. Since “Little Greg” and his dad had shared a bachelor pad until I walked into their lives, Greg doted on his son. They played ball together, went bowling, played video games and cars. Greg lived to make his son happy. And since his divorce had left him with deep emotional scars, Greg didn’t date until he met me—over two years after he signed the final divorce papers. Little Greg wasn’t psychologically prepared for a stranger to hone in and steal his father’s affection. Having acquired some of his father’s disdain for women in general, he hated ...

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...artaches again.

We know that without strong faith, and continued prayer and trust in the Lord to work out our difficulties, we would never have stayed together. Those times were hard with Jesus, they would have been unbearable without Him.

But the growing process has taught us some valuable lessons about families in general and blended families in particular. We’ve learned the importance of the natural parent’s role in a blended family, and we’ve each gained better insight into the suffering of others. We’ve learned to love more and to submit to each other in love, regardless of who’s right or wrong.

“Little Greg” and I both learned to be more considerate of Dad’s feelings as well, and we’ve all been enriched by the experience. Greg, Jr., who’s now 35 and married himself, even introduces me as his Mom. That’s a big change from where we started all those years ago.

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