21-Day Inner Healing Journey
A unique and powerful devotional from Jimmy Evans.
Sunday, November 8, 2015
Some more very good information and sound advice that we all need to follow!
In most cases, a first marriage begins with the relationship, front and center. Children don't come along until later.
But in a blended family, children are already present when the marriage begins. This is one reason blended families have a higher frequency of divorce. They face several challenges at the very beginning that aren't present in other marriage relationships.
One of those challenges is the priority of the marriage.
When children are present at the beginning of a relationship, the children often become first. They take priority over the marriage itself.
To some people, this doesn't seem like a huge concern. Of course we should focus on our children, they might think. It's good for them! But children aren't the nucleus of a family. Marriage is. And children are a temporary assignment. They are going to grow up and start families of their own.
God explains His laws for marriage in Genesis 2:24-25. One of these is the law of priority. He says "a man will leave his father and mother." That means the marriage comes first over any other relationship.
If your marriage revolves around your children, what happens at age 18 when they leave for college? What happens when they get married? These kinds of marriages lose their foundation. The husband and wife don't know what to do with each other. That's why many divorces happen among empty-nest couples.
Here are three things I want mothers and fathers in every marriage to remember, whether they are in blended families or not:
First, your children will feel more secure when you are happy and when they see you in a happy marriage.
Second, your successful marriage gives them a vision for the future. They'll follow your lead. Are you giving them a good example to emulate?
And third, when they grow up, you will still enjoy a stable life and relationship. You won't be emotionally dependent on them. This helps them flourish as adults and helps your marriage stay healthy.
How can parents keep their marriage first in priority? One way is to set aside time alone with each other on a regular basis. Karen and I used to tuck our children into their beds at night and then make sure they stayed in their rooms. "This is our time together," we would tell them. "Don't come out unless it's an emergency."
This taught the kids to respect our time. Then, on a regular basis, Karen and I went out for a date night. We let our parents take care of the kids and would spend an uninterrupted night or even weekend together. This time was so vital.
When our children left home, we thanked God we had prioritized our marriage because we had built a strong relationship that wasn't dependent on our kids.
A successful family does not build itself around children, but around the marriage itself. Yes, children deserve your attention. Love them unconditionally. Give them quality time. But don't neglect your marriage to focus on your kids.
Put your marriage first, and remember this: When you work on your marriage, you are doing your children a favor.
Tuesday, November 3, 2015
Fifty percent of all families are blended families. These kinds of family structures—where one or both spouses bring children from a previous marriage or relationship—can be challenging. Blended families have a higher divorce rate because of particular dynamics present at the first day of the new marriage.
In my counseling, I've seen one particular dynamic lead to a variety of problems: non-biological parenting. This is the relationship between a step-parent and stepchildren.
Biological parents often enter a new marriage with a protective instinct. They may come into the new relationship with emotional damage from their past, and that results in a lack of trust.
They may not trust their new spouse with decisions related to stepchildren.
21-Day Inner Healing Journey
A unique and powerful devotional from Jimmy Evans.
They may not view the new spouse as an equal when it comes to parenting.
They may think, "They don't love them like I love them."
These attitudes are asking for trouble. In these situations, I've heard one spouse say something like this: "You may not be my spouse the rest of my life, but my children are going to be my children the rest of my life. And if it comes down to a choice, I choose my children."
That's a very dangerous mistake to make in a relationship.
In Genesis 2:24-25, God reveals His laws for marriage. One of these is the law of possession. He says "the two shall become one." Not one-point-three or one-point eight, but ONE. The only way two things can become one is if both husband and wife surrender everything to the relationship.
That means finances, assets, decision-making, and children. Withholding any one of those things—refusing to give it up—becomes an idol. It threatens the marriage relationship.
Because marriage is trust. When you marry somebody, it's imperative that they become co-owners of those children along with you. If you don't trust a person with your children, then you shouldn't marry them.
I do understand that, in the beginning of a relationship, non-biological parents make not have the natural love a biological parent has for his or her child. However, they can love a child by choice. This is the same holy agape love God has for us.
Love by choice is the greatest level of love. It means doing what Jesus would do regardless of emotion or circumstances.
I'm not saying that a non-biological parent's love is better than biological love. Nor am I saying that a non-biological parent should replace the biological parent. But both parents do have to be equal.
While it might be wise at the beginning of a new relationship for the biological parent to enforce discipline—at least until the non-biological parents gains authority— the non-biological parent should still have full rights to that child.
Otherwise, these complicated relationships can drive a wedge between a husband and wife.
Blended families, parent your children together. Follow God's Law of Possession. Make sure the children see you trusting each other and operating as a team.
Blending Families: Parenting and Children
Blending Families: Parenting and Children | Marriage Today | Jimmy Evans
Wednesday, September 2, 2015
PA, the cycle never ends
For the thousands of you who follow this blog and for all those who find yourself here because you now are experiencing parental alienation…I cannot comfort you, I can’t help you prevent it or stop it in the future. The only thing we can do here is to help educate and hope that the victims (the children) can overcome the negativity and attacks that come with PA. If you are a parent that finds yourself in despair over this situation, send this blog to your children and ask them to spend some time reading with an open mind and try to understand what is happening and why.
I write again today because I see PA in a family that is very dear to me. This time it is the father who is attempting to turn his daughters against their mother and her family. It brings back those old nightmares from years past. I have and my wife has spoken with the mother and urged her to resist being drawn into the same game. We advised her to speak only kind words about their father while in their (children) company. If she wants to argue or engage his behavior, then do it in private and do not discuss any of it with the children. Instead, if the children ask or makes comments that are disparaging to the mother or her boyfriend, just give positive responses. Do not lose control and say something you will regret like “fine, you hate it here so much then just go live with your father”. Speech like that will never get you the results you wish.
Think of the children 1st.
When you find your anger building, focus on what is right by the kids. How would you like it if your mother spoke negative about your father or the other way around? Would you like it if your friend attacked your family with words? No you would not and your children do not want to hear it either.
The person practicing PA will never understand this. They only see themselves as champions of the children. They elevate their self-esteem by degrading the other. They cover up their actions and poor life choices by demonizing their ex or the relationship they are in.
The best thing either parent could ask for is that their ex would marry a good person who they are happy with and that he or she would love and support the children. The new marriage should be one where each household supports the other home.
They should raise the children to love and respect their ex and their new partner. This way, instead of tearing the children apart, pitting them against each other over affections and asking them to love one parent more than the other… they could instead enjoy both households and grow up loving and being loved by their parents and their new spouses.
Please, stop the Parental Alienation!
Sadly there are those who will not change, they will not stop and will continue PA their entire life. I feel sorry for those people and their families. Such a loss for the children and grandchildren when this happens.
In my case, after 13 years the PA continues.
My relationship with my sons is now based on the contact they wish to have. I will not force myself into their lives. I follow and enjoy in seeing their happiness. It will never be as I wanted for them, never close to the family and friends I grew up with. I have accepted this. I have a plan to leave behind a history of their father and family, for them and for their children. They can chose what to do with it.
The Doctor referred to in this blog said to us point blank; The PA will never stop. You will be demonized and vilified for the rest of your life by your ex-wife. She will never stop and will continue even after your sons have moved out and started their own families. She will continue with your grandchildren and there is nothing you will be able to stop this. It is the worst case of PA I have ever seen in my 26 years of practice. I’m very sorry for you and your family.
He is being proved right even after 13 plus years;
Mental abuse is the worst..you know who you are and what you did...
August 30 at 12:41pm
There are so many men that can't be a man turn their backs and choose others over their own children! Who are selfious and maybe make time only when its conveient for them or when they become sick they wonder where their child or children have gone.. Its like the cats in the craddle song by I believe Jim Croochy sang
1 · August 14 at 7:12am
I'm so proud of my four sons for the men they have become...the acomplishments and future ones.For those doubters proved all of you wrong. Keep writing your mind numbing blogs...... I have stood by them thru ups and downs thick and thin. I couldn't ask for anything else...Also my two grandsons who I love dearly.....
The above FB posts are from my ex, speaking with a daughter in-law whom I have yet to meet. How did I get them? A friend saw them and was disturbed at what she read. Point is that after all these years, she still practices PA with the children and their families.What impact does this conversation have with a person I have never met?
Mental abuse is the worst..you know who you are and what you did...(She is addressing this towards me, it is an attempt to cover up her own actions)
August 30 at 12:41pm
There are so many men that can't be a man turn their backs and choose others over their own children! (Again, she is referring to me getting remarried and standing by my new wife) Who are selfious and maybe make time only when its conveient for them or when they become sick (A reference to my cancer) they wonder where their child or children have gone.. Its like the cats in the craddle song by I believe Jim Croochy sang
1 · August 14 at 7:12am
I'm so proud of my four sons for the men they have become...the acomplishments and future ones.For those doubters proved all of you wrong. (I guess this is referencing the troubles one child was having in school and as a father I tried to hold him accountable) Keep writing your mind numbing blogs......(In case there was any doubt about who she is talking about, she removed that here) I have stood by them thru ups and downs thick and thin. I couldn't ask for anything else...Also my two grandsons who I love dearly.....(Has a need to make sure that she is the one that loves the grand-kids. She tries to imply that I, the father do not love them as much as she does. Sad)
As the doctor said, it will never end.
Please, for those you read this, stop the PA now.
PA only serves to destroy relationships and damage children. Yes it hurts the parent that it is directed at but at what cost?
Let your children grow up with the best two sets of parents they can have. This is what your goal should be!
Sunday, November 16, 2014
If we are going to have true intimacy in our marriages, we have to disarm the issues that hinder it. One of those is anger. Anger can be destructive in a marriage.
The first thing I want you to know is that anger is inevitable. It's a normal response. You will never be so spiritual that you don't get angry. Jesus even got angry. Great marriages still have anger.
Anger that occurs today is manageable. There's nothing wrong with it. But yesterday's anger is a very dangerous thing. Ephesians 4:26-27 says, "Be angry, and do not sin: Do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil."
What that passage means is that anger, if it is not dealt with, can become toxic and destructive. It can harden hearts. It has to be resolved in righteous way. If it is not dealt with—if you let the sun "go down" on it—then it builds in intensity for the next time.
Help Us Reach Couples All Over the World.
God never designed us to be a repository for anger. We are made for anger to enter for a brief time, and then leave. Never to stay. That's why the Bible is so insistent on forgiveness, because we can't endure it. Unforgiveness and pent-up anger are corrosive on every level.
Anger leads to a whole system of thoughts—fear, accusations, pride—that can create a destructive barrier between you and your spouse. Every time anger arrives and you don't deal with it, that wall grows higher.
So we must resolve anger in marriage. How should we do it?
First, we need to choose the right setting. Don't do it around the kids. Your children need to watch you relate and talk things out, but serious issues should be handled in private when your emotions are under control.
Second, begin every confrontation with affirmation. Research indicates that a conversation never rises above the level of the first three minutes. The way you start talking to each other dictates how the conversation will end. If you begin with threats, you've already set a negative tone for the conversation.
Instead, begin by saying, "I love you and I'm glad that we're married, but I need to talk to you about something." We're made in God's image, and Psalm 100 says we enter His courts with praise—with positive words.
Finally, communicate your complaint without fixed judgments or interpretations. There's a difference between complaining and criticizing. Complaining is talking about me and my feelings, but without interpreting it—because I don't know what's in your heart.
Criticizing is an attack. It's me telling you how you're feeling and interpreting your motives. It makes the other person defensive. Complaints should be about a specific issue ("You said this and it made me feel stressed out") rather than a global one ("You never do anything around here").
Don't go to bed angry. Create in your marriage a habit pattern of dealing with it every day. When you do deal with conflict, do it the right way: respectfully, with kindness and a tender heart.
You won't be able to avoid anger, but you can avoid its destructive qualities by never letting it fester. Don't let the sun go down on your anger.
Taking time to enjoy each other and all the blessings that God gives us. Love you Baby :)