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Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Blended families by Jimmy Evans

Dear Bruce,
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.
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
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1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing! I like your information here, your experiences and advice on how to deal with PA. Well, how to be a good father and family man in general.
    Good job!