Foundations for Successful Blended Families
Wednesday, April 13, 2022
I.Foundations for Successful Blended Families
A. Unique Blended Family Issues
1. A blended family is a marriage where one or both spouses bring children with them from a previous marriage(s) or relationship. (divorce/death/other)
a. 50% of all families are blended families.
b. The divorce rate is higher among blended families because of the unique set of challenges it brings.
B. Unresolved Feelings from a Prior Relationship
1. Ten years after divorce 50% of people still have feelings of love for their ex-spouse. Marriage (and sexual intimacy) joins our soul together with another person.
a. (Gen. 2:24-25)
2. Satan either perverts our memories or poisons them to ruin our future.
a. When we’re married, Satan is the accuser of our spouse.
b. When we divorce, he reminds us of what was right.
c. Thank God for any good in the prior relationship, then decide, “I leave it behind and I’m focused on the person I’m with right now.”
~(Eph. 4:30-32) forgive your ex and yourself!
C. Lower Trust and Higher Expectations
1. Lower Trust: “I have less good will and am more suspicious of your motives and actions. I’m not getting my heart broken again.”
2. Higher Expectations: “I expect more of you because of my previous disappointments. I expect you will not make the same mistakes my ex made.”
3. How to establish trust in your current relationship:
a. Before and after marriage, date to establish trust.
b. Disassociate the past from the present. Forgive and go on.
c. Dream new dreams. Set goals for your marriage. Have an annual vision retreat.
D. Non-Biological Parenting
1. If you are the biological parent, don’t let your protective instincts keep your child away from the stepparent.
a. The biological parent should enforce discipline, but both parents have authority and stand as a united front.
b. The non-biological parent should always honor the child’s parent and never try to replace them.
c. You should trust each other with decisions related to the children or stepchildren. There is no place for favoritism or the attitude, “You don’t love them like I love them.”
2. Natural sexual barriers may be missing. Wear appropriate clothing around non-biological children, especially teenagers and young adults.
3. Child support needs to be paid with a good attitude. (Remember the Law of Possession, marriage is sharing. “Your debts are my debts.”
4. Visitation can be a source of conflict and stress.
a. Let the adults communicate and don’t use the children as messengers.
b. Every time the children leave your home, pray over them that God will protect their minds, hearts and sexuality.
c. Thank God for every day that you have with them. Be fun and fair, but have righteous standards in your home.
d. Have faith and trust God to do what you can’t. (Prov. 22:6)
E. The Priority of Marriage
1. Marriage is the nucleus of the family. You can’t build a marriage around children, but you can build children around a marriage.
2. Marriage is permanent. Parenting is a temporary assignment.
a. How will your children succeed in marriage if you don’t show them how?
b. If your children’s hurts were caused by a broken marriage, they can be cured by a good one.
c. When they leave, you will have a stable life and they won’t be emotionally needy.