Dr. Randy Carlson
More than 42 million Americans are in blended families. And about 40 percent of all new marriages in the U.S. today are second or third marriages. The stakes are high for the parents and kids making up these new families, and the challenges are great.
First marriages require a lot of love and patience and understanding and care and concern. Second marriages require all of those things on steroids. It requires all the same things that make a first marriage work, and then second marriages add a whole extra layer of complexity. Think about ex-spouses, ex-in-laws, and new faces in the home.
The reality for blended families is that each member is bringing their hurts, their experiences, and their losses. And if a blended family cannot get through the hurt and the loss, they never get to the like and the love.
So, how can blended families work? If we choose to be haphazard or unintentional or good intentioned, we’re going to fail. The only way to be successful in a blended family is by being intentional. There is no other way.
Let’s look at God’s intention for blended families. I think this one scripture really summarizes what God wants for all of us and certainly for blended families. “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.” (John 13:34 ESV)
That’s pretty profound. As I have loved you, you are to love one another. That’s how blended families should love each of its members. So how did Christ love?
[bctt tweet=”As I have loved you, you are to love one another” username=”TheILCenter”]
Christ’s love was redemptive. We were separated from him, and He came to redeem us, to draw us to him. He came to restore relationship with us. Moms and dads of blended families, have a heart that wants to see your kids redeemed spiritually and in relationships within your family.
Christ’s love was illustrative. He illustrated for His disciples how to live. They mimicked Him, and we’re to do the same. So live your life in such a way that your children will want to be like you.
Christ’s love was perceptive. He spoke in a way that people could understand. Wise parents know what’s going on in a child’s life before they speak with them. What is the child wrestling with? What is he interested in? A perceptive love looks to see life through the eyes of the other person.
Christ’s love was proactive. He demonstrated his love through actions, even to the point of death on the cross. He sacrificed everything for the ones he loves.
God’s intention is that we love those in our blended family, especially those who are unloving or unlovable, in the same way He loves us. It’s easier said than done. But if we love in this way, it’s going to make an incredible difference in our families.
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