Unlike what we may have seen on “The Brady Bunch,” it takes more than one thirty-minute episode to solve the challenges of a blended family. Even though blended families are becoming a more common family structure, making them work well remains a real challenge due to the logistics and emotional landmines that are part of merging two homes into one. The additional challenges you face in building a strong marriage and family make following Jesus’ example of laying down your life for others even more essential. “Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.” (Philippians 2:4-7)
Make Your Marriage a Priority
In a blended family, it’s tempting to shift your primary focus to your kids. But the Bible describes marriage as “two becoming one” (Genesis 2:24). No other human relationship is described with greater unity. Keep your marriage a priority by maintaining clear lines of communication and working together as a team.
- Set a regular date night at least twice a month.
- Take a weekend trip.
- Pray Together.
Engage Both Parents
Children need parents to lead and guide them. Unfortunately, children often look only to the biological parent for guidance. Both parents in a stepfamily need to work together, include each other, and communicate regularly about discipline decisions. Ask the Lord to give you an extra measure of patience and humility in dealing with children– especially when you know they have experienced the pain of divorcing parents or the grief of a deceased mom or dad, which can cause long-term emotional trauma.
- Spend intentional time with each child. Be creative!
- Communicate with each other on a regular basis.
- Strive towards unity with all parents.
Allow God to Redeem Your Story
In Joel 2:25, God says, “I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten.” Every blended family brings with it the hope that difficult chapters of the past can be followed by better days. Blended families quickly learn that better days don’t appear overnight. As you submit to God’s calling and trust His ability to write your story, however, you will find He is still able to make all things new!
- Commit to regularly attending church together to help build a strong spiritual foundation for your family.
- Trust God to rebuild relationships, heal wounds, and lead your family.