Blended Families Part 2
Blended Families the Biblical Way – The Children by LaKisha M. Johnson
Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
I know all scripture to be true, but this scripture always stands out for me. Often growing up, I would think about enterBlended Families the Biblical Way – The Children by LaKisha M. Johnsoning many boot camps where our parents would teach us to be better children. When I started raising children, I thought this was justification for keeping my children in “church”. As I grew in wisdom I learned the accuracy behind this scripture. Train (teach a particular skill or behavior) in the way or he should go, and when he is old he or she will not depart from it. This is the truth, whether good or bad. However, we have trained or raised our children will be the determining factor in how they respond to our blended families. The training or lack there of can insure success in the relationship or failure. Either way our (the adults) governing bodies, determine how this will go. Help guide (https://www.helpguide.org/articles/parenting-family/step-parenting-blended-families.htm), has an excellent resource for helping with blended families and even breaks down according to their age. James 1:5 “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you”. Here are some of the things that they suggest:
All relationships are respectful. This is not just referring to the kids' behavior toward the adults.Respect should be given not just based on age, but also based on the fact that you are all family members now.
Compassion for everyone’s development. Members of your blended family may be at various life stages and have different needs (teens versus toddlers, for example). They may also be at different stages in accepting this new family. Family members need to understand and honor those differences.
Room for growth. After a few years of being blended, hopefully the family will grow and members will choose to spend more time together and feel closer to one another.
Too many changes at once can unsettle children. Blended families have the highest success rate if the couple waits two years or more after a divorce to remarry, instead of piling one drastic family change onto another.
Don't expect to fall in love with your partner's children overnight. Get to know them. Love and affection take time to develop.
Find ways to experience "real life" together. Taking both sets of kids to a theme park every time you get together is a lot of fun, but it isn't reflective of everyday life. Try to get the kids used to your partner and their children in daily life situations.
Make parenting changes before you marry. Agree with your new partner how you intend to parent together, and then make any necessary adjustments to your parenting styles before you remarry. It'll make for a smoother transition and your kids won't become angry at your new spouse for initiating changes.
Don't allow ultimatums. Your kids or new partner may put you in a situation where you feel you have to choose between them. Remind them that you want both sets of people in your life.
Insist on respect. You can't insist people like each other, but you can insist that they treat one another with respect.
Limit your expectations. You may give a lot of time, energy, love, and affection to your new partner's kids that will not be returned immediately. Think of it as making small investments that may one day yield a lot of interest.
Involve your kids in the process, don’t tell them about the relationship later, let them go through the process with you.
Navigating through the process of blending two families together is a process; it will take help, prayer, confessions, time and patient. You can’t help who you love, and it’s best if this process grows and works organically, but it will definitely take the God kind of love for this to work, one that focuses on the family and not ourselves.
Prayer: Father, you said if any man lack wisdom let him ask you for it. We ask you for your wisdom for every season in our lives. We ask that you guide us to make good choices and decisions, to have compassion, to walk in love and respect for each other. Thank you for all you are to us and your instruction. We accept every divine assignment in our life in Jesus Name. Amen
LaKisha M. Johnson is mom, author, motivational speaker, minister and teacher. She is the host of Coffee and Conversations on “facebook live” Monday-Friday at 5:00 am central standard time and Sundays at 7:00 am central standard time. She hosts a pajama party for women, “Pillow Talk” several times throughout the year, walking them through God inspired truths, while providing a place of vulnerability and transparency to talk. To find out more information on her log on to lakishamjohnson.com and follow her on social media @justbeinglmj.