I grew up in a home with my mom and my dad, and although it wasn’t perfect, they stayed committed to their marriage vows “until death did they part.” I grew up being taught that marriage was a commitment between one man and one woman for life.
Deborah and I entered into our relationship wanting to honor God and thus didn’t live together prior to marriage. We saved our first kiss until the minister said, “you may now kiss your bride.” We encourage every young person to pursue God’s design for marriage and family for their lives.
Over the last couple of decades blended families have become more and more commonplace, even among Christians. And while we know that blended families get formed in a variety of ways, many of them happen after a divorce and then remarriage. This saddens and confuses us, leaving us wondering how it became so commonplace.
But then a few years ago (15+ years into my own marriage), Deb told me, “Abe, you realize that you grew up in a blended family, right?” And she was right.
My mom was my father’s 2nd wife. He had 5 other kids in So. California from his first marriage. Because we were in Wa. state, my dad didn’t have a lot of interaction with his ex-wife or kids on a regular basis. But there were times when things that happened in his first family impacted the actions my family.
There are 100 million Americans who have either a step parent, step sibling, or step child. In fact, 40% of all families in the US are blended families. A few years ago FamilyLife launched a department dedicated to ministering to the needs of those 100 million people: FamilyLife Blended.
Deb and I are still strong advocates for God’s design of one man and one woman committed for life because the biological/nuclear home is the best environment for making disciples from one generation to the next.
But having said that, I’ve learned from FamilyLife Blended Director Ron Deal this key principle:
Stepfamilies done poorly produce more generational and societal chaos, and faith shaping hazards. BUT…stepfamilies done well are a source of grace for couples & children, generationally redemptive, and a picture of what God has done with us bringing us into his family.
If you now find yourself in a blended family relationship, or you know someone who is, I’d love to share with you more about FamilyLife Blended and the resources that we offer. Give me a call. :)
Or you can visit FamilyLife Blended's website, or pick up a copy of one of their many resources.