This discussion post was written to partially fulfill the requirements for Premarital Counseling class for Liberty University’s John Rawlings school of divinity. It was written to answer the following prompt:
“What do you see as some of the most impactful challenges involved in a Blended Family coming together under one roof? What areas would you seek to address in counseling a couple thinking about remarrying to form a blended family?”
Problems With Families With Children Merging
There are a lot of important challenges involving a blended family. It is not for nothing there is a reason the divorce rate is higher for blended marriages than normal marriages. Most blended families take five to seven years to adjust to “life together and becoming family.” There are plenty of obstacles between families merging together into one. The children might be happy with the new marriage; however, they do not always get used to the new rules of parenting, regulations, and responsibilities the stepparent has to offer. This might cause them to put the brakes on their enthusiasm after the marriage.
Take One Step At a Time
This brings one to ask how to resolve this tension, especially from the children. Deal suggests adopting a slow cooker, or “crockpot,” mentality. This mentality realizes nothing is going to be fixed overnight, and progress needs to be taken one baby step at a time. This knowledge lets the parents be prepared for the tough times ahead. It may not even get fully settled until Christ comes back.
Do It For Christ
The Bible encourages marriages to look to Christ and his love relationship to the church to see how a husband and wife are supposed to handle a marriage (Ephesians 5: 22 – 33). Yet, Jesus never said it would be easy (Matthew 5: 10 – 12). It might even be impossible if the children are completely opposed to the spouse because of Jesus (Matthew 10: 34 – 36). Hence, the key is to be who Christ has made that person to be because of the saving love and faithfulness of Jesus Christ to be a witness to the children (1 Peter 3: 1 – 7). Therefore, one could even win over the children through being a model witness for Jesus (1 Corinthians 7: 4 – 5). It takes time, patience, and trust in the Lord.
In summary, A believer joining a blended family must also me a model witness for Christ to hopefully one day win over the children; especially if the children are not saved. Peter said it well speaking of Jesus, “When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly (1 Peter 2: 23, ESV). If Christ can do that to save many from sin, cannot Christian parents do that for the sake of their stepchildren? By God’s grace, they can.
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 Ron L. Deal, David H. Olson, and Evelyn Thompson, The Smart Stepfamily Marriage: Keys to Success in the Blended Family (Grand Rapids, MI: Bethany House Publishers, 2015). 23.
 Ron L. Deal, Dating and the Single Parent (Grand Rapids, MI: Bethany House Publishers, 2012), 204.
 Full Ibid.
 Ibid., 209.
 Ibid., 208.
 Ibid., 209.