The Perfect Blend…
Do you feel that the mix of your family is basically a mess? If you mix flour, sugar, eggs, and oil together… it takes some work to get them to blend. But when the mixture is exposed to the heat of an oven for just the right amount of time, a chemical reaction occurs that bonds the separate ingredients into a delicious dessert. Likewise, when members of a blended family are subjected to the heat of new living conditions and differing personalities, it takes some work to come together as a connected family unit. Each individual needs to make every effort to promote peace and build one another up so that the family will be bonded in love and in unity.
“Let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.” -Romans 14:19
Q: “I have two children by another marriage, and my husband has three. We seem to constantly disagree on discipline issues. How can we overcome the serious differences that are dividing our family?”
It is common for each spouse to put his or her child’s interests first. But wen the children’s interests are first, over that of the other spouse and his or her children, it becomes a recipe for dissension. Although blended families such as yours tend to be very difficult, there is hope. Both you and your husband must be willing to agree on appropriate behavior and discipline for all the children. Do absolutely nothing until you can apply the policy to which you both agree. Ultimately, you will begin to discipline by taking each other’s feelings into account. As you learn to agree in other areas of conflict, you will begin learning how to act in the interest of all family members.
“Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” -Philippians 2:4
Transformation at the Deepest Levels…
“Recovery from dysfunctional family patterns is not easy. It requires a transformation at the deepest levels… God has promised to be actively involved in this transformation.” -Dale and Juanita Ryan
“The Lord passed before him and proclaimed, ‘The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation.'” -Exodus 34:6-7
Q: “I grew up in a messed up family, and I am now repeating many patterns from the past. What should I do?”
Identify which patterns need to be changed, then focus on several action steps that will enable you to move toward emotional health and healing. Tell the Lord and those closest to you that you want to give up unhealthy, childish patterns, and ask them to help hold you accountable.
“When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.” -1 Corinthians 13:11