By Karen O’Connor:
I wondered, as I contemplated marrying for a second time, if I could find God in a blended family. Most of the men I met were single dads but not every one was committed to a life of faith, something very important to me.
But then it happened.
Charles was the father of two teenagers and I was the mother of three––when we met a couple of years after my divorce from my first husband. We loved God, each other, and our kids. After two years we made a vow to uphold one another through sickness and health, poverty and wealth––and through the teenaged years and beyond––of our collective five. He was the man I had always hoped for, the knight who would rescue me and carry me off to a new city, a new dream, a brand new married life.
But real life, even in the best of families, is not a fairy tale. I came down to earth with a thud. Charles and my oldest daughter were suddenly at odds. My stepdaughter, who had been a pal the summer I met her while dating her dad, now seemed distant whenever she visited.
I wondered if I had made the worst mistake of my life. There were so many personalities to deal with–so many needs and wants to meet. I felt inadequate, unappreciated, and mostly overwhelmed.
We needed prayer and support and we also needed advice. We were reminded to take it easy, not to over-indulge them in an effort to gain favor, to be ourselves, and to trust God to lead us. In short, there was no blueprint!
Life is hard. Step-parenting makes life harder still. But it also presents opportunities for growth and grace that were unique and worthy of our time and commitment, as we soon discovered. The difficult years are behind us now. Our children are grown. We have come through the storms and I can say with certainty that we wouldn’t be where we are today without the Holy Spirit––guiding, guarding, and governing our every thought, word, and action.
God’s Word provides a treasure of wisdom, hope, and direction for every blended family. Following are some of the scriptures that have given biblical direction to ours.
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor. 12:9).
“Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth” (1 John 3:18).
“Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy” (Ps. 126:2).
“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven” (Eccl. 3:1).
I believe that walking in step with the Spirit of God is at the heart of being able to walk in step as a blended family. He is our haven, our shelter, our high tower and when things get tough he’s the one to run to for encouragement and the grace to start again. You too, can find God in a blended family—if you turn to him every day.
Watch this inspiring video on YouTube—tools for your blended family tool box.
©Karen O’Connor (www.karenoconnor.com). Karen contributes regularly to Finding God Daily.Visit Karen’s website to learn more about this author who has touched the lives of many women.
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