Abiding Marriage has some of the greatest Ministry Partners of any ministry! These folks pray and give financially so that we can continue the mission God have given us. This ministry would not exist without them!
One such Ministry Partner is a dear friend named Kimberlee. She is a real prayer warrior and intercedes routinely for the couples the Lord is bringing to Abiding Marriage. But she has a particular heart for Blended family couples – because that is her journey. She married her husband, John, who had previously been married with kids.
She wrote a letter that I want to share with you as you ponder, prepare, and pray for your “Journey” into the destination called a Blended Family!
I don't know your names or your situation, but I wanted to write to you. Thanks for taking a minute or two to read my words written for you.
I wish someone had shared more of the reality of the difficulty of “blending” a family before I married my husband. I write to you quite earnestly and emphatically because I wish I had learned more and we had been guided into subsequent pre-marital conversations with my step-children before I moved into the household. Dynamics change at that point with children and even with their Mom, the ex-wife. We did have conversations but didn’t understand all we were getting into. But we could have done it a LOT better in the preparation stage.
If you are not already familiar with Ron Deal and his Blended Family ministry, (more shared at the end of this article) than make that a “must do” on your list prior to AND after your wedding. Ron offers loads of practical advice and help understanding how complicated this exact stage is for the children. For that matter, the whole dynamic is also complicated for both of the divorced spouses and the new spouse coming in. I cannot exhort you more strongly to NOT neglect these resources.
May I encourage a series of planned conversations with the children, by you and your spouse, well before the wedding. Again, look to Ron Deal to help with this.
Finally, may I tell you something that is critical for you to hear. Please spend more time focused on planning your marriage than you do your wedding. Your wedding is one day – but, by God's grace and your cooperation with Him, your marriage will last a lifetime. Enjoy your wedding day but keep most of your time, prayer, and work on your marriage!!
Here's my prayer for you as you embark on this journey:
May you both seek to keep in step with the Spirit at every stage and proceed in God’s just-right timing.
May you trust Him with ALL your needs and bring your desires to God as well, submitting fully to the LORD of all!
May God reign in the relationship with the ex-spouse who will have a myriad of reactions to the marriage, for themselves and their children.
May you continue to pray for your ex-spouse's emotional health, mental health, stability, and wisdom to come from God and to know Jesus as the Anchor of their soul!
May you pray for the whole family regularly – this is not a short-term adjustment for any individual person.
May healing and forgiveness and peace reign in the family relationships.
May all parties remain humble, teachable and tender-hearted, seeking the best for others and seeking hard after God.
May you never neglect growth of your own deep roots in God through consistency in actual Bible study to feed your spiritual natures with meat, persevere in private worship time, and persist in prayer.
On the Blended Family Journey,
To find out more about Ron Deal and FamilyLife's Blended Family ministry, please go often to this link on your phone or computer: https://www.familylife.com/blended. There are a myriad of resources for you to check out. Below are some of our favorites that we want to share and highly encourage you to check out:
As a final encouragement, please seek to find other families on the blended family journey. Find out if any local churches in your area have classes or help for blended families. Finding community is a critical step to staying together and growing as a blended family!
Adapted by Glen Solberg from Original Letter written by Kimberlee W.
Helps added at the end by Abiding Marriage 2022.