This month we are doing a series of blogs on the theme “Loving Each Other Well.” February is a great month to focus on our hearts and actions and the little things we can do to make a big impact on others. Join us this month as we learn ways to love moms from all backgrounds well.
After almost all of our grown kids had moved out of the house, we decided that we would have more kids. One of the things I remember talking to my husband about, was how these younger kids would never know the heartache of divorce. They would never carry the scars of a fractured family…they would be innocent. These kids would never have to share their bedroom with a stranger (another child) or be subject to the authority of someone they hardly know.
I was divorced before I came to know the Lord and yet I felt ashamed. After a few years into my new life as a Christian I married my husband and we blended our families together. It was super hard and I began to notice that “blended families” and their needs were rarely mentioned in the church. I thought everyone had a “perfect” family. The truth is that blended families have a lot of special needs and circumstances.
It was hard to talk to people about the needs of our blended family. And, at times, people can be insensitive without realizing it.
I made a little list of the ways that I would have felt more loved by others during those difficult times;
- I would have felt more loved if someone had seemed to take an interest my family. It’s a bit lonely being a blended family sometimes. Maybe if people had simply asked “about” my blended family. Maybe that seems odd, but these days a blended family is not that uncommon. Ask about them.
- Being in a blended family can be difficult for scheduling purposes. Many weekends kids go to other parent’s homes, so it is helpful to be a little more flexible when scheduling a get together.
- Speaking of fellowshipping and getting together, blended families are not contagious. Yes sometimes kids can be a bit more difficult, but don’t be afraid that your own kids will get a bit dirtied up by spending an afternoon after church with them. Teach your children to love others well. Not just from “perfect” families, but from all families.
- Since blended family scheduling can be very difficult, Mom and Dad can rarely catch a break. Offer to lend a hand by watching their kids for a couple of hours so that they can go on a little date.
- Sometimes there are special circumstances where there is another parent with BIG problems, which can cause much chaos in the blended family that is trying to follow Christ and maintain a healthy family unit. Be willing to listen and support them.
- Holidays can be especially hard on blended families. Each situation is unique so ask them how you may support them.
These are just some of the ways that you can reach out to blended families and support them. Are you from a blended family? We’d love to hear your perspective as well.
Remember how I wanted to shelter our little ones from everything? It is impossible to do this for long. One day when our children were very small and VERY inquisitive they began asking Mommy and Daddy about their grown siblings. What it was like when they were born etc. You can imagine the look on my face and how my countenance dropped when we had to tell them our story. I cried when their innocence shattered. But, God put our families together and has crafted a beautiful story from it.
Remember, there is no such thing as a “perfect” family.
“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” 1 Cor. 13:13