God loves blended family homes! It’s true. However, this is one of those pieces of wisdom that many blended families know in their heads but not in their hearts. Here’s why affirming that God loves blended families is so important.
A few months ago, I was asked to speak on blended families at Southern California Seminary’s Family Conference. To be honest, this topic was not my first choice. Although I love to speak, my mind immediately gravitated to hundreds of other topics that I would rather have shared. I suggested several alternative workshop ideas. But our dean of psychology wouldn’t have it. Instead, she gently responded to with the words, “Yeah, you can speak on that too, but I really want you to present a workshop for blended families.”
So why was I so hesitant to share wisdom for blended family homes? I think it’s because most blended families carry around extra baggage. This includes extra shame, extra blame, added guilt, and extra messiness. By nature, blended families are messy, which is why these families need to know that God loves blended family homes!
God Loves Blended Families
Ten years ago, I never imagined that I would be living in a blended family. First, let me make something clear. I love my family. I am incredibly blessed by them, and life is amazing! It’s not perfect by any means, but still amazing! Yet, I still hesitated because I know that:
- “God hates divorce.”
- From a human perspective, divorce is also less than ideal.
- Life did not turn out the way I planned.
Nevertheless, I reluctantly agreed to speak. In the months that followed, I embarked on an adventure of researching blended families. During this time, I came to several awesome discoveries. Yes, awesome, because some things really are that good!
Here are four important pieces of wisdom of blended families I discovered, with the most important being that God loves blended families!
Wisdom for Blended Family Homes
Discovery #1 – God loves blended families!
Blended families are by no means new. In fact, Scripture is filled with them:
- Abraham was married to Sarah and had a son with his maidservant, Hagar.
- Jacob had a blended family consisting of his wives Leah, Rachel, and their children.
- King David had several wives. He also had a son named Solomon, who was the result of an affair between him and Bathsheeba.
- And best of all, Jesus—the son of God and stepson of Joseph—lived in a blended family home.
Wisdom for Blended Families from Scripture:
- Blended families have unique challenges. Each of these men, women, and children experienced difficulties due to the complexities of living in a blended family. These Biblical heroes are not much different than you and me!
- It’s possible to live in a blended family and live a godly life. After all, David was known as a man after God’s own heart. And many of the Biblical patriarchs lived in blended family’s homes.
- God understands the unique challenges blended families face. Jesus experienced blended family life, with all of its ups and downs, firsthand. The good news is that God knows exactly what those of us who live in blended families are experiencing.
Discovery #2 – Feelings of blame, shame, and guilt are common in blended family homes.
Everyone knows that divorce is not ideal. In fact, I’ve never met anyone who’s gotten married hoping for disaster. Divorce is painful. It has been, by far, the most excruciating experience of my life. Yet, for some reason, those with in-tack marriages feel the need to remind those of us who live in blended family households that “God hates divorce.”
So just to clarify; “Yes, I know that ‘God hates divorce.'” I affirm this and hate divorce too. I would not wish it on my worst enemy—yes, it really is that painful. Because of this, in starting my workshop, I took a different approach. I boldly affirmed that “God loves blended families.” You see, God is in the redemption business. He wants to take what the enemy intended for evil and work it for good. Blended families are an awesome opportunity to live out Romans 8:28—a verse that proclaims that God is willing and able to work all things for our good and his glory.
When I announced, “God loves blended families,” every eye in the room welled-up with tears. This was when I realized I’m not the only one who deals with blended family guilt.
Discovery #3 – Feelings of guilt extend to all blended family members.
On the ride home from the workshop, I had the most enlightening discovery of all. My wife, Jenny, and our seven-month-old daughter joined join me for this presentation. On our drive home, Jenny stated something to the effect of, “Jed, you do know that you’re not the only one who struggles with blended family guilt, right?” I then gained new insights into the guilt step-parents and children face in blended family homes.
Discovery #4 – There are few blended family resources for Christians.
Finally, I learned that there is a lack of blended family resources available despite our families’ unique challenges. After reading several books on the topic, I only found one that was truly beneficial. Without a doubt, additional tools are needed.
A Summary of Wisdom for Blended Family Homes
- God loves blended families.
- Blended families have unique challenges–including feelings of blame, shame, and guilt.
- These guilty feelings extend throughout the entire household.
- And there are few resources offering support.
Now, let’s get to the solution. Jenny and I found that we benefited greatly by having blended family discussions. We have decided not to let the conversations end. In fact, we’ll be hosting a workshop this Summer entitled, Making Your Blended Family Work. In this workshop, we’ll dive into specific challenges that keep each member of the family unit stuck in guilt. Then, we’ll dive into specific strategies for making blended families work. This will include ideas for:
- Laying aside guilt and being fully present for our families
- Modeling forgiveness and grace in our homes
- Living out Romans 8:28 by taking a less than ideal situation and allowing God to transform it for our good and his glory.
- And addressing current hot topics (We’ll be asking for more feedback about this soon).
Although we don’t have all the specifics, Jenny and I are excited about scheming and dreaming with other blended families as we formulate the details!
- If you’re living in a blended family home, would you consider collaborating with us and cheering us on?
- Second, if you know someone living in a blended family home, we would love it if you would share this post with them.
We look forward to partnering with you in this exciting process of leading our God-given, blended families!
Sincerely, Jed and Jenny
Continuing the Blended Family Conversation
We’d love to hear from you. Here are some additional questions for reflection and discussion.
- When you hear the words “God loves blended families,” what do you think and feel? Does this statement resonate with you?
- What blended family wisdom resonated with you?
- What wisdom for blended family homes would you add to this post?
Now it’s your turn. We’d love to hear from you. Leave your thoughts and let’s continue the conversation in the comments below.