My step daughter and her four kiddos got to unexpectedly come visit us recently. It was such a treat. While they were traveling from Arizona to Texas, I asked Emily if she would think of several helpful pointers for step moms in blended families from the step-child’s perspective so I could share on a TV program. When they got here, she gave me a list. I’m going to share it with you. I’m hoping that you will take today to reflect on her list because it is from the heart of a little girl beating inside the body of a woman. It is a list of desires from one that came from a broken, fractured and fragmented past. You will gain great insight if you pay attention.
Remember that you are not – and never will be – their biological mother. God has entrusted you with these precious children – so love them, nurture them, guide and direct. But also be careful not to damage or cause havoc with their mother.
Build trust and friendship with them. If you say you will do something, do it. Don’t make promises or threats you can’t keep. These kiddos are watching and listening to everything you say and do. Make sure they are seeing your very best. Through time, their trust will build in you and a friendship will blossom. Be patient…it takes a long time to grow something precious and worthwhile.
Dive in to whatever they are interested or involved in, even if you could care less about (or have no interest in) it. You’ve got to admit … you probably did some things you had no interest in with your husband before you got married, just to be with him – just to have an opportunity to get to know him better. Guess what? The same technique works perfectly with his children!
Encourage the stepchild’s relationship with their Dad; they may feel like he’s being taken from them. As I look at my step daughter and son – I see that the only constant in their lives has been Dan. They were a part of three marriages … they also went through the dating process with their dad. But between marriages or girlfriends, they always came back to the three of them. You can certainly see why they probably liked the divorced Dan rather than the married Dan – because it meant they had dad all to themselves. So as you choreograph the time in your new family and marriage, please encourage your husband and his children to spend time together. You may feel like the outsider … but with time and trust, you just might find that you are getting invited to share these times with them.
After my television interview, Emily shared with me. She thanked me for being there for her; for being consistent and loving. She said that she wanted a marriage like mine and her dad’s.
As I opened my Bible today, this verse was highlighted – Romans 8:18 – “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.”
Ten years ago, I was going through the sufferings of blending two broken families. Emily’s precious words to me were a crown of glory. Her love and words made it all so worth it. Don’t miss your reward. The glory of God will shine through and the victory will make all the sufferings so worth it.