Happy Mother’s Day! What a joyous day – a celebration of mothers – their dedication, patience, long suffering, loyalty, and unconditional love. A day to honor women who give up so much personally – not because they have to – but because they would go to the ends of the earth for their children.
But now let’s talk about step moms. Where do you neatly tuck them into this whole Mother’s Day dilemma? If you embrace your step mom, how does that make your real mom feel? Why should you allow this new woman into your life? Tough questions, and I’m sorry to say – no easy answers.
When we try to do things in our own way and strength, we will come up short. There are some Scriptures in the Bible that help us look at this relationship in a way that takes the stress off of all involved – and helps us to walk in a way of pure human consideration and kindness.
For step children, Ephesians 6:1-3 is a great place to start. It says, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother – which is the first commandment with a promise – that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” I am well aware that these verses say nothing about a step mom, but I challenge you to think about what God would expect you to do – to honor your bio parent and the choice he has made to marry this woman.
When you disrespect your step mom – you are telling your bio dad that you don’t respect him – don’t trust him or his choices. If you love your dad at all, stop and think about what your rudeness and isolation to this step mom are doing to your dad. You are adding fuel to the fire for another failure … another divorce – because dads have a hard time placing their new wives in a priority position over their kiddos. Therefore, the struggle between child and step mom increases and the dad gets caught in the middle and eventually – when push comes to shove – the dad will choose the children and move on – again.
Now I’m not saying that children can cause a divorce in a blended family – but think about this yourself and see how your response to your step mom can help your dad’s marriage or hurt it. When all else fails, go back to Scripture – ‘obey your parents in the Lord’. In other words, respect your elders – honor your dad by including your step mom into your life. You have been given the opportunity to be loved by someone who loves your dad. You have been afforded the gift to have an extra guide and mentor in your life. You have been given an extra team player that will go the distance if given the chance.
First Timothy 5:1-2 says, “Do not rebuke an older man harshly, but exhort him as if he were your father. Treat younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity.” These verses are telling us how to treat people. You respect the older folks in your life – making the extra effort to treat them as fathers and mothers. I have a bio daughter, step daughter and then two ‘other daughters’. These are girls who have grown up with my daughter – and I would do anything for them.
Do their moms resent me for loving them? Do they get upset that their daughters ask me for advice or guidance? No! They are welcoming to the fact that there is another godly woman that would help their daughter become all she can be. Hmmm … sounds a lot like what a step mom does.
Take some time to think about what your step mom can be to you. Us moms are hardwired to love and nurture and give. When you shut us out – you are only shutting out a realm of possibilities for joy and fun and a bigger family of love. Go buy that sappy Mother’s Day card. Write a note of thanks in it. Take some time to honor this woman who makes your dad happy – who he chose to spend his life with. I think you will find that when you open up your heart to her, you will receive way more than you give!