It finally made sense. I have read these verses in my Bible many times and yet the light finally came on. Second Peter 1:5-8 says, “make every effort to supplement your faith with goodness, goodness with knowledge, knowledge with self-control, self-control with endurance, endurance with godliness, godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they will keep you from being useless or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
I not only found the reassurance on how to live my Christian life, but thought about applying it to other areas in my life. Romans 5:3-4 says, “… we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” Verse five goes on to say that God adds the final ingredient – love. It is poured into this recipe by the Holy Spirit.
It seems both recipes take us from our beginning faith in Christ and then teach us step by step how to live in love. Let’s look at that in the context of our blended families.
Let’s start with faith – a belief … trust. Just as we exercise our faith to believe in Jesus, God’s only Son, we also have placed a faith in marriage. We may have failed in marriage, but our society obviously believes in marriage because we are in search of that most precious, intimate union and connection here on this earth. You took a step of faith to be in relationship with your spouse and the children involved.
Next, the recipe calls for goodness, knowledge and self-control. I’m sure when you started your family, you wanted many good things for them, but it’s not enough. You will need to add knowledge – seeking out how to make a blended family work through research, sharing, and possibly counseling. You now have a good foundation started in your recipe.
This is important because you are now going to need to add self-control and endurance. You will want to lash out at an ex-wife; you will want to complain about his bio kids; you will be disappointed in your husband’s inability to prioritize you over his kids and the demands of his ex. Self-control and endurance will strengthen you to stay in your marriage and weather the storms coming – the suffering, disappointments, injustices, and heartaches.
Your recipe, if you continue, will start to take the shape of perseverance – the ability to continue on through hardships not only with resolve, but with confidence! Now we see character and godliness which looks like integrity and a mighty warrior who is strong for the battle and determined. You are equipped with the power of the Holy Spirit; prayer and the Bible are your weapons!
Your next ingredients are brotherly kindness and affection – simply seeking to serve others. Hope is now available to add to the recipe – and only acquired from an anticipation of the future and the knowledge that you have built a strong base.
Love is the last ingredient in these recipes. Love doesn’t just happen. Deep abiding love comes through trial and fire, determination and commitment. Not a short-term fling or a “we will wait and see if this works” kind of attitude, but a ’til death do we part’ kind of recipe that will stand through time.
Before you start a recipe, you always check your ingredients to see if you have what it takes to make it. The wonderful thing about God’s recipes, is that the ingredients always seem to show up just when you need them!
Blessings in your blending!