I have wanted to share content that would be helpful for re-married couples, but since I do not have extensive knowledge or experience in this area I sought out some help. This is a special guest post from a friend and mentor of mine, Glen Solberg. Glen and his wife, Shawn, have served with FamilyLife Ministries for a number of years. Their work serves to bring hope, encouragement, and resources to champions of healthy, faith-filled marriages. You can learn more about them from their ministry blog TheSolbergFamily.org, or simply email them.
|The Solberg Family|
Shawn and I have known Bob and his wife, Natalie, for many years. On the outside, they look like any other family you might see in South Texas, but in many ways, they are distinctly different. You see, Bob and Natalie are a blended family. They were both previously married with kids and are now re-married. We all face some “common challenges” in marriage, but the challenges that blended families face are far greater – and these families are living all around us.
A couple of stats on blended families:
40% of married couples with children (i.e. families) in the U.S. are step-couples
42% of adults have a step-relationship, such as a step-parent, step- or half sibling, or a stepchild. That’s 95.5 million adults.
These numbers represent REAL people. People made in God’s image just like you and I. We share this information not so you can just “know” about the numbers of blended families, but so that you can offer encouragement to these families.
Here are some suggestions about ways you can encourage a blended family:
Relationship and Prayer: It’s a simple but powerful thing you can do. Spend some time with a blended family in your church or neighborhood. Take some time during your visit to ask them how you can pray for them, then pray for them before you leave. Continue to pray for them and connect with them consistently afterward.
Blended and Blessed SummitOnline Help: Tell a blended family you know about three websites that can offer help to them. All three websites offer great online help and encouragement. Maybe even print off an article or share about a video or resource that you saw you think would be of interest.
Blended Family Ministry at Your Church: There are very few churches that have a true “marriage ministry” much less a ministry to blended families. But, you can change that at your own church. There is a great resource to help inform you church leadership about the need for this ministry AND resources to get that new ministry going. (You can contact Glen Solberg by email to find out more.) You don’t have to be a blended family to help. You just need a heart to help others and the initiative to ask.
National Step-family Day (Facebook Page): Each year on September 16th, we celebrate National Step-family Day. Take time on September 16 (mark your calendars for next year) to INVEST in the lives of a blended family near you. Buy them a gift card, send a card of encouragement, etc. Be creative and supportive.
Comment below: If you are in a blended family, or were a child of a blended family, what are some of the challenges you faced? What were some of the blessings and joys from that blended family?
If you are a blended family and would like to know more, please connect with Glen by email.
The Smart Stepdad by Ron L. Deal (Book-Amazon Affiliate Link)
Download Strength Revisited, a free eBook download based on my TEDxCorpusChristi Talk about how we define strength in manhood.