Biblical Guidelines for Dealing with Blended Families


Erin Davis provides three principles from God's Word to help navigate the trials of a blended family.

You are called to be a peacemaker.

In Matthew 5:9, Jesus says, "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God."

James 3:18 says, "Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness."

What can you do to create more peace in your home? How can you change your attitude and behavior in order to have a more peaceful relationship with your stepparent or stepchild? Only you can answer those questions, and you will reap the rewards if you do the hard work necessary to live in peace.

Commit your family to prayer. 

In Matthew 5:44, Jesus said, "‘But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.'" 

I doubt He had stepparents or stepchildren specifically in mind when He made this statement, but it certainly applies. Stepparents or stepchildren can sure feel like the enemy. I was at war with my stepparents for years. I blamed them for things that weren't their fault. I resented them for having rules that seemed foreign and outrageous. I was angry with them for making an already difficult family situation much worse. But I never prayed for them. Not once. 

I should have. Prayer is a powerful tool we too often fail to use. Philippians 4:6 urges us, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God."

Prayer has the power to change the heart of your stepparent or stepchild if necessary. More importantly, it has the power to change your heart.

Trust God.

You can trust God with every corner of your life. You can trust Him with the pain caused by divorce. You can trust Him with the anxiety caused by remarriage. You can trust Him to know the best way for you to relate to others even if it doesn't feel natural or just. Ultimately, you can trust His sovereignty even when your family life is totally messed up. 

Psalm 62:8 says, "Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge."

In John 14:1, Jesus said, "‘Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.'"

Psalm 19:7 says, "The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul. The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple."

Proverbs 3:5–6 says, "Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight."

Anger and rebellion are the opposite of trust. You're not responsible for what has happened in your family's past, and you're not in charge of what will happen in the future. But God is able to handle it all. Do your best to follow His guidelines for your relationships, and trust Him with the results. 

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