5 Truths Blended Families Wish the Church Knew
It’s difficult to understand what others are facing, but before you judge…try walking a mile in their shoes. God made each of us different on purpose. We face different circumstances. Have you ever walked though something and longed for someone, anyone, to understand? Maybe even offer a little encouragement? Or just to remind you that this is only a season? That you will be alright? Or even just holding your hand without judgement. Yeah there are circumstances and often there are definitely consequences. No matter what it is you’re facing, something out of your control or something as a result of a choice, please know that God sees you. He knows right where you are. Sick or healthy. Happy or sad. Married once or divorced and remarried. One family or blended family.
For you are all one in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:28
Our Pastor shared five truths about marriage and five things that will positively impact your marriage in the last sermon of a series about families. Whether we want to admit it or not we can all work harder in our marriages and continue to grow.
During the question and answer segment of the sermon on Sunday, my husband and another woman living the blended family life shared their hearts about the subject of marriage in a blended family. Our marriages and families have obviously walked and continually walk a challenging journey and in turn has given us a heart for marriage and blended families. I don’t say that just because we’ve walked in these shoes makes us experts or gives only us some sort of special designation and no one else could possibly have a heart for either. I do, however, believe that God uses all of us in different capacities and uses our different experiences in the lives of others facing the same things and walking in the same shoes we do.
Therefore encourage one another and build one another up. 1 Thessalonians 5:11
Will you allow me to share the top five truths the blended family wishes the church knew?
- We don’t want to be separate or put into a different category with a spotlight. We want to be viewed as just another family in our church.
- With that said, try to understand our family structure isn’t exactly like everyone else’s…our children aren’t in church with us every week because they have another set of parents to spend time with.
- We consider all the children in our family as “our children.” Yes, we realize that they have another set of parents (we understand this all too well) but we would prefer that you didn’t point that out to us every time you ask us about them…please don’t ask each spouse in our marriage about “their” children, ask us both about our children.
- Just because it’s obvious we’ve been divorced or in a previous relationship please don’t judge us with preconceived ideas on how we got where we are and please don’t ask us about it or them…if God wants us to share that with you, you’ll be the first to know.
- We don’t want special treatment. Just respect.
While I wouldn’t wish any terrible circumstance or consequence on anyone, we can’t completely understand if we haven’t walked in those proverbial shoes. And just because we haven’t, doesn’t mean we can’t come along side someone facing something we’ve never experienced. Love isn’t measured in our experiences. It isn’t only possible to love others just like us. It is possible to love as Jesus did. I share these truths because my heart has been broken by other Christians in the church. They probably don’t even realize how their words hurt, and that may be more on me than them, but nevertheless, my goal is not to point a finger…I’m pointing at myself to be gentler in how I approach someone walking in shoes I haven’t.
This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. John 15:12-14
I also point back to myself in that when we were down in the trenches during some rough times in our family I kept it to myself. Too embarrassed and afraid to open my hurting heart. I’m not advocating getting a billboard here, I’m saying I didn’t seek out one person to talk to, to pray with me, to share any wisdom with me. Don’t walk your journey, what ever it looks like, alone. It’s okay to find someone (preferably a Jesus loving friend of the same sex) to walk with you. In fact, I believe it’s what God wants us to do. Be real with them. Walk together with Jesus. Find your someone…I know they’re waiting for you! On the other side of this…there’s someone looking for you…your wisdom…they’re walking in shoes you’ve logged many many miles in…God wants to use you in the life of the one who just stepped into a brand new pair of those shoes.
Here's another post I've written about blended families...