The process of forming and living in a blended family requires balance of time and attention. This balance does not only affect the immediate members of the family but, can also involve the extended family members, such as grandparents, aunts, and uncles as well. This can be especially during times of holidays. Does this truly bring more difficulties to our lives or, is it more a matter of the perspective we choose to have? To help us look at this topic further we will read a Life Story from Elisha Murphy. Elisha grew up in blended family and is now a father himself and as a result can speak to the pressures that balancing time and attention in a blended family can bring.
If we think just from a logical perspective, being part of a blended family definitely has some benefits. The biggest one I think of is that there is the potential to have up to four sets of grandparents. That’s four different potential places to get babysitting, toy and gifts, possible vacations, and all of the other abundant blessings that grandparents bring. Now that I am grown, it is quite rare that I have to buy clothes or shoes for my children because all of the grandparents have taken it upon themselves to bless us in these areas. However, once we get past these materialistic aspects of a blended family, it can become a little more complex. Which mother do you take out on Mother’s Day? Whose house do you visit on Christmas? And, that list goes on. If you are blessed and all parties involved are civil with each other you will find that intermingling is not that big of a deal. But, if that civil atmosphere does not exist, it can become downright nasty.
I have always believed in fully “adopting” into a family. I call my wife’s Aunt Fritz, Aunt Fritz. She calls my Gram, Gram. I believe that this commitment should be the same, more or less, when it comes to step-parents, step-siblings, and other step-relatives. I refer to my step mom as mom. I do not necessarily call her “mom”, but when we are out, I say she is my mom. When people refer to her as my mom I do not correct them. For she is a mother to me, and I believe that if I were to constantly refer to her with the word “step” it could have a harsh connotation.
As I look throughout scripture I clearly see how God has welcomed us. We were enemies, yet He made us friends. We were as adulterous wives, yet He brought us back home. We were as orphans, yet He adopted us. We were sinners, yet He has made us saints. He says He will remember our sins no more, and that He will completely absorb us into His family. Imagine if He referred to us as sinners, or orphans or adulterous, instead of His children? That is the most beautiful part of the story, making an outsider an insider. Fully welcoming us. That is how we should welcome our step-parents, step-children, or other step-relatives. I know there is a sense of shame that comes along with being divorced, almost as though if a person has divorced in the past then there must be something wrong with them and that they could not make the marriage work and allowed their family to fall apart. I do not fully comprehend the range of emotions that come along with going through that process but, I am sure they are deep and painful. I believe by completely accepting the new relatives and spending time with them it can be a part of the healing process of everyone involved.
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