Welcome to a Blog for Blended Families !

Blended Families often seek Encouragement, Hope, Motivation and Insight. Join us here each week for practical & powerful ways to rise up & defeat those challenges that can weaken, damage or destroy your family.
.................... God has a plan for victory for YOU! ....................

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Blended Family Legacy in the Mirror


As water reflects a face,
so a man's heart reflects the man.
Proverbs 27 : 19

The incredible smile and inner beauty in the reflection of the young woman's face holds the level of joy and peace we all would like to see when we look in a mirror.

In step-family life, our countenance doesn't always reflect the true level of goodness that we generally hold in our hearts. Quite often parents misunderstand parents, parents misconstrue the facial expressions or comments of children, children take a simple scolding and feel 'thrown out of the house' by a step-parent... and even dogs and cats sense the tension and run fast under the couch or to another room, cause they thinks big trouble is at hand.

Why? Because the 'volume is turned up' in stepfamily life. Normal emotions and looks seem like giant emotions and looks. A look or a comment can mistakenly come across to someone as a scowl or a scream. Everything gets multiplied due to the carrying of baggage, the brokenness and hurt that can exist from either the parent or child's past. If we are aware of that...we can handle the 'volume turned up' scenario a little better.

We discuss this common dynamic in our workshops and conferences as not only being a behavioral aspect of step-family life but also being part of 'spiritual warfare'. It really does take place. There is good and evil in the world. Face it, know it, be prepared for it...and you can handle the moment better. Let there be no mistake...the evil one does want you and your blended family to fail. Divorce is a good thing to the devil. he (I never give him a capital letter) leads the charge in the family battle zone to take out your family. Do you know anyone else who thinks divorce is good?

You can win this battle! You have a bigger, stronger warrior to call upon if you trust God to provide you 'strength in the moment'. We're not saying there are some fundamental underlying and natural psychological family aspects to understand here...but God can 'calm the storm on the waters'. He did part the Red Sea. He did rise again on the third day. Ask Him in the moment of the storm.

God does not want you or I to be discouraged, upset, dissatisfied or unhappy. He came that we might have life and have it more abundantly. That's a promise you can trust. We are to look up to Him for answers... not unlike the young boy alondside his father in the bathroom. The son 'wants to be like Dad'. The Dad 'wants to care for his son'. The Son trusts the Father. That's where we should keep our focus as parents. Seek to be the strong Father, and a good listener to THE FATHER'S voice. Our Heavenly Father.

Seek to be the wise parent. Whether biological or step-child, children are the same in God's eyes. If they are the same in God's eyes, then let them be the same in yours. Yes, it can be hard. It's hard for the children too. Parents must lead.
It is important for parents to take the lead in letting God be the foundation and level set point for blended families. If you have a daughter - we have three - picture her as a young adult gazing into a mirror. Do you want to see her looking lost? Do you want her to go forth into life with a foundation that will last? What will our children's future hold? Can we look up to God and know that He can make a difference. YES.

In a recent blog post I shared a statistic that is worth repeating. THE HUSBAND AND WIFE WHO PRAY TOGETHER DAILY HAVE A LESS THAN EIGHT PER CENT (8%) CHANCE OF GETTING DIVORCED. Take that to the bank...or overdraw your life account and face the fees associated with trying things the broken ways.

God Can take a stepfamily from Broken to Blended to Bonded !

VISIT US AT: http://www.thebondedfamily.com
EMAIL US AT: info@thebondedfamily.com

Climbing the Blended Family Mountains!

Then we'll...See You at the Top !

Zig Ziglar's signature phrase is "See You at the Top!" Those of us who admire the 81 year old motivational phenom, know that his faith guides his life, and he credits the Lord with his rise to the pinnacle of speaking success. Zig links himself to Christ. As we have, Zig has seen God's goodness and glory in his life. He still teaches a Sunday School class at his home church, Prestonwood Baptist Church in Dallas TX. He arranges his schedule to make sure he is available to serve his home church. He stands strong in his faith as even in secular, non faith-based arenas, he always draws the large crowds to understand his ascension to the top of public speaking and business comes from his sold out faith in Christ.

BLENDED FAMILIES too can ascend to success by climbing the seemingly high mountains by hooking themselves to Christ...and each other by prayer and trusting God. When people are serious about climbing, the fully understand the gear that is needed. A 'Carabiner' is a way to hook each other together. It is generally locked. Can't be easily unhooked. That carabiner creates trust. The two people can trust they are on the ascension of the mountain together. There is safety that if one stumbles, the other is there. Then if they link their carabiner to God, they have found the ultimate safety cord.

In our seminars, we give out 'Carabiners' as a symbolic statement that the Husband and Wife need to be hooked together in their marriage. Neither outside pressure, internal family dynamics, nor children issues will allow them to fall. The 'carabiner' is a reminder that God has place the couple now together, without possibility of 'unhooking'. Then we place into the picture the ultimately third carabiner hook up to God. He is the total trusted safe and solid connection and the absolute link up.
And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him.
A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart.

Ecclesiastes 4:12

Let's face it. Blending a family offers unique dynamics that rarely can be understood unless you are actually in the arena. We have been blessed to live through our own blended family ascent, facing the trials and stopping to enjoy the family 'vistas' that brought us great joy along the climb. Rebecca and I are absolutely 100% hooked together and our 'carabiner' is hooked to the Lord God Almighty.

Know this. I have stumbled fully at times in my life. Only by the grace of God am I climbing mountains today. You can too. It takes turning around your life and accepting that we need Jesus Christ in our lives.


Bring some 'Carabiners' to your church or local community.
Visit us today at ...... http://www.thebondedfamily.com
or email us at ......... info@thebondedfamily.com

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Blended Family Peace = A Praying Dad & Mom

Sometimes...in blended families...when things seem very tough...and you can't figure it out...or find the right words...emotions may be hot...the 'step-family dynamics' are swirling...this is an alternative that will work...if you have enough faith to 'be still and know that God is God'.

HE can handle it. REMEMBER...the Red Sea did part.
Smile, this too shall pass.

Exodus 14:13-14
"Moses told the people, Fear not; stand still (firm, confident, undismayed) and see the salvation of the Lord which He will work for you today. For the Egyptians you have seen today you shall never see again. The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace and remain at rest."

the Red Sea did part and they passed through the challenge of the day...and the enemy they thought would destroy them.

And God's Promise to us for peace...if we lift up our prayers to Him in Phillipians 4:6-7
"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

We have seen in our own family God's hand...and His power...and His peace..and His Goodness and Grace. YOU CAN TOO.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Tell Me When Blended Families Get a Fresh Start?

Sometimes blended family parents feel banged up, beat themselves up emotionally, believe in a lie that they can't go on and are failing, and are struggling to find answers to lifes most important questions. They feel like 'man...we need a fresh start'.

The answer to that is in the pictures above...and the message at the end.

Our life and experience leads us to share there are indeed answers. They can be found in the ideas, concepts, provision and precepts of the Bible, in prayer, and in trusting that God is bigger than the challenge one is facing. Most of the time God is the 'last place' people turn. Funny how only when our lives, our nation, a family member or friend is on the line...do we turn to God.

A recent Kansas City Star newspaper poll found that 91% of there readers said 'they believe in God', but only 28% go to church regularly. People know God exists...but place Him on the shelf for when He is needed. That is kind of like having an M-16 rifle in your tent, and charging the enemy hill with a slingshot. We say... use the darn firepower if you want to win the battles.

We are trying to help families reverse the trend when thinking of 'looking upward'. We say "go first and go often". Kind of like voting in Chicago. (just kidding to all you Chicago readers) Seriously...we have seen it in our lives and the lives of others.

In our workshops and conferences people come to us with stories that encourage us that through our own examples and stories they were 'renewed' and start each day new.

Now we accept that some people will now quickly tune us out and say "I am out of here...not gonna listen to this God thing... Hey pal I got real problems!" OK... to those I ask read on, let me share documentable and proven research that is not from me. Common knowledge exists that the divorce rate hovers at 50%, whether non-believer or even yes, evangelical Christians. Just going to church doesn't make the difference. But check this out... time and time again studies (i.e. Barna Group) have shown that a husband and wife who prays daily or regularly together... the rate is below 10%. Below 10%! Is that a powerful weapon in the battle for victory or what??

As a Father to six children in a blended family, I would not be truthful if I didn't share that I have done and said some real bonehead things. We all have.
Our human nature simply is incapable of not doing or saying things we would like to then have a 'do-over' chance. I am thankful that the 'do-over' period is the next day. Apologize if needed. Ask for forgiveness and understanding if that is possible.

So that leads us to the FRESH START. We share what we believe should be the FOUNDATION and the ROCK of every family and that is the very basic importance that only God can create the unique and special bond in a blended family.

God does allow step-families - the parents and children - to have a fresh start daily. It's in His promise...the Word of God. God does promise you a 'new morning'. He is faithful. Stop beating yourself up and accept the 'new morning'. Make it better.

Scriptures shouts out to us every morning when we see the sun rise anew. We are told in Lamentations 3 : 21 -23 the following.

21 Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope:

22 Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.

23 They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

Blended Family Research Increases Knowledge, Understanding & Wisdom

We came across what we believe to be a solid Blended Family article done by LINDA CARROLL, who does research and writes for MSNBC.

The story offers knowledge...and with knowledge comes understand and hopefully brings wisdom. You can take this as encouragement because you can keep hope flowing as you understand that your blended family is not alone. There are over 23 million households in America facing similar challenges. (see ABFA) Linda Carroll's article notes that in most new step-family situations teens struggle most with new step-parents. In particular her research finds teenage boys seem to have the most issues with 'step-fathers'.

We hear this often as we coach and work with blended families. We also saw it at times in our own family. Being a teenager is hard enough in any situation, given the maturing process, newfound freedoms and responsibilities, peer pressure, hormones and relationships. If internal 'whom do I choose as best' loyalty issues arise, or if disrespect is shown and modeled from the other homes bio-parent(s) toward your step-parenting role ... troubled waters will prevail. Parents are to be the leaders and the model that children observe and emulate. Be a positive influence. It will take a patient, positive parent who trusts God to shine brighest and bring long-term benefit to the child. If the struggle is one that maybe a 'peace summit' meeting between child and parents will help, do so. Remember foremost that Husband and Wife must stand strong together...no house divided. Take disagreements into a private room. If the negative influences are external, we encourage all blended family parents to pray and rise above personal feelings, hurts, frustrations, and upset with the 'other house' and make sure you coach and emulate 'respect and honor' in both families home.

IF YOU ARE A TEEN and reading this...we ask you too...to walk the extra mile and try to start each day new. We came across an interesting site for Children of Divorce.
They have surveys there. Children are not alone either.

Here is a link to the article we mentioned that we want to credit as fine work: