Each `human heart` (person) in a blended family will have, from time to time, a member of their family with whom they will be upset with, hurt by, even angry for some reason, whether justified or often not. Rarely is the first reaction 'I wonder what is hurting them?'... although that would certainly would lessen most escalations of struggles in relationships.
We all fall short at times as humans and thus upset feelings can be a common experience in blended families. Often our natural human weakness first thought is to fire back in response, attach blame, point a finger at someone, speak ill of them, say something hurtful that can`t be taken back, or worst of all, throw up our hands and say `I quit!'
Your family may also be in a situation where one former spouse (`the ex`- for descriptive purposes only yet we don't like that word) works to undermine a relationship with a bio child, or consistently `reaches into` the new blended families home with comments about the home, the new marriage or most damaging of all, manipulating the minds of a child about you, your new spouse or family situation.
If as you've read this, you feel 'you've been there' as an adult or child...don`t beat yourself up... or feel sorry for yourself. In The Bonded Family ministry we say there is a 'No Cry Baby Zone', nobody gets to say "Whaaa! Whaaa! Somebody call the Whaaambulance!" You have about 150 million fellow Americans in the same situation and stumbling the same as you. :-) And you will get stronger if you turn it over to God.
He can handle. You can't most of the time or you wouldn't be reading this.
http://www.greateryes.com once shared with us one of the most powerful comments as to these situations, and how to 'view' the other person in the relationship.
"See them ...........
as Christ would see them."
Powerful words. Think on this. If we could view the situation, or the `human heart`, as Christ does as He looks down upon us from Heaven...might we pause...feel sorry and hurt for the person acting out or spewing hurtful words?
Might our new 'Christ-like' perspective cause us to act, speak and behave differently? If we could see these situations as God does, those hurtful words, comments or actions might be viewed as stemming from some wound deep in the heart. Christ sees the hurt and wounds and wants to comfort. We see the outward side that is creating havoc or pain in our world. 'See them as Christ would see them'.
See that child, your spouse, or even your former spouse as Christ would see them. Try praying for them.
It's hard to be mad at someone when you are praying for them. Ask God to reconcile, heal or change the dynamics of the relationship. Sometimes...that may take time. I had one man tell me "Dan, I believe you that God can move mountains, and change things, yet He must not know my ex-wife". As I laugh, I knew that can be true, but I also know God is in control and no army is stronger than His.
God knows the truth. We believe families can grow to be `bonded` if they `look up` and `trust` in a God who can handle all situations, overcome the common barriers we all face, climb most of the mountains and slay all the giants.
It is not easy always, but only through God can a step-family go from `broken to blended to Bonded`.
At The Bonded Family http://www.thebondedfamily.com/ we work with individuals and families and see hundreds of situations like this every year.
Remember, still time to REGISTER for the KANSAS CITY BLENDED FAMILY CONFERENCE.
Dr. Dan Erickson is one of the speakers, along with Julie Ziglar Norman, youngest daughter of Zig Ziglar.
She's joined by her husband Jim and their own blended family story is a special one. Al and Kay Betz travel from Washington DC, along with Patricia Plumb of the Forgiveness Institute and more. Rebecca and I would love to see you. $69 for 8 hours of coaching and encouragement and tips is the best investment you could make in your family.