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! ....................

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


Blended Family Strongholds? What?

Release The Chains

Find StepFamily Joy

Often times we will see in blended families, an unseen stronghold holding the family back from God's wish and desire, and theirs too, to 'bond' and have a truly loving and peaceful family.  A Dad we are coaching asked me the other day..."What do you mean 'stronghold'?"  I explained to him that there was something I've observed over a period of time in his new family's setting.  Something that, based on our personal and professional experience, was holding his family back. The Bible speaks of that as 'discernment', or a sense of something or an atmosphere that surrounds a person or situation.  This Dad said "Gosh, if I don't know what it is, how are we going to work through it?".  I applauded him because he's got the right attitude.  He's Looking UP!  We can tear down strongholds in a family with clear awareness, God's help and strength, and some genuine effort in your marriage and family.

FIRST... TAKE TO HEART WHAT SCRIPTURE SAYS HOW GOD MADE YOU... Psalm 139, verses 13 - 14 are for you to read, re-read and count on.  YOU, and your new family are in God's hands.  He made you.  You are WONDERFULLY made. God doesn't make mistakes so quit trying to think you are one. You are wonderful!
'For you created my inmost being;  you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.'
                                          ~ Psalm 139 : 13-14

Let's get back to just what is a stronghold, as indeed you might ask?

The Greek word for STRONGHOLD is 'OCHUROMA', meaning a a large castle, a compelling fortress or a warrior's position of strength.  In ancient battleground terms, a STRONGHOLD means an area where an entrenched power exerts control over an individual, group, generation, or territory.

In 'spiritual warfare', there is clear fertile battleground when it comes to divorce, re-marriage, wounds, brokenness and stepfamily situations.  A stronghold is deception that's taken hold of you or a person in your family's mind. It's an incorrect thinking pattern based on a believed lie.  A lie of the enemy of your family.   A fantastic battle ground for the enemy (satan - never give the dirty dog a capital) who is by his own being wants to take out all joy, togetherness, goodness, happiness in every marriage, child and family.

The wisdom we can find in John 10:10 ...
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;
I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.
                                           ~~ John 10:10

We come to you now and ask "Are there any strongholds impacting your marriage, family and stepfamily situation that God needs to work on?"  Do you feel like something is working to destroy your marriage, a child or your whole family?

What might it look like?   It's a lot like a heavy chain around your relationship, weighing it down, holding you back from the joy you truly wanted when you formed your new blended family. It could be pride, a stubborn spirit.  An old wound.  That inside your brain voice telling you what's bad about you, your family, a person in your family.  Perhaps for a man or woman some deep anger that surfaces from time to time.  Could be a inability to forgive someone or something.  Might come across as a habit or addiction.  Could be a child that was wounded by one parent and won't allow love to be received.  Could be a deep fear of another breakup of a family.  The list goes on.  Know this.  Those thoughts are not God.  He made you SPECIAL!

We find that the first step, is to recognize and acknowledge the stronghold as a couple or family, talk about the stronghold as the 'enemy' of your family's happiness and not a person in the family.  Then together you can 'break the chain' that holding you back.
In working with families as we serve via The Bonded Family Rebecca and I have observed that the most prolific strongholds and challenges are often ones people don't recognize or know exist.  They just know somethngs wrong.  Why we stress a strong foundation in your relationship with God is that you may not be aware without some special discernment from God, without 'seeing' with new eyes and 'hearing' with new ears.  God can provide that new understanding, powerful healing and your fresh start.  Ask Him in prayer.  Not casually.  Ask Him fervently for healing and a fresh start.
This isn't hocus pocus stuff.  Yes, it's supernatural.  God says so.  Trust Him.  He'll open your eyes IF you let Him.  Not allowing God in your life is a giant stronghold that statistically proves true.  The divorce rate in stepfamilies is 65%+.  When families are attending church and trusting God, that's cut in half.  You choose where you'll trust.

Five Steps to Tearing Down Blended Family Strongholds
1) Take Life Inventory, Recognize, Acknowledge Your Stronghold(s).
2) Commit to one another, forgive, genuinely work toward positive change.  There are no perfect people - Dad's, Mom's or Children.  Let's grow.
3) Read, Listen to CD's, etc, find faith-based help, counseling or coaching.
4) Create a DAILY Prayer List + Time for Husband + Wife TOGETHER.
5) Keep Looking UP!  Hold onto an attitude that God has already design your plan for greatness in your new and special Family.  You are a Winner!  Live it!

Do NOT give up or in.  God's promise are real.  He can and will help you face the strongholds and defeat them if you truly set your heart to doing so. That's up to you.  Excuses are easy.  Even as you read this if you're saying 'it's easy for him to write this, he doesn't know'.  You're right.  But God does.  We've been through probably 95% of the challenges that blended families face in our family.  Our we perfect...NO.  Yet...we know who will win the day.

God is on the throne.  He's already got your solution, the way out, the 'recovery plan' for you and your family.  Do you want help?

God Bless You and Keep Looking UP!

Hey...help us help you.  Visit the BLENDED FAMILY MALL.
Whatever you buy there, a small portion goes to fund scholarships and research for our ministry to people just like you.  From Books to Batteries, Travel to Toasters, CD's to Coupons... there are items there that EVERYDAY YOU USE.  Please click on the BLENDED FAMILY MALL.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Blended Families and a 'Winning Recipe' for Life

Step-Family Moaning and Groaning
Equals a Recipe For Failure.
'Fruit of the Spirit Salad'
is a Winning Recipe Solution!
We believe America can rise UP and be a winner when it comes to Marriage and Family. WE CAN create relationships, grounded with a foundation of faith, that follows a more 'WINNING RECIPE' for Marriage and Family success.

In our work at The Bonded Family have not once found a engaged or newly married blended family that stated 'we don't care about how everybody gets along, or if we are all happy together'.   A fresh start mindset scenario like that just doesn't exist.  What couple would enter into marriage saying 'I don't care!'  It is within all of us to desire to have a positive and peaceful home. To live in an atmosphere of love, peace and caring.  We all enter into marriage and family with a 'married forever' vision.  'Happily ever after' still lives on in our hearts and is our desire for life.

Society and the 'quit when it gets tough' or the 'I deserve better, I'm out of here' atmosphere lends to why we have such a high divorce rate in America. Look around and one will see a propensity to 'moan and groan', instead of working to find a solution.

Our culture has historically not been supportive of step-families and that created an image that placed further dynamics and challenges upon a husband, wife and children.  Even upon grandparents, teachers, coaches, neighbors and all who was a part of the lives of the new family.  The term 'step' itself, which we are very cautious to use, reflects it's fictional story board use in Cinderella, Snow White, or even the 2009 movie release of  'The StepFather'.  

With that image and mindset, blended families can find themselves living in the arena where we find others 'accepting' even 'encouraging' an atmosphere of many people being receptive of  'moaning and groaning' about kids, or parenting, or the stepfamily situation.   Too easily does someone fall into the 'listen and agree', instead of 'listen, ask a question or two, filter through emotion and truth, and then suggest finding a solution'.    Can that be tough.  Yes.  Worth it.  Double Yes!

We suggest an immediate and extended family goal and guideline, hopefully evolving into a rule - which naturally will see human failure at times - that we live in a "NO MOAN OR GROAN ZONE".

Marriages get broken by taking the challenges outside the relationship and 'moaning and groaning' to another person, at work, in the neighborhood, or worse a member of the opposite sex that sets up 'special' communication that can escalate to further 'stinkin thinkin'.  Kids can easily find receptive ears to 'my (stepparent) is too ________'   Often 'the other parent house' takes a position to let that thought be nurtured to bolster their own position. 

Wouldn't it be a powerful building block for families and our nation if rather than going along with the negative...instead say 'let's talk about this, not trash another person, find a solution and just complaining won't get us there'.  CAN YOU IMAGINE what super 'happily ever after' foundational principles you are building there?  Our children watch us, learn from us, see how we face trials.  Finding the solution  is always a better teaching foundation than just 'moaning and groaning'.

Same can apply to a grandparent or neighbor or workplace friend who 'allows and fosters groaning and moaning'.  That's NOT a true friend or caring family member.  Listening...YES.  Nurturing turmoil and discontent...NO.    What kind of true ally wants to see another family breakup?   Shouldn't be an option.   So I issue a challenge here to ALL who come across 'Moaning and Groaning' to say 'hmmmm....what's the solution'.

At The Bonded Family, we believe we can, you can, change the culture.   We all can impact lives for good.   We strongly believe, and it's statistically proven, that having God in the mixture is a part of that 'Winning Recipe'.   "Happily Ever After"....can come true.  Believe it.

So you say 'Dan!  Okay I got it...what's the suggestion?'    I say 'Glad you asked!'   How about working on what character areas we'd like our family members to excel in.  Ones that will help the for life in family, school, sports, work and everywhere they go!
SCRIPTURE holds a solution as a 'what to nurture and work on checklist'.  It's found in Galatians Chapter 5, verses 22-23.  You'll hear this WINNING RECIPE called 'the Fruit of the Spirit'.

'But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.'
                                                                            Galatians 5 : 22-23

Love. Joy. Peace. Patience. Kindness. Goodness. Faithfulness. Gentleness. Self-control. Talk these over. Discuss what they mean? Would they help in the family? Can we write these on our refrigerator, bulletin board or maybe bathroom mirror? Possibly have fun cheerfully reminding each other in a positive way of each one. (pretty hard to take a stand arguing against God's Word). If we start coaching and modeling in our family things like Patience, Self-Control, Joy and the others wouldn't we have a real 'WOW!' Family? I think so.   Take the time to 'dine' on the winning 'Fruit of the Spirit' recipe this month.

Visit us at http://www.thebondedfamily.com/   

Read Rebecca's blog at:  http://www.rebeccasnell.com/

Listen to our radio program BLENDED FAMILY TODAY podcasts at either iTunes or at:  www.thebondedfamily.com/radioarchives

We bring to bear with speakers and family coaches always more then 70 years of step-family life real world experience and practical success tips.

God Bless You and Keep Looking UP!