IMPORTANT STEPS TO BLENDED FAMILIES

Are you part of a blended family? If so, you’re not alone. Approximately one-third of all weddings in America today form stepfamilies.
 
Despite the prevalence of step-parents as the virtual norm in modern-day U.S. homes, direction on how to make stepfamilies transition, forge new relationships, strive and thrive can be hard to come by. Ron L. Deal, author and Director of FamilyLife Blended, offers these tips to help your family succeed:
 
1. STEP DOWN your expectations of how quickly your blended family will bond and find harmony. The average stepfamily needs between five to seven years to form a family identity. In movies, love between adults and bonding with children happens quickly; in real life, it happens gradually.
• Be patient with yourself, your marriage, and the children as family members find their fit. You cook a stepfamily slowly in a Crockpot, not forcibly in a blender!
• If still dating, slow down on a decision on marriage. Kids need more time than adults to get used to the idea of a wedding.
 
2. TWO STEP. The couple’s relationship is by far the most important in the stepfamily home, yet it is often the weakest link. Make sure your marriage doesn’t get lost in the blender.
• Declare your marriage the new foundation for your home and balance it with a strong commitment of time and energy to your children.
• Become a ghost buster! Identify and deal with any painful ghosts from a previous marriage so that they don’t affect trust in this relationship.
 
3. STEP IN LINE as a parental team. Stepparents must focus on relationship building with stepchildren, and ex-spouses should learn between home cooperation.
• Ex-spouses who communicate well and cooperate on behalf of their children are also making success for the new blended family more likely. Put your differences aside and focus on being good parents for your children.
• Early on, biological parents should continue to be the primary disciplinarian to their children while stepparents build relationship, trust, and respect with stepchildren.
 
4. SIDE STEP common pitfalls.
• Children need for their grief to be acknowledged and processed throughout their lifetime. A child who says, “You’re not my mom, I don’t have to listen to you” is telling you about their sadness that mom isn’t here.
• Traditions celebrating holidays and special days should be maintained when appropriate while the new stepfamily creates some of their own unique traditions.
• Money matters can be confusing. Discuss how you will balance being responsible for previous individual financial obligations while combining assets for the new family.
 
5. STEP THROUGH the wilderness with trust and determination.
• Remain dedicated to gradually forming a family identity over time, and everyone will be blessed.
• And remember, there is a honeymoon for couples in stepfamilies; it just comes at the end of the journey, not at the beginning!
 
6. STEP UP your faith. Spiritual resources help stepfamily members find grace for each other and strength for the journey. Also, a community of faith can support you along the way. Join us on Saturday, April 21, for Blended & Blessed®. This one-day live stream event is for stepfamily couples, single parents, dating couples with kids, and those who care about blended families.
 
Blended & Blessed Live Simulcast Event at CrossRoad Community Church
Saturday, April 21, 2018
8:30am-4:30pm
$10 (includes full day of workshops, training materials, and buffet lunch)
 
Throughout the day you’ll learn from relationship and family experts who’ve been there. They’ll help you to unpack key successes that are crucial to healthy stepfamily marriages and will challenge, inspire, and encourage you.
 
Over 13,000 people from 22 countries experienced the 2017 Blended & Blessed event. This year’s event is shaping up to be just as amazing.
 
 
Help us pack this event! This event is open to all! Easily invite the stepfamily couples, single parents, and dating couples with kids you know via our Facebook event here.
 
Ron L. Deal is founder of Smart Stepfamilies™, Director of FamilyLife Blended™, a division of FamilyLife®, and is the author/coauthor of numerous books including The Smart Stepfamily Marriage, The Smart Stepmom, The Smart Stepdad, Dating and the Single Parent, and the bestselling The Smart Stepfamily. He is one of the featured speakers at Blended & Blessed Live 2018.


JOIN US FOR THE DANIEL FAST

Hundreds of thousands of Christians throughout the world will begin the New Year with a period of extended prayer and fasting. In January we’ll be doing this church-wide through the Daniel Fast.
 
The Daniel Fast is based on the experiences of the Old Testament Prophet. We’ll be kicking off our 21-day fast on Sunday, January 7.  Think of this time of extended prayer and fasting as an opportunity to discover and grow in the vast interior life that’s inside of you. During your fast, you can quiet yourself and spend more time with God. You can learn the sound of His still small voice. And you can grow in the love and knowledge of Jesus Christ in ways that will change your life forever.

 

During the 21-days of fasting, you are taking the time to dive deep with the Lord. You are choosing Him every day. You are developing new habits that support your new life in Christ. And you are changing from the inside out!
 
If you’re a member of the CrossRoad Community Church family, then you know beginning the new year with a fast isn’t new for us; although the principles of this particularly fasting program may be unfamiliar to some. You can learn more by visiting the Daniel Fast website here. Pastor Matthew Anderson will also be sharing more during his message on Sunday, January 7, 2018. We invite you to join us at our 9am and 11am services to learn more and receive tools and resources to support you in this 21-day journey we’ll be doing together.