Today I’m just going to go there. I need to go there for you, but mainly for me. What you won’t get from me is finger-pointing. What you WILL get from me is humility and the pointed finger right back at myself. I’m going to address the bright pink and polka-dotted elephant in the room. Here goes –
Jesus. Love. The ex.
I will start out by saying I don’t want to assume that all or even a majority of my readers have a bitter relationship with the biological mom (or dad) of their stepchildren. I also don’t want to assume that you met her for coffee this morning. However, I will assume that the relationship you have with the biological mom (or dad) has been a rocky path at times. Unless there are EXTREME levels of maturity, understanding, and kindness, the relationship between bio parent and step-parent is like navigating a minefield.
For our purposes here, I’m going to come to the conclusion that your relationship with the biological parent has difficult moments. Speaking for myself, the relationship with my stepson’s mom has been complex (and practically non-existent) for 16 years. That’s a long time to build resentments, make wayward assumptions, and just feel confused or hurt.
I’m not making excuses for an absentee parent, an alienator, a gas-lighter, or any form of child abuse or neglect that goes on in a given situation. We can discuss those topics much more in the future. Today I want to address something that’s been heavy on my heart for a long time.
We are upon Good Friday and the celebration of a Risen Savior. As a Christian, I can’t help but think often about the meaning of the cross and then the stone rolled away from the tomb. I think about it nearly every day as I’ve grown deeper in my faith. I can’t think about one without the other – the price paid for my sin and then the promises Jesus made to his followers when he appeared to them outside his empty grave.
I am reminded that I am not perfect, but Jesus loves me anyway. Had I been the only person alive that dark day on the hill of Golgotha, he still would have taken on the sin of the world for ME. (The depths of that adoration truly go beyond my human comprehension.) He was thinking of ME the night before he was crucified. His anguished prayers to God the Father turned his sweat to blood as he knelt in the Garden of Gethsemane. He knew what he had to do for me to save my soul, and he did it for ME. He thought of me when he victoriously overcame ALL of the perils, battles, and sufferings of this world and hell below. For ME.
And – he did it, as well, for HER. Jesus gave his life for your husband’s (or wife’s) ex spouse.
Let that sink in for a moment. How does that make you feel? Be honest with yourself and let yourself feel the full range of emotion. Really allow yourself to absorb those words.
Jesus loved her so much that he died for her.
I will only speak for myself, but it truly humbled me to think about this. I look at my husband’s ex-wife and the mother of his child through a different set of eyes when the sacrifice of Christ enters the picture.
Our hearts can get stoney and cold during and after a bitter divorce and during the perils of a trying blended family dynamic. The world sometimes tells us to be competitive in the most petty of ways with the ex or to be outright hateful. Well-meaning but misguided friends prod us to “win” battles and to exert unnecessary gruffness.
But Jesus commands us to love one another. There is not a first or second place in the eyes of God. We are all winners in the eyes of the LORD. The sad reality is, our mired earthly actions can create losing situations, though. The pain and consequence of strife with a biological parent or stepparent will be felt by the children, and oh the heavy burden they carry on their young shoulders if we don’t grow up emotionally and act like adults.
Granted, “peace in the valley” of my situation will take a lot more time and prayer. But I never will stop praying for peace. I never will stop asking Jesus to destroy the walls of misunderstanding. I never will stop, because Jesus certainly didn’t give up on you and I.
What Jesus says:
“And whoever wants to be first must be slave to all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:44-45 NIV
Moment of Prayer:
“Heavenly Father, I ask that you continue to heal the hearts of our blended family. I ask that you touch each life with your grace, mercy, and love. Live in my heart, Lord, take up permanent residence. Keep showing me the ways of forgiveness. Place your healing, nail-scarred hands on our lives. Make us great examples for our children. Make us more like you. May we love one another just as you love and forgive us. Amen.”
Thank you for taking the time to read my blog! I don’t take your attention for granted. I am not a psychologist or a counselor. I am, however, very passionate about helping other stepparents with prayer, inspiration, and hope. I care about you! Please leave me a prayer request and I will pray for you. YOU ARE NOT ALONE! I hope to be resourceful to your stepparent journey. God Bless You!