As most of you already know, I am a remarried woman after a divorce from a violence-filled 25 year marriage. In my new marriage we have 6 adult children and 15 grandchildren between us. This can make for lots of misunderstandings when a new marriage takes place.
This discussion is not to debate the theological issues or fault-finding. It is to encourage you in making a truly fresh start as you seek to blend not only your lives, but that of any children of previous marriages. So here a few thoughts that come to mind.
Try not to fall into the trap of comparing former spouses or marriages. I think it is detrimental to the forming of a new family bond to liken your new marriage with your past one or to compare habits, lifestyle etc. Woe be to the spouse who voices an unfavourable comparison to his/her spouse- that is a powder keg of gunpowder in a new marriage!
Make a pact before the marriage where there are his and her children to treat them all equitably and restrain from making comparisons between yours and theirs.
It is critical to the new marriage and family that past issues have been discussed and sorted out if possible. Never in the heat of an argument should it be said that "you sound just like he/she did!" This is a whole new ball game!
Resolve to keep the priorities of a Christian home as they should be:
Do not enlist your children as back up should an argument arise! They are no longer part of the former marriage but should be included into the new marriage as children of that marriage and not used as ammunition or cover.
Keep unkind comments about the other spouse's children, ex-spouse and family to yourself- it is counter-productive to the peace of your new marriage to drag that up.
Concentrate on fostering a peaceful home for the nurturing of children who are undergoing the test of a life-time and try to see the situation through their eyes. They probably are grieving over the loss of their dream of Mum and Dad getting back together. Be understanding and compassionate.
Even if you cannot in all honesty say you love them as your own, show your step-children Christ-like love and compassion and guide them towards acceptance of this new situation.
Remember that some things will trigger a flash back for you or your spouse from the previous marriage and try to be forgiving and understanding of them or yourself.
Above all, make Christ the Head of your home and marriage and commit this marriage into His keeping. Remember the reasons for the first marriage's demise and try to learn from it so as not to repeat any mistakes of the past.
Ask forgiveness from the LORD for any fault of your own and then move on to a new life of faith and forgiveness, resolving to make this marriage and new family solid on the firm foundation of Christ and His peace and love, and particularly, of His forgiveness and grace.
© Glenys Robyn Hicks
But thou, O Lord, [art] a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth. Psalm 86:15