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Step Families: A challenge for Christians

God intended marriage to be permanent (Mal 2:14-16; Rom 7:2), but due to our sinful hearts het made provision for divorce and He also regulates it (Matt 19:8-9; 1 Cor 7:12-15).

In a broken world Christian couples divorce and get married with someone else. Sometimes children are involved. People who live in a step family may consider the
following aspects:

  • Handle the sins in the previous marriage thoroughly:
    • Examine your own marriage sins and reconcile with God
    • Acknowledge the sins of your ex-partner and forgive him/her
    • Reconcile with the ex if possible
  • Follow Gods guidelines for divorce:
    • Consider the Biblical grounds for divorce
    • Communicate constructively with partner during the divorce suit
    • Get a negotiated agreement with biblical legal advice
    • Restructure the future relationship with ex
    • Help the children to work through the trauma of their parents' failed marital relationship, the divorce and accompanying losses
    • Involve the Body of Christ
    • Restructure your life as a divorcee
    • Try to reconcile with ex and remarry him/her
  • Contract a new marriage in the Lord:
    • Make sure that marriage with a new partner is biblical
    • Before marriage baggage of the past must be sorted out and identities must be (re)established in Christ - allow enough time for that
    • The couple and the children involved must be prepared for the marriage
    • Build a relationship with the children of the future spouse
    • Relationships must be built between children involved
    • Relationship with ex's must be built
    • Negotiate a marriage contract
    • Rewrite testaments
  • Build a new family
    • Parents and children should build a new family that serves Jesus Christ as King
    • Define roles and responsibilities
    • Integrate with die Body of Christ.

Seek God's guidance in your marriage, divorce and new family. The King will help you to abbey Him (Matt 6:9-14, 33; Luke 11:14). He reveals his will in Scripture (e.g. 1 Tim 2:3-5; 3:4; 5:4,8; Tit 2:3-5; Eph 6:1-4; Matt 26:38).

Make use of the services of a Biblical counsellor in order to tackle the challenges of the step family.

5 March 2009

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