The Blended Family: Achieving Peace and Harmony in the Christian Home

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9781577361794: The Blended Family: Achieving Peace and Harmony in the Christian Home

Love between two people that once seemed heavenly becomes extremely complicated when two households are joined in marriage. When a number of strangers of various stages in life suddenly come together to be a family, unexpected issues concerning discipline, finances, outside influences, and privacy surface. Roles become confusing. In the Blended Family, Edward and Sharon Douglas address the complex nature of the stepfamily. Believing that the answers to all concerns can be discovered in the Word of God, they offer biblical solutions to achieve and maintain harmonious relationships within the family. God has a perfect plan for marriage and places an awesome responsibility on parents to raise His children. The Douglases have found that applying the Word of God to marriage, as well as loving all children as Jesus did, leads to a happier and more fulfilling family life.

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About the Author:

The Douglases have spoken at many stepfamily conferences and workshops, marriage retreats and on National Christian radio programs. They founded Blended Family Ministries, Inc. a Christian organization that ministers to blended families. This book is ideal for small group studies and it can be used for counseling blended family couples.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

John and Kathy were elated after their honeymoon. They could hardly wait to move into their new home with Kathy's two young children and John's two adolescent children. Kathy, thirty, lost her husband in a tragic car accident, and John, thirty eight, lost his wife to leukemia.

John and Kathy met three years ago at a bereavement support group. They shared similar interests while spending time together at these sessions. Soon, they began dating, fell in love, and decided to get married. John and Kathy enjoyed their time together with the children. "We love children, kids are not a problem," they both expressed to each other on more than one occasion. As John and Kathy grew closer and their discussions centered around marriage and family, they thought it would be practical to spend more time with the children so that they could all get to know each other. Spending time together with the children so that they could all get to know each other. Spending time together as a family would make the adjustment and transition into the new family stucture easier for everyone. Although their ages were drastically different, the kids appeared to get along well together during the times they were together alone. John's kids enjoyed having a younger brother ! and sister.

John and Kathy married. Their wedding was grand occasion. The children and their families were very happy for them. Three months after the marriage, Kathy confided in her closest friend:

I don't care for his kids. He spends our money on his kids and questions me when I need money for my kids. His former in-laws and mine call our home and influence the kids to do things that we are uncomfortable with. The kids don't respect us because we won't give in to these ideas and suggestions of their relatives. John is so hard on Keith and Erica, and when I complain, he tells me that they have no structure or limitations and that I spoiled them. I feel he spoils his children. They get everything they ask for. The kids sense the conflict between us, and they appear to be confused and unhappy. Well, what do most kids do when there is conflict between parents, they play one against the other. My children have lost their privacy. They had their own rooms and now they have to share their rooms with stepsibilities. Needless to say, this situation creates many fights. I am so confused. Am I supposed to love his kids and should he love my children? I don't love his! kids. As a matter of fact, I don't even like them at times. Well, maybe I like them. These issues are creating conflict in our marriage. I though this relationship would work, but I don't know if it will last a year.

Many couples share the same bewilderment that John and Kathy experienced in their newly created family structure. The issues in John and Kathy's family and in other blended families are significantly more complex than issues in traditional families.

Our intent in this book is to discuss biblical solutions to the complex issues that a large number of blended families experience. It is our sincere hope that this book will lead couples to achieve a more peaceful and harmonious blended family.

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