Blending Families: Parenting and Children | MarriageToday | Jimmy Evans


ANNOUNCER: COMING UP ON “MARRIAGE TODAY WITH JIMMY & KAREN”… JIMMY: YOU SAY, WELL, YOU DON’T LOVE THEM AS MUCH AS I LOVE THEM. WELL, LET ME TALK ABOUT THIS FOR JUST A MINUTE. FIRST OF ALL, A LOT OF PEOPLE ARE VERY EMOTIONALLY DAMAGED WHEN THEY’VE HAD A PREVIOUS MARRIAGE OR PREVIOUS RELATIONSHIP. YOU SAY, YOU DON’T LOVE THEM AS MUCH AS I LOVE THEM. YOU KNOW, THE GREATEST LOVE ON EARTH IS A DECISION, NOT AN EMOTION. I CAN CHOOSE TO LOVE YOUR CHILDREN JUST AS MUCH AS YOU DO. WOMAN: I CAN HONESTLY SAY TODAY I LOVE THOSE KIDS LIKE MY OWN. BUT IT DIDN’T HAPPEN OVERNIGHT. IT’S A COMMITMENT TO A PROCESS. JIMMY: A BLENDED FAMILY, WHEN YOU DEFINE BLENDED FAMILY, IS IT’S A MARRIAGE WHERE ONE OR BOTH SPOUSES BRING CHILDREN WITH THEM FROM A PREVIOUS MARRIAGE OR RELATIONSHIP. SOMETIMES IT WASN’T A MARRIAGE. SOMETIMES IT WAS, YOU KNOW, AN UNWANTED PREGNANCY THAT RESULTED IN A CHILD OR CHILDREN, OR MAYBE MULTIPLE MARRIAGES OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT. BUT THERE’S A DIFFERENT DYNAMIC TO IT. 50% OF ALL FAMILIES ARE BLENDED FAMILIES. AND–BUT THERE’S ALSO HIGHER DIVORCE IN BLENDED FAMILIES, WHICH ISN’T NECESSARY. IT’S REALLY NECESSARY BECAUSE THERE ARE DYNAMICS PRESENT DAY ONE IN BLENDED FAMILIES THAT ARE NOT PRESENT IN OTHER FAMILIES. AND, YOU KNOW, I MEAN, THERE’S ENOUGH RISK OF DIVORCE IN A REGULAR MARRIAGE, BUT WHEN YOU HAVE A BLENDED FAMILY MARRIAGE, WE NEED TO UNDERSTAND THE SPECIAL ISSUES RELATED TO THAT. I WANT TO TALK ABOUT NON-BIOLOGICAL PARENTING. IS AGAIN, AND THIS IS A VERY SPECIAL CHALLENGE FOR BLENDED FAMILIES, AND HERE ARE THE CHALLENGES. NUMBER ONE, THE PROTECTIVE INSTINCTS OF THE BIOLOGICAL PARENT, KEEPING THEIR CHILD AWAY FROM THE STEP-PARENT. NOW, THIS IS ONE OF THE LEADING CAUSES OF DIVORCES IN BLENDED FAMILIES. THE LAW OF POSSESSION–THERE ARE 4 LAWS OF MARRIAGE IN GENESIS 2:24:25. “FOR THIS CAUSE A MAN WILL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER.” THAT’S THE LAW OF PRIORITY. SECOND LAW HERE, IT SAYS, “AND WILL CLEAVE UNTO HIS WIFE.” THAT’S THE LAW OF PURSUIT; YOU ENERGETICALLY PURSUE YOUR SPOUSE. THAT’S WHAT CLEAVING MEANS. “AND THEY TWO SHALL BECOME ONE.” NOT 1.3 OR 1.8, BUT ONE. AND THE ONLY WAY THAT TWO THINGS CAN BECOME ONE IS IF YOU BOTH SURRENDER EVERYTHING TO A RELATIONSHIP. IN LUKE 14, JESUS SAID YOU CAN’T BE MY DISCIPLE UNLESS YOU GIVE UP EVERYTHING YOU HAVE. BECAUSE ANYTHING WE WON’T GIVE UP IS AN IDOL, AND IT THREATENS THE RELATIONSHIP. OK? IT’S TELLING JESUS THIS IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN YOU. SO WHEN YOU COME INTO MARRIAGE WITH CHILDREN FROM A PREVIOUS MARRIAGE, THE NON-BIOLOGICAL PARENT HAS TO SHARE OWNERSHIP IN THAT CHILD. THEY CAN’T BE ON THE OUTSIDE. AND I UNDERSTAND THEY’RE NOT THE BIOLOGICAL PARENT, AND THEY SHOULDN’T TRY TO REPLACE THE BIOLOGICAL PARENT. BUT THEY HAVE TO BE AN EQUAL. BUT THERE’S JUST THIS NATURAL THING THAT SAYS– THIS IS–THIS IS ANOTHER THING HERE–IT’S NOT TRUSTING EACH OTHER WITH DECISIONS RELATED TO THE CHILDREN OR STEP-CHILDREN BECAUSE OF FAVORITISM, OR, YOU DON’T LOVE THEM BECAUSE–YOU DON’T LOVE THEM LIKE I LOVE THEM. OK? WELL, LET’S TALK ABOUT THAT IN JUST A MINUTE. AGAIN, MARRIAGE IS TRUST, AND IF YOU DON’T TRUST A PERSON WITH YOUR CHILDREN, NEVER MARRY THEM. YOU’RE MAKING A HUGE MISTAKE. BUT WHEN YOU MARRY SOMEBODY, THEY BECOME CO-OWNERS OF THOSE CHILDREN. THEY HAVE TO HAVE OWNERSHIP OF THOSE CHILDREN. AND YOU SAY–BUT YOU BECOME PROTECTIVE AND YOU SAY, WELL, YOU DON’T LOVE THEM AS MUCH AS I LOVE THEM. WELL, LET ME TALK ABOUT THIS FOR JUST A MINUTE. FIRST OF ALL, A LOT OF PEOPLE ARE VERY EMOTIONALLY DAMAGED WHEN THEY’VE HAD A PREVIOUS MARRIAGE OR PREVIOUS RELATIONSHIP. YOU SAY, YOU DON’T LOVE THEM AS MUCH AS I LOVE THEM. YOU KNOW, THE GREATEST LOVE ON EARTH IS A DECISION, NOT AN EMOTION. JESUS SAID, “LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOU LOVE YOURSELF.” THAT WORD IS THE WORD “AGAPE,” AND THAT MEANS A LOVE BY CHOICE. I CAN CHOOSE TO LOVE YOUR CHILDREN JUST AS MUCH AS YOU DO. AND WHAT GOD’S LOVE IS, DOING WHAT JESUS WOULD DO REGARDLESS OF EMOTION OR CIRCUMSTANCES. LET ME SAY ANOTHER THING. YOU KNOW SOMETHING, YOUR EMOTIONS ACTUALLY MAY BE WORKING AGAINST YOU BECAUSE OF WHAT YOU’VE BEEN THROUGH. AND THE OBJECTIVITY OF THE NON-BIOLOGICAL PARENT MAY BE THE BEST GIFT THAT GOD’S EVER GIVEN YOU. AND WHEN YOU TAKE YOUR CHILDREN AWAY FROM YOUR SPOUSE WHEN THEY SHOULD HAVE OWNERSHIP–AND WHAT THAT MEANS IS YOU’RE MAKING EVERY DECISION TOGETHER. AND EVEN THOUGH THEY’RE A NON-BIOLOGICAL PARENT AND THEY MAY NOT HAVE THE NATURAL LOVE THAT YOU HAVE–I AGREE WITH THAT–THEY CAN LOVE YOUR CHILDREN, BY CHOICE. THAT’S THE GREATEST LEVEL OF LOVE. AND THEY CAN SPEAK OBJECTIVITY INTO YOUR LIFE. NOW, I’VE SEEN A LOT OF DIVORCES IN BLENDED FAMILIES OVER THIS ISSUE RIGHT HERE, WHERE ONE SPOUSE SAYS SOMETHING LIKE THIS: WELL, YOU MAY NOT BE MY SPOUSE THE REST OF MY LIFE, BUT MY CHILDREN ARE GOING TO BE MY CHILDREN THE REST OF MY LIFE. AND IF IT COMES DOWN TO A CHOICE, I CHOOSE MY CHILDREN. OK. WELL…I’LL TALK ABOUT THAT MORE IN MUST A MINUTE. IT’S A MISTAKE. YOU HAVE TO SHARE OWNERSHIP OF THE CHILDREN. NOW, IT MAY BE WISDOM FOR THE BIOLOGICAL PARENT TO ENFORCE DISCIPLINE. THAT MIGHT BE WISDOM, ESPECIALLY IN THE BEGINNING OF A RELATIONSHIP WHILE THE NON-BIOLOGICAL PARENT IS GAINING AUTHORITY. WELL, THAT MIGHT BE WISDOM. BUT THE NON-BIOLOGICAL PARENT HAS TO HAVE FULL RIGHTS TO THAT CHILD. SEE, IN ONE SITUATION THERE WAS A DIVORCE, THE CHILDREN DIDN’T WANT THE NEW HUSBAND. THEY WERE LOYAL TO THEIR BIOLOGICAL DAD AND THEY DIDN’T WANT THE MOTHER TO GET MARRIED AGAIN. AND THEY TORMENTED THIS GUY, AND HE WAS POWERLESS BECAUSE THE WIFE WOULDN’T LET HIM HAVE ANY AUTHORITY OVER THE CHILDREN. AND HE WAS A GOOD MAN. HE WOULDN’T HAVE ABUSED THOSE CHILDREN. BUT HE WAS JUST SAYING, I CAN’T CORRECT THEM, I CAN’T DEFEND MYSELF. AND SHE SAID, YOU BETTER NOT. AND HE SAID, LISTEN, THESE KIDS ARE DISRESPECTING ME AND THEY’RE MAKING MY LIFE MISERABLE. AND SHE SAID, IF YOU’RE ASKING ME TO CHOOSE BETWEEN YOU AND MY CHILDREN, I CHOOSE MY CHILDREN. AND THEY DIVORCED. HE SAID, I CAN’T LIVE THIS WAY. I’M JUST– I’M VULNERABLE. AND WHAT I SAID TO HER IS, ONE–THE LAW OF POSSESSION: IF YOU DIDN’T TRUST HIM WITH YOUR CHILDREN, YOU SHOULDN’T HAVE MARRIED HIM IN THE FIRST PLACE. BUT MARRIAGE IS TRUST. SO PARENT THOSE CHILDREN TOGETHER, AND THOSE CHILDREN NEED TO SEE YOU OPERATING AS A TEAM. THEY NEED THAT. ANOTHER ISSUE OF NON-BIOLOGICAL PARENTING IS THE NATURAL SEXUAL BARRIERS ARE MISSING. AND THAT DOESN’T MEAN THERE NEEDS TO BE AN ATMOSPHERE OF MISTRUST. YOU JUST NEED TO UNDERSTAND, THOUGH, THERE IS A NATURAL SEXUAL BARRIER BIOLOGICALLY THAT WHEN YOU HAVE A STEP-PARENT IN THE FAMILY, THERE NEEDS TO BE A HIGHER LEVEL OF MODESTY AND ACCOUNTABILITY. IT’S NOT AN ATMOSPHERE OF MISTRUST, IT’S JUST WISDOM, THAT JUST SAYS WE NEED TO–WE NEED TO WEAR ROBES MORE OFTEN. WE NEED TO WEAR CLOTHING THAT’S A LITTLE BIT, UH, YOU KNOW, MORE APPROPRIATE AND MODEST THAN WE MIGHT–AND THERE JUST NEEDS TO BE A HIGHER LEVEL OF WISDOM AND ACCOUNTABILITY BECAUSE THAT NATURAL BARRIER IS MISSING. CHILD SUPPORT. LET ME TALK ABOUT THE LAW OF POSSESSION FOR JUST A MINUTE. THIS IS–ONE OF MY RELATIVES DIVORCED. SHE MARRIED INTO A BLENDED FAMILY SITUATION, AND WHEN SHE MARRIED INTO IT, HE WAS PAYING CHILD SUPPORT TO HIS CHILDREN, HIS EX-WIFE THE WAY HE SHOULD HAVE. HE WAS A GOOD MAN. THIS WAS A REALLY GOOD MAN. AND EVERY TIME THEY WROTE THAT CHECK, MY COUSIN GOT MADDER EVERY MONTH. SHE JUST COULDN’T HANDLE THE FACT THAT THIS MONEY WAS GOING TO HIS EX-WIFE, AND SHE PICKED UP AN OFFENSE TOWARD HIS EX-WIFE AND IT JUST TORMENTED HER UNTIL ULTIMATELY THEY DIVORCED. LISTEN, THE LAW OF POSSESSION SAYS YOUR DEBTS ARE MY DEBTS. YOUR ASSETS ARE MY ASSETS. YOUR LIABILITIES ARE MY LIABILITIES. AND IF YOU’VE GOT CHILDREN FROM A PREVIOUS MARRIAGE THAT NEED TO BE SUPPORTED, I FULLY OWN THAT, AND I WILL FULLY DO THAT WITH A GOOD ATTITUDE, SUPPORTING YOU AND YOUR CHILDREN. BUT SHE DIDN’T DO THAT. SHE WOULD NOT ASSUME THE LIABILITY OF HIM MAKING THAT PAYMENT. AND WHAT HAPPENED WAS THE MARRIAGE JUST TANKED. IT JUST WENT SOUTH. AND SO WE HAVE TO UNDERSTAND THAT IN MARRIAGE THERE IS THIS LAW OF POSSESSION. THERE’S ONE OTHER THING I WANT TO TALK ABOUT RELATED TO CHILDREN AND VISITATION. CHILDREN COMING AND CHILDREN GOING. AND THIS IS ONE OF THE MOST AGONIZING ISSUES I’VE EVER HELPED FAMILIES WITH. I’M THINKING OF ONE FAMILY IN PARTICULAR, AND THIS WAS AN EX-SPOUSE THAT WAS SPOILING THE CHILDREN AND LETTING THEM HAVE ALL KINDS OF EXPOSURE TO UN-GODLINESS WITH–WITH THEM AND THEIR NEW SPOUSE EVERY TIME THE CHILDREN WENT, AND THEY KNEW IT. AND THEY WERE USING THE CHILDREN AS WEAPONS AGAINST THEM. AND EVERY TIME THE CHILDREN WENT TO THEIR HOME, THEY WOULD FEED THEM FULL OF JUST ALL KINDS OF NONSENSE AND LET THEM DO ANYTHING THEY WANTED TO DO, LET THEM WATCH ALL KINDS OF MOVIES AND–AND THEN THEY WOULD COME BACK FROM THAT ENVIRONMENT. AND THIS COUPLE CAME TO ME THEY SAID, JIMMY, WHAT DO WE DO? BECAUSE LEGALLY THERE WASN’T ANYTHING THEY COULD DO. THEY WEREN’T DOING ANYTHING ILLEGAL, THEY WERE JUST BEING–THEY WERE PLAYING THE CHILDREN OFF OF EACH OTHER, AND THEY WERE TRYING TO SPOIL THE CHILDREN SO THEY WOULD BE FAVORED. AND I SAID, NUMBER ONE, DO NOT COMMUNICATE THROUGH THE CHILDREN. DON’T DO THAT TO THOSE KIDS. YOU COMMUNICATE DIRECTLY WITH YOUR EX-SPOUSE AND THEIR SPOUSE AND DON’T USE THOSE CHILDREN AS MESSENGERS. OK? LET THE ADULTS DO THE COMMUNICATING, NOT THE CHILDREN. NUMBER TWO– EVERY TIME THOSE CHILDREN LEAVE YOUR HOME, YOU PRAY OVER THOSE KIDS. AND YOU PRAY PROTECTION OVER THEIR MIND, THEIR HEART, THEIR MEMORY, THEIR SEXUALITY, THEIR ATTITUDES. YOU PRAY THAT GOD WILL GO WITH THEM WHEREVER THEY GO AND SUPERNATURALLY PROTECT THEM. NUMBER 3. NUMBER 3– DO NOT TAKE FOR GRANTED EVERY DAY YOU HAVE WITH THAT CHILD, AND DON’T YOU PLAY THAT GAME. YOU BE RIGHTEOUS. YOU HAVE STANDARDS. YOU LOVE THOSE CHILDREN. YOU TAKE THOSE CHILDREN TO CHURCH. REGARDLESS OF WHAT THEY–DON’T BE LEGALISTIC. BE FUN AND BE FAIR, BUT YOU EXPOSE THOSE CHILDREN. AND DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF GOD TO IMPACT THOSE CHILDREN’S HEARTS. BECAUSE RIGHTEOUSNESS IS MORE POWERFUL THAN SIN. AND THEY MAY BE GOING INTO A HOME OF YOUR EX-SPOUSE OR SOMEONE AND THEY’RE BEING EXPOSED TO ALL KINDS OF STUFF. LET ME TELL YOU SOMETHING–THE SPIRIT OF GOD IS MORE POWERFUL THAN THE SPIRIT OF THE DEVIL. AND DON’T LET FEAR AND DISCOURAGEMENT GET OVER YOU. YOU COMMUNICATE TO THE ADULTS, YOU PRAY OVER YOUR CHILDREN COMING AND GOING. AND YOU DON’T LOWER YOUR STANDARDS BECAUSE SOMEBODY ELSE HAS. THEY’LL LOSE THAT FIGHT. THEY’LL LOSE THAT FIGHT, I PROMISE YOU. AND WHEN THOSE CHILDREN GET OLD–THE BIBLE SAYS WHEN YOU TRAIN UP A CHILD THE WAY THAT THEY SHOULD GO, WHEN THEY GET OLD, THEY WON’T DEPART FROM IT. WHEN THOSE CHILDREN MATURE, THEY’LL BLESS YOU FOR YOUR RIGHTEOUSNESS, AND THEY’LL LOOK AT THIS OTHER PERSON WHO’S DOING THAT, AND THEY’LL SAY, GROW UP. I LOVE YOU, MOM, I LOVE YOU, DAD, BUT WHY DID YOU DO THAT WHEN I WAS GROWING UP? WHY DID YOU SAY THOSE BAD THINGS ABOUT MOM AND DAD? WHY DID YOU DO THOSE THINGS? WHY DID YOU LET ME GET INVOLVED IN THOSE THINGS. YOU WERE SUPPOSED TO BE THE ADULT. AND THEY’LL TURN BACK TO YOU AND I PROMISE THEY’LL THANK YOU FOR WHAT YOU DID. YOU BE FAIR. DON’T BE LEGALISTIC. BUT YOU JUST HAVE FAITH IN THE POWER OF GOD. I HOPE YOU ENJOYED THAT TEACHING. YOU KNOW, I LOVE TEACHING TO BLENDED FAMILIES BECAUSE, YOU KNOW, THEY HAVE SPECIAL ISSUES. AND YOU CAN HAVE A VERY SUCCESSFUL BLENDED FAMILY. HALF OF ALL FAMILIES TODAY ARE BLENDED FAMILIES, AND WE KNOW OF MANY SUCCESSFUL STEP-FAMILIES. IN FACT, WE INTERVIEWED SUCCESSFUL STEP-FAMILIES, AND OUT OF THAT WE CREATED A RESOURCE CALLED “BLENDING FAMILIES.” IT’S A BOOK. IT’S ALSO A WORKBOOK. IT’S ALSO A SET OF DVDs. AND WE WANT TO PUT THESE INTO YOUR HANDS. RIGHT NOW FOR YOUR GIFT OF $25 OR MORE TO “MARRIAGE TODAY,” WE WANT TO SEND YOU THE BOOK “BLENDING FAMILIES.” NOW, THIS IS SOME OF THE TEACHING THAT YOU HEARD TODAY, PLUS IT’S THE INTERVIEWS, THE EXCERPTS OF INTERVIEWS FROM THESE STEP-FAMILIES TELLING YOU HOW THEY OVERCAME THEIR PROBLEMS. WE TALKED TO THEM ABOUT EVERYTHING THAT BLENDED FAMILIES FACE, THE SPECIAL CHALLENGES THAT THEY FACE, AND THEY TOLD US IN THIS BOOK HOW THEY OVERCAME ALL THE PROBLEMS THAT YOU MIGHT FACE. SO YOU’RE GONNA GET A LOT OUT OF THE BOOK. FOR $65 OR MORE, WE WANT TO SEND YOU THE “BLENDING FAMILIES” BOOK PLUS THE DVD SET. THIS IS THEM IN PERSON TELLING YOU IN THESE INTERVIEWS HOW THEY OVERCAME THEIR PROBLEMS. FOR $90 OR MORE, WE’LL SEND YOU THE BOOK AND THE DVD SET, ALONG WITH A WORKBOOK. THIS WORKBOOK, NOW, IS SOMETHING YOU CAN GO THROUGH AS A COUPLE, IT’S SOMETHING THAT YOU CAN HAVE A BIBLE STUDY OR A SMALL GROUP WITH AND HELP OTHER COUPLES TO OVERCOME THE PROBLEMS THAT BLENDED FAMILIES FACE, THE SPECIAL PROBLEMS THEY FACE, BUT LISTEN–HOW TO THRIVE IN A BLENDED FAMILY, HOW TO HAVE THE FAMILY AND MARRIAGE OF YOUR DREAMS BUT TO BE ABLE TO DEAL WITH, TO BE EQUIPPED TO DEAL WITH THE SPECIAL PROBLEMS THAT YOU FACE. WHAT A GREAT SET OF RESOURCES WE HAVE AND HERE’S HOW YOU CAN GET THEM. ANNOUNCER: IF YOU HAVE FOUND YOURSELF NAVIGATING THROUGH THE UNIQUE CHALLENGES OF A STEP FAMILY, THEN “BLENDING FAMILIES” WAS DESIGNED SPECIFICALLY WITH YOU IN MIND. JIMMY: YOU CANNOT JUST SUCCEED IN BEING A BLENDED FAMILY, YOU CAN THRIVE. ANNOUNCER: 18 SUCCESSFUL STEP FAMILIES JOIN FORCES WITH JIMMY EVANS IN ORDER TO CREATE A PRACTICAL AND BIBLICAL SET OF RESOURCES. WOMAN: I REALLY HAD TO REALIZE THAT MY HUSBAND IS NOT MY EX-HUSBAND. MAN: WELL, THE NEW PARENT COMING IN CAN FEEL LIKE AN OUTSIDER. TERRY: IT’S NOT THE SAME AS YOUR MOM. I MEAN, I’M JUST NOT THEIR MOM. ANNOUNCER: FOR YOUR GIFT OF $25 OR MORE, WE’LL SEND YOU THE “BLENDING FAMILIES” BOOK. FOR YOUR GIFT OF $65 OR MORE, WE’LL SEND YOU THE BOOK AND COMPANION VIDEOS. WOMAN: FOR US, HAVING A BLENDED FAMILY IS SOMETHING THAT WE TREASURE. ANNOUNCER: FOR YOUR GIFT OF $90 OR MORE, WE’LL SEND YOU THE “BLENDING FAMILIES” BOOK, VIDEOS, AND WORKBOOK, DESIGNED FOR COUPLES, PRIVATE STUDY, OR GROUP STUDY. ORDER TODAY, AND SET OUT ON THE EXCITING JOURNEY TOWARD THE HEALTHY AND HAPPY BLENDED FAMILY YOU ALWAYS DREAMED YOU COULD HAVE. RENEE: HONESTLY, YOU KNOW, HOW CAN YOU SAY YOU LOVE THAT STEP CHILD THE SAME AS YOUR BIOLOGICAL CHILD WHEN THERE’S BEEN SO MUCH MORE HISTORY? IT WOULD BE HARD TO SAY THAT TRUTHFULLY. UM, BUT AS FAR AS YOUR COMMITMENT TO THE BEST INTERESTS OF THAT CHILD, WITH HIS KIDS AND WITH ADOPTING A SON, YOU KNOW, I CAN HONESTLY SAY TODAY I LOVE THOSE KIDS LIKE MY OWN, BUT IT DIDN’T HAPPEN OVERNIGHT. IT’S A COMMITMENT TO A PROCESS. SHERI: I DON’T LOVE MY KIDS EQUALLY, BUT I LOVE THEM INDIVIDUALLY. YOU KNOW, I LOVE THEM UNIQUELY, BECAUSE EACH OF THEM ARE–AND I’M NOT JUST SAYING BECAUSE ONE’S BIOLOGICAL AND ONE’S NOT BIOLOGICAL. I LOVE THEM ALL UNIQUELY. I FEEL LIKE IT’S ACROSS THE BOARD THE SAME, BUT JUST IN DIFFERENT WAYS BECAUSE THEY HAVE DIFFERENT STRENGTHS, DIFFERENT THINGS THAT ARE ABOUT THEM. THINGS THAT YOU LOVE, THAT YOU GET–YOU KNOW, IT’S JUST–I DON’T THINK YOU CAN LOVE THEM–I THINK WHEN PEOPLE SAY, “OH, I LOVE MY KIDS ALL THE SAME,” YOU DON’T, YOU LOVE THEM ALL UNIQUELY. ANDI: IF YOU EXPECT TO ALWAYS HAVE IT BE THE SAME, THEN YOU’RE SETTING YOURSELF UP FOR DISAPPOINTMENT, AND IF YOU EXPECT YOUR SPOUSE TO LOVE EVERY CHILD AND TREAT EVERY CHILD EXACTLY THE SAME, AGAIN, YOU’RE CONSTANTLY GONNA BE SAYING, “BUT HE’S NOT DOING IT.” BECAUSE THAT’S NOT POSSIBLE. IT’S NOT POSSIBLE. THERE ARE–EVEN WITH MY TWO BIOLOGICAL CHILDREN, LIKE, I CANNOT EVEN POSSIBLY IMAGINE BEING ABLE TO LOVE THEM MORE, BUT I DON’T TREAT THEM EXACTLY THE SAME. JIMMY: WELL, THOSE WERE SOME GREAT INSIGHTS FROM OUR COUPLES. NOW WE’RE GONNA TALK ABOUT DISCIPLINE. HUGE ISSUE IN ANY FAMILY. AND BLENDED FAMILIES ARE SOME SPECIAL CHALLENGES. WE’RE GONNA LISTEN NOW TO CHARLES AND TY TALK ABOUT HOW THEY DID SOME THINGS WRONG RELATED TO DISCIPLINE. LISTEN TO THIS. TY: I KNOW HOW MY SON FEELS WHEN I DISCIPLINE HIM. HE’S MAD, HE DOESN’T LIKE IT. AND HE LOVES ME, AND I’VE BEEN THERE FROM THE BEGINNING. SO IMAGINE HOW A CHILD IS GONNA FEEL WHEN THE STEP PARENT COMES IN AND TRIES TO ADMINISTER DISCIPLINE. THEY DON’T HAVE THE ROOTS THAT I HAVE, SO IT’S GONNA BE WAR. SO WE DIDN’T DO THIS, WE SHOULD HAVE. UM, WE JUST KIND OF WAS LIKE, OK, WE ALL HAVE EQUAL POWER. OK, AND HE DISCIPLINED AND I DISCIPLINED. UM, BUT WE FOUND THAT THE STEP PARENT JUST BEING THE LOVE INITIATOR, JUST SOWING THE LOVE SEED REALLY HELPS TO NOURISH THE RELATIONSHIP WITH THE CHILD TO WHERE THEY CAN GROW TO A PLACE WHERE THE CHILD CAN RECEIVE DISCIPLINE. PHILIP: ONE THING THAT’S IMPORTANT, UH, WITH DISCIPLINE IS NOT ONLY MY SPOUSE AND MYSELF BEING ON THE SAME PAGE, BUT ALSO, UH, THE CHILD’S MOTHER, YOU KNOW, OR THEIR FATHER, THE OTHER–THE OTHER PARENTS, ESSENTIALLY, THAT THEY’RE ON THE SAME PAGE, BECAUSE, UM, YOU WANT TO LET YOUR–YOU WANT TO LET THEM KNOW THAT THIS IS HOW WE’RE GONNA RUN OUR HOUSE. THIS IS HOW WE’RE GOING TO DISCIPLINE, UM, AND SO THAT THERE’S NO SURPRISES. JESI: WE HAVE BEEN THROUGH SITUATIONS WHERE ONE OR THE OTHER OF US WAS GONNA DISCIPLINE ONE OF THE CHILDREN AND SPECIFICALLY WHEN IT’S THE OTHER–THE OTHER’S CHILD. AND WHEN YOU SEE THAT HAPPENING AND YOU DON’T AGREE WITH IT AND YOU STEP IN THE MIDDLE OF THAT, AND WE’VE DONE IT AND IT WAS NOT SUCCESSFUL, YOU FIND THAT YOU UNDERMINE–NOT ONLY ARE YOU UNDERMINING THEM, BUT YOU’RE TEACHING THAT CHILD LACK OF RESPECT FOR THE OTHER PARENT. SO WHILE WE WOULD LOVE–YOU KNOW, I WANTED HIM TO BE A DISCIPLINARY, I WANTED HIM TO BE A FATHER FIGURE TO MY CHILDREN. UM, THERE WAS A PERIOD OF TIME WHERE THEIR FATHER WASN’T ACTIVE IN THEIR LIFE. AND SO I WANTED HIM TO STEP INTO THAT. ON THE OTHER HAND, IF I STEPPED IN AND KEPT UNDERMINING HIM, I WAS JUST TEACHING GOOD CHILDREN THAT HE HAD NO VALUE. SHANA: ALSO BECAUSE OF THE DIFFERENT AGES AND THE DIFFERENT BACKGROUNDS THEY WERE RAISED WITH, YOU KNOW, THAT WE HAVE TO USE WISDOM. YOU CAN’T DISCIPLINE THEM ALL THE SAME. THEY ALL NEED CONSEQUENCES FOR ACTIONS, YOU KNOW, IF THEY DO SOMETHING THAT WE NEED TO DEAL WITH, BUT IT’S NOT NECESSARILY GONNA BE THE SAME WITH EACH CHILD ‘CAUSE YOU HAVE TO KNOW THAT CHILD’S PERSONALITY. YOU DON’T WANT TO CRUSH THEIR SPIRIT, YOU KNOW. AND WE WANT A POSITIVE RESULT. WE DON’T WANT THEM TO DO IT AGAIN. I MEAN, SO HOW DO WE GET TO THAT? JIMMY: OVER THE YEARS AS I’VE COUNSELED BLENDED FAMILIES, YOU KNOW, COUPLES THAT–ONE OF THE MOST PERPLEXING THINGS THAT SOME GO THROUGH IS THEIR CHILDREN GOING BACK AND FORTH, AND WHEN THEY GO TO THEIR EX’S HOME, THE EX ALLOWS THINGS THAT THEY DON’T. AND SOMETIMES THIS CAN BE REALLY BIZARRE–COMPETITION, YOU KNOW, A VERY UNGODLY EX THAT JUST REALLY ALLOWS THE KIDS TO DO ANYTHING. AND COUPLES REALLY GRIEVE OVER THAT, AND RIGHTLY SO. AND SO WE’RE GONNA TALK TO THE COUPLES NOW AND LET THEM TELL YOU ABOUT HOW THEY DEAL WITH EXES THAT ALLOW THINGS THAT THEY DON’T. PHILIP: WE HAVE TO TRUST GOD. AT THE END OF THE DAY, WHEN HE’S OVER THERE, IT’S COMPLETELY OUT OF OUR HANDS. IT’S IN GOD’S HANDS. YOU KNOW, I USED TO STRESS ABOUT IT EVERY TIME HE WENT OVER THERE. YOU KNOW, WHAT’S HAPPENING OVER THERE? WHAT’S HE EXPOSED TO? WHAT KIND OF FRIENDS DOES SHE HAVE OVER THERE? WHAT KIND OF MUSIC? WHAT KIND OF MOVIES? WHAT–I MEAN, ALL THOSE TYPE OF THINGS. BUT AT THE END OF THE DAY, WE DON’T DO THOSE THINGS AT OUR HOUSE. HE’S THERE WITH US MOST OF THE TIME. WE’RE GONNA CONTINUE TO HAVE POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT WITH HIM. WE’RE GONNA CONTINUE TO SHOW HIM, HEY, THIS IS–THIS IS WHY WE DO THIS. THIS IS WHY WE DON’T ALLOW YOU TO WATCH CERTAIN THINGS. THIS IS WHY YOU DON’T GET TO LISTEN TO CERTAIN MUSIC. BECAUSE THERE’S A MESSAGE BEHIND IT. THIS IS WHY. SO THAT WE’RE SOWING THE SEEDS NOW. HE MAY NOT UNDERSTAND IT ALL, BUT ONE DAY HE WILL MAKE THAT CHOICE AND HOPEFULLY, IT’S THE RIGHT ONE. RENEE: COAT EVERYTHING IN PRAYER. YOU KNOW, LIFT THEM UP THE WHOLE TIME THEY’RE GONE, BEFORE THEY GO. ANYTHING THAT YOU’RE CONCERNED ABOUT, JUST ENCOURAGING THEM IN LOVING WAYS WITHOUT CONDEMNING THE OTHER PARENT, ADDRESS WHATEVER THE ISSUE IS THAT YOU NEED–THAT YOUR CONCERN IS. YOU KNOW, WHAT CAN YOU DO? WHAT’S AN OUT? HOW CAN YOU, YOU KNOW–IF THIS HAPPENS, WHERE CAN YOU GO? YOU KNOW, WHAT DO YOU DO? DO YOU KNOW HOW TO CALL 911? DO YOU KNOW HOW TO CALL A FRIEND OR, YOU KNOW, ANOTHER ADULT THAT YOU TRUST? AND THOSE KINDS OF THINGS. CRAIG: I CAN GIVE YOU INSTANCES WHERE, YOU KNOW, APRIL’S EX BROUGHT THEM TO, YOU KNOW, LIKE A PARTY IN MEXICO WHEN THEY’RE 14 YEARS OLD. YOU KNOW, THERE’S DRINKING. I MEAN, LOOK, THIS IS REAL. OR–OR, YOU KNOW, INAPPROPRIATE MOVIES OR WHATEVER. IT’S–THAT’S WHERE THE CONTROL FACTOR COMES IN, AND IT’S UNFORTUNATE. YOU OBVIOUSLY ADDRESS THAT VERY STRONGLY OR AS WELL AS YOU CAN TO TRY TO AFFECT THE OTHER SPOUSE. THAT’S SOMETHING THAT YOU HAVE TO DO. BUT AS FAR AS THE CHILDREN, YOU JUST SAY, YOU KNOW, THERE’S A REASON WHY WE DON’T DO THIS. AND YOU LOOK AT IT AS AN OPPORTUNITY TO TALK TO THEM ABOUT WHY WE DON’T DO THIS. JIMMY: LET ME TALK SPECIFICALLY ABOUT PARENTING. YOU KNOW, OVER THE YEARS, I’VE HELPED A LOT OF BLENDED FAMILY COUPLES DEAL WITH THE ISSUES OF PARENTING. AND OBVIOUSLY, THERE ARE SPECIAL ISSUES THERE. AND I TALKED ABOUT THE LAW OF POSSESSION, AND NOT JUST YOUR ASSETS BUT YOUR LIABILITIES BELONG TO ME WHEN WE GET MARRIED. GOD SAID IN GENESIS TWO, THEY, TOO, SHALL BECOME ONE. MARRIAGE ONLY WORKS IF YOU SHARE EVERYTHING. I MEAN, EVERYTHING. AND ANYTHING THAT YOU WILL NOT SHARE WITH YOUR SPOUSE WILL DESTROY YOUR MARRIAGE RELATIONSHIP. IT WILL. CHILDREN–SEE, SOMETIMES THERE’S THIS FEELING THAT, WELL, MY KIDS HAVE GONE THROUGH A LOT OF PAIN AND I DON’T WANT TO PUT THEM THROUGH ANY MORE PAIN, SO I’M GOING TO HAVE TO PROTECT MY KIDS IN THIS RELATIONSHIP, AND THAT’S MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE MARRIAGE. WELL, FIRST OF ALL, THE KIDS ARE GONNA SMELL BLOOD IN THE WATER. THOSE CHILDREN INSTINCTIVELY KNOW THAT THEY HAVE DIVIDED YOU. AND THEY’RE GONNA USE THAT, THEN, TO THEIR ADVANTAGE, AND ALSO, MANY TIMES, TO PUNISH THE NON-BIOLOGICAL PARENT BECAUSE THEY DON’T WANT THEM AROUND. THEY WANT THEIR PARENTS TO BE MARRIED. THEY’RE STILL LOYAL TO THEIR BIOLOGICAL FATHER OR MOTHER. AND SO, YOUR CHILDREN NEED YOU TO HAVE–TO BE A UNITED FRONT. AND THE WAY THAT THAT HAPPENS IS WHEN YOU GET MARRIED–YOU DATE TO ESTABLISH TRUST. THERE HAS TO BE A SUFFICIENT LEVEL OF TRUST WHEN YOU GET MARRIED. YOU’RE NOT MARRIED STILL TRYING TO FIGURE OUT IF YOU TRUST YOUR NEW SPOUSE WITH YOUR KIDS. YOU’VE GOT TO TRUST THEM WITH YOUR KIDS. OK. THAT DOESN’T MEAN THEY’RE THE DISCIPLINARIAN. YOU MIGHT WANT TO BE THE DISCIPLINARIAN, ESPECIALLY WHEN THE RELATIONSHIP IS NEW. BUT YOU DATE TO ESTABLISH TRUST, AND THEN WHEN YOU GET MARRIED, THESE AREN’T MY CHILDREN, THESE ARE OUR CHILDREN. AND I REALIZE YOU MAY NOT BE THE BIOLOGICAL MOTHER OR FATHER, BUT YOU ARE A MOTHER AND FATHER. IN THIS HOME, YOU ARE THE MOTHER OR THE FATHER THAT IS MY PARTNER, OK. SO I–YOU HAVE FULL OWNERSHIP OF THESE CHILDREN AND SO DO I. SO ALL OF THE DECISIONS THAT WE MAKE, WE’RE GOING TO MAKE TOGETHER FOR MINE AND FOR YOURS AND FOR OURS. ALL DECISIONS ARE MADE TOGETHER. AND THE CHILDREN CANNOT SEPARATE US. ONCE WE’VE MADE A DECISION RELATED TO THE KIDS–AND THERE CAN’T BE PREFERENCE. YOU CAN’T PREFER YOUR CHILDREN. THERE CAN’T BE THINGS THAT YOU DO FOR YOUR CHILD, YOUR BIOLOGICAL CHILD, THAT YOU DON’T DO FOR YOUR NON-BIOLOGICAL CHILDREN. THERE–IN EVERY FAMILY, FAIRNESS IS IMPORTANT. IN BLENDED FAMILIES, IT’S EXTREMELY IMPORTANT. THERE HAS TO BE FAIRNESS, THERE HAS TO BE EQUITY. AND THE ONLY WAY THAT YOU CAN ENSURE THAT THERE’S GONNA BE FAIRNESS IS YOU MAKE EVERY DECISION TOGETHER AND DON’T LET THE KIDS SEPARATE YOU. IF THERE’S CHILD SUPPORT GOING OUT, YOU’RE NOT PAYING CHILD SUPPORT FOR YOUR CHILD, IT’S OUR CHILD THAT THAT’S GOING TO. IT’S NOT GOING TO YOUR EX SPOUSE, IT’S GOING TO SUPPORT OUR CHILD. AND THE WAY YOU THINK ABOUT THESE THINGS AND THE WAY THAT YOU DO THESE THINGS IS ABSOLUTELY CRITICAL. WELL, LISTEN, WHEN YOU SHARE OWNERSHIP OF THE KIDS, THE ASSETS AND THE LIABILITIES, AND YOU SHARE ALL DECISIONS TOGETHER, YOU CAN PRIDE IN YOUR BLENDED FAMILY. LET ME–LET ME GIVE YOU THIS LITTLE FORMULA RELATED TO YOUR CHILDREN. ‘CAUSE SOMETIMES CHILDREN HAVE BEEN HURT. IF A BROKEN MARRIAGE HURT YOUR CHILDREN, A HEALED MARRIAGE WILL HEAL YOUR CHILDREN. AND SO, IF–ONCE YOUR CHILDREN SEE YOU IN A HEALED RELATIONSHIP AND YOU’RE ABLE TO LOVE AND GUIDE AND DISCIPLINE YOUR CHILDREN FROM A SOLID MARRIAGE, THAT’S WHERE HEALING COMES FROM. SO DON’T FORSAKE YOUR NEW MARRIAGE BECAUSE YOUR CHILDREN–MAYBE YOU’RE, YOU KNOW, YOU’RE AFRAID ABOUT THEM OR YOU’RE HURTING RELATED TO THEM. LET THEM SEE YOU IN A GOOD MARRIAGE, AND THAT WILL DO A TREMENDOUS AMOUNT TO HEAL THEIR HEARTS. AND I HOPE THAT THAT HELPS YOU. YOU KNOW, WE COME TO YOU TO HELP YOU AND YOUR MARRIAGE AND YOUR BLENDED FAMILY. WE GO ALL OVER THE WORLD. WE GO ACROSS AMERICA MULTIPLE TIMES A DAY MINISTERING TO MILLIONS OF PEOPLE. AND WE CAN ONLY DO THAT BECAUSE OF THE FINANCIAL SUPPORT OF PEOPLE WHO HELP US HERE AT “MARRIAGE TODAY.” KAREN AND I ARE ASKING YOU, WOULD YOU STAND WITH US FINANCIALLY? IF YOU’VE BEEN BLESSED BY THIS MINISTRY, THE INFORMATION IS THERE ON YOUR SCREEN OF HOW YOU CAN SUPPORT US. YOU CAN CALL US AND GIVE THAT WAY WITH YOUR BANK CARD. YOU CAN GO ONLINE. THE INFORMATION’S ON YOUR SCREEN OF WHERE YOU CAN MAIL A GIFT. IF YOU WANT TO MAIL A CHECK, YOU CAN DO THAT. BUT WE’RE ASKING YOU TO STAND WITH US. WE–THERE IS JUST A WAR ON MARRIAGE AND FAMILY THAT’S GOING ON RIGHT NOW. AND KAREN AND I, WE’RE ON THE FRONT LINES. I MEAN, WE’RE COMING TO YOU RIGHT NOW WITH THIS INFORMATION, WITH MINISTRY RESOURCES FOR BLENDED FAMILIES, FOR MARRIAGES, FOR PARENTING, AND ALL OF THAT. AND IT TAKES MONEY. AND EVERYTHING THAT WE DO IS BECAUSE OF PEOPLE LIKE YOU STANDING WITH US. PLEASE GIVE YOUR MOST GENEROUS GIFT RIGHT NOW. GOD BLESS YOU. JIMMY: RIGHT NOW LESS THAN HALF OF ADULT AMERICANS ARE MARRIED. LOVE IN OUR SOCIETY HAS BECOME A VERY FICKLE THING AND SOMETHING THAT A LOT OF PEOPLE SAY YOU CAN’T UNDERSTAND, YOU KNOW, NOBODY KNOWS, YOU KNOW, ABOUT LOVE. AND ONCE YOU’VE FALLEN OUT OF LOVE, YOU CAN’T GET IT BACK. AS A COUPLE, BUT ALSO AS A CHURCH AND SOCIETY, WE NEED TO WORK ON MARRIAGE. WE NEED TO MAKE IT A PRIORITY IN OUR LIVES. THIS IS WHAT WE LOVE TO DO AT “MARRIAGE TODAY.” WE LOVE TO TELL PEOPLE GOD’S PLAN FOR MARRIAGE. I JUST WANT TO GIVE YOU THE GOOD NEWS. WHEN GOD CREATES ANYTHING, HE CREATES IT FOR SUCCESS. WE BELIEVE THAT GOD RAISED US UP AS A MINISTRY TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE. AND AS WE GROW AS A MINISTRY, WE TOUCH MORE AND MORE LIVES. AS THOSE LIVES ARE TOUCHED, COMMUNITIES ARE CHANGED BY IT. IF YOU’RE OUT OF LOVE, YOU CAN FALL BACK IN LOVE. IF YOU’VE DONE EACH OTHER DAMAGE, YOU CAN REPAIR THAT DAMAGE. WE’RE RAISING A BIBLICAL STANDARD FOR MARRIAGE AND HELPING PEOPLE TO SUCCEED, AND WE NEED YOUR HELP. BECAUSE THIS IS WHAT WE’VE BEEN CALLED TO DO, BUT IT’S VERY EXPENSIVE. EVERYTHING THAT YOU GIVE EQUIPS US TO GO AND REACH MORE FAMILIES, MORE COUPLES, AND TO KEEP CHILDREN TOGETHER WITH THEIR PARENTS. IF YOU BELIEVE IN WHAT WE’RE DOING, WOULD YOU STAND WITH US FINANCIALLY? YOUR GENEROUS FINANCIAL GIFT RIGHT NOW IS SUCH A BLESSING, AND REALLY, WE CAN ONLY DO WHAT WE DO BECAUSE OF FINANCIAL PARTNERS WHO STAND WITH US, PEOPLE JUST LIKE YOU. Thank you for watching MarriageToday. Subscribe to MarriageToday’s YouTube channel for more marriage-building videos and updates.

Michael Martin

17 Responses

  1. I love this. I am a proud step-Mother and grandmother. I love my children so much. Together we have 5 beautiful children and 4 grandchildren. We struggled so bad when child support was being paid, but God always provided and it was so worth it. We treat our 3 children that we have toger the same as the 2 older children he had previously. We are so blessed.

  2. I have watched and studied along with several of these videos, I have become a better husband and step father through these videos. Thank you. I still have a long road but it is worth it all.

  3. My future husband needs to watch this because he does some of the don'ts, but he doesn't care no matter how many times I explain to him.

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  5. I hate being in a blended family, my step brother is spoiled rotten and puts garbage and stuff all over my room and doesn’t get punished for it! And he leaves his dirty clothes on my brother’s bed!

  6. Thank u Jimmy Evans for this word. I am having so many problems in my marriage as my husband has 3 children. 2 are older they are nearly 30 yr old and one is 30 something yr old. He also has a daughter who is 13 yr old. And her mother is making sure I am not included in my husbands daughters life. She speaks negatively about me to her daughter. She always has done this every tine she saw me she had her daughter with her and she would speak negatively about me as soon as she saw me and their daughter heard. My husband is tasking his ex partners side and keeping me away from their daughter. His daughter knew me from age of 4yrs old and me and her had a close bond. Her mother didn't like it from back then an caused a problem and stooped me being with him when he has her. She trying to control our marriage and what we do and my husband allows her to. Yet I ask him to do something and he doesn't do it. He very rebellious to me yet he does what his ex wants. She includes their daughter in conversation that she shouldn't even be involved in and now his daughter doesn't like me and is causing problems now. I feel my husband sides with them and he is not standing duo for me at all. What can I do. He menst to share everyone in his life with me. And he is not doing this. He knew how I was with his daughter. N now he is very mean to me when I say I care about her. He is behaving wrong to me. I feel they are all coming against me and husband also. He is meant to be for me. Yet he is against me Cos of his ex. He very much influenced so easy by her. Why is this. Ache dictating what happens in our marriage

  7. Well…. I believe Gods way is the correct way. Blended families are not His best which is why there are so many problems. Both of my stepparents rejected me the stepdad molested me at 12 and the stepmother cut me from my dad. Most stepparents don’t love the non bio kids

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