Blended Families & Prior Relationships

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Fast Facts:

  • A blended family is defined as a marriage where one or more spouses brings children with them from a previous marriage or relationship.
  • 50% of all families are blended families.
  • Statistically, there is a higher divorce rate in blended families.

That last statistic may alarm you, but I am here to tell you that there is hope. In fact, the Bible is full of wonderful blended families. Did you know that Jesus Himself was part of a blended family? He did not share the same father as His siblings. In order to have a successful blended family, you must be aware of the dynamics you will face on day one that are not present in other families.

One of those dynamics is having unresolved feelings towards an ex-spouse. The enemy wants to use these unresolved feelings for two purposes in your marriage: to pervert & poison.

First, let’s talk about how the enemy uses perversion. Fifty percent of people who are divorced and remarried still have feelings for their ex-spouse ten years later. The Bible says when we have sex with a person we become one with that individual (1 Corinthians 6:12-20). Now our society trivializes this, but there is no way around the fact that when you’re having sex with someone, especially on a regular basis, there’s a joining of souls. When you divide away from that person, a piece of them comes with you. The devil will use these unresolved feelings to sow discord in your new relationship.

The devil used this tactic in my own marriage. When Karen and I started having problems, he would bring up an ex-girlfriend and whisper lies like, “You should have married her”. When in reality, it wasn’t that great of a relationship. It reminds me of the children of Israel who lived in Egypt under horrible, cruel bondage from Pharaoh for 400 years. They were finally free, but as soon as they saw the giants in their promised land, they began to weep and wish they were back in Egypt. They remembered all of the benefits of their life in Egypt, but forgot about Pharoah and the yoke of slavery.

Next, I want to share about how the enemy uses our prior relationships to poison our memories through bitterness, anger, and unforgiveness. Every time you get remarried, your chance of divorce goes up 10%, which is unnecessary.  I see a lot of people come into remarriage with hearts that have been scarred. They are not as patient or forgiving because they are carrying pain from their first marriage. Here is the problem: regardless of who you’re really mad at, your spouse will be the one who gets the brunt of your unforgiveness.

So, what is the best way to defend against the devil’s attacks of perversion and poison?

  1. Thank God for the good. You can tell The Lord thank you for your growth and for the good things He brought out of past relationships, bringing closure to your heart.
  2. Take thoughts of perversion and poison captive. You can say, “I’m not going back to the past. I’m going to live in my present.”
  3. Unforgiveness is an invisible umbilical cord that connects us with our past and feeds our spirit and our disposition. Forgiveness reaches down, clips the cord and says the devil will no longer feed my spirit from my past. Forgiveness is the most self-loving act you will ever do in your life. It doesn’t make them right, it just makes you free.

In closing, I want to talk about a lie from the enemy: that blended families are guilt-ridden, second-class citizens. The truth is that every marriage has struggles. The truth is that your family is just as special as anyone else’s, and that God can do miraculous things through your family and He is on your side.

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