September 8, 2017

The first God-ordained nation was founded on a blended family. Jacob had two wives and two mistresses, to which were born 13 children. What can we learn from this? God knows how to do something great with brokenness! Jacob’s wives, mistresses and children became a blessed nation! You should check out Genesis 29 and 30 for the full story; it may surprise you.

I recently talked about the truth that there is redemption available to those who have been through a divorce, and today I want to continue that conversation. I’ve had people in my counseling office (back when I did counseling, ha!) wondering if God could bless their blended families. They were afraid that because they had been through a divorce, that they were living in sin and could not be forgiven. The truth is that God is a God of redemption! Remarried husbands and wives: It takes the power of God to take dysfunctional situations and make something beautiful with them. Remarriage is real-life beauty for ashes (Isaiah 61:3).

Living a Blessed Re-Married Life

If you get remarried you don’t want to bring the shadow of your pain with you into the new marriage. But this is your fresh opportunity to come again to lay your life down, come with more wisdom, come to do it right this time, and come to be a blessing to the full extent. You’re wiser, you’re smarter, you’re better. Your marriage can and should be beautiful. Here are some words of wisdom for re-marriage that I’ve learned through my son Jason’s divorce.

  1. A successful remarriage requires complete forgiveness on all parties or bitterness will infect your next marriage. Like Joyce Myers says, “Unforgiveness is like drinking deadly poison and thinking the other person is going to die!”
  2. Learning to trust your new spouse is the key to the new relationship. Bonding is impossible without trust.
  3. You can only love to the level you can be hurt. Vows like, “I will never let anyone hurt me like that again,” means you’ve relegated (cursed) yourself to the ice castle! You have to be able to open your heart again. Don’t go into your next marriage with a pre-nup for your love.
  4. The inability to take reasonability for your previous relationships will cause you to make the same mistakes over again. It’s not shameful to own your part, repent, and let God move in to speak His truth over those places of your heart so that you can heal and move forward.
  5. Remarriage can be your best marriage because you have experience.
  6. Superimposing your previous relationship over your remarriage is sure to cost you.

Blended Families Are Blessed Families

If you’re re-married and you’ve repented, you are to be blessed. Your home, your family, and your children are blessed because they’re a gift from God no matter how they got there. Here are some tips we’ve learned along the way as we’ve watched Jason and Lauren blend together:

  1. Children must have permission from their biological parents to have a relationship with their new stepmother or stepfather.
  2. Using your children to carry a negative message to your ex-spouse will destroy them.
  3. Your children must have permission from you to love your ex- spouse no matter how much you despise them.
  4. Second spouses need to understand the pressure parents feel to manage their biological children into another relationship with a new mom/dad.
  5. Staying connected is the goal.
  6. You must respect and not try to replace the relationships your stepchildren have with their biological parents.
  7. You can’t navigate blended families with positional leadership. You must have permissional leadership; favor with each member.
  8. Blending families is often blending two different cultures.
  9. Often people marry the opposite of themselves so their personal strengths and weakness create a two very different cultures.
  10. When someone is single with children for a long time, their children tend to play the role of the absent spouse. These children feel displaced from their role in a remarriage. Being sensitive to the children who are displaced is paramount in a transition.

We Didn’t Know Redemption Could Look Like This

About a year ago, Jason’s ex-wife, Heather, (we only describe her as this in public so people know who we’re talking about, but to us she is our daughter who we love), called me to tell me she was dating someone and she wanted us to meet him. Kathy and I had dinner with them several times and really like him. About three months ago they messaged me to say they’re going to get married and the Lord told me that I was going to marry them. I texted Bill and my team to ask if this was okay because this is not something that’s clear in the Bible. All of my good counsel said to do it if we were asked. A while later, Heather and Will asked us to dinner and again asked us to marry them. So, if you can believe it, a few months later we married Heather and Will on our property. It was beautiful! What speaks even higher of God’s ability to heal and redeem is the fact that Jason spent the week before helping clear the property so that it would be beautiful for his (by the world’s standard) ex-wife, who had broken his heart years before and had a baby with another man.

How many of you know that this may not be the way it’s supposed to go, but God is ALWAYS redemptive!

I Bless You Big

If you’ve been through a divorce and have re-married, I bless you. I bless your family. I bless your kids. I pray that your children would be blessed and your stepchildren will be blessed! I encourage you to say out loud that you receive this for yourself and for your family today! If you’ve been through a divorce and are single, I want to tell you today that you will love again. You will heal, and you will love again! God’s redemption is bigger than anything in your past and He can do miracles that we never even dreamed of before!

Like I’ve said before, I know this is often a tricky subject to talk about and I don’t pretend to address the whole situation in one (or two) blog posts, so I want to encourage you to check out the messages I preached on Bethel.TV regarding divorce. You can see them for free here and here with your Bethel.TV account. Or, you can check it out on my podcast.

As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

Topics: All TopicsMarriage


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