There are easy dinner recipes that feed a family of six. Those are often labeled “quick and easy” or “under 30 minutes” or “little to no clean-up needed”. For the heads of a blended family, the reality is that the process of joining hearts is anything but quick and everything but easy.
There are 3 vital ingredients to a properly slow-cooked family:
A blended family requires that God is the first ingredient in the pot. The husband and wife must know Jesus Christ, pray together, and teach their children the word of God. How this plays out may look different in each home. You need Jesus’ example and strength to navigate potentially explosive topics and situations.
I suffer from allergies. I did not take medications consistently. I didn’t think they worked or made a real difference. Recently a medical situation resulted in my doctor reminding me to take my allergy meds every day. Over the past five years my allergies would result in laryngitis. This year, because I took my allergy meds every day as my doctor instructed, the laryngitis symptoms were mild and lasted a quarter of the time as in the past.
Budget for ongoing counseling. This can be individual, marital, or family counseling or a combination. Counseling before a problem arises may result in a faster resolution with less hurt feelings. That is what ongoing counseling can do. When problems arise, the impact may be much less devastating.
My husband and I met with a Christian blended family counselor prior to our marriage. These words of wisdom stuck with me, “Do not take advice about your blended family from anyone not leading a blended family.”
The head of a biological family has no clue about the many daily trivial and serious challenges faced by the husband and wife of a blended family. It is comparing apples to oranges. When blending your family, aim to create or join a community that nurtures the complex family life in your home.
The temperature in a blended family starts high. For that reason, begin the recipe with ingredients that can take the heat. The statistics are against the success of second marriages: 20% higher divorce rate than first marriages.
Do what you can before and at the beginning of your union to tilt the scale towards success. Christ, Counseling, Community, your dynamic family, plus time will make for a tasty testimony. (
Resource to consider: “The Smart Stepfamily” by Ron L Deal