Building unity in a blended family can be such a challenge!

What were your expectations coming into marriage? How did you expect your new family to play out? Did you expect everyone to love each other pretty quickly because you both found love in each other? You know what I mean, something like The Brady Bunch.

The last research I’ve read concluded that it takes about 7 years to blend a family. Think about that for a minute. Pause. Let it sink in. 7 YEARS!

As you sit there and think, “Wow. This sounds kind of hopeless,” I’m going to tell you to hold on and not lose hope. I don’t believe in hopeless situations, not when the One that is the author of hope and miracles is involved!

I’ve been there and I have some advice I can share with you to help blend your family and get connected! Here’s 8 Action Tips that I have learned. And the best thing is that you can start TODAY!

 

 

Sometimes we forget that Jesus was from a blended family. Think about that one for a minute. We have wondered how Mary felt raising a Savior, but have we considered how Joseph felt raising God’s son? There’s some lessons to learn from this Biblical narrative and we will visit those throughout this post.

 

Building Unity in a Blended Family 8 Action Tips Christ Centered Mama #blendedfamily #christianmotherhood #Parenting #Biblical

 

 

 

Building Unity In a Blended Family
Tip #1: Lower Your Expectations

 

“Comparison is the thief of joy.” – Theodore Roosevelt

Expectations of smooth, seamless transitions will feed your level of frustration that things aren’t going the way you want them to. Your expectations are not only tied to your personal experience, but your perspective and how you see things, and the person you married has their own experience and perspective too. The reality is that whatever worked for you in your previous situation, may not work for the current situation, so don’t force it if it’s not working.

I think about Joseph when he learned that Mary was pregnant. It’s kind of difficult to in our day’s perspective on teen and out of wedlock pregnancy. But back in Mary and Joseph’s day, this was quite scandalous! Could you imagine the thoughts that must have gone through his head, knowing he had not been with Mary, the woman he was betrothed to?

The Bible doesn’t give a lot of information about Joseph’s contemplations other than he considered quietly ending their betrothal, which back then required divorce. But God sent an angel to him in a dream (Matthew 1:20) confirming to him that the baby was conceived by the Holy Spirit, and His name is to be Jesus. The scripture goes on to say that he woke up and did what the angel told him to do.

Regardless of the outcome, Joseph, like Mary, was putting his complete trust in the Lord.

 

I tend to think that when we put our total faith and trust in the Lord, we start to see things as He sees them, and we put less faith in the things of earth.

 

It goes hand in hand because when we make this decision, we are essentially saying whatever happens is in God’s hands and according to His will.

Action point

Pray for wisdom in this area and ask the Lord to reveal to you where you may need to lower or adjust your expectations and hand it all over to Him.

 

 

 

Building Unity In a Blended Family
Tip #2- Sacred Couple Time and Date Nights

Your marriage is the foundation of your family, even in a blended family. Even though jealousy and various tensions may arise, a loving, grace-filled, consistent foundation is a priority.

Guard your relationship and invest time into your spouse. Your children will see and respect that relationship, even in the hard times.

Fun, laughter, and date nights help us to remember the goodness in a relationship, and help remind you of why you chose each other.

“Marriage should be honored by all…” Hebrews 13:4a

 

Action Point

Create sacred times in your week that are specifically designed for you to chat about your day, share a daily couple’s devotional, pray together, and converse about family and kids.

 

See more: 8 Lies Satan Whispers To You About Your Marriage

 

 

 

Building Unity In a Blended Family
Tip #3- Intentional Family Time and Worship

In Luke 2:41-52, we see that Mary and Joseph took the family to experience the Festival of the Passover. Mary and Joseph made it a priority to experience Passover, an important Jewish holiday, with all of their children.

Intentional family time allows us to experience new things together. It’s an opportunity to learn about each other, to be a part of each other’s lives, and to build relationships. It promotes trying new things, and can even produce sacrifice if we do an activity that we really don’t like doing.

The good thing about family time is that it doesn’t have to cost a lot of money either. Cooking dinner, or eating dinner at the table, all together, is a great opportunity to have conversations and learn about each other.

I know a lot of pre-teens and teens resist this one, but you just have to teach them “it’s what we do.” If you can do that nightly, then fantastic! But I know with very busy schedules, there may be a lot of eating in the car on the run. 

Brainstorm activities and keep a list handy so you will always have options.

Try board games, cards, family movie nights, taking trips together, bowling nights, having video game tournaments, or even attending sporting events together.

And don’t forget, just like Mary and Joseph, to make family worship a priority.

 

Be intentional with the time God has given you.

Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore, do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. Ephesians 5:15-17

 

Action Point

Make it a priority time in your schedule to have a family meal on a weekly basis, at least once or twice.

 

 

 

Building Unity In a Blended Family
Tip #4- Build Relationships Individually

We know that Jesus went into His Heavenly Father’s business by winning souls, but we often forget that He also went into his earthly father’s business of carpentry.

Can’t you imagine the hours of Joseph teaching Jesus the skills necessary for this career? Oh… and the patience too! I mean, I’ll admit to being a bit of a control freak… at times. It can be a struggle to teach my own biological kids certain things! I’m just being truthful!

Investing in your kids. Find what they are passionate about and join them in those activities in whatever ways you can.  Go one-on-one with your children and step-children and build memories with them. Doing so will let them know that you accept and validate them as individuals with their own unique thoughts, feelings, and struggles.

Action Point

Take each of your step-children out on a one-on-one outing, or “date” regularly and build memories with them.

 

 

 

Building Unity In a Blended Family
Tip #5- Work Together

Your kids might not embrace the idea of doing new chores or doing chores with other family members, but it’s SO incredibly worthwhile.

When we work together, as a family, not only are we teaching them skills for their future, but we can chit-chat about random things. We can be silly. We can make chores into games. Through this, we are modeling hard work.

Essentially, we are showing our kids that we are all in this thing together… whether they like it or not, and teaching them responsibility as well as future parenting techniques.

Action Point

Enforce chores, but join your kids in their chores! Use this time as bonding time and see what blossoms.

 

 

Building Unity In a Blended Family
Tip #6- Get Rid of Invisible Division

It’s easy to feel division in a blended family. Joining 2 separate functioning households, each with their own set of values, traditions, things, and kids is a challenge for everyone. But God’s purpose in marriage is to become one flesh. A healthy marriage is the foundation for oneness in the family too.

The reality is that you can’t become one while everything is still seen as mine and yours. A shift in mindset is needed, and sometimes even, a combining of actual resources. You may still have your bank account, and I may still have my bank account, but we also have OUR bank account for OUR money, give together, to pay OUR bills, and have OUR fun experiences.

I had a couple tell me before that division in their household was so evident that when there was an argument, they actually saw how mom, son, and daughter would kind of go off into their area of the house, and then dad and his daughter would go to another area of the house. It wasn’t necessarily like they intended that to happen, but it was a big visual of where the divide was. 

This is fixable! It all starts with how you view your home, time, and relationships, and you can build unity or discord with your words, even your subtle ones.

Action Point

Stop viewing your traditions, possessions, and spaces as “mine” or “yours”. Stop letting these words slip. Create a family space where all members feel welcome, and frequently invite the kids to join you there and create memories. Gently correct your children and step-children when they act possessive over the things that should be shared as a family.

 

 

Building Unity In a Blended Family
Tip #7- Develop New Family Traditions TogetherBuilding Unity in a Blended Family 8 Action Tips Christ Centered Mama #blendedfamily #christianmotherhood #Parenting #Biblical

There may be some traditions that you and your kids are accustomed to doing around holidays, and it’s okay to continue them. 

Be considerate and compassionate that there is another family that has their own traditions they may want to incorporate too.

One way of accomplishing this is to create some new traditions that you can all be a part of every year. This creates new firsts for your family and builds unity.

Action Point

Be considerate and compassionate that there is another family that you are joining your lives with that has their own traditions they may want to incorporate too.

Building Unity In a Blended Family
Tip #8- Remember That It’s All Through God’s Grace

Building unity in a blended family is a tall task, but we know that as Christians, we have the power of the Holy Spirit, who wishes to unite us and grow us together. That applies to families too! It’s through God’s grace and through the Holy Spirit’s guidance that we can help build unity.

 

“…Lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called,  with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love,  making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling,  one Lord, one faith, one baptism,  one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all.” Ephesians 4:1b-6

Action Point

Pray as a family that you could all grow in unity through humility, gentleness, patience, bearing with one another in love, in order to maintain the unity of the Holy Spirit. Pray for the salvation (the one-time, initial trust in Christ) and sanctification (the journey towards Christlikeness through the Holy Spirit) of your children every day.

 

 

What about you?

Do you have a blended family? What tips would you add to help with building unity in a blended family? Which do you want to try?

 

 

About the Author

Christi is a life and relationship coach with a background in counseling and is also the person behind SincerelyChristi.com. She began SincerelyChristi as a response to the Lord’s calling to expand her borders of comfort and share her story of faith and encouragement to those who need it. Here she focuses on personal growth, marriage, faith, and loss on her faith-filled journey blog. She has been married to the love of her life for 25 years, and they have 3 kids on earth and 1 in Heaven.
 Here are some of my favorite items on Amazon for second marriages and blended families. Christ-Centered Mama is partially funded by the sale of products recommended on Amazon and other favorite sites.  These products are genuinely ones that I enjoyed and will reference the books again! Thank you for using this link!


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