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Blended Family Problems

QUESTION: What if our blended family problems are the in-laws?"


Blended family problems sometimes revolve around the in-laws. This issues is rarely addressed, but it is a legitimate concern as seen in the following account.

Mike and Kathy had each been divorced for several years when they met. They knew remarriage would have its problems. They didn’t realize that many of the problems would come from un-accepting in-laws.

“My mom and sister refuse to accept Kathy as my wife. It is not that they are so close to my first wife as much as Mom’s religious views are in the way. She believes that because I didn’t go through her church to have my first marriage “church-annulled” that I am still married to my first wife. Therefore, she refuses to accept my marriage to Kathy.”

Kathy adds, “She makes things very difficult for us by her attitude and gossip. Because we live many miles away, we don’t see her daily or even weekly. But when we do visit, it is very uncomfortable. I know I am not welcome and know she accepts my being there only because she wants to see her son and he won’t go without me. I hate that this makes Mike feel like he is placed in the middle.” In addition, they are thrown together with Mike’s first wife at Christmas and other occasions. This is not easy because the first wife has been extremely vindictive over issues with her and Mike’s children.

“Even now after 15 years with Kathy, my mom still refuses to accept her as my wife. Kathy is still treated like an intruding outsider and Mom has never come to our house,” says Mike. Mike and Kathy have built a successful marriage in spite of the problems concerning the in-laws. But what has given them the resolve to sustain it?

“Religion is man-made of rules, laws, and traditions,” continues Mike. “Kathy and I have a real and spiritual relationship with Christ Jesus. We have a strong commitment to Him and each other, and an ever-increasing love despite the trials. We pray for our family and believe it’s their choice to be a part of ours or not. When they choose not to, I believe they are missing out. We strive to be Christ-like examples before them.”

They have leaned on the Lord to strengthen them. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 says, "...My gracious favor is all you need. My power works best in your weakness." When we recognize our limitations and weaknesses, especially in dealing with others, we can turn to God and seek His ways. Micah 6:8 says ". . .And this is what he requires: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God." We must rely on God for effectiveness.

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