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Ron Deal: Well-Blended–and Challenges Stepfamilies Face

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
The Truth Network Radio
June 8, 2022 10:00 pm

Ron Deal: Well-Blended–and Challenges Stepfamilies Face

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine

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June 8, 2022 10:00 pm

If you're a stepfamily, you face particular challenges. Author and counselor Ron Deal offers practical help towards blending a family with character.

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Well Blended Course: This comprehensive, self-driven course for a blended family to more easily adapt couples, groups, or individuals.

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Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
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Family Life Today
Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
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Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine

If I said something was well blended. What would that mean to chocolate milkshake.

A big jug of motion with the guys cream maybe some malt movie definitely with green with Jerry M's good mileage is 48 ounces. I was just thinking of a smoothie, just throw it all in there so amazing that has to be well blended. Between you and me. You are healthy with this that I am unhealthy with chocolate your skinny that welcome to family life today. We want to help you pursue the relationships that matter most in Wilson, Dave Wilson and you can find for our family.

This is family life today.

What are we talking about blending thing about it because we have run deal, the director of her blended family ministry at family life and he's in studio with us today.

Welcome to family life today run thanks guys.

It's always good to be with you and I so hungry for Drago sick right now.

I welcome you know after this we should go get one together. But that would be nice but you're in the studio today talking about some online courses. I didn't even know how many different ones we have. But talk about what we are now offering and is it a new thing yet families but actually working on this for a couple years and covert it sort of slowed all this down, but as of right now we have eight online courses online on-demand which of course means that people can move through these courses on their own time in their own way at their own pace sit at home being comfortable and do the online course and just sort of move through it in a way that serves you and we have eight courses I meet the love like you mean it coursing above the beans. Based on his book, video series, the nearly complete guide to better married sex financial freedom for couples how to talk money and marriage lightbulb moments with Jeff and Chante fell upon my goodness, our own Brian Jones teamed up with some people and put together series for for men called chaos a bold theory on manhood again. All of these are online and on demand. We now have two courses that are specifically about blended families and blended family ministry for leaders.

We have one called the certificate and blended family ministry, which is like a mini course that you can go through it basically gives you the basic understandings of how to set up a ministry in your church, what it entails, what it looks like what the options are were very excited about that one. But the one were to be talking about today is a course designed for couples and it's bent to help them improve their marriage and their blended family situation and is called chocolate milkshake. No, it's called well blended.

So that's where the so well blended. Idea came from. So let's talk. What does well blended mean what's it entail will let me ask you quickly turn it around from ask you a question.

How long did it take the two of you. Once you started having children.

How long did it take each of you to look at the other and go on my goodness this person is completely committed to loving this child that we have just had together.

How long did that take the depression.

My first thought is seconds. You know when you I mean it in the hospital. Yes, I look at it in and I'm not sure I've seen a love for our childlike dad. I mean, you little jealous. In some ways like that which you love me the same way, but it was instant.

I think for both of us. I would say the same for you and Mikey were all in absolutely mighty ask that question, Ryan will the truth of the matter is probably even before the child was born as an essay. Yeah right you're already connected and that's exactly the point. It was automatic when it's your child share child that you've had the pleasure of creating together in God's good grace that it's just unquestioned right at the other person is absolutely committed to loving this child and is going to see it through well in a blended family can imagine. That's a journey for stepparents and stepchildren to look at one another with the same sort of commitment to loving them. I'm not questioning stepparents and their desire to want to to have a great relationship with her stepchildren. The desire is often there, but the know-how and sometimes there's moments where the it is pretty common for them to wobble a little bit.

I just got an email today from somebody a stepdad who is trying so hard and he's just like I can't figure out the secret sauce to connecting with these kids and he's just wrestling with that all you know Ron I remember my dad was remarried when I was in prior eighth grade I think was seventh or eighth grade. I can remember going down to see him in Florida, where he lived with his new wife and her friends came over and I remember this this is interesting.

I remember sent. Oh, this is Dave son.

My dad's name was Dave and I never think it all night. Your son and it took a while.

I can't tell you how long that it was a while, probably more than a year course I would living with them. I was in and out of her life, but it took her a while before she was saying this is our son was exactly what you're saying.

It took. It was an instantaneous right, there's the wobble downright and in biological families. It's instantaneous nano seconds at most. In blended families. It's a bit of a journey and sometimes there's some wobbles in the process. Okay all of this brings us to our first clip from the new well blended online on-demand course, this is me speaking at our 2019 blended and blessed in biological families love, trust and safety, that sense of dedication to one another the sense that I could trust you as my parent I can trust you with my spouse.

This is our child that there is no difference between us. All of that comes the day the children are born. The moment they're born.

It is an automatic dynamic love, trust, safety, emotional trust with one another all comes as a bundle immediately and blended families turns out that happens to be a bit of a process love and affection for one another sometimes comes last, and what sets you up to be able to get to love and affection for one another is a sense of trust. A sense of safety with one another.

If I as a stepchild can't trust you as my stepparents why in the world.

How in the world what I ever get the love you as my stepparents. I think faithfulness and gentleness.

Two of the fruit set you up to discover and experience trust and safety that then leads to love and affection, so getting faithfulness and gentleness right is a really important process.

So let's start with faithfulness the beetle saying it. All you need is love it. A true and it's fine when you say that allowing people sometimes worry what will. That's not right. Come on, all you need is love right.

That's the mantra. It feels good.

It's romantic. There's a sense that if you say it's not true that somehow your same love is not enough, but we all know intuitively. Love is not enough.

What is love without faithfulness. What is love without a sense of trustworthiness.

If your partner in a marriage relationship isn't trustworthy.

How far does love get you in that relationship. At best, love without faithfulness leads to doubt and insecurity. Like I love you but I don't know if I can lean into you and at worse, it leads to hurt and isolation and we all intuitively know it all we have to do is just stop and think about it this September we got a new book coming out of read the book with Greg Pettis and David Edwards on stepfamilies and finances are very excited about the project was finally integrated the relational dynamics of stepfamily living with the financial dynamics going on within the home and one of the stories that we tell in this book is about up there is a designer in the Netherlands was created ready for this. He's created a floating prenuptial house right and here's the way it works the house to somehow like to Tetris shapes that are knit together with one another and they fit together. And the idea is you find love of your life and you get married and you live in this home. It's a it's a houseboats with a floating prenuptial house and if anything ever goes wrong in your marriage relationship and you decide to go your separate ways. If you drift apart as a couple, you could just unhook the Tetris shapes and he can go in his half and she can go on her Avenue can drift apart literally in each have a home know when you talk about then you say that story out loud.

You just intuitively go that's not gonna work like everybody knows that's a set up that is planning to fail right everything in that whole process says we Mary and we move into this now so that when we go our separate ways is really convenient for us to go our separate ways.

That's is set up to fail.

There's no sense of trustworthiness or faithfulness in that process. By the way, in the finances but we want to do the opposite. We want to help you take your single and single parent, or whatever your dynamic is to Tetris tapes of finances that Yorty have a will help you put it together and financed togetherness. But when you think about it in the opposite way. We all know that's not going to work without a sense of permanence. There's no trust without trust.

How do you sustain intimate love in a relationship.

Love is not all unique. Well Ron you know I can't believe you disagreed with my John Lennon and the Beatles. I have to agree with you. Love is not enough. The trust and faithfulness that you just talked about. That's a really really good point and I think it's good to know that it does take time as me. Learn to trust each other connection with the stepparent or stepchild is a process and that trust and love can take time that Ron I really think I'm guessing that a lot of blended families are comparing themselves with maybe a ghost that Sang and everybody else.

It probably did happen instantaneously yet all that can be, hunting them when they look at other families. For example, that seem to have that harmony, cohesiveness, and you feel divided in your life in your home.

Yeah that's disconcerting and discouraging for people who you know. I think this notion that love needs faithfulness to go with it is really an important point. Let's just pause for a minute and think vertically as you guys like to do and let's think about the love of God and how often in Scripture, the love of God is communicated to us along with his faithfulness and trustworthiness, which is think about that like it is often that they are mentioned side by side, not every time, but that's part of it never will I leave you never will I forsake you, is a statement of his faithfulness is trustworthiness. I'm here. End of story. Not going away you think about someone 36 that says his love endures forever. Look at that its coupling is love. How long forever endures. You can count on it. It puts them together. Love and faithfulness and it says it 26 times. By the way, in that one chapter. What is the story about God was his love endures as long as you do everything he says never make a mistake right guys.

Where would we be what kind of life would we have with heavenly father if we lived in fear of doing one thing wrong and he's going to turn honest love goes away. Safety goes away. We can count on him anymore because I failed in some aspect of our life. Just think about that. Think about if the heavenly father did to us what we often do as parents to our kids in assorted convey that message of I love you as long as you make me happy.

I love you as long as you perform well in school. As long as you get the grades you get the degree in go into the profession.

We want you to go.

Whatever those conditions are that sometimes parents inadvertently, sometimes purposely, but most the time inadvertently put on their kids. What if that was God. I think we live in complete fear of God, he would be safe and approachable and somebody we can go to with our failings in our faults and ask for forgiveness.

All of a sudden because love is conditional. It could go away now were worried all the time. Jen and use as you say that I'm thinking that is so true in a family and marriage relationships.

At the same level. I know that one of things I try to do in our you know we have three sons are married now, but when they were boys in our house and they would see in and I may be getting a conflict. You can see them. It weathers in the family room or kitchen table. There's a sense of fear, like what's going on with mom and dad and never once why didn't do this perfectly, but everyone so I would turn to him say just so you know dad's not going anywhere where you work this out. This is part of what happens when you're love you sometimes have conflicts but it set faithfulness that you know.

I hope you know that you can still trust me, I'm thinking okay in a family where there's one husband and one wife. That's really important.

I can imagine how important it is when a family now is blended because there's already been some lack of trust in some way. There's all kinds of reasons why it ends up blended but there's got to be that fear sit there with the kids as well. Right exactly and sometimes in a blended family situation was a husband and wife are having some strife.

Not only is there the sense of the kids are watching as this creating and security for them but sometimes it's flipped on its head. The kids are watching are they getting happy that were having conflict are they sort of okay if we were to be pulled apart by what's going on and that to just adds a sense I can trust my environment in this house to support the marriage that were trying to fight for me think about that. Like without that sense of confidence that comes with faithfulness and trustworthiness. Everybody walks on pins and needles. It's sort of like what were living with a lack of security about the future. That's why we talk about in this new course will blended how important it is how important it is. I got a repeat that that each person walk with integrity and faithfulness in order to build trustworthiness over time. In the new blended family dynamic. As long as there's a lack of trustworthiness will were insecure walking on pins and needles who knows what's going to happen, but you know what my stepdad I'm not sure I like him but my goodness, you know what I sorta love them on start certain days and other days I am not so sure but my goodness he is a man of his word. He has integrity in my stepmom. I'm still trying to figure out were still trying it connected you nope see how deep our relationship can go but I don't have to worry that she's just going to throw me to the side or cast me away. She's not a wicked stepmother. She's a loving stepmother, who's committed to me she's proven that sort of stuff really begins to overcome those doubts and insecurities that people have about one another and it facilitates that bonding in connection that the family has to have to move like those Ron and practically speaking, what other things can we do to develop trust.

What's that look like you're listening to David and Wilson with Ron deal on family life today when Iran's response in just a minute. The first, let's face it, lending a family can be complicated but a little help can go a long way and that's why am so glad we've got Ron's new online course well blended. Available family life blended is an amazing ministry. Anything guiding stepfamilies for years and so now they hold practical biblical solutions for blending of family and marriage into a five session online course for blended families. So if that's you or you know a family that could benefit from that. Be sure to check out well blended. By going to family life to right now, back to Ron deal on how to build trust in your blended family.

I guess the first one already said may be faithful in the little things like and let's emphasize little like you say you're going to be there, show up, you know, due to the best of your ability to be true to your word and don't underestimate. If you break your word how that can harm this fragile relationship. That's sort of what were saying is that some stepfamily relationships not always all but often in the beginning. Many are just for fragile and so it doesn't take much to fracture it so you want to be true to your word you want to stick that out. You want to be trustworthy in the marriage you want to show them I'm committed. You minute you and I stepparent stepchild.

We may not have each other figured out yet, but I want you to see that I'm committed to your mom, your parent, I want you to see that that's true to my heart. I'm going to be right by her right hand. Whatever the case is and that that helps a child gain a little confidence in who they are.

This clip that we just listen to our theme for blended a blessed that year was at a Galatians 5 we were talking about the fruits of the spirit will right before the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5 he talks about the works of the flesh, so let's just say this. One of the ways you break trust and show yourself not to be trustworthy is by living those works of the flesh, jealousy and envy and strife and pride. Obviously, when people see that in you, it becomes harder for them to want to trust you to lean in to who you are and so there's a discipline there. Make sure you're walking by the fruit of the Spirit rather than the works of the flesh. I cannot even add Ron. I know watching my dad in his second marriage. You know he had to prove to his new wife that he was going to control his sensuality that sorta led to the divorce with my mom and dad and it was like okay I have to earn trust prove faithfulness that I'm a new man. And that's no longer who I am and that's not something I can pursue anymore. I'm a resident of middle school boy and then high school boy watch my dad sorta change his whole life, which build trust, not only with me, but deftly with my stepmom yeah that that's absolutely true. This brings me back to that initial point we made love without trustworthiness really doesn't get you very far in a relationship. And again, here's an obvious example that you just brought up, but it helps to make the point we well-known situations where somebody had an affair and the baby of something you live through or maybe of something a friend of yours went through well let's just say the wife had an affair. Well, she can say to her husband. I love you. Those feel like empty words in the midst of an affair or right after like okay you vended that, but is still to be determined. Really now what does your love mean to me she had feelings for me. Love our family our kids the idea of us, but can I trust you. At that point there's been a huge fracture in trust, love only get you so far. It takes both and so for you in that situation with your dad will he'd already proven something else now that maybe wasn't trustworthy and now he had to get back on the right track and you start walking at an maintain his integrity. Otherwise, that sort of go sort Hansson just hangs around the room making people wonder, will this relationship blessed and the hard thing. But the good thing about trust is you have to not just turn at one time. There's got to be consistency. I watch my dad have to know it yields like one month, two months okay is he really going live this out, but over six months, a year or three years, five years like okay trust is rebuilt. It takes a long time is torn down and a second that's right, to rebuild over long time, but man that's exactly what you're talking about integrity is proven over time and you can forgive somebody for something that tears down the trust.

Forgiveness can be there but trust not there for a long period of time like you just said you know, one of the things it curves me there's other ways to build trust. One of them is the discipline our tongues the words that we say is one of those things.

David just can tear down trust fast so being overly critical of her partner of children of people being angry and having a temper and showing yourself to be of your that come in person that I'm just a run in fear from you scare me because of how you react to discipline ourselves in that manner hit me through another one in for blended families is not being critical of the other home so the Savior that mom and the stepdad you know to be overly critical, mom of her former husband in front of her kids or for the stepdad to be critical of the biological dad, well, you know, the kids just look at you and go okay nope you're out you know if harsh judgments come quickly because of the words that we use and so to restrain your words to put a bridle on them say kind things are. Don't say anything at all is my mom used to say, you know that really matters.

It doesn't feel like a lot today but over time those little things can really build up trust and then the last thing I'll just add for stepparents as we like to talk about being stubborn, stubbornly persistent in continuing to pursue the heart of your stepchildren rejection sometimes happens. Sometimes there not rejecting you the just not necessarily open to you either. And those are discouraging times continuing to press in just being gentle stand right there on the depth of their heels if they ever turn around, you're right there and you can have a relationship that persistent stubborn persistence. Often we find pays off overtime Ron this is so helpful and it's only a glimpse of what families can get online with this course that I was sick. A man oh man. What would've been like if we would've had a course like that when my family blended you know there are a lot of things even as I hear you're on the my dad and even my mom never did talk bad about my dad after he left my stepmom never talk bad about my mom, so they did some things that I can remember as a kid just not knowing what to do.

What is our new reality. There was not really any help available.

There were not classes or courses, and now we have this good way to go, and I'm just go tell your blended family or your start wondering maybe venting for years and you still haven't go online for Mike and for the course well blended and leptons can change your life that Steven and Wilson with Ron deal on family life to a new online course is called well blended. You can find out more.

Enroll If you know anyone who needs to hear today's conversation with Ron deal you can share it from where ever you get your podcasts. Why are there. It really help us out if you rate and review us know a stepfamily can't happen unless there is a loss involved either divorce or a death, and sometimes we can forget that when it comes to our kids in a blended family tomorrow.

David and Wilson are going to be with Ron deal again as they talk about being engaged with our kids as they wrestle through the complexities of growing up in a blended family that's tomorrow on behalf of David and Wilson. I'm Shelby will see that next time for another edition of family life life today is a production of family life through ministry helping you pursue the relationships that matter most

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