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Ron Deal: Well-Blended: Stepfamilies, Loss, and Healing Together

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
The Truth Network Radio
June 9, 2022 10:00 pm

Ron Deal: Well-Blended: Stepfamilies, Loss, and Healing Together

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine

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June 9, 2022 10:00 pm

Stepfamilies can't happen without loss. Author and counselor Ron Deal talks about how to engage kids in blended families and start healing together.

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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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Your six.

When your parents got divorced. Oh, you want to go back there yet I do and then you are 13 while your dad got remarried and you entered into a blended family. What were some of your first memories of that was sure to her before my first memory was met my stepmom on a trip to Europe with my dad and my stepmom. He was an airline pilot. I was sort of cool we could fly free around the world.

And so with Europe and Italy and I did not know until years later. It was their honeymoon. Welcome to family life today where we want to help you pursue the relationships that matter most and Wilson Wilson. You can find us if we live today.com for our life. This is family life.

I did not know until years later.

It was their honeymoon. And so the first night they give me a hotel room across the hall from them. Were you know when another country and 13 years old.

I'm scared to death that I go over, knock on the door and sleep in there on the floor in the bedroom because I was so scared on their honeymoon. I know this is their honeymoon night.

Having give you badge and they I mean they never said anything like you can't do this. It was just like all yeah come on in, but that's my first memory, and I didn't even know it at the time I am stepping into a whole new reality and I have no idea. I don't think any of us did.

I don't think my dad did or my stepmom and sure most people are. It's new, that's like we are now in a new reality, and we navigate that in every families.

That way we were that way when we get married but if you think about a blended family or stepfamily man-to-man schizo markup isn't complicated, so they need help and we got over the studio with us today.

We got Ron deal, who directs our our blended ministry here family life. Welcome back to family after they run a thanks guys always good to be with you. You do such a great job posting fable after they appreciate what I really appreciate you dear me again because what you do in this blended area is the best in the world. I literally say this to people about what you do and what family life as through your your part of this whole ministry is blended and talk about you know how do you help families that are blending. It's a new reality with that look like yeah well let's talk about that. I also want let people know that. Like you said, we do have so many resources now I have to just say the Christian community has been slow to come to jump on this bandwagon to create resources for blended families. From a biblical perspective. I'm so proud of family life for the last 10 years that I've been here we've been creating all kinds of resources and not tell people now now you get too many options you have. Decide what avenue you like to get your reader or your watch your list dark as we have all of that stuff. We got podcast family blended podcasts we get books and resources you haven't written like 48 books are somehow maybe not that many number of the me and others on our team.

We've got 10 or 12 books that are available just through our ministry we got video series we get eight small group series there available. It was, you know that eight small groups are most people don't even know that they don't affect I quizzed some people on our family staff this week and they did know that we have so many things that people can choose now and were talking today about this new online course that we have. I am thrilled about because it's so accessible you to be anywhere and move at your own pace through this new online on-demand course offered by family life along with a number of other courses we have and no one would talk about as well blended. It's a collection we kind of pulled from events that we've done and podcasts that we produce the different things we put it all together in a very structured way. So again through your computer sitting at home at your your pace in your convenience, you can move through this course and is just really been fun putting this together and making it available close talk a little bit about what's in the course.

I know yesterday we talked about you know you took my Beatles song all you need is love and he said now if you need more than love.

You need faithfulness and trust that actually spent a great day. Talk about that and even listening to a clip from the online course, what else is loaded in the in this course.

Yes, one of things we talk about it.

Well blended. Is the journey of finding family unity connecting relationships building those some of the challenges that happen along the way. Our listeners may know that every year in the spring we put on a live event. It's also a lifestream event it's sent all over the world and you can participate from wherever you live in is called blended and blessed each one of those, over the last five years has been collected and is available online as well as a small group study something you can go through as a couple and then we do a new event with new speakers, a new theme every year will in 2018 are blended and blessed event.

We had a panel discussion and working here couple clips today that are in the well blended online course that came out of that panel discussion.

The first couple urinate. Here is Andy and Heather, and they're talking about some of the challenges that they face building family. Andy and I am to marry almost 11 years and we were blessed to have a stepfamily ministry at the church we were attending at the time we went to the class and read Ron's block and we thought that was that was that was gonna be our map.

But as we as we would leave class we were talking like those poor suckers. We love each other and wheeze of God and not have problems like those people write our kids get along. We go to the park. This is good to be great and his ex-wife when she left him. She left the family. So there. There is girls is never their mom and over 13 years I've never met her, and I consider myself a good mama good mom and I thought I am tonight going I am to love these girls. I am to be their mom and this is going to be great to watch the Brady Bunch. I navely thought yes that's and then we got married and everything changed and I tried to force the dream. My head is the dream I had was a good dream. It was kids getting along. It was a husband and wife walking with God and serving God, but I forgot about the loss in a couple years. Then it dawned on me that a stepfamily is founded on loss. A stepfamily cannot occur without a death, divorce, on partnering occurring, and while remarrying in a meeting Andy in the first godly man in my life was a second chance at love, and I like God was now getting me what I deserved because I forgive my ex-husband I was walking with him.

I was getting what I deserved but I forgot that even though the remarriages a second chance at love for him and I it's a permanent reminder to our kids that their mom and dad will never be together again and what was started in love was a reminder of a lot Thanksgiving moving along well and it will catch you by surprise because it's been going in a good direction. I think the at times, the marriage actually surrounds the reality of the situation for people. That's what really starts to set them. They were sent earlier today to like when you move in your sharing a house in the bathroom.

Maybe some of you don't like yeah right so for strike.

The reality coming back from the honeymoon right you come back you find out okay. The six kids been fighting the step dog speed on the rocks yellow hole right just like we have got 48 hours together. You have actually never thought about the step dog sleep. What they talked about so wise I wouldn't think about is a stepmom coming in the loss. The kids are experiencing incredible loss and it's important to be there and sit there and to really realize what they have gone through that would be hard to stepparent coming in when you're super excited, exactly and and just imagine like your excited spend time with Dave. You know hold his hand and kissed him on the cheek or smack him on the lips or whatever. And in that moment when you're given them a big old kiss sort of dawns on you. Oh, wait a minute. His kids are watching my kids are watching and this is evidence that mom and dad are never going to get back together right how divided would you feel in that moment like there's a part of you that wants to move toward your husband and enjoy that and at the same time you maybe feel a little guilty about it. How odd is that dynamic.

That's one of those push pull dynamics. That's fairly common in blended families, especially in the early years, and it makes people just sort of think twice. Do I kiss him do I hold his hand.

Do I show that affection in front of the children or is that somehow creating some angst for them.

For me that's honestly, I never even thought about it. As you know this steps on the my stepmom she probably was thinking that in its it is. This can be a trigger for your son, your stepson or daughter especially when you're so loyal to your mom and your soul. I've never considered. Again, that's what blended all about those things we never think about are the reality for families that are trying to blend in. Again, you talk about.

Let's do this blended well, yes, even difficult right and something about how we cannot kick it back to you.

It may not of been your experience, but I'm curious you saw affection between your dad in your mom ever feel a little strange about your listening to Damien Wilson with Ron deal on family life today we hear Ron's sponsor in just a sec, but first let's face it, blending a family can be located but a little help can really go a long way and that's why I'm so glad we've got Ron's new online course well blended is available now@familylifetoday.com family life blended is incredible ministry, and they've been guiding stepfamilies for years. So now Dave hold practical biblical solutions for blending of family and marriage into a five session online course for couples in blended family. So that's for you or you know a couple who would benefit from that. Be sure to check out well blended. By going to family life to a.com right now, back to Dave and what it felt like as a kid when his dad and stepmom showed affection for each other. I can see it right now in my minds eye. This is 50 years ago on a boat Lake with my dad and my stepmom and see in them kiss as I was getting on the skis behind the boat that's out you know real the visual is my mind and thinking that is so weird.

I don't remember seeing my mom and dad kiss. I do remember seeing my my stepmom and dad kiss. It felt funny at first, like, I can feel it. It was like oh they like each other. They have romance in their life that I don't think my mom and dad at least I didn't see that because I was seeing the loss the end of something that now is been reversed in a new relationship and it felt a little weird to me like a vice also celebrate this or am I mad about this so you can imagine if your data stepmom happen to catch your face in that moment right instead of a big smile. Mom and dad love each other. It was maybe? Right on your face, sort of a I'm not sure where to put this. How do I think about this, that's that push pull moment where we have different levels of motivation towards being family use a child even have a different level of motivation towards the happiness of their marriage and it's just a little circumstance for semi listening right now is in a blended family. Here's the thingamajig right where we do it, how do we fix our kids feel about us all being in love with each other. Well obviously you don't fix that on your timing, but what you can do is be sensitive to it. Be aware of it and I can imagine somebody even turning to catch a child's reaction and just saying it out loud, you don't. Right then I was kissing you know your mom and I, think maybe you felt a little strange about that. You know what it's okay, that's all right. It's really all right in the kids in blended families often experience that so it's all right with me. I'm just curious, what were you feeling and then you open a door to a conversation that's perhaps about loss, perhaps about how I just sort of feel weird or it honestly, I never saw my parent kiss my other parent the way they just kissed you and I'm not sure what to do with this. You know I like you. You can have the sort of candid conversations with somebody here's the thing you're creating avenues for trust to be built. You're showing yourself to be someone who's not freaked out or skittish by a kids reaction to you kissing your partner, you're not fragile and the child and you can talk about this. I love not Ron because I'm imagining many stepparents coming in could feel rejection. And when they feel rejection from the children. Then they take it personal way and take it personally and then their strain in the relationship.

So just having that conversation and if the kids are making a face or they're not happy about it.

Probably that whole thing is you can say to yourself, this isn't necessarily about you there struggling with their own things. I think that's really good though to bring it out in the opening to talk about it in a way that's making the kids feel like hey what are you feeling could be really weird now something is that somebody sort of cover in the online course it is.

As a matter fact.

In fact, we got another clip.

Dave perfectly and thanks for that. So in this will blended course that people can do on their own from home in this panel discussion with Andy and Heather. We also had another couple, Stanley and Myrna and let's listen to them talk about because there they felt that push pull in their family to one of the things that you have to be persistent and consistent and intentional in trying to bring you because we came together because we fell in love in the chest, came along as part of the practice do know that they were not have really good voice in so what you do to. Along the way to bring everybody together at one the things we do in our family.

That is to really be intentional as arches were old, you know, so it wasn't know something was what they do their comfortable home from a vacation together and when they're small, you can bring the kids long winter all on their own. They help follow your lead. .1 of things we do is that we have like a family dinner every once a month or so. Intentional weight was sometimes everybody short sometimes wanted to future what we just time for relaxing and bonding, and in trying to build those connection points here and there that we call those rituals appoints a connection to keep doing this. This is part of the new us and were going to just keep doing that. I'm also hearing once a month, some very often hard to make progress. I would think. Yeah, so was it slow going and how did you be okay with it the in's logo will exit when the kids are older like that you will try to force in but also not force anything so therefore you want to make it available and tried to make it so. So the income because you try to do something once a week and they're all doing living your own life is really tough for them to do that how much you guess that's what you guys rituals that you, built along the way that even if it by accident have been helpful email is interesting because I came in with a lot of rituals and traditions with my kids and Andy did not and my kids were protective they didn't really want to share some of those rituals with their stepsiblings so we ended up on things we really try to be flexible and intentional, and so we kind of created a lot of different traditions in our family and the one thing that we had to let go of is that holidays are when you're together, not just to date on the calendar and so for Thanksgiving. We don't have the kids most Thanksgiving so we do turkey bowling and now we don't me know. During just the week of of that last week and Thanksgiving. We pick a day and we go bowling with the kids in the first couple years they complained and didn't want to go and now are we going where they are we going. I will make sure I schedule it and they look forward to it and we do something for their birthdays or special and me just try to learn to kind of holidays are just difficult, especially when you have a child who is missing another parent whether their deceased or they're just not in their life and so very sensitively. We invented this thing called daughter stay for Mother's Day because my kids want to celebrate me, but my stepdaughters have a really hard time every Mother's Day because her mom's not there and I never want to force them to celebrate me as their mom. But now, 10 years, then they do recognize me and that we just celebrate all the women in our house so Mother's Day and he celebrates all the women in the house and for we just slip on Father's Day.

We descends daintily celebrate all of our sons and so we make it more about the people in the role and we just learned how to be flexible while you are here that I'm triggered, you know, it's like really well I mean it was where couple thoughts. One was in you know this and I would get on the plane on Christmas morning every year to fly from Ohio where my mom and I live to see my dad.

It was a ritual and again I could fly free side and I remember back in those days were talking the 60s noise on the plane there is a lifeline. It was me and some flight attendants and they took care of me because I felt sorry for me Now 10-year-old nine-year-old 11-year-old boy doing on a flight by himself on Christmas day.

You know when I arrived. I really hated it because I went from a white Christmas in Ohio to palm trees you know what I didn't like boundaries for Christmas but I do also run when I solicited that. I also remember when I would go down at 14 and 15 years old now.

I had a stepmom and she understood what I was going through and she made a good member. She was a new tradition she was full of joy.

She had Christmas presents for me.

I we never talked about it but I know now that she saw a man this poor kid this Christmas Day and he has to travel from his mom to his stepmom and dad, I'm going to make it a good memory and became a good memory, but again so many families don't even know how to navigate that whole thing. So that's what this is this what you talking about right. I thought Dave till is really helpful to listen to the panel just to get ideas like that's a good idea yeah love the creativity that they came up with and love that your stepmom Dave did the same thing found a way. She saw the needs she had some compassion for this transition that you were forced into making on Christmas day of all days. As I was listening to Iran on think of their blended families have never had this conversation till right now they just heard it on this broadcast, they're going to get the online course, and it's can force them to go hey there something we need to talk about that we have never talked about it just hit me like how valuable this can be for a blended family yet and I love the thing about building little points of connection for people sometimes when the people hear somebody listen to us right now and they're realizing we have a tradition has never thought of it that way and it happens every Sunday night. Blah blah whatever it is.

It happens every Thursday when we pick up the kids from school. Or maybe it's every other week when the kids come back from the other house we always go get ice cream. Yes those are important points of connection and they began to help children switch from one home to the next and it's a reminder that okay with these people and this is how life works in this home. And these people care for me and yet don't underestimate the power of those little moments to help further your family a couple things that I just had comment on based on what we just heard you member Heather's comment. The kids complained at first we said we held onto some of our old traditions that were single-parent home traditions and then we had to begin to create some new ones and the kids complained at first, and they just kept going. Kind of a gentle persistence right and then they started asking when are we going to do that thing right now you know this has meaning is become a tradition it's it's helpful for people right and it's a part of our new us.

Okay, listen to that, guys.

That's how you develop a new family identity is you gotta have something that's us and it's all those little things put together. Of course, over time, but when it crystallizes and become something we expect from one another. We hope for. We look forward to okay right now I know where I belong and with whom I belong. That's a really good moment in life of a blended family again. I guess some you take in the background.

As a citizen's countdowns are buddies put me on the couch right now now listening to these families talk on this online course is reminding me of two things.

One, what I loss but also what I did gain in my step mom and dad again.

They're gone now in my mom's gone, but I was you, I'm thinking of the new families in this current realities that have something I never was offered an online course.

Like you said earlier, conferences, books podcast, you name it, are available, but may just listen to this course.

I just thought man what a blessing is going to be for family so I'm just one guy that I've lived it. As the sun and up in a blended family, and I would just say you don't miss this opportunity.

This can spark some conversations that are literally going to change the future for your family. Once again thank you for all your doing impact in some thank you that Steven and Wilson with Ron deal on family life to the new online courses. Caldwell blended you can find out more and enroll today@familylifetoa.com. If you know anyone who needs to hear today's conversation you can share it from wherever you get your podcasts and why you there. It really help us out if you'd rate and review us while we have family life's president David Robbins with us today and we family life are trying to make every home a godly home and that very much includes blended families not right. David, Meg and I were having lunch today with a couple who really through family life. Realizing that we both have been impacted by being part of blended families and we had no clue. That's what we were bringing it to our marriage and they been totally transformed and some of the biggest cheerleaders of what Ron deal in the family life blended team because it was so transformative and in their lives and in their hearts and their families and what I love about the family life blended team is that they relentlessly pursued new ways of helping blended families and there's this new blended course Caldwell blended that the team is put together.

It's engaging videos from different experts on blended families and there's all sorts of things packed in the online course as innovative activities to do with your family there thoughtful articles and audio segments to have little snippets free to discuss and process this couple's devotions to bring you closer and there's even recommended resources to help you dig deeper. If you're prompted by listening today and I want some more within this is a great resource for you yeah really is.

And again you can get well blended@familylifetoa.com to find out more and enroll. There are a number of weekend to remember events happening this weekend in Austin and Houston, Texas as well as Orlando, Florida. We love it if you take a second and join us in prayer for those couples who will be attending next week will get to hear the story of how Kim Anthony of former world-class gymnast dealt with the secret world filled with drugs, violence and financial strain.

David and Wilson are also to be talking with recording artist and author Andrew Peterson about cultivating creativity and curiosity in our kids get to worship in your local church this Sunday on behalf of David and Wilson.

I'm Shelby will see that next time for another edition of family life today family like today's a production of family life group ministry helping you pursue the relationships that matter most


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