If you serve Christ with this attitude, you will please God, and others will approve of you, too. 19 So then, let us aim for harmony in the church and try to build each other up. – Romans 14:18-19 NLT
You may be wondering if having a good relationship with your stepchildren is possible. Sometimes it can feel like you’re entering a closed group where your acceptance must be earned. When we look at God’s work in His Church, we see how He can unify diverse people, no matter their history, background, culture, or lineage. God is amazing at creating one group out of many! The apostle Paul addressed the blending of Jewish and Gentile Christians in the book of Romans, guiding them toward transforming into a loving, unified family.
So, as new stepparents, we look to God for guidance in establishing harmony and unity at home. Consider these key points when you think about building a healthy and cohesive household.
1. Prioritize personal leadership from Christ. Begin by nurturing a godly foundation in your heart through daily Bible study, prayer, and active involvement in the church. This sets the example you want to see acted out in everyone and acknowledges that God’s work is not solely reliant on human wisdom or strength.
2. Communicate with your spouse about leading in devotion and discipline together. Establish a full plan around spiritual habits and disciplinary approaches. This way, you can maintain a unified front with your spouse, recognizing their primary role as the children’s point of reference, regardless of age. Discuss these matters privately, avoiding discussions in front of the children. Consistently supporting your spouse’s decisions will help establish your role in the children’s eyes.
3. Hold back from speaking negatively about the children’s other biological parent. Because children imitate what they hear, be an example of Christ’s model for speech in the home. Regardless of the circumstances, you don’t want to create or perpetuate friction between the children and their other biological parent. Instead, assist your spouse in remaining calm during heated situations. If necessary, address difficult topics privately with your spouse. Avoid complaining about visitation schedules or arrangements and be a peacemaker within the household.
4. Allow the relationship to develop naturally over time. Like our spiritual growth in Christ, normal relationships require quality time and cannot be rushed. Set reasonable expectations with your spouse regarding the desired pace and direction of your relationships with the children. If you ever feel uncertain, ask for insights from your spouse, allowing them to guide and facilitate success, even in terms of how the children address you.
Ultimately, we are all being transformed through our faith in Christ. Humbly owning this mindset will build closer connections within your new family. The foundation for a healthy home and deeper relationships comes from modeling Christ in all aspects of our lives. Unity with your spouse and gently guiding hearts toward a more meaningful relationship with Jesus will bring glory to God.
1. Talk with the pastor at church or someone in leadership and see if they know anyone who would be a good model for what you’re adapting to now. Set up a time for coffee and have regular check-ins with them for advice and help.
2. Make a list of different elements of your family life that you and your spouse can pray for together. Make this part of your routine.