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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Making Your Remarriage Work: Steps for Success

As my husband, Randy, and I celebrate a 15-year milestone in our marriage this week, I've been reflecting on how we've managed to stay married during some difficult years. So, for the next few posts, I want to highlight steps for success in a remarriage.

In their book, The Remarriage Checkup, Ron Deal and Dr. David Olson talk about the challenges of remarriage. "It is worthy to note that 88 percent of remarriage couples expect to have difficulties with stepfamily issues, but expecting difficulties and knowing how to manage them are two different things. Our clinical experience shows that despite an awareness that stepfamily issues will prove problematic for their marriage, most couples don't fully anticipate the magnitude of the stressors they will face and often are not equipped to deal with it."

Success in remarriage takes intentional steps toward healthy choices. The first and most important step that Randy and I took was committing to a united walk in our faith as we married and blended our familiesWe were from different denominations of faith that were similar in beliefs, but different in rituals. So, during our dating years, Randy and I committed to a spiritual journey together that included raising our children in a Christ-filled home. We then began church shopping until we found a church we could worship in as a family. We joined the church before we married. I'll never forget the pastor stumbling over his words as he introduced our families to the congregation, trying to avoid the subject of divorce as we stood with our four children!

If I'm not willing to surrender to a Christ-filled life, I assume the position of having all the answers. Remarriage and stepfamily life is complicated. If I rely on my own understanding, I fail. However, when I rely on guidance from the Lord and His Word, I have greater success in  my relationships. I also need God's love and mercy daily as I relate to others in my stepfamily, particularly during difficult periods.

Without our faith, I firmly believe Randy and I would not have survived 15 years of blended family life. But as we lean on the Lord for strength,wisdom, and perseverance, we find hope to continue on our journey.

What do you think? Do you consider your faith an important part of success in your remarriage?

Related posts:

Looking for Hope on Your Stepfamily Journey?

Nurture Your Marriage

Healthy Stepparenting: Walk with God Daily

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At October 18, 2010 at 12:16 PM , Anonymous sue said...

Absolutely! I'm not sure we would still be together if Christ was not at the center of our marriage. We've had a lot of tough stuff to deal with in the ten years that we've been together, and there were times that it would have been easier to simply throw in the towel and give up.

Knowing that we made a commitment before God, each other, and our families helps me make it through the tough times. I definitely take seriously our vows to love, honor and obey in sickness and in health, though good times and bad--not just when it's easy or when I feel like it.

Whenever I am having a hard time, I remember my vows, thank God for the gift of my husband, and ask Him to help me make it through. I know that I can do all things though Christ who strengthens me.

At October 21, 2010 at 8:20 AM , Blogger Step Parenting with Grace said...

Sue, I love that Scripture too - I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Thanks for your encouraging thoughts!


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