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Friday, April 15, 2011

It's Always Too Early to Quit

I learned of another stepmom this week who called it quits on her family. Married less than a year, the challenges of blending her kids with her husband's were too much. She chose to return to the single parenting life instead of plodding through the wilderness until the light of hope appeared.

It burdens me to hear of step-couples who give up in the early years of marriage. I believe God's perfect plan for marriage is that one man and one woman marry and raise their children together. When we choose a different path (divorce, children out of wedlock, re-marriage with stepchildren, etc.), marriage gets harder.

That doesn't mean God won't bless our blended family relationships, but it does mean we have to give more than 100% to make it work.

When we quit, our children lose. Children can't learn what a healthy marriage looks like in a single parenting home. Children don't learn how to manage conflict when we run away from it. Children won't learn what perseverance feels like if we quit.

A friend in my Bible Study Fellowship group told me her husband accepted the Lord this past week and will be baptized on Easter Sunday. She could barely contain her excitement. For 37 years of marriage, she'd prayed for him to become a Christian. She admitted there were times she wanted to give up. But instead she's blessed with a miracle after almost four decades.

It's always too early to quit. God can heal relationships that appear irrepairable. He can offer hope when it looks hopeless. But we have to give Him the opportunity, and trust His time frame when it looks different than ours.

"For I know the plans I have for you," says the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11).

Will you look to the Lord for hope on days you want to quit?

Related Posts:

Finding Hope in the Midst of Uncertainty

Good News for Stepfamilies

Everything Happens for a Reason

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At April 18, 2011 at 5:29 PM , Anonymous Sue said...

We dealt with a lot the first few years of our marriage: illness, several deaths, a defiant adult child moving back home, my husband's hostile ex-wife--the list goes on and on. There were definitely times when I wanted to walk away.

What kept me there? Two things.

The love I had (and still have) for my husband and the commitment we made to each other.

I used to think I had made a mistake and wished I hadn't married my husband and taken on a ready-made family, but I could never reconcile what I would do about the incredible love I felt for him.

One time when I was feeling particularly low, I even told him, "If it weren't for you, I'd be out of here."

Fortunately, God is a huge part of our marriage, and the more I struggled, the more I clung to Him.

His grace is the reason we are celebrating ten years of marriage this month.

At April 18, 2011 at 5:50 PM , Blogger Step Parenting with Grace said...

Ten years! Congratulations! That is a noteworthy feat for a stepfamily. There were many days that I stayed in my marriage also simply because I loved my husband and wanted to grow old with him. I tried to take the focus off the pain and rejection I felt as a stepparent and concentrate on the commitment I made to my husband. I'm thankful for that decision today. I hope you and your husband plan something fun to do to celebrate!


At April 18, 2011 at 9:02 PM , Anonymous Sue said...

Thanks, Gayla.

We are going out to eat on our actual anniversary and taking a trip together this fall.

We had a full nest--six of the nine kids still at home--when we got married, so this fall will also be the first time all of them are out of the nest.

I'll let you in on a little secret. Our trip is not just a celebration of ten years of marriage. Shhhhhh. =)

At April 19, 2011 at 2:58 PM , Blogger Step Parenting with Grace said...

Sue, You definitely have something worth celebrating! :)



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