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FamilyLife Blended® with Ron L. Deal


Loyalty Tug-of-War

Friday, January 17, 2020

Ron L. Deal

Have you ever been caught in a loyalty tug-of-war?


For young and adult children feeling stuck between your parents or between your mom and your stepmom is a common experience. When family members pressure kids to spend more time at one house than the other or they lay guilt trips on them for loving people in the other home loyalties get divided and kids lose. What they really need is permission to like and love everyone in their life. Instead of a selfish tug-of-war aimed at taking care of your needs drop the rope. Love them and let them love.


Both the Marriage and the Kids - Thursday, January 16, 2020

So which comes first in your household your marriage or the kids?


Healthy stepcouples know they have to balance time and energy invested in their marriage and in the lives of their children. Because the transition to a stepfamily can make kids feel pushed aside smart biological parents make time to connect one on one with their kids. But they also carve out a date night for their spouse. If the kids object they patiently reassure them and go on with the date. Finding the balance is not always easy but it sure pays off in the long run.

Raising Faithful Kids - Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Ron, I so want my kids to love the Lord. So what do I do when their other home is not a good influence?


Be very intentional about influencing your children toward the Lord when they are in your home. Deuteronomy 6 says to model God’s values to your kids and impress them on their hearts. You must be diligent in this. Intentionally prepare them for the types of influence they will face at the other house. Be respectful about the people in their life but help your children have a plan. How are they going to manage whatever they are exposed to? Finally, pray constantly for them while they are there.

Don’t Cut Them Out - Tuesday, January 14, 2020

She’s showing her true colors, Ron, and they’re not very pretty.


Sharon posted that she and her sister, both adults, were happy for their father when he remarried after their mother died. Their dad’s new wife seemed approachable but eventually she manipulated their dad, systematically cutting him off from them. That’s wrong. It’s a shallow person who confiscates someone’s love and divides a family. If God is your source, you’ll always have enough love for all and they’ll have enough for you. But if you’re possessive, you might be the one who gets cut out.

Are You That Unkind Person? - Monday, January 13, 2020

What sort of term of endearment do you give a spouse who has the soul of a pterodactyl?


That’s the question Pastor Tommy Nelson used to ask. I don’t know what the answer is. I mean, some people just make you want to run and hide. Proverbs 21 says, “Better to live on the corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife.” Now, I need to ask you. Are you that unkind person? We all have some rough edges to our personality but some have sharp, serrated edges—that they don’t do anything about and they expect others not to mind. Come on. The call of discipleship is to take off your old self and put on the new.

Problems Enjoying a Stepparent - Friday, January 10, 2020

Have you ever thought that one reason kids don’t like their stepparent is because they like their stepparent?


One teenager put it to me this way. I like my stepmom. That’s the problem. I’m worried my mom will get her feelings hurt. What a bind for a kid. A child in that situation needs permission from their biological mom. Permission to get along with and maybe even love their stepmom. What the child needs from the stepmom is your permission to love their mom and a whole lot of grace when they shrink back. After all, it’s not really a rejection of you it’s just being stuck in the middle.

Inspired by Stepparents - Thursday, January 9, 2020

Just how far would you go to care for one of your children?


Recently I heard about a stepdad who plans to climb Mt. Everest to raise money to pay for his stepdaughter’s leukemia treatment. You know, despite all the negative stereotypes my more than two decades of working with stepfamilies tells me that the vast majority of stepparents would climb the highest mountain to care for their stepchildren. If that inspires you like it does me, tell the stepparents you know, “thank you.”

Merging Parenting Styles - Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Ron, I thought I was going crazy, but now I know I’m not alone.


Tina had read an article online about parents who get paralyzed and don’t set boundaries for their children. She and her husband were a blended family. She worked hard at structure and expectations with the kids but her husband—well, he just let his son do whatever he wanted. You can’t have two different parenting styles in the same home without conflict. You’re both going to have adjustments to make, but if you’re the paralyzed parent there’s hope. You can move again. Let us help you.

A Heart for the Poor (Proverbs 21) - Tuesday, January 7, 2020

“Okay, kids, we just gave some money to the homeless man at the last street corner. Do you give some more to the guy at this corner?”


That’s actually what I said to my kids. It wasn’t a pop quiz or anything. It was a genuine dilemma for me. We had been talking about Proverbs 21:13 and “not closing our ears to the cry of the poor.” It’s just not easy to always know what to do. Here’s the takeaway. Share your faith dilemmas out loud with your children and stepchildren. It teaches them to wrestle with life issues in light of God’s word. It invites them to see your heart and the talk strengthens your family’s faith walk.

Prenuptial Housing - Monday, January 6, 2020

Benjamin Franklin said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.”


Believe it or not, sometimes people plan to fail. A designer in the Netherlands has a new concept for a floating house. Designed like two puzzle pieces, the house separates so if you’re unhappy you cast your spouse adrift. Now, when your marriage drifts apart, you can detach the two units and each partner can drift apart in their own home. It’s called, “Prenuptial Housing.” What? We’re designing houses prepared for failure. Why not invest that much energy and planning into being successful?

Lectionary Calendar
Friday, January 17th, 2020
the First Week after Epiphany
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