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FamilyLife Blended® with Ron L. Deal


Pressing for Marriage

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Ron L. Deal

Yeah, I know we don’t have a pilot, but let’s fly anyway.


Laura was a single mom with two teenagers who'd dated a guy for years and she was ready to get married. But he wasn’t. “Am I being selfish,” she asked me. Well, maybe not selfish, but certainly unwise. She overlooked the conflict between her daughter and her boyfriend. And she was convinced he would be a good father-figure to her son—even though he said he didn’t really want to be. Quit ignoring air traffic control. Don’t take off unless the pilot’s onboard and everyone is safely in their seat.



The Cold Shoulder - Monday, December 17, 2018

Everyone likes a warm smile. But what about a cold shoulder.


Angela was kind to her stepchildren’s mother. She sent occasional gifts and nice texts to let her know she respected her. But because she never got anything back, she wondered if she was harassing the mom. I suppose it’s possible the mother felt that way, but my guess is she felt threatened by Angela’s presence or was bitter toward the kid’s father. So, until you know differently, I told Angela, keep doing what you’re doing. It may take a while but kindness is still the best medicine.

Holiday Flexibility - Friday, December 14, 2018

Co-Parents: If you really want to bless your children, here’s a quality to strive for.


Surrounded by four children (two hers and two his), I asked Kay how she was able to cope with between home pressures at the holidays. Kay said, “Well, I learned early on that letting the other home have the kids on Christmas Day was not only a gift to my kids, but to myself. I realized that giving them that time helped both homes enjoy the holidays more.” Kay learned to be flexible. That’s rarely an easy thing to do. I’m quite sure she was disappointed that first Christmas but what a blessing.

Finding Your God-Esteem - Thursday, December 13, 2018

When someone is beating you down, how do you stand up?


At some point nearly all of us have to work with, live with, or live in connection with someone who is critical or condescending. Have you ever noticed that self-esteem is fragile and fleeting? I think God-esteem is much better. It says I am somebody, not because of my accomplishments, but because of what God is accomplishing in me. Through Jesus I am bought, loved, forgiven, and accepted—a child of the King. Now, that is a bottomless well of worthiness I can draw from so I can love others.

No Cookie Cutter Kids - Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Here’s a holiday-inspired tip for parents and stepparents: when you make Christmas cookies this year, remember, there’s no cookie cutter kids.


Our family enjoys making Christmas cookies. Each cookie cutter makes cookies that all look alike. My wife pointed out to me one day that our three boys are not alike in their preferences, natural strengths, or temperament. So we shouldn’t expect to parent them the same. No, our jobs as parents is to discover their God-given uniqueness, celebrate it, and fan it into flame with everything we’ve got. Yeah, when it comes to kids—Throw away the cookie cutters for each has its own unique shape.

Is My Son Being Manipulative? - Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Ron, we get married in a couple of months…and now my son gets angry?


Six years after Vali’s first husband died, she met a man and fell in love. Her son seemed fine with the idea…until he wasn’t. Vali wanted to know if his anger was manipulation. My reply? Maybe. It’s common for major family transitions like a wedding to resurrect grief in kids so this mom should at least slow down, listen to her son and moved toward him emotionally. He needs reassurance. But is he manipulative? If he has a history than maybe. Either way, he needs a little TLC.

One Good Parent - Monday, December 10, 2018

Ideally, kids need two good parents. But what if you only have one?


We all live somewhere between the ideal and the real. What should be ended with the fall of mankind. What is, is the life we live until Jesus comes again. We wish all kids had two good parents but many kids only have one because some parents—both outside and still inside the home—are MIA. When two good parents are not available, research confirms that one good parent who is loving and firm with discipline will often suffice. It can be a foster parent, a mentor, a biological parent or stepparent.

Holidays: Stress & Reminders - Friday, December 7, 2018

Holiday pictures should have everyone in the frame, right? But sometimes they don’t.


Someone is missing from the family portrait. Whether by death or by divorce the joy of the season is dampened by sadness. For many stepfamilies, someone is at the other home instead of at the dinner table. Or tension between family members reminds them that they aren’t quite the family they want to be. Be reminded this Christmas that the mercy of Christ helps us love in spite of tension. Nothing is impossible with God. Humble beginnings and impractical circumstances are not beyond Him.

Rules Without Relationship - Thursday, December 6, 2018

The old adage is true: Rules without relationship leads to rebellion.


Where does that leave a foster parent, an adoptive parent, or stepparent? You can have authority without a bonded relationship. But it has limits. A police officer can pull you over, a boss or coach or a teacher can tell you what to do, but people don’t obey these authorities out of love. That’s why it’s critical a new stepparent know their limits. Focus on bonding with kids and work with the biological parent on setting the household rules. Stand together and you can enforce those rules.

The Dance of Want - Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Are you dancing the dance of want?


Remember getting a crush on someone, but you didn’t know if they were also interested so you acted coy and tried to find out if they wanted to be wanted by you. That’s the dance of want. The first date was great and you hoped for another, but do they? After dating for months, you’re thinking of marriage, but are they? This dance can make you insecure and withhold yourself. But that gets you nowhere. Love first. Give first. Sacrifice first. Live out of your want first.

Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, December 18th, 2018
the Third Week of Advent
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