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FamilyLife Blended® with Ron L. Deal


Scooping Fire Into Your Lap

Friday, March 16, 2018

Ron L. Deal

Ok, imagine sitting next to a campfire, and scooping up a few burning logs and placing them in your lap. Yeah, that’s going to leave a mark.


It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that is going to hurt. Well, that’s exactly the word picture Solomon gave his son in the Bible in Proverbs 6 about committing adultery. It’s like scooping fire into your lap. God really is looking out for us when he says to honor the marriage bed. Fidelity in marriage really matters because it fosters and sustains trust in a relationship and it communicates to your spouse their importance to you—two very important aspects of sustaining a strong marriage.


Make a Friend, Share a Vulnerability - Thursday, March 15, 2018

Want a great tip for deepening a friendship? It starts with you sharing you.


When someone is transparent we respect them a little more deeply. We admire their courage and feel like it’s safe to be around them. Stepfamily members can do the same thing. I’ve watched adult stepchildren share something personal with a parent’s new spouse, and somehow, it opens the door to friendship. I’ve seen stepparents endear their stepkids to them by sharing a story about a hard life-lesson that they learned. It takes courage to jump out there but that's where great relationships begin.

I Celebrate You, Too. - Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Godly people try to make friends out of enemies.


Maybe you saw the viral video of the mom who took a birthday gift to her daughter’s dad…and stepmom. Of course, everybody wanted to know why because moms and stepmoms are supposed to be enemies, right? Just because it is often like that doesn’t mean it should be. See, this Mom had been going through a tough time and her ex and the stepmom had been supportive. To say “thank you” she took them a gift. The whole world and her daughter got to watch and be inspired. Now that’s how you co-parent.

Can’t See the Vista - Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Have you ever thought, “Maybe I’m being too negative”?


I regularly talk on the radio about the blessings and challenges of blended family living. Why? Because no one else is and there’s a huge population of people living in stepfamilies. Because there are predictable challenges the first decade I want to help prepare you. But my fear is that talking about the challenges makes you think there are few rewards. That’s just not true. When you’re climbing the mountain you can’t always see the vista. Trust me, it’s there. Just keep climbing.

Keep Your Time - Monday, March 12, 2018

When it comes to time with your kids, backing out is backing down.


Some segments of society view men as peripheral to the family. Both sides buy the lie—some moms would prefer he step back and he is willing to back out. A divorced man said to me once, “If my kids don’t want to come over I don’t make them.” I said, “Why? Why would you do that? Do you let them decide not to eat their vegetables or do their homework? I sure hope not.” Kids don’t always know what they need. That’s why God gave them parents. Don’t back out. Keep your time. Your love matters.

Offering Forgiveness - Friday, March 9, 2018

Have you ever noticed how much easier it is to forgive a family member than somebody else?


Sometimes stepparents and stepchildren can find it more difficult to forgive each other than other family members. One teenager said it this way, “If my dad hurts my feelings, it’s a lot easier to let it go than if my stepmom does.” Easier…yes. Any less important…no. In the Bible, Colossians 3 urges us to forgive our grievances with each other, just as the Lord has forgiven us. As best I can tell, this includes stepfamily members, too.

Feeding Your Family - Thursday, March 8, 2018

Have you ever noticed that in order to stay alive, you have to keep feeding yourself?


You can hardly forget because if you’re not eating your stomach will remind you, right?  Relationships need to be fed, too. If you want your relationships to grow then shower people with genuine compliments and don’t stop. Words of appreciation and affirmation can build a stepfamily relationship, foster closeness in a marriage, and encourage cooperation between co-parents. Criticism can undo all of it and build walls of resentment. Don’t just keep your family alive! Feed it appreciation food.

Jumping in Mid-Stream - Wednesday, March 7, 2018

When jumping into a river, try avoiding the rapids!


Parenting has many seasons to it. If you’ve got a kid over 20, you know what I mean. Stepparents and foster parents jump into that river mid-stream—while learning to swim at the same time. Reactions like, “my kid never acted like this.” Or, “I’ve never had a teenager before—is this normal?” are common. Hey, it’s easy to get lost in the rapids so help each other out. The biological parent can fill in a few gaps while the stepparent plays catch-up. Slow down. Get in sync. And hang on for the ride.

Respect Breeds Respect - Tuesday, March 6, 2018

When it comes to kids, who you respect is who they respect.


Daniel’s stepdad was important to him. His stepdad was his dad. He loved, honored, and valued him and yet his respect was limited. You see, Daniel’s mother never allowed his stepdad to discipline him and she made it very clear that if push came to shove she would choose Daniel and walk away. As a result, his stepdad had limited authority and Daniel knew it. Here’s the take-away: Who we respect—in all aspects of life—is who our children respect. In parenting, make sure you lift one another up.

Encourage Connection to the Other Parent - Monday, March 5, 2018

Don’t fracture a child’s heart. Put it together and let love flow freely.


Sometimes co-parents are tempted to dampen a child’s relationship with the other parent. Listen, it is every parent’s responsibility to encourage their child to keep in contact. Not just visit, but have a strong relationship. Alienators will take advantage and say, “They don’t want to go to their mom’s house, so I don’t’ make them.” No. That’s not right. We don’t let a child’s hesitation keep them from things. So, unless there is abuse, encourage the relationship and celebrate the other parent.

Lectionary Calendar
Saturday, March 17th, 2018
the Fourth Week of Lent
There are 15 days til Easter!
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