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Audio Shows

FamilyLife Blended® with Ron L. Deal


Where's Dad?

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Ron L. Deal

Becoming a stepfamily is in part about welcoming new family members. But it’s also about keeping the old.


A stepparent can be a wonderful asset to a child’s life but they can never replace a parent. Tragically, 40 percent of teenagers with divorced parents have not seen their biological father in five years. How do you suppose a child makes sense of that? What insecurities does that create in their heart? If you’re a mom or dad who’s disconnected from your child could I ask you to reconnect. I realize it’s complicated, but only you can fill what’s missing in your child’s heart. Hey, they need you.


Main Family or Stuck on the Side? - Wednesday, June 20, 2018

“Are you part of the main family or just sort of stuck on the side?”


A kid innocently asked his friend’s stepmom that question. Maybe you can relate. Are you just sort of stuck on the side if you’re family by marriage, by half siblings, or distant cousins twice removed? Hey, family can get complicated. Well, at church if Jesus is your Lord, then you’re not stuck on the side. You’re part of the family of God. And in life, if you’re family stuck on the side, you’re still family as long as I treat you that way.

Don't Look Now - Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Okay, whatever you do, don’t look now.


When you want to alert someone to something without making it obvious, you say, “Don’t look now,” as in “Don’t look now, but we’re being followed.” As Christians, I say let’s commandeer this phrase to help keep our minds focused on what is best. “Don’t look now, but you’re talking to your spouse and a very attractive person is walking by.” Don’t stare at that person’s body parts or clothes or house or stuff…it will make you discontent. Discipline your eyes. Protect your mind. Focus your heart.

Age Makes a Difference - Monday, June 18, 2018

Yes, age definitely makes a difference.


If you’re like me, the older I get the slower I get. Age affects other things, too. Like when it comes to bonding with adopted, foster, or stepchildren—their age matters. In general, the younger a child is, the faster you bond with them. Teens are seeking autonomy and independence so they’re not as invested in new relationships as their parents are. Bonding can be slow going, so loosen your expectations. Recognize that age influences a child’s openness so meet the child where they are.

Stepping in When Dad Stepped Out - Friday, June 15, 2018

What Father’s Day gift do you give the man who stepped in when your dad stepped out?


I love it. Year after year around Father’s Day I hear stories of stepdads who stepped in and stepped up. My biological father used his feet to run away. My stepdad planted his two feet firmly in my life. Or…I know you didn’t’ have all the answers and worried about your daughter and I not getting along, but still you gave us your all. So, what do you give the stepdad/bonus dad/double-dad in your life for stepping in? A great big hug. Happy Father’s Day!

Making the Hard Choices for Our Kids - Thursday, June 14, 2018

Sometimes, we parents have to give up what we really, really want in order to give our children what they really, really need.


I heard about a blended family couple applying for a job with a non-profit ministry. They were highly qualified and eager to serve the Lord. But there was one complication. Taking the job would mean moving far away for his ex-wife and his nine-year-old son. To their credit, the couple decided not to make the move. Were they giving up a good opportunity? Sure. But the best ministry they could be involved in was remaining close to his son so he could raise him to be a man.

Is Your Teenager Coming or Going? - Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Man, sometimes you don’t know if you’re coming or going.


Teenagers and young adults are trying to grow up. Like David using a sling to kill Goliath, centrifugal force is launching them into independence. But sometimes parents activate centripetal force that says, “Go to college but not far away." "Become responsible, but still need me.” Which is it? This happens in blended families when the kids are launching, but the new family is blending. Two opposing forces. The answer? For both parents and teens it’s somewhere between holding on and letting go.

A Sea of Emotions - Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Drowning in a sea of emotions? You’re not the only one.


In my book The Smart Stepdad I tell Josie’s story. “On our wedding day,” she said, “We left the chapel and there were five of us in the car…instant family. For some strange reason I didn’t see that coming. Silly me.” For months, Josie had anxiety and wrestled with what she called a sea of emotions. This really is a pretty common experience. Find the right answers to blended family questions. The emotions will come and go, but learning how to swim is what will keep your head above water.

Keep Your Enemies Close - Monday, June 11, 2018

When you disagree with someone’s lifestyle, don’t move away—move toward.


You care for someone, but you don’t care for their behavior. The old adage “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer” has application here. Influence comes with relationship, so move toward them however you can so that your heart and love for them will soften their heart toward what you’re saying. Avoid frequent confrontation; that will only push them away. Look, you’re not tolerating their poor choices; you’re trusting that closeness has more redemptive influence than distant judgment.

Seeking Reconciliation (Romans 12) - Friday, June 8, 2018

The Bible in Romans 12 says, “…as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” Well, that’s fine when circumstances allow, but when a friend or family member walks away—it’s not up to you. So, what do you do?


I think there’s a delicate balance between chasing after someone you love and giving them space to turn around; hounding them can just push them away. I’ve worked with a lot of heart-broken parents who don’t know what to do because one of their kids won’t come for visitation. No matter how frustrated you are stay determined to reconcile and close enough to be found when your child turns around. And because waiting is hard, you need lots of prayer. As far as it depends on you, live at peace.

Lectionary Calendar
Thursday, June 21st, 2018
the Week of Proper 6 / Ordinary 11
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