Stop the Step-Family Denial, Stop the Stress

Have you ever known a person who refused to see the truth about himself? Who, instead of facing the truth and embracing change, ran from place to place or from person to person, trying to find assurance that he was “okay” and didn’t need to change?

Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft….  –Galatians 5:19-20

We may think we don’t have any relation to this scripture, but if we are not adapting in the face of change and adversity we are setting ourselves up for the potential ruling of the flesh.  We may not melt gold to make a statue to worship, but if we allow our flesh to behave the same way by denying our problems, we are taking part in a modern day ritual. 

People who refuse to look at themselves and face what needs to change often develop chemical dependencies in their efforts to avoid seeing the truth. These dependencies can be in the form of drugs (illegal or prescription), food, alcohol, or other unhealthy behaviors.

It might be us who are hiding from the truth, but it may also be our step-children.

“I’m fine,” 13-year-old Samantha said as she met with her therapist.  Because she said it in a seemingly sweet, high-pitched voice Samantha hoped the therapist would believe her and move on to talk about something more superficial than her parents’ divorce and mother’s remarriage.

Samantha is just one example of someone who wants to be told that someone else is to blame for her issues or discontent. Step children, in an effort to not be stuck in the middle, will pretend everything’s fine and stuff their emotions down.  Some even go so far as to have splits in their personality—a topic that’s too big a topic to handle in this article, but is a very real and dangerous way to deal with the emotions you don’t want to face.

Step-moms suffer from avoidance a great deal, as they are torn between what they truly feel about their situation and how they feel the storybook should read.  They want to scream “I can’t stand these kids sometimes! No matter what I do, they don’t care about me or their father.” Instead they smile big and pretend they have the Brady Bunch.  The pain of admitting they are the Broken Bunch is too much to bear.

What will the church think of me? they wonder. All of my friends have plenty of family issues but at least their family is intact.

Ladies, these are lies designed to keep you from bringing into light what God truly wants to heal.

If we can stop putting on the masks that don’t fool anyone anyway and come to God—and our therapist—with the honest truth about what we are struggling with, the true healing process can begin.

Start today.  Write down at least 10 things about your new family situation that you are not happy about.  Write more if you have to.  Then take that complaint list and make it your prayer list.  God will meet you right where you are and honor your honesty.

I encourage you to do this with your step-children as well.  They are hurting in many ways too and need your and God’s guidance. Maybe even pray together and see how God moves mountains in your family!

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