Patience…

Stepping stones to a strong second marriage….

As with anything else, sometimes you take three steps forward and four steps backwards. Remarriage is probably harder in many ways than first marriage. We must be relentless and have the mindset that we will not stop, give in, give up, or surrender to anything that tries to discourage us or throw us off track in our marriage. We must turn the table on the enemy when we take those steps backwards and turn them into stepping stones and determine the enemy will be so sorry he ever messed with you.
Patience Greek hupomeno or being steadfast, consistent, unwavering and unflinching. Patience means endurance which is staying power-an attitude that never gives up.
James 1:2-4 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.  But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
I love this except from Rick Renner’s Sparkling Gems:
“I declare that I am steadfast & immovable!  I have a non-negotiable attitude of absolute determination to do what God has called me to do.  I am fixed, solid, grounded, established, anchored, unvarying, permanent & stable in my tenacity to grab hold of all that God has destined for me to accomplish with my life.  I will not stop, give in, give up, or surrender to anything that tries to discourage me or throw me off track.  I am committed to stay in the race until I have made it all the way to the end.   I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!”
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Never Compare….

Stepping stones to a strong second marriage….

We must be careful not to compare ourselves to the former spouse or compare our spouse to our former spouse. This can get you in the ditch really quick! Sounds like a “duh” statement but the enemy is subtle and you can find yourself in competition with the way the former spouse did things, how they dress etc. Remember that your spouse married you for who you are, for your personality, for your giftings, etc. we must also realize that when children are involved, that former spouse is still the mother or father of the children. Resist the temptation to become jealous when they must have contact with that former spouse. Remember you are the current Mr. or current Mrs.  Jealousy never looks good on us and is not attractive.
Galatians 5:26 (AMP) “Let us not become vainglorious and self-conceited, competitive and challenging and provoking and irritating to one another, envying and being jealous of one another.”
Just another stepping stone….

First Steps to “Step” Parenting

Stepping stones to a strong second marriage….

I was listening to a Focus in the Families broadcast about step-families and the speaker said something I had never thought about. Jesus had a step-father and his name was Joseph. He then talked about how the Bible was full of step-families. I had never thought about that. So even in the beginning of time, there were all sorts of issues which led to “step-families.” Anther example of how there is nothing’s new under the sun. Step-parenting is not easy by any means. The “step” parent can spend a lot of time walking on egg shells and dancing around the edges of parenting. The “step” often searches for boundaries when to speak up and when to remain quiet. This is why God’s wisdom is just so important in step-families. We must continually ask for wisdom in relating to the children. Don’t forget that the kids have their own baggage coming into your marriage. Probably every child has dreamed of his or her parents getting back together and your marriage ruined that dream. This is why the “step” should not  take rejection personally. The kids have their own hurts and disappointments they are working through–Not to mention the idea of new people and new personalities in “their” house and “their” space to adjust to. I’m sure kids often feel torn in many situations and we must be realize it is not personal. The “step” must have the attitude and display in their actions that they are not trying to “replace” their parents. My husband and I have always said we want to play whatever role in “our” children’s lives that they will allow and we have always tried to never force something on them that they weren’t ready or willing to accept in our relationship with them. It’s so important for both spouses to communicate and be able to share openly regarding the kids and not take offense when all doesn’t go smoothly. Building your strong second marriage and step-family is definitely a “crock pot” process and not a “microwave” process. It takes time and lots of patience and love and as with any relationship, Christ must remain at the center.
Just another stepping stone….

Yes, You Both Have a Past

Stepping stones to a strong second marriage….
I think one of the things that is so important is to realize you both have a past. In our own life, our first marriages lasted many years. With that comes a lot of memories. We must realize we are not in competition with that past. To the spouse– it’s okay to talk about the past life. Now we don’t camp there but to forbid or even resent it would not be proper nor realistic and certainly not fair.  We wouldn’t be where we are without our past. I remember we had a conversation that let each other off the hook before we got married. We apologized ahead of time if we “slipped” and called the other person the “other” name. It was bound to happen after 66 years of marriage between us. It hasn’t happened often but we decided ahead of time that we would disarm the enemy before he pulled out that weapon. Every time it has happened, we laugh and hug one another, disarm the enemy all over again and remind each other of how we love each other and appreciate the other. The funniest story thus far about that is when we were in the airport in India waiting to come home from a mission trip and one of us in the course of conversation said the “other” name to the other. The spouse just laughed and said yes and used their “other name” to that spouse. It was said out of habit and we laughed and laughed about it and still laugh about it to this day. You see, we didn’t take offense. In second marriage, both spouses must realize there is a past and we are not in competition with that past. Comparing yourself to the former spouse is a dangerous thing and will get you into troubled waters. Don’t compete and don’t feel threatened. God didn’t call you to be like the former spouse. God called you to be who He called you to be. Don’t try to be someone else. You may not have been the first choice for your spouse, but you are God’s chosen…. which is always best choice.
Just a stepping stone for building  your second strong marriage….