It’s no secret that stepfamily life can be stressful. There can be battles over whose day it is, whose holiday it is, who gets to pick vacation dates first, exactly what time pick up is, who has to pay for what. Of course the fall out of these things is that you might not get to see your whole family on a holiday or vacation, or you might have chaos as you juggle your schedule trying to exchange the kids. Your date night could get cancelled while you try to figure out logistics. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg, right?
During stressful times, I have been tempted to go to a hateful place. I hate to admit it (pun intended), but I have struggled with questions like:
* Do I hate my husband’s ex-wife?
* Do I hate my husband for getting me into this?
As a Christian this was concerning to me because the Bible is clear that “ Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen” (1 John 4:20 NIV).
We live in a society where we “love” lots of things and we “hate” lots of things. These words are tossed around a lot. I love cookies! I love ombre hair! I love that new TV show. Or I hate my hair. I hate skinny jeans. I hate working out. You get the point.
In this blending process I have learned that there are things and situations I dislike, but not people I hate. I am more careful now to dissect situations and realize that people may choose to engage in behaviors that I might not like or make choices that would not be my first choice, but that doesn’t mean that I hate the person.
I have asked God to give me a soft heart. A heart that has compassion for my husband as he navigates tough situations. And a heart that recognizes his ex-wife is a precious child of God, with many lovely qualities. And God keeps his promises.
In Ezekiel 36:26 (NIV) it says: “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.”
Today I am thankful for the work He has done in my heart, that only He could do.
What are you thankful for?