Whenever a new person joins an already established group, the dynamic of that group is automatically altered. In other words, THINGS CHANGE. This is true in friendship circles, classes, sports and every other group activity.
It’s also true with families. When parents remarry, the family structure changes. This is often a hard adjustment!
Here are some tips that may help during this difficult transition:
- Pray for strength. God is omnipresent. This means that He’s always near you. Whenever you’re feeling frustrated with your new situation, go to God for strength. Ask for guidance and He’ll give you the wisdom that you need to resolve the circumstance that’s burdening you. A Word Of Caution: praying for your parent and step-parent to separate may not be fruitful because God has designed marriages to be for a lifetime. Instead, try praying that your new family is happy and healthy.
- Respect the family roles. It may be hard to swallow, but your step-parent is now the co-leader of the household. This may be very different for you, especially if you were used to assuming a lot of the household responsibilities before the new marriage. Unfortunately, until everyone adjusts to the new roles, power struggles may occur. When you realize that this is happening, consider your part in the power struggle. Would you respond the same with your biological parent? If not, take a moment to consider the more appropriate response to the situation.
- No splitting! God is a GOD of peace and order. He doesn’t work in chaos, confusion and division. When there’s division in the household, the door is opened up for the enemy, and we know that where Satan is, there’s also spiritual death and destruction. Don’t try to cause arguments between your parent and step-parent and don’t try to get one to go against the other. If you do, this will cause friction and chaos in the home that will ultimately affect everyone’s peace of mind. In the end, this isn’t good for anyone involved.
- Disagree with love. No one expects this transition to be perfect and disagreements will occur. However, when you disagree with your step-parent (and parent, too), it should be done in a respectful and loving manner. Shouting and name-calling will only worsen the situation. Resolving conflict in a peaceful manner is hard because Satan tries to use these times to create division. Pray first and approach your step-parent calmly and respectfully. Sometimes, the disagreement may need a third party to intervene, so if things deteriorate during the conversation, remove yourself from the situation. Your biological parent should be present when the conversation is resumed.
- Have compassion. Try not to be too hard on your step-parent. Remember, this is new for him/her, too, and s(he) will also make mistakes. Pray for him/her during this transition.