We’re focusing on the Fruit of the Spirit from Galatians 5:22, 23 for a few days and how we can apply them in our relationships with our stepchildren.
The first fruit given is love. I think if we’re perfectly honest, sometimes it’s hard to love our stepkids. We want to love them and we try to love them, but sometimes we don’t feel love. It’s okay to admit that. But we don’t want to get stuck there forever.
So, how can we change that? I think the first thing we can do is pray that God will soften our heart toward them. As we pray for their needs and our relationship with them regularly, we will begin to take a more positive attitude toward them.
Another intentional action we can take is to find common ground with them to build upon. If they enjoy sports, take an interest in their games. If they enjoy music, attend their concerts and have conversation with them about it. Try to find something you have in common or both enjoy that you can talk about and participate in together. If it is awkward to be alone with your stepchild, use another person as a buffer until the relationship is stronger.
An Al-Anon slogan that I love is, “Let it begin with me.” Al-Anon is a support group for families of alcoholics that I attended regularly throughout my first marriage. The slogans and steps can apply to any relationship. If I choose to work at changing myself, it will in turn, change others. I can give to others what I want to receive and become what I want to attract. As I react with love and kindness, those around me will respond to my behavior.
Loving our stepchildren may not come naturally. But we can choose to do our part in developing a relationship with them, showing care and concern. Over time, it’s likely a love for them will flourish.