As my husband, Randy, and I celebrate a 15-year milestone in our marriage this week, I’ve been reflecting on how we’ve managed to stay married during some difficult years. So, for the next few posts, I want to highlight steps for success in a remarriage.
In their book, The Remarriage Checkup, Ron Deal and Dr. David Olson talk about the challenges of remarriage. “It is worthy to note that 88 percent of remarriage couples expect to have difficulties with stepfamily issues, but expecting difficulties and knowing how to manage them are two different things. Our clinical experience shows that despite an awareness that stepfamily issues will prove problematic for their marriage, most couples don’t fully anticipate the magnitude of the stressors they will face and often are not equipped to deal with it.”
Success in remarriage takes intentional steps toward healthy choices. The first and most important step that Randy and I took was committing to a united walk in our faith as we married and blended our families. We were from different denominations of faith that were similar in beliefs, but different in rituals. So, during our dating years, Randy and I committed to a spiritual journey together that included raising our children in a Christ-filled home. We then began church shopping until we found a church we could worship in as a family. We joined the church before we married. I’ll never forget the pastor stumbling over his words as he introduced our families to the congregation, trying to avoid the subject of divorce as we stood with our four children!
If I’m not willing to surrender to a Christ-filled life, I assume the position of having all the answers. Remarriage and stepfamily life is complicated. If I rely on my own understanding, I fail. However, when I rely on guidance from the Lord and His Word, I have greater success in my relationships. I also need God’s love and mercy daily as I relate to others in my stepfamily, particularly during difficult periods.
Without our faith, I firmly believe Randy and I would not have survived 15 years of blended family life. But as we lean on the Lord for strength,wisdom, and perseverance, we find hope to continue on our journey.
What do you think? Do you consider your faith an important part of success in your remarriage?