Saturday, February 27, 2010

The Effect of Children

Another reason remarriages fail is the stress that children can add to the relationship.

"Children are the leading cause of second marriages coming to divorce," says Gary Richmond. "They see the stepparent as the enemy, and they strongly defend the missing parent in the home."

The loyalty of a child to a natural parent is strong. You may wonder how your children could still love and defend your former spouse who betrayed, abused, or abandoned you and your children. You might think that your children would welcome a new stepparent who is kind, loving, and patient. Be careful not to make assumptions where your children are concerned. They might come to accept a new person in the home and they might not. Children are a stressor to new relationships and remarriages.

Trying to change your children's feelings or loyalties can be harmful. That is not where you should focus your energies. Instead, teach them about and model the love of God. Let them observe you tenderly caring and praying for them and for the family every day. Bring them regularly to church. Read God's Word daily and share with them what you are learning. True, godly love is the only kind of love that brings healing and peace in a home. If you were ever to remarry, your new spouse should have these same values.

"Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up" (Deuteronomy 11:18-19).

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