MInistry to Blended Families

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by MattC, Jan 18, 2006.

  1. MattC

    MattC
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    One of the fastest growing demographics in churches is the blended family. These are families in which either one or both spouses are divorced and remarried. They may or may not have children. One of my peers when I was in seminary suggested a class on how to minister to blended families. His first wife left him after he accepted Jesus as his savior and refused any further contact with him. He ended up marrying a woman who had the same thing happen to her. She brought a child into the marriage with them. To quote him, "TV and the world want to portray the blended family as they Brady Bunch. It's not. It's more like Desert Storm."

    The class was launched and I signed up. What I realized while taking this class is that there is little to no ministry designed to help blended families survive their marriages. A nuclear family is challenging enough. A blended family adds an entirely new dimension of problems. We often have classes developed for newly weds and new parents and so forth in our churches. We jump at the opportunity to minister to divorced people. But, it seems like when they remarry, we drop our ministry to them and hope they can cope.

    What do you think churches should be doing to encourage these families to stay together?
     
  2. Hope of Glory

    Hope of Glory
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    Well, to begin with, don't tell them that they're living in sin and they need to get divorced.

    Beyond that, much relies upon specific situations, such as (but not limited to): Age of children, how many children, of which spouse, relationship of children to parents (both custodial and non-custodial)... The list is long.
     
  3. exscentric

    exscentric
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    The original problem to your symptom is little teaching on what real marriage is about, as well as good teaching on divorce/remarriage.

    Your observation is quite correct in churches I've been involved with - so suggest some ways, you're the one that took the class - teach us [​IMG]

    I'm sure, approach will be guided by the churches view of divorce/remarriage, but even if you feel it is totally wrong, there needs to be that ministry to ALL believers, so they need to be ministered to.

    We await your wise suggestions - let me introduce our instructor for today - Mr. MattC [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  4. MikeinGhana

    MikeinGhana
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    I think a big part of the problem is that churches do not teach the Biblical principles of family to begin with. Whether the family is "nuclear" or "blended" the Bible still has a lot to say about rearing children, loving spouses, submitting, etc. The principle does not change just because of the relationship.

    Granted there are special circumstances that attend a blended family. There are Biblical principles to deal with it all though. Let us not fall prey to the world's philosophy that we need secular psychologists and counselors to help us deal with these "special" circumstances.
     
  5. shannonL

    shannonL
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    Blended family. What a phrase. Who came up with that one? Bill Hybels.

    I guess if you have two daddys your a blended family too.

    Seriously in counseling people you have to go by each situation. What was the background of the divorce etc....

    IMHO if two people are married that had affairs behind the backs of their spouses then they aren't "blended" at all. They are living in adultery plain and simple. They are only married on paper. They need have that fact pointed out to them and then do what is right.

    OTOH if a person is a victim of an adulterous affair after trying to make it work. Then they are free to remarry. If they have problems then give them counsel to do the right thing.

    I know this coining a phrase called blended families doesn't help the problem with marriages staying together. One reason divorce has climbed up the charts is the very fact that it isn't the stigma it used to be when a person went through one. The terminology "blended family" only lends itself to the tolerance we already have for divorce which is sad.
     
  6. Hope of Glory

    Hope of Glory
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    I was making the assumption (which I know I shouldn't make) that these people who are now in church are being taught about biblical marriage, but that the divorce and former marriage(s) took place before such time.
     

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