FamilyLife Blended®

Ron L. Deal

Baby Mama Drama

March 1, 2019

Do you have any baby mama drama?


There once was a guy who had ten kids by three different women and a favorite child by a fourth woman. The resentment was very high. I tell you this biblical story about Jacob, Leah, Rachel, and his two other wives to remind you that; first, God’s design for one couple to raise their children in a covenant marriage is the best and least complicated storyline for families. But, second, if your story has a lot of baby mama drama—God still loves you and He can bring about redemption in your life.

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What happens when a dad and stepdad team up? Kids win—that’s what happens. Maybe you saw the story about the dad who before walking his daughter down the aisle at her wedding said, “I’ll be back,” and then went and grabbed the arm of his daughter’s stepdad and said, “Come on. You helped raise her, help me walk our daughter down the aisle.” Wow. After years of animosity and competition he said “our daughter.” Next thing you know, the daughter is crying, the stepdad is crying…everyone is crying. Now that kind of selflessness is how you bless a child and change a nation.
February 28, 2019
Well, you won’t hear this in a marriage conference. There’s no marriage in heaven.   Jesus says in Matthew 22: “At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage…” As Christ’s bride we’re all engaged to the Savior. Marriage on earth is meant to lead us to that ultimate wedding, if you will, where there won’t be a need for marriage as we know it. Because of that our love for Christ should far outweigh our earthly loves. How should you love your spouse, or if single date, or prepare your child for marriage? First, live your relationships in light of eternity.
February 27, 2019
Nontraditional is the new traditional.   Sometimes we hold on to what was, refusing to stay current with what is. Like what we envision when we say the word “family.” More than half of the U.S. population is single. Children are increasingly being raised in blended and single parent families. One in six newlywed couples is interethnic. Hey, look, nontraditional is the new traditional. Now, accepting this reality does not mean giving up on God’s design for the family. It just helps us reach today’s audience with his truth.
February 26, 2019
Family, tells a truth about God.   God is relational. He exists and functions in relationship as the Trinity. You might call them, the first family. So, making us in His image; we, too, have a family that helps us know and love him and one another. Think of family life, then, as an act of discipleship. It tells the truths about God like what love is and forgiveness, mercy, and grace. The good news is all families; single parent, stepfamily, first-family—regardless of their structure—can teach these vital truths about God.
February 25, 2019
This week we’ve been talking about maximizing the fun-factor in your marriage. But did you know that sometimes the path to fun is full of sacrifice.   Ed enjoys golf. Virginia loves to window-shop and hunt for antiques. And neither of them enjoys what the other enjoys. Ah, we have a problem. It’s not bad they each have their own leisure interests, but what separates poor or mediocre marriages from great ones—especially in stepfamilies—is engaging in shared fun. Ed and Virginia can get there but it’s going to take sacrifice. When each makes sacrifices for the other there’s a balance of fun in their relationship.
February 22, 2019
Guess what? A regular diet of fun predicts whether stepfamily couples have a dynamic, fulfilling relationship or an unhappy one.   Couples who engage in leisurely activities together on a regular basis report that they enjoy being with one another. That makes total sense. So, why don’t we find the time for the fun-factor more often? Well, one-third of stepfamily couples disagree about what’s fun. They have different interests and hobbies that take them in two directions. Now it’s okay to have different interests, but you must find something that you can share together.
February 21, 2019
You don’t have to be a brain surgeon to guess that having fun together as a couple is good for your marriage. And you’d be right!   Ty and Andrea secretly watched each other play tennis in a club league for months before Ty finally asked Andrea to play a match—and they were a match. Fast forward and the fun activities that brought them together have now faded into the business of life. Making time for leisure activities is key for all marriages, but my research has discovered it is particularly important for stepfamily couples. There’s something about “the fun-factor” that protects you from the stress of stepfamily life.
February 20, 2019
Can every home be a godly home?   Sometimes we do judge a book by its cover. Whether you can be a leader at church, teach classes, or work with students is sometimes determined by your marital story. Our goal at FamilyLife is “Every home a godly home;” but that does not mean “every home a biological, nuclear home.” Love and grace can characterize people in complex families, too. Be careful not to limit people based solely on family structure. Ultimately, teaching them to love Jesus and love each other is the goal.
February 19, 2019
For your kid’s sake, wouldn’t you like to know the path to great faith?   In Luke 7 in the Bible Jesus gives an incredible complement to a Roman Centurion soldier: “Not even in Israel have I found such faith.” Wow. Wouldn’t you love to have Jesus say that about you and your kids? So, who was this guy? He was humble and he understood his place in the world and Jesus’ authority as God. That’s one task of good parenting: Helping our children to humbly accept their place in the world while bowing to God’s authority and power. Teaching that starts with us modeling it.  
February 18, 2019
“Ron, if it weren’t for the stepfamily, we’d be a happily married couple.”   I wish I had a nickel for every time I heard this. Our research finds that before a wedding couple satisfaction is mostly tied to, as you would expect—the couple. Couple satisfaction is a function of the couple’s relationship. But, after the wedding, couple satisfaction is equally tied to the stepfamily stuff going on around them. Stepfamily couple satisfaction is a function of the couple’s relationship AND the stepfamily dynamic. That’s where they get blind-sided. Hey, we can help with that.
February 15, 2019
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Receive our monthly Strengthening Stepfamilies newsletter as well as the occasional email updating you on stepfamily events and resources.

About FamilyLife Blended®

FamilyLife Blended® provides  biblically-based resources that help prevent re-divorce, strengthen stepfamilies, and help break the generational cycle of divorce.

About Ron L. Deal

Ron L. Deal is the Director of blended family ministries at FamilyLife®, and is the author/coauthor of the books The Smart StepfamilyThe Smart Stepdad, The Smart Stepmom, Dating and the Single Parent, and The Remarriage Checkup. Ron voices the FamilyLife Blended short feature and is one of the most widely read authors on stepfamily living in the country. He is a licensed marriage and family therapist who frequently appears in the national media, including FamilyLife Today® and Focus on the Family, and he conducts marriage and family seminars around the countryRon and his wife, Nan, have been married since 1986 and have three boys.

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