FamilyLife Blended®

Ron L. Deal

Be a Good Parent

March 6, 2017

When it comes to parenting united you stand, but divided they fall.


Parents who disagree on how to parent find that their kids are the ones who fall through the cracks or get caught in the crossfire. This is really true in blended families because you’re divided on day one as a family and you stay stuck that way. One thing that can unify you is good parenting. Read a book together or join a small group—there’s lots of parent training available. You have no excuse. Stop arguing. Getting on the same parenting page will bridge your gaps and strengthen your home. 

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Because we parents love our kids, we are vigilant to protect them from harm. What’s sobering though, is all the things we can’t control.   We can’t control what another kid says to them, what they are exposed to on the internet, an illness they might pick up, or how someone drives when giving them a ride. Stepparents also have things they can’t control. What a parent in the other home says about them. How quickly a stepchild will open their heart. And never being their spouse’s first love. So, stepparent what do you do? Well, what all parents do. Pray and cast your anxieties on the One who can be trusted with what we can’t control.
March 3, 2017
There are seven things the Lord hates says Proverbs 6. And the first thing on the list is a proud heart.   Throughout Scripture, God makes it clear he opposes those who think highly of themselves. Let me encourage you to remain humble before the Lord for you will be lifted up and granted mercy. But don’t stop there. Be humble about who you are with others. Instead of looking out for yourself look out for them. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit says Philippians 2. But in humility count others more significant than yourselves. If everyone in your family lived that way...That would be great!
March 2, 2017
After 34 years David’s parents got a divorce. And he began to question everything.   There’s a growing trend of long-time married couples divorcing and the echoes of divorce make adult children question their own relationships. David said, “If their marriage turned out not to be strong, maybe mine’s not either." The loss of confidence is understandable. Questioning one thing makes you question a lot of things but you can silence the echoes by renewing your trust in God and each other. Talk. Connect with your spouse and stay committed. Their life does not have to become yours.
March 1, 2017
“Ron, you should see your face.”   Our boys were young and my wife was giving me parenting feedback. She said, “Ron, you’re a great dad. I love it when you discipline our kids but you should see your face. You’re intimidating and they feel rejected.” Well, that was hard to hear. But I took it to heart, and added the fruit of gentleness to my discipline. Turns out smiling when saying “no” was far more powerful. But to get there I had to take off harshness and put on gentleness. It’s your turn. Add gentleness to who you are today.
February 28, 2017
t’s time for a little stepfamily math.   A family of five has about 20 relationships to manage but what about a stepfamily of five? Well, add the ex-spouses, their new partners and their children and a stepfamily of five has 210 relationships to manage. Then there is the confused identity multiplier. The stepdad has one idea of his role, his wife has a second, his stepchildren, biological child, and his wife’s ex-husband have others. That calculates to 420 relationships. No wonder stepfamilies are tired. Don’t worry we’ve got your back.
February 27, 2017
I’m wondering, what helps you to be more like Christ?   What helps the process of spiritual formation in your life? For me it's things like studying the Bible, praying with my wife and kids, and participating in service projects for the less fortunate. And there’s family. We face the daily grind of everyday life and the challenges of everyday relationships with the people who know us best. To be successful we have to grow and become more like Christ. So, how about it? Today lets allow our families to be God’s tool to help us be more like Christ.
February 24, 2017
Don’t just plan a wedding. Prepare to be married.   It’s natural for the romantically drunk, dopamine intoxicated, engaged couple to assume married life is going to be fantastic. But believe it or not, anybody married longer than six months will tell you there is work involved in every great marriage. Learn all you can about stepfamily living. Read a book together. Or get premarital counseling at your church. It can lower your risk of divorce by 30 percent. Don’t let the complexity of stepfamily living blindside your marriage. Prepare for it. 
February 23, 2017
Out with the old and in with the new. But where do you start?   The Bible, in Ephesians 4, calls Christians to take off the old self and put on the new. A new righteous and holy self? How do I do that? Well, be renewed in the spirit of your minds, Paul says. Make a list of attitudes and behaviors you need to take off. Then review the fruit of the Spirt in Galatians 5:22. The goal is to renew your mind. Take off the old and put on the fruit. Get started today and build your list of attitudes to take off.
February 22, 2017
When performing a parenting musical composition, it’s important for parents to know their part.   The honorable “first chair” distinction is important for musicians. In a stepfamily on day one biological parents are first chair. The strength of their relationship and longevity with the child allows them to lead and play the solo moments when necessary. The stepparent on day one is second chair. Now, both are playing from the same sheet of parenting music and together their section sounds fuller and blends well when playing in harmony especially when they follow the conductor.
February 21, 2017
I know what your enemies say about you, but what does Scripture say about your worth?   Self-esteem is a good thing but God-esteem is even better. In the Bible, 2 Corinthians 5-6 says that in Christ we are the righteousness of God, that God is our father and we are his sons and daughters. Ephesians 2 says we are alive in Christ; a dwelling place for the Holy Spirit. So, who are you? You are loved and forgiven, a child of the King. Worthy of respect and love.  A gift, ready and able to give yourself in the service of others. Now that’s the truth. Why don’t we start living it?
February 20, 2017
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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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