Blended Families, Challenges, Guest Posts, Podcast, Real Couples

Blended Families: Navigating Complexities with Hope and Joy

Being in a blended family is as complex as it is challenging. The good news is that you aren’t without hope in the Gospel and help from others who care! In today’s special episode of The Fierce Marriage Podcast, we had the incredible joy of speaking with Mike and Kim Anderson, the proverbial “experts” on blended families.

Before we get into the podcast episode about blended families, we must talk about divorce. This is a very complex topic for many, and it’s one that is still hotly debated among intelligent, Bible-believing people. (That is, the nuances are hotly debated. Most Christians agree on the main idea that divorce is not God’s best.) For clarity on our view of divorce and remarriage, read below the podcast player.

What Does the Bible Say about Divorce and Remarriage?

Below is what we believe to be a faithful interpretation of God’s Word on divorce and remarriage.

1: Divorce is never God’s best for any marriage, Christian or non-Christian alike. In fact, the Bible says that “God hates divorce” (Malachi 2:16 NASB). It’s never His best for any marriage.

2: As a last resort, and “because of hardness of hearts”, the Bible gives two clear grounds for divorce: (1) sexual immorality (Matthew 5:32; 19:9) and (2) abandonment by an unbeliever (1 Corinthians 7:15). There is nuance to what constitutes “abandonment by an unbeliever” that can only be discerned on a case by case basis, with pastoral care, prayer, and biblical counseling.

3: The two grounds above shouldn’t be construed as situations “requiring” divorce. Divorce is not required or even encouraged in the above cases. They’re exceptions made, not imposed requirements. Repentance, forgiveness, and reconciliation are always the best possible ways forward.

4: If the divorce was for unbiblical reasons, there are no grounds for remarriage. If there are instances where divorce occurs and it’s biblically justified, remarriage is acceptable for the innocent party. (Matthew 19:9) But even then, we encourage couples to fight hard for their marriage (see #3 above) through prayer, counseling, and pursuit of each other.

5: This is a very sensitive and nuanced topic for many that requires speaking “truth in love” in a relational context. We must speak truth, yes, but we must do so in a way that encourages others in Christ, builds each other up in him, and lovingly urges holiness in light of God’s grace in Jesus. For this reason, we urge you to only post comments if you can be lovingly truthful without being brash or harsh.

6: There are other questions like, “can I remarry if I got divorced while I was an unbeliever”. This, and questions like it, are complex questions that are very hard to answer quickly. For that reason, we urge you to get biblical counsel from a pastor who knows you and can read God’s Word with you to find the answer.

7: Finally, a divorced and/or remarried believer should not feel any less loved by God. This is not to condone sin, but rather, to reiterate that our being loved by God is a GIFT (“so that none may boast” Eph 2:9) despite our sin, and is good for our salvation in eternity and our sanctification until we get there.

About our Guests, Mike and Kim Anderson

Mike & Kim have been supporting stepfamilies since 2001. Their marriage formed a stepfamily and Mike grew up in challenging stepfamily dynamics. Their personal experience with stepfamily life and professional experience coaching others uniquely equip them to help step-couples learn and implement healthy habits that will positively transform their daily stepfamily life.

Mike and Kim have been so gracious in providing a FREE guide for our readers. It’s called How to Build Connection, Order & Peace in Your Stepfamily, and we hope it blesses you!

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