Death and Divorce

My alarm is set to go off at 7 am.  Sometimes I get up earlier, sometimes I lay there and listen to Focus on the Family.  I’ll admit, although it is probably controversial, I’m not a huge fan of Focus, nor am I Dobson.   I think they both have gotten soft over the years.  But that’s not what I’m here to write about.

This morning, on Focus, they were talking about blended families.  They had several step-mom’s talking about the difficulties involved in being the step mom.   This prompted several thoughts in my head:

1.  Why only step-moms?  (of course, they may have step-dads on later).

2.  They lumped divorce and death of a spouse in the same category.

3.  Biological children were “separated” from steps.

The first is pretty easy; although I do believe that in some ways step dads may have it harder.  They are designed to protect and provide, and by being a “step” they are often not allowed to do so.

The second, to me, is quite a big deal.  In many cases, death is something that cannot be helped or explained, and, although there are exceptions, it is for the most part, unwanted.   In the last few years,  I know of 2 different families that have lost a mother or a father.  The grief is unexplainable.   Neither wanted to lose their spouse.  Neither wanted their children to be without their other parent.  Both families thought they would be together for many, many more years.  Everyone is left grieving…the spouse that’s left behind,  and the children.    When remarriage occurs,  and issues arise, there is no “ex” to bring controversy to a decision.  The step and the parent are the authority, I pray equally in the situation where death is the reason for the end of a marriage.  Should the children  be forced to forget their “real” dad or mom?  NO!  NEVER!  That “real” parent played a huge part in that child’s life and should not be forgotten.

On the other hand, divorce comes from the breaking a a vow.   It is a choice that the adults make, that the children have no control over.  There is visitation to figure out.  Sometimes bitterness that exhibits itself to the children.  There is a grieving process, but no closure as in a death.  There are questions to answer such as  “Who will have the children for what holiday?”  These days, often the time is split between two house, and the child doesn’t even have a “real” home.   At it’s base, it comes from 2 selfish people that are unwilling or unable to resolve their differences (yes, I realize there are situations that are dangerous, etc.and cannot be resolved, nor should they be; however,  this also stems from selfishness on the part of that spouse).    Divorce is a sin.  God allowed it in the Old Testament because of the hardened hearts.  God allows it now for the same reason.   I know many people that are divorced.  (who doesn’t?)  Some of those people have made their situation work quite well.

In the case of the death of a spouse, Scripture says that esp. if you are young you should remarry.  However, if you divorce, you are not to remarry.  (yes, for Scriptural reasons you may…and I’m not touchin that one with a ten foot pole today).

The third is a bit trickier, because there are now at least 3 parents involved in a child’s life.   Some of these stepmoms were talking about how hard it was to love their spouses child.  The favoritism shown, etc.    While I realize the situation is different.  I love my children that are not biologically “mine”  I wish they were, but that’s the fact.  Have they all be equally “lovable?” No.  But I chose to love them.   We are so full of a society that talks about “falling” in love, that we’ve forgotten, it’s a choice.  I believe a step should chose to love their spouses child in the same way that I chose to love my children that are not “mine”.   That comes along with the package of marrying the spouse.

These thoughts are just touching the surface… I haven’t had much time to digest them, but I wanted to get them on the page while it was fresh.   I guess it’s like the age old question… which came first, the chicken or the egg?

***I realize that people in this situation need encouragement, and some need some SERIOUS help.   I just think we’ve made it … hmmm…. almost too easy, more “normal” or something…..  Divorce used to have a stigma attached to it, just as having a baby out of wedlock did.  I guess that’s what I mean, by saying “too easy.”  There’s no stigma, and in fact it’s almost become the opposite, like it’s a badge to wear… almost proudly sometimes.

This is another post I may get absolutely slammed about, but again, these are my thoughts and only my thoughts.  We can agree to disagree and love each other in Christ.   No problem from my end 🙂

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2 thoughts on “Death and Divorce

  1. My stepson grew up in 2 households from age 6 to age 15. Age 6 was when we gained visitation rights, age 15 was when he chose to stop seeing us.

    We were the non-custodial parents. That meant we had him every other weekend, four hours on Wednesdays, 6 weeks of summer, and alternating holidays. Can you imagine? What a horrible amount of time – or lack of it – to get your child! This is why people insist on quality time instead of quantity time… quantity time simply isn’t there for over half the kids in the modern world, what with divorce and out-of-wedlock births so common.

    Anyway, for those nine years, I was well aware of the hierarchy of the parental ladder. Mom was the top, she was the custodial parent, what she said goes (went). Then came stepdad, because he was the head of household in the custodial home, he greatly influenced the mom, and his quantity of time with my stepson was so great. In third place was the one who should have been in first: my hubby, the dad. But he was reduced in importance by our legal system who made him the non-custodial. He had to cave to anything the mother wanted in regards to doctors, activities, punishment, and on and on, while his choices for his son were at her whim and mercy. Had we ever even spanked him, we would have lost him. The irony is that in not spanking him, he was lost anyway… but I digress as that’s a whole ‘nother spiritual topic. At the bottom of this parental totem pole was me, the stepmom. I had very little say-so in his life, and that’s just how that is. It took some getting used to, but once I understood the dynamics of this step-mothering thing, it became easier to deal with. Stepmoms are at the bottom. And that’s okay. Stepdads do have it hard, but it’s different.

    On a side note, in spite of all that, look where he chooses to be NOW! He’ll be 25 in November, but he chooses to be here rather than there. I’m grateful.

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