Stepchildren

The other day, I was listening to KSBJ and I was listening to one man’s testimony of how he became remarried to another woman. This man was widowed with children, and his second wife was also widowed with children. The story was very heartwarming, and at the time, the main thing I got from his story was that he asked for the blessing of each of the 5 children to marry the mother. He told them all that at any one time, his main purpose was to encourage the mother in her walk with Jesus – that nothing else was nearly as important. At their wedding reception, the mother gave praise and respect to her fiance’s deceased wife, saying, “She is the one I have come to love and respect, and today, she deserves more praise than anyone else.” Definitely a feel-good story.

But, today during dinner, I was just thinking about that story while my parents were talking about one of my uncles. This uncle got married to a woman who already had children as well, but not widowed. My dad mentioned that before his brother got married, my dad told him that it would be difficult in the future to live with stepchildren, whether because they wouldn’t respect him or maybe because they wouldn’t see him as their real father. My mom started talking about how she only really loves and cares for me an my sister because we’re of the same blood and she bore me herself. I was taking all this in for a little while, but then I started thinking about how differently I understand love.

Ever since my friend Kara (pronounced like cat) so adamantly proclaimed that she wanted to adopt a black baby (this was sometime back in high school), I seriously entertained the thought of adoption. I recognized that adopting a child, no matter what age, was the true form of extending love to someone else who didn’t necessarily “deserve it.” In the same way, when I heard the story from KSBJ, I respected the way the father approached his children and stepchildren and asked for their permission to marry the mother. That father definitely knew to value and love each person in that family conditioned only to the fact of whether the persons in that family valued the walk with Jesus that they each had.

Normally at the dinner table, I enjoy listening to my family because for the most part, they speak a lot of wisdom and are very logical about their thinking. I don’t disagree with what my parents were saying tonight; it’s true that the stepchildren would likely grow to resent the stepfather compared to their real father. It’s also true that most parents in the world love their own children significantly more than other people’s children or don’t even care about other children. I feel like God has molded me to love so much more than that though. Maybe I’m naive by my parents’ standard, but I feel like I really want to love other people, whether they’re my kids, or my friends, or coworkers, all the same. I obviously do not have children right now (so I can’t make the comparison right away), but I do want to live in a way in the future where I am able to and desire to love everyone and care for people. When I was thinking about having stepchildren, I would want to have their blessing and develop a real relationship with them just like Jesus wants to adopt us and unconditionally love us. With the wife, I would want her to know that having “baggage” (or really children) doesn’t mean that it’s a burden – it’s just more to love! and of course, lastly, ADOPTION. God adopts us into his Kingdom of Heaven as his own; why can I not exemplify that in my own life.

I don’t think my parents are being irrational or untrue. Most of the world thinks the way they do. Regardless, I want to live differently, and hopefully that means I already have been.

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