I was reading a book recently with my youngest son titled Parts. It’s a cute story of a young boy who gets paranoid about his body falling apart because of some normal changes he begins to experience – loose teeth, peeling skin, hair falling out, etc.
It made me think about how often our thinking gets distorted or blown out of proportion because of minor occurrences. If our stepson looks at us wrong, we convince ourselves he doesn’t like us. If our stepdaughter rudely answers our question, we assume she is mad at us.
Our stepchildren have difficult days, just as we do. It’s easy for them to take out their feelings on the nearest target, which might be us. But it doesn’t mean we have to overreact and assume the worst of the situation. If we diffuse their feelings with sympathetic responses, the mood usually passes and our relationship with them has the opportunity to grow.
One of our older children moved out recently and my husband found an index card in his room that we had given him as a reminder for his relationships. The verse on the card is especially applicable for us, as stepparents, to remember and apply:
“Be agreeable, be sympathetic, be loving, be compassionate, be humble. That goes for all of you, no exceptions. No retaliation. No sharp-tongued sarcasm. Instead, bless — that’s your job, to bless. You’ll be a blessing and also get a blessing.” I Peter 3:8 (The Message)
How can you be a blessing to someone in your stepfamily today?