There are times that our thinking gets distorted or blown out of proportion.

Our youngest child graduated from high school this spring and has left for college. An empty nest brings many changes. AND many memories of when Nathan was home.

Almost a decade ago I was reading a book to him 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.

This book made me think about how our thinking can get distorted. And these distorted thoughts often affect our actions.

All because of minor occurrences.

If our stepson looks at us wrong, we convince ourselves he doesn’t like us.

Our stepdaughter rudely answers our question and we are certain she is mad at us.

All stepchildren have difficult days. Just like we do. It’s easy for them to take out their feelings on the nearest target and that might be us!

But it doesn’t mean we have to overreact.

We don’t have to 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.

Years ago, after one of our older children had moved out, my husband found an index card in his room. My husband had given the card to him as a reminder of how he should act in 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)

These words by Paul are good reminders for us as we navigate the stepfamily relationships in our lives.

How can you be a blessing to someone in your stepfamily today?

Do you have a favorite verse that helps you in your stepfamily relationship?

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