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Welcome Readers!

Welcome to my blog: Today's Lady Virtue. This site is for women--wives, mothers, singles, widows, family, friends, etc.! My heart is to share loving encouragement coupled with timeless truths from God's Word, the Bible, to enlighten, uplift, and empower women of today. At Today's Lady Virtue we're about "Reclaiming Virtuous Womanhood today the Time-tested Way!" Here you will find a variety of posts from poems, to "Put into Practice" principles, to pictures and more! I invite you to voyage with me on the quest to become Today's Lady Virtue.







Thursday, May 19, 2011

Guest Post on Celebrating Mothers: Sacrifical Love for

Mothers should be honored, so we're celebrating them this May. Biology does not entirely define a mother; rather, Jesus illumines that obedience to God's word and way distinguishes a "mother." While we learn life lessons, grow, and change due to the influence of mothers, we acknowledge that no one is perfect.

But God is the Redeemer and Restorer. He rebuilds tattered lives and broken homes. When we realize that sin's consequence kills hope and dashes dreams...When we're lifeless, breathless, and destined for eternal doom...

Sacrificial Love. God SO loved. So He gave. Jesus' blood purifies ALL unrighteousness. But we must believe. Yes, it's a gift to receive. Fresh, new life for the living. Hope rejuvenated. Dreams regenerated. Hearts reunited and "from now on" abundant living IGNITED!

Today your heart will be blessed by my bloggy friend, Barbara Winters, whom I met on Facebook through Moms Together. Thank you for sharing insights and a godly perspective to minister God's love and grace to step-children. Praise God for your redemption story and others He may write for "unique" families!

Sacrificial Love: Personal Journey to Loving Step-Children

Kevin, my step-son, and I rode the train home. He had come in for a summer visit and we were meeting JT, my son, at the next station.

“Beast!” Kevin declared as the Amtrak rolled to a stop.

“Beast? What does ‘beast’ mean?” I asked.

Kevin chuckled. “It means ‘good.’”

“Oh, of course. I should have known--it’s so obvious,” I stated with a wink.

I enjoyed our playful banter. Six months had passed since Kevin’s last visit, and I knew his one-word declaration indicated he looked forward to seeing his step-brother.

JT stepped onto the train. A grin spread across his face. “Hey,” he said with a subtle tilt of his chin upward. I recognized this as the cool greeting. At fifteen, they were too old to show much affection. But, my mother’s heart saw the bond. Born only four months apart, the two had been best friends until Kevin moved across the country two years ago to live with his mom.

As I anticipated joining the rest of the family, my heart began to fill. I was distinctly conscious of the fact that there had been an emptiness – a disconnect – I was unaware of until that moment. Re-connecting magnified the incompleteness of being apart. I tried to grasp the depth of my feelings and realized my love for my step-son had deep roots.

A Unique Family

Kevin’s dad and I married when the boys were four years old. I still picture the little man sporting his 4T tux, in full flight toward me after the wedding ceremony. His blonde hair bounced up and down, his eyes sparkled, and his smile deepened his dimples. With outstretched arms, he yelled, “Step-mommy!”

I can do this, I reassured myself. I can be mommy to two little boys.

I thought I could love both boys the same. I tried. I acted as if we were a normal Christian family under normal circumstances. I reasoned that a good Christian mom would love all of her children the same, including her step-children. But this mindset only augmented the guilt and grief I felt each time I failed. This mindset didn’t allow for the uniqueness of our family. And the uniqueness of each child.

Reality check. Our family makeup is not how God planned it. Sin forced us into circumstances (read: broken homes) He never intended. So, when we brought our clan together, each of us, parents and children alike, hauled baggage into the equation. I peered inside the boys’ baggage by considering each child’s past and present life.

Children of divorced parents experience deep rejection and guilt. They may also feel as if they are betraying the “real” parent by loving the “step.” Additionally, my own shortcomings, inadequacies, and feelings of loss and rejection affected my ability to unconditionally love my step-son. I feared he would find me inferior. I competed in an imaginary contest. One I would never win.

Maturing in Christ

As I matured, God revealed to me that it was impossible to love each child the same. This became more evident as I had additional children. Each has different talents, skills, abilities, and personalities. Therefore, each (step or not) requires different styles of love. Just like God loves each of us differently, I too need to love each of my children differently.

Loving a step-child requires sacrificial love – one modeled by Jesus when He hung on the cross for people who discarded Him. This type of love incorporates a willingness to reach out to a hurting child. A willingness to be rejected regularly. This is only possible by allowing God’s love to penetrate my heart first. His never-ending love washes away past sin and hurts, freeing me to express His love to my step-son.

It’s Not about Me

A decade later, I meditated on these thoughts as I watched my two boys (now almost men) interact on the train. Their nudges and laughter reminded me of my goal as a parent: to raise mature, loving adults. It’s about them. And God. When I step aside, figuratively speaking, and allow God to love them through me, I am a better parent. Better because I love all of my children the same (with the love that flows from Christ) . . . and differently (with the specificity God discloses to me as I parent each child).

Meet Barbara Winters:
Barbara Winters and her husband, Don, have four children, Kevin, JT, Kenneth, and Melinda. Barbara home schools her children and encourages her husband in his pastorate position. Her passion is ministering to ladies. Her purpose is to glorify God. Barbara writes a column on the characteristics of God for Lucid Magazine at http://www.lucidmagazine.com/ and has several articles available for purchase at http://www.churchmousepublications.com/. She explores lies we tell ourselves to justify eating improperly and the truths that dispel them in her food blog at http://foodliesandtruth.blogspot.com/.

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