Then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus. Philippians 2:2-5
“All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.” – Abraham Lincoln of his stepmother, Sarah.
- Grab your Bible, a pen, your journal, something delicious to drink, and go to the place where you meet with God. If you are a stepmom or bonus mom, know that you are not alone in your endeavor to love your family well. Take a deep breath and relax today, knowing that God is with you. The Lord is your Helper!
- Read 1 Corinthians 13:7, Philippians 2:2-5, Colossians 3:23, and Esther 4:14b “And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”
- If you are a stepmom, ask the Holy Spirit to speak to you as you read these Scriptures and show you the importance of your ministry to your stepchildren. Perhaps God has given you, as a mom, to your stepchildren just like He gave Esther to help the Jews. Esther gave her all to save her people, perhaps God is calling you to do the same.
- If you know someone who is a stepmom, consider passing this study on to her and be sure to pray for her as she ministers to her stepchildren.
The Ministry of a Christian Stepmom
Mothers are important; we mold the hearts and minds of the next generation. This is true of not only birth and adoptive moms but also Stepmoms and all “Bonus Moms”.
My parents divorced when I was young, and my dad remarried. My Dad had full custody of me, so I lived with him and my stepmom full-time. These short years became one of the most difficult seasons of my life. My parent’s recent divorce had left me feeling wounded and broken. Furthermore, my stepmom didn’t want me, so I never felt loved and accepted living in her home. They divorced a short time later, and I felt relieved.
After their divorce, my dad dated a delightful woman named Sharon. Though they never married, and were only together for a short time, I will always remember Sharon for the way she loved me like a daughter and taught me much about life. She helped me learn all about how to apply cosmetics, and she even hosted my friends for sleepovers. Sharon was a delightful cook and loved to decorate. She was a beautiful example of a sweet mother-figure who chose to invest her life into a defeated young girl.
My dad later married a kind woman named Jean. My children know Jean as Nanny, and she loved them like her own grandchildren. Jean was just what I needed as an adult stepchild. She loved my dad well and took care of him until the end of his life. I will always be thankful for my sweet stepmom, Jean.
As a stepmom, you have the God-given potential to make an enormous difference in the lives of your stepchildren. I fervently believe this is a ministry given to you by God to show His love to your potentially wounded stepchildren.
I don’t know your situation. The children’s mom may be fantastic, and if so they are blessed. On the other hand, the birth mom might be as mine- a broken woman who struggled to be the mom I needed because of her deep wounds from the divorce with my dad. She was also an alcoholic and later remarried a horribly abusive man. My poor mom had big issues because of my stepdad. I couldn’t see her or stay with her because of him. This all left me feeling like an orphan from the time I was ten years old. Sadly, at the age of 20, I became truly motherless when my mom died. As you can imagine, I felt lost and alone when she died. Looking back, I see God’s goodness because He gave me my stepmom, Jean, and my mother-in-law, Joan, who both became sweet mother figures to me. They helped me feel loved and not so alone. They both were there for me in the day-to-day issues of life and also the big events that would have been heart-breaking to go through without a mom- my graduation from college, our wedding, and the birth of each child. I needed a mom during these seasons and I am so thankful the Lord gave me Jean and Joan and also other godly mentors along the way.
My dear friend, if you are reading this devotional, then it probably means you are a “Bonus Mom” of some kind: a stepmom, adoptive, foster, or any other type of mom. Please, please, please don’t ever underestimate the power of your ministry to your bonus children. You will never replace their mom, but you can be a positive role model and someone who is always there for them to show them the love of Jesus. Sweet Mom, your mothering matters. Never give up on your calling or on your bonus kids. The Lord is with you and will help you to love them like Jesus and hang in there when the times get tough. You and God can do this!! He will help you!
While praying over this study, I thought about the things I needed from my stepmom when I was living with her. I felt the Lord impressing on me to discuss five practical ways you can love your stepchildren during this season with your blended family in your home:
- Pray! Prayer is your greatest work in your home! Pray for your husband and stepchildren to feel the love of Jesus in your home through you. Don’t forget to pray for the children’s mom and for healing to take place in her heart as well. Prayer changes everything!
- Be patient and keep loving, no matter what. The children may resent you, but know they are hurting during this difficult season. Ask God to help you love supernaturally with the love of Christ.
- Cook as much as possible! Break out your crockpot and make sure the children have delicious smells in the kitchen when they come home. Have dinners together as much as you can, even if you are all busy!
- Be present, available, and listen. Be there! Try to be home when the children are home. Take the time to ask about their day and listen. Give lots of sweet hugs. Go to their sporting practices and events. Host their friends in your home for special dinners and sleepovers. Your relationship will take a significant investment of time, but it’s worth it!
- Stay positive as much as possible. Don’t ever vent about their mom, your husband, or any situation to the children. Let them be children. They most likely have gone through a lot of difficulties with their parent’s divorce and have wounds of their own. I lost my childhood and had to grow up fast because of my parent’s divorce; they probably have too. They need time and prayers to heal. The Lord will help them!
Questions to Ponder
- If you are a stepmom– Pray and ask God to help you to love well. Ask Him to show you ALL of your children’s hearts and how to love them better and to teach you how to pray specifically for your family. Write the answers in your journal. If you don’t feel like you are getting a response from God, keep praying and asking until you get an answer. Be patient and know God hears and answers every one of our prayers.
- If you know someone who is a stepmom-Pray and ask God how you can help support your friend and her family. Try to get to know the children and be a sweet “Auntie” they can look back on as someone who took an interest in their lives and loved them well.
- If you are a stepmom– Do something special with each of your children this month. If you don’t see your stepchildren often, try to Skype them or send them a note with some fun stickers or a gift certificate to a coffee shop.
- If you know someone who is a stepmom- Take your friend’s kids out to a movie or stop by with a bagel pack or some treat they can enjoy. Call your friend who is a stepmom and encourage her by telling her you are proud of her. If she is a Christian, ask if you can pray for her.