The Ministry of a Christian Stepmom

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.

Faith-Filled Idea

  • 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.

family day 5

 

Deb Weakly
Latest posts by Deb Weakly (see all)

35 Comments on “The Ministry of a Christian Stepmom”

  1. I’m looking for a Christian website for step moms of grown adult children. My husband and I have been married for 11 years. I am 61 and my husband is 70.
    He has adult children (a boy and a girl) in their late 30s with their own children (11 and 13). I have tried very hard with them to no avail. They are disrespectful and rude at times to me. My husband chooses to ignore it and wants me to do the same. His children rarely call him and rarely see him even though he continually lets them know he’d love to be more involved in their lives and also in his grandchildren’s lives. The only time they ever call is when they need a babysitter.

    I also have two children around the same ages as his. We have a great relationship with my children. They love to spend time with both of us. We go on vacations with them, see them during the holidays, and see my grandchildren a lot too. My grandchildren adore Jerry and treat him as if he were their blood papa. My children treat my husband with lots of love and respect. I feel very blessed that my husband loves my children and grandchildren. He has made many comments over the years that he feels closer to my children than to his own. The differences between them is vast.

    I’m tired of extending rejected invitations, giving gifts that are never even acknowledged and on and on and on. I will always continue to pray for guidance, and a way to unite our families but beyond that, I’m just done. I’m extremely disappointed with my husband because I feel he should have my back when they are openly and blatantly rude to me. I truly believe that his kids continue to be disrespectful because they know they can get away with it without any correction from him. I’m losing respect for my husband and his lack of backbone.

    God has been so faithful in my prayer life but this one prayer just seems to be left unanswered for now. Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Our marriage is very good with this one very big exception.

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  3. Hi there. To be honest i thought God wanted me to pray for the election but His spirit had me going in a complete opposite direction. I was looking up “how to pray for your step-childs mother”. i stumbled on this site. im so thankful for it. Both families are currently going through an ugly custody battle where a Minors counsel is now involved. i had the opportunity to be interviewed by the minors counsel. the things that were said about me and how i am as a mom was super discouraging. i just seem to not be able to shake the feeling i have. At this point im not even sure what to pray or what to read in the bible. I want to be a peacemaker. i just dont know where to start.

    Natosha

    1. Hi Natosha-

      I am really glad you stumbled upon this post. I definitely have been in your shoes and it can be very difficult and taxing on you and your marriage and relationships in the family. We have a YouVersion study up for stepmoms and we would love for you to check that out in the app. It gives some practical advice as well as ways to pray for your family. Keep praying. You cannot change people involved in this but you can pray for God to intervene and help guide you through it how He wants you to be. I am glad you’re here with us and will be praying for you and your family.

  4. Hello!
    My name is Meghan and I am new to my role as a stepmom. I have 2 of my own daughter who are 7 and 10 and then 4 stepkids who range from ages 6-14. This role is incredibly challenging and we are really finding our way in blending as a family right now. My husband and I have created some good structure in the home, and we both have 50/50 placement. I think the biggest challenge is the fine balance of how to handle situations when his kids are being disrespectful, as they often are to either myself or my kids. I have one time really overstepped my boundaries and then got upset with one of them, but, I am learning to really set boundaries. My husband and I talked about how we each have to only discipline our own kids, unless one of us is not there and they are really acting out. I am trying to see myself as more of a mentor to them. I am having a hard time saying “I love you” to them because I just don’t feel that I am there yet, but, I feel like such a bad person for this. Does anyone else struggle with this?

    Thanks,
    Meghan

  5. How timely to be brought to your site!!

    May our Lord strengthen all of us ladies in united agreement!!

    God has not fallen off His throne!! Stop letting the enemy, the ex-wives who act like demons at times and step or bonus kids DESTROY our health, our marriages, our trust with our spouses going to the depths of despair! Let us together STOP ALL DEMONIC ACTIVITY AND THESE KIDS -ADULT AGED OR YOUNG -RUNNING OUR LIVES AND RUINING OUR DAILY RIGHT TO HAVE AN ABUNDANT LIFE EACH DAY LADIES!!

    AMEN!! SO BE IT !!

    Awesome testimonies!! Thank you for giving me a HUGE LIFT IN THE HOLY SPIRIT BY READING AND PRAYING OVER THESE ISSUES WE SHARE TOGETHER!!

    Stay strong in The Word, in prayer and fasting . You have no idea how much a thankful heart I have for finding you by the inspiration or leading of the Holy Spirit!!

    Let us be blessed by the Lord in this vital ministry to our bonus kids and our children and future generations.

    Rock on with The Rock!! Our Lord Our Savior!!

    Be encouraged and do not let the enemy steal your joy!! We ladies are one strong army and WE WIN!! 🙂

  6. I’ve been with my husband for 5 years. I have two children of my own and now 3 with my 10 year old stepson. Everyday, I struggle to bond and have a relationship with my stepson. My husband shares parenting with the mother. My biggest problem is the different parenting styles. In my home, we have rules, boundaries, and consequences for poor behavior. We all have to contribute as a family with house shores and responsibilities. At his mom’s house, it’s the total opposite. He does as he pleases. He gets treated as the “man” of the house and gets away with being manipulative, controlling and entitled. At his moms, there’s no bedtime or video game rules. He doesn’t have anyone to share with or hold him accountable for not cleaning after himself or cleaning his room. His mom is constantly moving and trying to change the schedule. She’s taken my husband to court 5 times. Her relationship with my stepson is more of a friendship relationship. Her lack of parenting is rewarded with material things. The transition between homes is terrible. My step son acts like his not part of the family. He has severe anxiety and constantly bites his knuckles. When things don’t go as he want, he gets very argumentative and questions our authority. He’s threatened his dad with calling the cops when my husband tries to discipline him. One time, my husband took his phone away and refused to give it back to him when he went back to his mom during her week. Instead of co-parenting, his mom called the cops on my husband because he refused to give him the phone back. The phone was taken away after my stepson had a temper tantrum, saying he “hated being with us” only because my husband said he couldn’t sleep over a friends house. My husband is a wonderful dad. He spends a lot of time with all the kids. We are on the same page with parenting and we treat the kids equally. There’s no preferences between the kids. At times, my stepson would come out his shell and bond with me, but after talking to his mom over the phone or being with her, he gives everyone the cold shoulder. His personality changes every time he comes from his moms. His mom has severe mental health issues. I’m afraid, this is also negatively affecting my stepson. Thankfully, my husband sees the same behavior as I do. We try our best to only worry about his behavior when he’s with us. We concentrate in being loving, caring and supportive of my stepson. However, I am struggling and feel like a terrible step mom. I’ve turned to God and prayer for guidance. I’ve tried seeing a counselor but I continue to struggle because I see a lot of the same narcissistic characteristics the mom portraits in my stepson. I’ve suggested counseling for my stepson, but my husband is struggling with the idea. Please pray for my situation.

    1. Hi Katherine!
      I am so sorry you’re going through this. I understand this family dynamic well being a step-mom also. It never seems to get easier but you sound like you’re on the right track. Consistency for these kiddos is key and your prayers are being heard. Continue to be a strong Godly example for your kiddos and your husband and you will absolutely see the positive results from it. Counseling is a great avenue to pursue for anyone in the family. There are also some great faith based counselors out there that would be able to weigh in on things. You and your husband sound like amazing parents and I promise your step son will see your efforts and appreciate them. Even if that takes a few years (or until he becomes an adult). We are praying for you and your family. Remember, you are not alone. So many of us share difficult family trials. Keep your head up and keep covering your family in prayer.

      1. Danielle,

        Thank you for your respond and words of encouragement. We will continue to lean towards God for guidance and pray things will change.

  7. Hi there I’m so glad I found this group I have been at lost ast to how to be a good step mom and mother to my own adult children. In the beginning my boyfriend and I and his kids were doing great my children didn’t come around as much I felt I had a great relationship ship with his kids. We have been together for three years now we plan to stay together we haven’t gotten on the idea of marriage because we both came from to very bad ones as for are relationship it is great and a healthy one. After some time my daughter came to live with us after she had my grandson during this time I saw my stepdaughter who at the time was 12 years old start to pull away from the connection we were making all I get now is a cold shoulder and she does all she can to avoid me when she is at our house as for my stepson he is now starting to pull away as well because Of the things his sister tells him. Their mom is an angry woman and keeps the kids from my husband and tells him that she won’t leave them at the house unless he will be home all day like I’m and evil person after all I started watching her youngest son she had with another man while she was married to my husband I own an in home daycare center and we even let her bring him without having her pay us to help her out so yeah I’m a bad person. My step daughter has been telling her mom lies about what is going on at our house and that I am very mean to her and her brother which is not true it hurts me that she is making up lies and she also told her mom she is having issue with my kids being at the house or living here plus my kids are adults and work and are hardly home when they did live with us on top of it all my son is a marine so I hardly got to see him when he did have to stay with us for awhile, and she told her mom that she hates her dad calling my daughter his daughter and my son his son. Well after all they are his kids to we are together for life now and I take his kids to be my kids as well we never use the word step kids in the house at all . A lot of the problems has to do with the kids mother she believes the lies and she still thinks she can tell my husband what to do and how things are going to go down at our house and if things don’t go the way she wants them to she keeps the kids from him. I feel like a third wheel here as a parent to these kids I can’t even say a word to them without them runnning to there mom and maki g up lies so when they are here I just let them do as they please and let dad handle them to which it’s not fair for him to come home from work to have to deal with crap his kids have done and get all mad he tells them they have to listen to me but soon as he is gone the older one tells the younger one mom said we can do what we want it’s our house not dads girlfriends and that they don’t have to listen to me. And on top of everything we are now rasing my grandson so that has put a toll on things as well, so what I’m asking his what do I do from here I really do t know what to pray or ask god on how to help me

    1. Hi April! What a tough situation. Step-Parenting is not for the faint of heart. I have dealt with some of what you have mentioned above. It can really take a toll on you and your marriage if you allow it to. My advice is to lean into God more than ever. Read scripture and find ways to calm your mind through getting to know Christ. You cannot change the behavior of your children or their other parents. All you can do is control how you react to how they treat you and the lies that are being spread. You should lead by example and, as hard as it is at times, continue to love these kids and show them how we should treat others. Pray for them and all the parents involved. Also- try and go on some dates with your husband. Have some one-on-one time with him and grow your relationship. If you two have a good foundation, you can face any type of adversity. I am praying for you and your family. Keep following along with us and checking in. Our Facebook page has great resources for Bonus moms AND Bio Moms alike. Keep your head up and hang in there!

  8. I’m having a hard time… I have 4 step kids. The first two came into my life 5 years ago before our wedding when the mom called and said we have to take them or they will have to move with another family. I had never even met them because they were in Mexico. 1 lives with her mom out of the country, my 18 year old stepson lives with my sister in law because after a year and a half of drugs, stealing, cussing us out etc he had to go. He refused therapy and cussed out my mentally Autistic/ Schizophrenic daughter multiple times and that’s just a little of what was going on. My 17 year old stepson was going down the same path but God used a situation and changed his life around! He’s a youth leader, on worship team and works while going to school. My 19 year old stepdaughter moved in with us a couple years ago at 17 and ended up pregnant a few months later. She and her daughter live with us and have nothing to contribute. I can honestly say I love her, but I’m frustrated with her laziness. I’m frustrated that she doesn’t clean up after herself,. There’s a lot more but I think my biggest frustration is towards my husband who won’t address the issues. I think he’s worried if he says something she’ll leave with his pride and joy , his first and only granddaughter. She’s allowed to live here and stay overnight at her boyfriends whenever she wants. As a Christian This is not ok with me. They need rules and boundaries if they are to live here. I have invested in all my kids. Step and Bio. And I have been blessed by all of them in different ways at different times. My husband goes to church with me off and on, but does not have a serious relationship with the Lord. He don’t crack open his Bible ever. I don’t think it’s right he not lay any rules for her regarding sleeping over her boyfriends or just speak up about cleaning up after herself. I pray for him daily and ask God to open his eyes to the things unseen. To give him Godly wisdom, to open his mouth and set some rules. I work over an hour away and drive in Los Angeles traffic. The last thing I want to do is come home and clean up after someone who’s been sitting all day. I need a breakthrough. You cannot talk to my husband without him getting offensive and angry. Especially regarding his kids. I show love to all of them. We laugh together, hang out together, but some things need changed. I just need some words of wisdom and prayer.

    1. Hi Meleana,
      You are dealing with some really hard situations. I’m praying for you and your family right now. I hope that you will find the Help Club for Moms supportive and with the words of encouragement that you need. Please keep reading and seeking knowledge from this ministry through our books and online ministry. You are important in the family of Christ.
      In Christ,
      Faith Leonard
      Help Club for Moms Team

  9. That was one thing that our counselor suggested that we do was pray daily and we do. We had gotten lax in doing that. That’s one thing I love about my husband is his willingness to pray with me. I never had that in my first marriage despite me being so involved in ministry. My husband has a strong call to ministry and spends hours before work studying and praying. He’s an amazing man, just stubborn and not wanting to see things unless he sees it himself. That’s probably why God put us together. My own stubbornness matches his own and I’ve overcome so much in my life being a domestic abuse survivor. I know people and have a God given discernment. Please pray my husband accepts my observations and trusts my discernment and that we get on the same page parenting. I have a feeling that our daughter may not come back into our home after she finds out the rules we are laying down with the help of the counselor.
    Praying for her mother is hard because she actively works to subvert us and encourages a sinful dangerous lifestyle of gambling, promiscuity and self absorption, but I’m trying. She threatens to take His daughter away from him whenever he doesn’t do what she wants. The woman needs to be saved!
    We already established a new rule of no cell phones after bedtime with my teens and my stepdaughter will be expected to adhere to the same rules.
    This is just a long road and I’m praying my husband can join me on it. Because I cannot just allow my children to have zero boundaries just because his daughter does.

  10. Wow I’ll be reading through this a few times I think. I’m a new stepmom. My own two children are 17 and 15 and I have homeschooled them for years. My stepdaughter is 11 and has a mother addicted to gambling and has repeatedly jeapordized her safety and is only an active parent when she wants to look good.
    My husband and I got married in May and had our daughter all through the summer with the exception of 9 days. Until recently we had her most of the time. Even through the aftermath of hurricane Michael when her mother had power and water and we didn’t she was with us.
    Well a bad influence friend came into our daughters life and our sweet girl, who always struggled with lying and manipulating, became obsessed with her friend and the lying and manipulating escalated 100 fold. The girls were caught with 6 Instagram accounts. Police were called because the girls had been in contact with a pedophile.
    I had expressed my concerns to my husband in December after having this little friend at our house for a weekend and we decided not to allow this child back into our home. After we banned her friend from our home suddenly her mom wanted to adhere to the 50 50 custody agreement. We later found out it was so our daughter could see and spend time with this friend at our daughters request not the mother’s. Then Two weeks ago we found out about all the Instagram accounts. And immediately after we grounded her and forced her to delete accounts and I talked to the other girls guardian about not having outside of school hangout time, our daughter went to her mom and claims she’s scared of me and started telling twisted lies about me saying I’d said things about her mom and everyone else. There were conversations where we talked about biblical responses to choices her mom has made and everything my daughter has said is so completely twisted. This has caused a major problem in my marriage.
    I see it very clearly as I’ve been involved in youth, junior high and music ministry most of my adult life and teach art therapy to kids and teens. I see that prior to me being around that she didn’t have much structure. Dad is a godly man but gets threatened by his ex wife if he doesn’t do things her way so he was extremely lax on discipline. So prior to me the only boundary my stepdaughter had was bedtime and even that was 9pm for a 10 year old girl during school nights and non existent during the summer. She got to eat what she wanted when she wanted and has had a phone for years. There was no discipline other than a conversation of don’t do that.
    So I see this as I’m the target because without me around she doesn’t have to eat what is presented to her, she doesn’t have to do chores and she gets whatever she wants when she wants it with no boundaries or consequences . But keep in mind we were making good headway prior to this friend being in her life. Getting my husband to parent was a work in progress and her behavior was improving. Now we are in counseling.
    Now she’s living with her mom temporarily and is refusing to come back into our home.
    I guess I’m desperate for other stepmoms who have dealt with this type of stuff.
    In all my years of ministry I’ve never had a child lie and manipulate to hurt me this way and it’s not just hurting me but my kids and my husband as well. I’m praying the longer she’s out of our home the more my husband will seek out the truth and see what’s really happening.

    1. Malinda-
      My heart hurts for all of you. This situation sounds extremely stressful and I’m sure has created many issues in your lives. Although I don’t have the “perfect thing to say” and the advice to end all of the madness (I wish I did), I can tell you that it’s clear you’re heading in the right direction. You’re turning to God and leaning on Jesus to help you all through this. Being a step-mom is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done and although my situation is not the same as yours, there are some similarities. I can tell you that you cannot get tired of taking the high road and you must continue to be the light for your step daughter and her mom. You and your husband need to be on the same page and support each other through this. Try praying together. Everyday pray for his ex, your daughters, your marriage, and each other. Continue to try and guide your step daughter in the right direction. As a step-mom in a “tough” situation I can tell you prayer goes a long way. Continue to do what’s best for your step daughter and always, always put God ahead of everything. You’re spreading God’s light and truth in this and it so clearly needs to continue. God is with you all in this. We are all praying for you and your family.

  11. Thank you for this. I would like to ask for more specific advice. I have 2 step daughters, 16 and 13, as well as our little surprise (4). About a year and a half ago, we filed for full custody of the big girls. We did it because we felt we had their best interest at heart, as well as they WANTED to live with us. That was up until their mom was served with the court papers and she involved them every step of the way, despite the restraining order. Needless to say, we were denied full custody and it has been an uphill battle since. They have started repairing their relationship with my husband, however, our amazing and open relationship we once had is history. They no longer want anything to do with me and have expressed multiple times that they wish I wasn’t there on our weekends: they only want Dad and Sister (4). The oldest and I had agreed to put the past behind us and work towards getting our friendship back. It was going great until about a month ago when she started ignoring me, refusing to answer a simple question, locking herself in her room, only addressing Dad, and physically pushing me away when I try to hug or love her. This past weekend was no different. We had the oldest for a weekend family trip (13 opted to stay home). Before she went back to her mom’s, I gently told her, “I know your upset, but you can talk to me about anything. I would love to have that open communication again.” As always, it was her trigger to start the screaming, yelling, blaming, and my husband broke in and said this isn’t a conversation we need to have. The example she is setting for her younger sisters is more than I can take and its lingering effects are starting to show on our youngest (4).

    1. Hi Amy!
      This is such a hard situation to deal with (and to handle with grace). As a fellow Step-Mom I understand how sad and frustrating this can be. Trust me, I get it. I’ve been in a similar situation for years now. The best advice I can give is to continue to be a light in this situation. You HAVE to lean on Jesus to get you through these days. If you don’t lean on him it gets messy fast! Another thing I have found that helps me is praying for the girls’ mom. I know, this is hard. However, only God can change the hearts in everyone involved and you have to continue to ask him to do so. I pray every day for my step daughter and her mom and that they let God work in them and in our situation. He can soften hearts and he can protect yours. Talking to your youngest (I have a 4 year old too!) about God and having her learn that negative behavior is not beneficial for everyone can help. It’s amazing to see how these little ones can spread God’s love in these sticky situations. When courts are involved and when children are in the middle is gets really messy and really complicated. You are already doing a great job in seeking help for the girls and for your situation. Don’t stray from doing the right thing and being the bigger person. When the girls are all adults they will look back on this and see how much you sacrificed and how much you love them. They will come around. Just stay close to Jesus and your husband and continue to take the high road. You will never regret being kind. These girls are lucky to have you in their lives. Continue to pray for all of your daughters and your husband and Birthmom. We will be launching a Help Club Step-Moms group soon and would love to have you join us. If you would like to talk more I’m always willing to give what advice I have. I am praying for you all and hope things get better quickly.

  12. I have been a Step Mom now for 3 years. I have never had children of my own and to be quite honest, never wanted them. So this is quite a challenge but I do love my husband’s daughter like she is my own. Her name is Genesee and she has actually been in my life now for almost 5 years, since she was 8. She will be turning 12 in December and I know we are getting ready for some major milestones in her life. I know her Daddy is not ready for them because when I mention them, he avoids the topic. We have gone from her being interested in video games to now being interested in makeup. Needless to say, my husband is not happy about the changes taking place with his daughter. She has gotten taller, “developed” in certain areas of her body, and has started her cycle, her speech has even changed. About 4 years ago, I began to warn my husband of these changes and how these would even affect him. The response from him? “Not my little girl! She won’t change towards her daddy!” Well, a few weeks ago, they were watching a movie together and he invited her to come sit beside him on the couch like they have always done before while watching a movie. She said, “Nah, I’m fine where I’m at.” I didn’t even have to look at Doug’s face to know he was crushed. A few minutes later, he got up and walked into our bedroom. My heart was breaking for him. But I KNEW the day was going to come. Why??? Cause I did the same thing to my Daddy!! And it wasn’t a deliberate act! It is just a part of a girl growing up! But my hubby was shattered. He felt rejected by his baby girl. And even though I had warned him of this happening, he just didn’t want to believe that she would ever do that to him. But I do have a dilemma and problem. My husband’s first marriage broke up because his ex wife had an affair. I don’t really think there was much discussion with my husband and his daughter about their divorce and how Genesee felt about all of it. In the 5 years that I have known this child, I have never seen her cry. She may have teared up twice. Maybe. She shows happiness and excitement, but I have never seen negative emotion out of her. There have been tragedies besides her parents divorce that have happened to her. Her mother miscarried a baby that she WITNESSED. There is also some question as to the home environment she is in when she is with her mother. Her mother is known to do drugs. But when we question Genesee, she tells us nothing. We feel like she has been warned to tell us nothing. I really feel like I am “up a creek” as we say here in the South. I am on the outside of this thing looking in and there is only so much I can do, which is actually zilch. Does ANYONE have any advice?

    1. Hello Leah,
      You are such a GREAT stepmom. Genesee is soooo blessed to have you! Those changes are normal! It is all part of the process. The best advice I can offer is my advice to love like Jesus and to pray every day. Love her unconditionally. Spend time with her doing things she likes to do. Tell her that you are proud of her and that she is growing more and more beautiful each day and that you see Jesus in her. Be patient. Listening like crazy- probably late at night before bed will help her feel so loved by you and your husband. Stay in faith and catch her being good as much as possible!

      Be sure to join our next study, “The Wise Woman Grows.” It is available on Amazon here: https://amzn.to/2FKkvPn
      There are lots of practical ideas on how to love your husband and children well. Also, ask to join the Help Club for Moms Online group. We pray for our moms every Monday! I am praying for you right now!
      With love,
      Deb

  13. Thank you for your words. I am in need of some more specific advice if I may ask of you. Four years ago, my husband got custody of his daughter, 6 years old at the time. Her mother had gotten custody taken away from her and has spent the last 4 years telling her she is trying to get her back. However, by that she means, your dad won’t let me have you back. My husband works late and does not have a lot of time with the kids (we have a 3 year old together) He takes his daughter to school everyday though so they get a little time together alone each day. Because of his work schedule, I have been the one having to do basically ALL the parenting stuff that a step parent should not have to do which has lead his daughter to, in her words “not like you anymore.” Truthfully, I love her so much, but I do not like her very much anymore either. She has behavioral issues all rooted from things she had to see while her parents were together, while she lived with her mom after her dad left, and now when she visits her mom and that side of the family. She knows what is right and what is wrong, she just deliberately chooses wrong most of the time. We have had her in counseling for over a year now and have not noticed much of a change. Mother does not give her any consequences for her actions and does literally everything for her including still tying her shoes at 10 years old. Dad is not much help as she is usually in bed or getting ready for it when he gets home. My main concern is how can I teach my daughter to grow into a successful, loving, responsible christian adult if I am having to parent her sister differently? I worry about the bad influence she is on my daughter. I am young in the Lord, but have started to seek God for these issues and I know He will answer in His time. I know He needs me to learn some things before I can fully grasp how I am going to get through this. I have also been praying for the mother and for my stepdaughter. I was just searching online to see if there was any information about step moms in my situation. Most the articles and sermons I have come across do not talk about being the step parent that is really the ONLY one parenting the step child. Anyways, thanks again for your words and in my time with God alone I am going to study the scriptures you provided and just wait upon the Lord for my strength to renew.

    1. Hello Stormie,
      I am so very sorry to hear about all that you have gone through. I have a prayer counselor here at the Help Club who would love to get in contact with you to pray over your situation.
      Be on the lookout for an email from me.
      With love and prayers,
      Deb

  14. Hi I’m having a hard time being a stepmom. My children are grown and I married a man with a 5 year old daughter 3 at the time. He has custody of her) everyday I wake up with regrets. Why do I feel this way. I pray to God every day about this situation. I’m always seeking advice how to handle this. Her mom is in her life when she wants to be. I ended up leaving my full time job to be here. Which put us in a financial stain. My husband is working and we only have one vehicle, my car ( our car). The child’s mom doesn’t have a car so therefore we end up taking her to her moms and picking her up. But her mom can get a ride every where else except when it’s time to pick her up or drop her off . I feel frustrated and used. Amongst other things. I need help getting through this. At times I’m not sleeping at night. Thinking God is upset at me for not wanting to do this. I just have mixed feelings about this sometimes I’m ok and sometimes not. Trying to figure out a way to better view this situation. Without me feeling like I’m being judged.

    1. Dear Chawnda, My heart is breaking for all you are going through. I will tell you that sometimes, the things God calls us to do are hard, very hard. But He promises to help us and give us the wisdom that we need. Don’t discount the importance of what you are doing! The Lord is with you and He will help you!!

      Also, if you are on Facebook, you should consider joining the Help Club for Moms Online group.
      You can join here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/636391573213553/

      We are going through our new fall book, “The Wise Woman Abides” together. I know this book can help you. Abiding in Christ is what you need to do right now. I hope to see you in that group and I am praying for you!

  15. I needed to read this. I’m sitting up because I cant sleep tonight. My stepson (9) lives with my husband and I, along with my 12 year old own, my 11 year old son, and my 9 year old daughter. It is HARD. He has definitely developed some resentment with my 12 year old and he recently told a family member that he is being bullied. It has started an investigation with DHR because that family member made a report of an unsafe environment. A safety plan was made and until he is cleared to come home, my 12 yr old has to stay at his dads while the other kids are at home. It is tearing my husband and I apart. And my stepson’s mother keeps texting my husband to make sure he is in their son’s side and that he isn’t being harmed. Please pray for us. It hurts so badly that my child can’t stay here with us and that my husband has become so distant. It seems like everytime we try to reconnect with each other, something happens to spark his protective nature for his son, which automatically makes me the enemy because I stand up for mine.

    1. Oh sweet Tammy, I am so very sorry for all you are going through though. Your work with your family is so important and Satan knows it. He will do whatever he can to break up your family. But the truth is that the Lord Jesus is with you and he is helping you. I am praying for you right now as I read this. Don’t give up! Don’t ever think that what you’re doing with your children and your stepson isn’t important because it is! Even though things may not look really good right now, you never know the type of seeds that you were planting when you choose to love and not retaliate. I am praying today for you to remain in the love of Jesus. When we remain in the love of Jesus it helps us to love others in the power of the Holy Spirit. Thank you for commenting and letting us know how you’re doing.

  16. Thank you for these encouraging words. I am a step mom and it is difficult. I have one step son 17 who has excepted Jesus. We are praying for the other one. They are both good young men. They will be gone soon I know my time with them is short. Thank you again for this. Can’t wait to meet you.

    1. What a sweet mom you are Cari! You job is often thankless and so hard! Please know that what you do by loving your boys well really matters to God! He sees it all and sees your heart to love your stepsons. I am so happy for your stepson to accept Jesus! I will be praying for your other one to do the same. Much love!

  17. Thank you Deb for sharing your story! I love the Esther verse you reference! I’ll be praying for the step-parents I know 🙂

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