Co-Parenting, Children, Authority Figures, Church Folks & More: The Remainder of My Notes that I Didn't Get to from Fearless Conference
I recently spoke at the FEARLESS CONFERENCE for Gracious Women Ministry at Wheaton Christian Church in Wheaton, IL. I was asked to speak on relationships, including but not limited to blended families and finding love again, and I wasn't able to get to a good amount of my notes. I told the ladies that I would put the remainder on my blog so they could come back to it.
We started with a short teaching on love and righteousness and the need for both if we want healthy relationships. We were able to cover friendships, marriage and divorce. Below, please see: co-parenting, finding love again, blended families/step-parents, children, parents, authority figures, and church folks.
If there are children involved and dad is involved, you will have to co-parent.
Things you may encounter:
Different parenting philosophies. You will almost always have different parenting philosophies. Try to work out these differences, and a plan BEFORE the co-parenting and visits begin.
For those with especially difficult or controlling baby-daddies: Don’t take their threats seriously, don’t threaten & ignore their criticisms. KEEP YOUR COOL. It almost always blows over, especially if they don’t have money for legal counsel.
Love him like a brother in Christ! He’s hurting too (he just shows it differently).
SET BOUNDARIES!! You divorced because boundaries were either not set or not kept. In order for the cycle not to repeat, you must change what you allow – because now you’re in a position to do so.
FINDING LOVE AGAIN
There’s no magical formula to finding love again: you don’t need to “deserve it” or be “successful” or have some spiritual, soulical and natural checklist completed...
DO: Be seeking God’s will for your life, always pursuing wholeness, serving others selflessly, and the big one: LEARN LOVE LIKE YOU NEVER HAVE BEFORE!!! Be READY to love SACRIFICIALLY! Then God can send you someone who’s got a great purpose
BLENDED FAMILY/STEP PARENTS
If we have children and are married to a man who is their stepfather:
Give him all of the respect due a father concerning your household.
*The same goes for stepmom if there is no biological mother present.
If you are the stepmom in a blended family:
I just want to exhort in a few areas that I often see parents stress about unnecessarily:
2 most important jobs as a parent: That they FEEL unconditionally loved EVERY DAY no matter what, and to train them.
Ephesians 6:2-3 “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise: 3 “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.”
This is a beautiful promise! Hold onto it tightly! (NT scripture verifies that it’s still valid under the New Covenant)
If you are a child v. 1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.
Ephesians 6:5-8 Bondservants, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in sincerity of heart, as to Christ; 6 not with eye service, as men-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, 7 with goodwill doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men, 8 knowing that whatever good anyone does, he will receive the same from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free.
1 Tim. 6:1 Let as many bondservants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honor, so that the name of God and His doctrine may not be blasphemed.
Honor them. Do what they asked, because they asked. Not because they deserve your respect (and not in fear and trembling of THEM), but because of a reverent and worshipful fear of the Lord. Because God asked you to. Because you love God and honor HIM, so you’ll bless and glorify His name. And do it with a happy heart that is a BLESSING to your boss, ministry leader, whatever authority figure you’re serving – lose the ‘tude and do all things in love and honor as unto the Lord.
CHURCH FOLKS (Ugh…church folks…right? No! Wrong!)
1 Cor. 12:27 says we’re the body of Christ. . If Jesus is the head, what is the church? His body. Jesus’ body is still Jesus.
Luke 6:35-36 But love your enemies, do good, and lend, [a]hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil. 36 Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful.
Apply that to HATERS also, in and out of the Church…
v. 37-38 “Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. 38 Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.”
This is for all relationships: In and out of the church, friends, enemies, marriage, even with our children, and parents.
Let’s keep reading, this time back to our brothers and sisters in Christ:
v. 41-42 And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the plank in your own eye? 42 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me remove the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the plank that is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck that is in your brother’s eye.
LOVING WELL OUR BROTHERS IN CHRIST:
Everyone is in some stage of their Christian development. When we concern ourselves with our own (planks), we can get to the levels where we see that our Christianity is no longer about us, but about others. What is it that they need? How can I love and serve them? Then we see that Christian relationship is not about judgement or pointing out the flaws of others. It’s about lifting others higher, about loving discipleship, and helping to restore them to a position of righteousness and wholeness in Christ.
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