The number of kids in my youth ministry who are in step-family situations is surprisng, and perhaps alarming. I get nervous because many of these second (third, fourth, fith) marriages are wildly unprepared and end up failing, which hurts the children even more.
Ron Deal wrote this book, which was assigned to me for PESM, as an attempt to mobilize the church to be aware and able to minister to people in these situations. Our church has been pro-active in the area of ministry to step-families and I love the way that we are helping to make families and marriages stronger. Of course we are morally against homosexual union, but we are focusing on what we are for: strong, God-honoring marriages and families.
Here's some thoughts:
p.21 "avoiding divorce by tolerating a miserable marriage, I suggested, does no honor God." But neither does divorce, so where are we left?
p.91 "If the biological parent doesn't help the outsider stepparent into a leadership position, the stepparent is likely to try to force his or her way in. This almost always results in resentment and resistance from the insiders. Again, jealousy, rejection, and anger are common resulting emotions."
p.105 "it's worth noting that boys are more affected by divorce, but girls seem to be more affected by remarriage." This is where the rubber hits the road for youth ministry - where are the kids hurting...