Of all the things I have ever done, walking into a blended family is the hardest. When my wife and I met, I had 3 children, and she had 2. Five children is already a lot. Whether we like the thought of it or not, you might as well say the exes and their new spouses “live with you” though not physically. All these people play into the family dynamic. While the Brady Bunch sitcom from the 1970s depicted this happy blended family with few problems, that is so far from realistic.
As I was contemplating my challenges in a blended family, I began to think of how the church is a blended family. Think about it! You bring people from different ethnic backgrounds, different religious views, different everything into one body. Sounds like a recipe for disaster, right? If we follow God’s guidance, it can be a beautiful thing.
Blended families need the right leadership. As the church needs Christ at the center, so does the blended family. Both need someone to guide that. In the church, it is a pastor with the church body coming beside him. In the home, it is the father with the mother coming beside him. God has given an organizational chart. When we follow it, we see things flow. Allow anyone and everyone to lead, and you have chaos.
Blended families need to know the rules. For both church and home, God has a set of rules outlined in the Bible. For functionality, we can also apply the principles found within the Bible to guide the more practical things of the church and home.
Blended families need the wisdom and guidance of others. So does the church! My wife and I have discussed having mentorship for some time, but we finally sought the advice of a couple who knows the struggles. The body of Christ cannot function and does not function well on its own. The various members must work together. We must lean on the wisdom God gives to others through the Holy Spirit.
Blended families are not for sissies. Nothing could have adequately prepared me for this. But greater challenges have existed, so I move forward with the assurance that God will help me. I feel like pastoring a church was an equal challenge. There is no way to please everyone. We simply must do what God says and let Him handle the rest.