Helping to raise someone else's kids when your closer to their age than you are their father's, has its obvious challenges and pluses.
Traci and Scott didn't ask for their parent's divorce after 15 years of marriage, but it happened. Like most marriages ending in divorce, there was an absence of Christ, other than Easter or Christmas. (Let me be clear, I was not the reason for their divorce, wanted to get that out of the way.) Traci and Scott were then 14 and 10, respectively, when I first met them on New Year's. Traci was the typical Daddy's little girl, and Scott the sports star. I had been dating their father seriously for four months before he felt he could introduce me to his children. Smart man. Though I had a knowledge of God and had gone to church, I had not yet made the commitment to make Him Lord. Through our dating process, the children were part of our dates on the nights and weekends Harry had them. We went to church together, and I even became a babysitter to Scott when his father had late Buisness dinners and meetings on his night. This would include some homework, especially spelling! I know what you're saying by now....and you continued to date him?? Yes! We married 11/2 later and have been married ever since! Let me share that when you date someone you are meant to have a future with, it includes their future as well. You need to love them and come alongside them as best you can. They may act out and hate you one moment, talk about you to their mother, and a myriad of other fun adjectives, but you need to show them you are not doing it alone. I had the open support of their father and the Grace of God, shielding me from destructive responses. Raising someone else's children is a gift that you don't take away from their mother and father, you add to it like a loving aunt. If you know you are going to have a future with their father, know that the same applies to his children, they too are in your everyday future. Not without my own struggles, pain and concerns, God managed to give me the grace; overcoming power, to help get them where they are today. They are two amazing adults married, with children of their own, along with our 2 grown sons, we have a great family! I often make the comment, "They raised me through their teenage years!" God says, in 2 Corinthians 12:9 NLT "But He said to me, "My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness." If you find yourself in a situation not unlike mine, remember that God is the only solution you have, prepare yourself to be unselfish like Christ and to be bold in Christ like David, and to have a Word of truth, Judging all situations like Deborah. Happily married to my love, Harry for 33 yrs. All to His glory!!
Founder and Leader, M3™ A Community Bible Study for Women
Director, Circle 2 Plus Ministries, Inc