I’m a fan of My Big Fat Greek Wedding…I’d like to give myself props for my title (it took me 5 mins to come up with).
As I pulled this up to start a new post I realized how much I’ve changed (for the better) in a few years. I had always believed what I do now, but when you don’t have the opportunity to be heard, or truly practice what you believe it becomes back burner and so hard to do. I am thankful that I have the husband, marriage, relationship and ability to study and learn about things I’ve always agreed with and was raised to believe. My posts are more in depth because I am learning more about what it is I need and where I am supposed to be in life.
Where I am/we are in life is a trying place to be in. I’ve been reading and spending time on finding out as much as I can to help me/him/us make the best decision, to be able to deal with whatever decision we make, and to know what I can do, should do and need to not do in order to help D through this. Divorce is a pain, children are a blessing, and ex’s are – well, unless you’re lucky, they’re a pain too, some more than others. If you add all that together, there is huge potential for the kids to become a pain as well. I’m not harping on a certain kid, because in all I’ve dealt with from OUR kids, they all can be a pain at times. No one more than the other.
At this time I am not going to blog about the whole story, but I’ll say that we need prayers for wisdom, discernment, patience and healing right now. You can include D’s daughter in that (we’ll call her B), and our entire family as a whole. It is not fun, and it is emotionally draining for all parties involved. I am also going to TRY to be nice and not too descriptive here, except for what is needed to get to my story. I don’t want this to be a bash the ex post, but it is my blog and I do need to get some things out, so deal with it.
This post came to me after something D’s ex said in her email of wildly accusatory and totally off base ranting (it’s amazing that some people can function with no rational thoughts). She referred to a comment that was made to B from D. In short, although it was an entire conversation between the two of them, that the order of the household is “God, husband, wife, kids.” B didn’t like this, and even took it up with 2 different counselors who informed her that indeed, it was biblical. Apparently that wasn’t enough, because she talked about it with her mother also, who saw the chance to try to use that against D.
The ex feels that there is an exception to this “rule” – which isn’t truly a rule, and honestly there is not one verse in the Bible that says “God, husband, wife, kids.” There are verses that outline this order and we’re going to check those out in a minute. Back to the ex, she feels that the exception (because right now it fits her case that D is not a good father) is a remarriage. As in, now that B is the biological, first child in my and D’s relationship, SHE should come before me (the third wife). Lest we forget that the ex herself was a step-mom to B, and had she not come first in her marriage, it wouldn’t have lasted as long as it did. However, she herself has no desire to realize this fact. Instead, she’s going to harp on how our marriage and family set up is not in line with the Bible. Knowing who she is, and seeing her in action, I really have a hard time taking biblical advice from this woman, but I did as I should have and took it as an opportunity to get my Bible knowledge on…sorry, I need humor right now.
So, as part of my lifelong, never-ending quest to
prove people wrong learn new things, we’re going to explore.
We’ll start with the basics:
Genesis 2:24 (KJV)
24Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
Matthew 19:6 (KJV)
6Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
When a man and a woman marry, he (and she) obviously leaves his parents and becomes his own family, with his new wife, they are now joined. Equal, in God’s eyes as a unit. They are to be family to each other, and one. Without going too far in to this verse, it is clear the unit that is now created. As children growing up, we are to obey our father and mother, once we “leave” that family unit and are joined to another, our new responsibility is to our spouse. We are not to discard the relationships and responsibilities to our parents (as parents grow older it is our job to care for and provide for them, and as their children we should always heed advice and respect their view), rather we are to put FIRST the marriage. Most marriages start without children, however it is understood that with or without children the unit of husband and wife cannot stand strong, function, thrive, or create a foundation to raise children in if it is not a complete and healthy unit that can stand on its own and be strong for those that are in it and those that come along as a result of it. In that statement we can clearly see the importance and reason for the “unit” and the responsibility of the marriage (vows).
As for the “this applies to the covenant/first marriage” people, I do not want to get into a “divorce is not allowed” type discussion. I will disagree with you all day long, and can and will back it up. This post is not about that. In short, my view on divorce is that it is HIGHLY discouraged, and not biblical in most cases. However, it is divorce that is not approved by God, not those that have chosen divorce, or had to endure one for reasons that most of the world should butt out of! None of us are perfect, and those that portray that they are perfect are usually just trying to divert attention from the weeds in their own garden. I give you this as part of my argument and then we’ll move on:
Deuteronomy 24:1-4 describes a woman who has been divorced because of “uncleanness” (v.1). The Bible says that when she remarries, she “becomes another man’s wife” (v.2). Thus, the Bible acknowledges that the two became husband and wife in covenant marriage, even though it was her second marriage.
We’re married…now what? Babies!!!!!!! Or in our case, we’re married, now we have “our” kids. Blended families are a special thing. They are especially hard, different, trying, fun and lots of work. No matter how or when our base unit is started, or who is in it now, it is still the foundation of the family, blended, or first time. We can turn to our Bible to see what God says about this new addition to the original (base) unit.
Ephesians 6:1-3 (KJV)
1Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.
2Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise;
3That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.
So, we know that to have children we need two people preferably a husband/wife unit as God outlines, and once that unit is here, we have children who are commanded to obey your parents. It doesn’t say “obey your biological parents only” or “obey the parent you feel is on your side.” It says parents. A child (or ex) can’t pick and choose which verses are ok to suit their case. NO, there is no exception, it is the RULE. Children obey (all) parents. Biological, step, adoptive, right, wrong, mean, nice, out of state – PARENTS. It warns that you want to do this so you may live long on the earth. If we take that into consideration for what it really says we can use the example that if your mother tells you not to go in the street without looking both ways, and you do so, you could get hit by a car. Harsh? Yes. Truthful? Very. It also means in a figurative way in that you will live long because of the wisdom and protection of your parents.
As I mentioned there is not a specific verse that gives us this order of God, husband, wife, children. Yet by using our brains and reading we can see it clearly outlined and understand the reasoning.
With all of that said there are obvious deviations and limits to what we must attend to first. I wrote this assuming that we are adults and have common sense. Each child has needs, and as parents our first duty is to protect and love our children, to teach them, raise them, and discipline them. I am in no way suggesting that children are not to be cared for. Obviously if your child is bleeding outside and needs you, and your husband would like a glass of water while you’re in the kitchen – you can let him know it’ll be a minute because your child is hurt. We aren’t talking about neglect here. I am speaking on behalf of the emotional, love, bond, nurturing of the spousal relationship and its needs over what a child thinks they need.
Teenagers (and toddlers) are worst at feeling that their wants and needs trump everything. This is where our issue began and the discussion itself started. B felt that she was no longer the focus of EVERYTHING her dad did, and suggested that since she was his bio-kid, she should be first in his life. Now, yes, she should hold a special place, and she should be afforded HER time with him. We gave her that opportunity, and she, on many occasions, refused to take her alone time or cut that short because she wasn’t in the mood, or he wasn’t spending money on her. However, she still felt that he should be at her beck and call, wallet in hand. The fact that dad had moved on and remarried, and has someone to keep him company while B is with her mom does not sit well. B would rather he be lonely and ready to tend to her wants. Teenagers are very selfish, and if allowed will just keep taking. Ask any parent and they’ll tell you that they struggle with teaching that it’s not “all about me!” (we’ve all seen the t-shirts). If you don’t have the foundation and strong relationship of the husband/wife, then in any family with kids, especially in a blended family you’re in deep trouble.
In our family, our bond, which was strong before we got married, was solid. It is more solid now after dealing with ex’s and our new family. Had we deviated from God’s plan for marriage at all, I don’t know where we’d be. I am proud and thankful that my marriage is strong, and getting stronger with every trial we go through. I strongly believe that there are people and things that want us as a new family to fail and they are well on their way to being disappointed because of our love for God, and our love for each other.
I’m in no way “done” with thoughts on our ordeals with B and the ex…rather I’m trying to work through them without being bitter or naming names on here. I’d really love to write a letter to the ex and inform her of some things she doesn’t know (since she won’t look at me or speak to me). However, I am standing my ground quietly and supporting D because he doesn’t need more drama, he needs love and to know that he is free to do what he feels necessary for B.