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Outward appearances and the need for self-fulfillment are often prominent forces in what prompt people to choose whom they will marry. This must be said: a person's outward appearance does not reveal who that person is inside.

Many good men and women would make wonderful husbands and wives, if someone would just look into their hearts. Unfortunately, physical appearance bears far too much weight in the decision for many people. Many men seem to think, If she's pretty, she's a good woman. Many women seem to think, If he's handsome, he's a good man. If he's rich, he will be a good provider. If he is strong physically, he will protect me. Not allowing God to guide you in choosing the right mate will lead you into deception, false hopes, and delusions of what your marriage should be.

Today at least one third of all children are expected to live in a stepfamily before they reach the age of 18. The blended family is becoming more the norm than an aberration. Because stepfamilies are so complicated, it takes a long time—often four to seven years, or longer—for people to get to know each other, create positive relationships, and develop a family history.

Recognize the Attack
The devil attacks the family because the family affects all of society. The majority of societal problems in the world stem from problems in the family, such as incest, physical abuse, alcoholism, poverty, infidelity, pornography, homosexuality, single-parent households, and high school-dropout rates, to name only a few.

The church has not openly addressed these issues, but they are now being forced into the forefront for discussion by changes in contemporary culture. Over fifty percent of people in Christian church congregations in the USA are in, or related to, a blended family. Conservative statistics show that the divorce rate for remarriages exceeds 60 percent. Part of the reason for this high rate is that most struggling stepfamilies dissolve and end in divorce within the first four years—before their family has had time to blend.

In years past, troubling issues such as this were not discussed. However, we cannot afford the luxury of ignorance or the ease of silence concerning such matters.

The purpose and protection of our families are at stake!

When you are in a divorce situation, you are forced to seek God for His plans and not your own. Divorce is a process that brings pain, confusion, bitterness, rejection, and sometimes resentment. God sees the whole thing, and only He can fix it! He can and will restore, repair, and replace everything that was destroyed in your life. Now, embrace His plan and purpose for your life!

Let's Pray

Dear Lord, I thank You that Your hand is still upon me, even in this most difficult time. I surrender my thoughts and my plans to You. Do with them what You will. Protect my children from any hurt and harm, and make clear Your purpose for my family, in Jesus' Name. Amen.

Family Exercises
  1. Pray: Jeremiah 29:11 NLT. Seek the plan of God for your life. Father God, Your Word says that You know the plans You have for me and my family—plans for good and not for disaster, to give us a future and a hope.
  2. Forgive yourself for all the wrong choices you have made.
  3. Pray for all the children involved.
  4. Begin preparing your heart to love again.
  5. Purpose in your heart to stay in this new marriage.
Scripture References
Matthew 6:33,34
Genesis 2:18, 21–23

Source: Becoming One Family
by Steve and Donna Houpe
Excerpt permission granted by Harrison House Publishers

Author Biography

Steve Houpe
Web site: Houpe Ministries
Bishop Steve Houpe is the Founder and Senior Pastor of Harvest Church International Outreach In Kansas City, Missouri. He is the loving husband of Dr. Donna Leah Houpe, as well as a proud father and grandfather.

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