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What vision has God given to your family? Are you and your family going in circles? Where are you going? What is your destination?

Where does it all begin—that is, the blended family? In the initial stages of our marriage, my wife always found herself answering the same old question: "Did you really give birth to six children?" Having to always describe our family structure, we immediately became sensitive to being different from many other families.

One thing or another always reminded us that we were a blended family. We felt a silent pressure to explain our situation. But guess what? We finally wised up and discovered that we could respond to questions by saying, "Together, we have six children."

This answer always left people speechless, and that was just what we wanted…no more questions about our family! From the beginning, we agreed not to acknowledge our children as stepchildren nor either of us as stepparents.

It was not long before we realized that our family was unique. Because our family was not structured according to God's original plan, we knew that our approach to parenting could not be traditional or conventional. Going into the marriage, we realized that we had only one competitive edge: if our marriage was going to succeed, we had to stand on the promises of God.

We knew beyond the shadow of a doubt that the deck was stacked against us, but we had God's promise that with Him, all things are possible (see Matt. 19:26). We had to rely on, cling to, and stand on that very fact. We had to believe that "I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ's sufficiency]" (Phil. 4:13 AMP).

What Is Your Family's Vision?
Where do we begin? We have discovered that it all begins with a vision for the family. Over the past few months, we have thought a lot about our family's vision. Perhaps you are familiar with the scripture that declares, "Where there is no vision, the people [or family] perish" (Prov. 29:18). My wife, Donna, brought this thought to the surface by asking me a very sobering question: "Baby, what is our family's vision?"

Therefore we ask you, what vision has God given to your family? Are you and your family going in circles? Where are you going? What is your destination? Let's look at several definitions of the word vision. One definition is, "something supposedly seen by other than normal sight; something perceived in a dream, trance, etc. or supernaturally revealed, as to a prophet."

A vision can also be "the experience of having such a perception or revelation." However, a vision is also God's idea revealed to man. We can simplify this definition for the purposes of this book by saying that a vision is God's idea for a family revealed in a dream, a trance, or otherwise supernaturally. Thus, the vision for your family as well as ours must come from God.

As Donna and I began to reflect upon each of our families prior to marrying each other, we discovered something very crucial to our union—we lacked a vision. Through a very simple investigation, we discovered that every generation, on both sides of our families, had to start over again to achieve success.

No foundation was laid for either of us to build upon, and no path was paved. There weren't any inheritances or businesses passed on to either of us or to our siblings. There were no special meetings held to read our parents' last will and testament.

Look for the Inheritance
Getting a high school education was the starting point for each generation. Attending college was a goal embraced in the 1960s, and graduation from any university was celebrated by the family. However, the college grads in our families were few and far between, thus forcing each generation to start over again.

Life became a never-ending marathon for the members of our families. No path was pioneered for the family to follow and no trail was blazed for the next generation. Each generation began its race from the runners' starting blocks after achieving a high school education or a college degree.

As Donna and I looked at both of our family structures, we discovered that our great-grandfathers all were poor, but all of them were hard workers. Our grandfathers were also poor, which left our fathers in poverty. Therefore, we concluded that unless we did something to change the legacy that was left to us, our own children would head down Poverty Boulevard like their ancestors.

Identify the Pattern of Destruction
The pattern of poverty and divorce was handed down in my wife's family. That is to say, just as my wife's mother ended up divorced and raising two girls as a single mother, my wife ultimately also found herself divorced and a single mother raising a son alone. Additionally, my own divorce separated me from my children. Finally, as we joined in matrimony, we both declared, "Enough is enough!"

That is when Donna and I decided that this cycle of "going nowhere" would end with our union. Satan's pattern of destruction in our family was over! That's when our pursuit of God's true plan for our lives began. At that point, we decided and declared that our marriage would bring about a drastic change for our children and their children. We were determined to change the history of our family through our union. We decided that our family would begin to prosper and not perish!

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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