How can I handle the pain?
From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
Q: My parents waited until I was in college to divorce. It devastated me. I didn't think anything could be more painful. Then my father remarried. I found myself wishing for only the agony of their divorce, but a stepmother on top of it is too much! I don't think she is such a bad person, but seeing another woman in my father's house is more than I can bear. How can I handle the pain? -- S.C.
A: Often when a stepmother or stepfather come into a family where the spouse has children, there is conflict because of the battle to belong -- to feel accepted. This new member of the family is trying to find their place and can be overwhelmed by comparison, insecurity and uncertainty. Just because the stepparent is an adult doesn't necessarily mean that they know how to go about integrating relationships. It is understandable that a child (even when an adult) also feels threatened by the presence of a stranger in the family.
Divorce brings many problems with it that affect more than just the couple. This is one reason God's perfect plan for marriage does not include divorce. Young people who experience the breakup of a home can learn the importance of building a committed marriage with Christ at the center and avoid repeating the heartache.
In the meantime, for the Christian believer -- young or old -- this is an opportunity to demonstrate the love of God by showing love to an outsider and being part of unifying the family instead of adding to the conflict. Praying and asking the Lord for guidance is the first step in building relationships. Prayer is the foundation that gives us solid footing. The Bible says, "Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts ... and be thankful" (Colossians 3:15).
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)(c)2019 BILLY GRAHAM DISTRIBUTED BY TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES, INC.