FOTF-Logo-Stretch-Color.png
Search

Focus on the Family Broadcast

Encouragement for Remarried Couples (Part 2 of 2)

Encouragement for Remarried Couples (Part 2 of 2)

Gil and Brenda Stuart offer advice and hope to remarried couples as they address the difficult challenges stepfamilies face. (Part 2 of 2)
Original Air Date: July 27, 2016

Preview:

Gil Stuart: We pretty much laid it right out at the very beginning because the beginning of the relationship was is trust and honestly, if we can’t have that … we had a handshake at our second time out. Said, if we can’t have that, nice knowing you, see ya.

End of Preview

John Fuller: Gil Stuart and his wife, Brenda, were on our broadcast last time, sharing about the special challenges that stepfamilies face. We’ll continue the discussion on today’s episode of Focus on the Family with your host, Focus president, and author Jim Daly, and I’m John Fuller.

Jim Daly: Uh, John. Last time we talked to our guests and they pointed out something that is so true, how quick we are to judge other people. And that’s particularly within the church if they are divorced and remarried. You talk to any of those couples, they feel it.

John: Mm-hmm.

Jim: And we often don’t know the story. We don’t know of there was infidelity involved, or if their spouse passed away and they remarried. But they’re trying to recover from whatever it was and find the Lord in that place. If you didn’t hear the broadcast last time, you can find that on our website, focusonthefamily.com/broadcast. We’ll continue the discussion today with our guest, Gil and Brenda Stuart who have been married for 20 years. It’s a second marriage for both of them. At this time, we’ll hear from them about loving the children in a blended family. Remarriage can be hard on the kids. And was a child in a blended family, so I know. And Gil and Brenda have some great insights into creating connections and working through those difficult transitions.

John: Well, together Gil and Brenda have 7 children, they have 10 grandchildren. Uh, Gil has his master’s degree in counseling. Brenda has a life coaching certification. They’ve been active for years, helping remarried couples and families. And we recorded this a while back. We’re gonna pick up the conversation with some important insights about processing divorce. Here now, Jim Daly with Gil and Brenda Stuart on Focus on the Family.

Jim: Um, that was very traumatic. And you shared very openly about the pain of that and the sorrow of that. And Brenda, to bring you in right here, uh, you mentioned something about the sense of guilt that the sanctity of marriage is so close and, just express that to us.

Brenda Stuart: Yeah. I think a- as I previously stated, just being around friends that’s… friends of ours now that have been married for 30, 40 years. And knowing that if I was still in my first marriage, I would be at that point. And I, um, I grieve the loss of that last marriage, not in the sense that I miss my ex-husband because we’re different people now. But I’m grieving the loss of that inst-… I hate to say institution, I’m not sure what to call the sanctity of marriage that God ordained that it should be one person the rest of your life, because He does not like divorce mainly because of the pain it brings. He knows that-

Jim: Uh-huh.

Brenda: … that’s not best for us. So I think at many levels, Gil and I do grieve that loss. Because every time we have a- a new grandbaby, every graduation, every wedding, any kind of communication celebration with our kids, with our family now brings up… It’s almost like the divorce was this deep wound that’s now is kind of scarred over-

Jim: Yeah.

Brenda: … and it doesn’t hurt as much. But it’s still there in every family event. It’s just brushed.

Jim: You know, last time we talked about it not being The Brady Bunch, (laughing) all of us that are in our early 50s or late 40s remember The Brady Bunch.

John: We should probably say for those who don’t know.

Jim: (laughs)

John: It was about two families coming together and-

Jim: With three kids on each side.

John: Had a pretty humorous twist to it all.

Jim: The point of that is there’s a lot of pain in blended marriages and you’re trying to make the marriage healthy, and you’ve got all these, um, hidden wounds, some visible wounds that come out in different ways. And you mentioned those triggers last time and how Brenda would trigger you Gil, and Gil you would trigger Brenda. But now, I wanna turn it to the kids because the kids… And as I mentioned, I was one, I was a nine-year-old stepchild. You have a whole nother element with the children there and you’re trying to work things out. Be on the same page, be in love, have these feelings of regret, remorse, guilt, all those things that you’re alluding to, Brenda. And yet now, we’ve got these other kids. In your case, you had seven kids you were dealing with. Talk about that mix and all the emotions of it, and how do you even start to get through it?

Gil: Seven children we lovingly refer to as those people. (laughs)

Jim: Those people. (laughs)

Gil: When are those people leaving. (laughs)

Brenda: What are those people doing?

Gil: When are they coming back? Those people. I mean, it’s, eh… We love them all.

Jim: At that time-

Gil: At that time.

Jim: … just for the new listeners. Wh- what were their ages again?

Gil: Uh, when we first married, the oldest was 22. The youngest was 11.

Jim: Okay.

Gil: You know, the one thing too about The Brady Bunch that you mentioned, if you go back and look at the episodes, they had no exes. They had no-

Jim: Yeah, it’s true.

Gil: … memory of someone who talks-

Jim: They never talk about it.

Gil: … the way they never talked about it.

Jim: Yeah.

Gil: They just glossed over it. However, there are those issues, those phantoms, those things that are connected to for the sake of the children. They still have memories. And I think that’s the place as stepparents, we have to be super sensitive and give them a place to grieve as well as to enjoy their parents if they’re still with them.

Jim: Ho- how did you try to bring the family together?

Brenda: Mm.

Gil: Forced family fun. (laughs)

Jim: Forced family fun?

Brenda: Triple F nights. Forced family fun.

Jim: And how did that go?

Brenda: Especially teenagers. Well, it’s rough, but you guys have to be, as the marriage, you have to be on the same page, get behind your wall to protect you and you’re going to go for it and do an activity. I think one thing we did one time was bowling-

Gil: Oh, hilarious.

Brenda: … and everyone was like, “Oh, I don’t wanna do it.”

Jim: So, all nine of you?

Gil: Uh-huh.

Brenda: Yeah.

Gil: And girlfriends and-

Jim: That’s a lot of shoe rentals.

Gil: Yeah, yeah.

Brenda: Yeah. (laughs)

Gil: Yeah.

Brenda: And, you know-

John: And a lot of eye rolling from teenagers too, probably, huh?

Gil: Oh, boy.

Brenda: Oh, yeah. But you know what? We give them enough notice because they, you know, they’re busy doing their life. “Okay, a week from Saturday, put it on your calendar. We’re going to do this.” And you know, we laugh about it now, forced family fun. Even a couple of Christmases ago, somebody said, “Yeah, this is a triple F night.” And they’re adults now. (laughs)

Gil: Yeah, we were pushing cars out of the snowy r- road. But I think one of my favorite moments of bonding was camping.

Jim: Okay.

Gil: Especially in the northwest.

Jim: I love that.

Gil: Because it rains there. And at the time, the kids were all various ages and-

Brenda: We were just like within the first year too.

Gil: Right. And so, we went camping and in our family tradition it was you put a tarp over the- the campsite. My stepson said, “Why in the world are we doing this?”

Jim: (laughs)

Gil: Well, at about two o’clock in the morning when it started raining. Then they understood-

Brenda: (laughs)

Gil: … because their campsite was under cover. And so, we didn’t have ’em all pile under the tent trailer. But you know, it’s interesting. One of the best things you can do to create bonding for teenagers and kids is to create, uh, what I would call a faux crisis.

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Gil: You know, have something break that you really know isn’t broken so that everybody will pull together, that was helpful.

Brenda: Flooding is good.

Gil: Flooding is good. Yeah, yeah.

Brenda: Flooding is helpful. The house.

Jim: Flooding?

Brenda: Yeah, the house.

Gil: Yeah.

Jim: I’ve never seen flooding as a good thing.

Gil: (laughs)

Brenda: (laughs) We were having- having dinner one night over the dining room table, the fixture water was coming down from the ceiling. (laughs)

Gil: A toilet had malfunctioned.

Brenda: (laughs)

Jim: And it was leaking through the ceiling-

Gil: Yes. Yes.

Jim: Oh my goodness.

Gil: And everybody joined in. I mean, it-

Brenda: It was great.

Gil: Yeah, it was great. It was a mess but it was great.

Jim: So- so when you look back on it, was that sufficient those times or did you struggle?

Gil: Well, there were stru- struggle, but it was those little intimate moments that they all look back on. There was still territorialism between my kids coming and going and… You know, ’cause I… When we first got married, we… I moved into- to Brenda’s space. You know, that was pretty tough.

Jim: And they didn’t come to the wedding?

Gil: Mine did not, no.

Jim: How did that make you feel? Let me ask Brenda. Brenda, how did that make you feel?

Brenda: I felt terrible for Gil. Just devastated. Because my guys were there. Realizing that all the kids, at a certain level, were in pain. Because even though this is new for us, we found love again. It’s another loss for them because they realize now that they’re bio parents who will never get back together.

Jim: It’s a final edict.

Brenda: Yeah. And I think a lot of remarried couples gloss over that and they don’t realize the impact. They’re happy, so then everyone else should be happy. That they don’t realize impact on their kids to be sensitive to where they’re at. Um, I mean, early on, we had, uh, meetings with each of the kids, we pull them into our bedroom, close the door, all sit on the floor, so we’re all level, you know. And just basically say, “Hey, we just want to check in how’s your heart, this is a safe place to talk. Anything that said here stays here. We need to speak respectful to each other. But how’s it going?” And just give them a place to share and say, “You know what, I’m not happy. I miss my old family.” And for us, as the adults can say, “You know what, I miss my old family too. But look at the great adventure that’s ahead,” and just give them a place to show them respect, to hear their heart.

Jim: How did that come about with your kids, Gil? I mean, if they didn’t come to the wedding. How old were they at that point, your kids?

Gil: Uh, the youngest was 10, almost 11. The oldest was, um, 21, 22. Um, you know, when you ask that question. Um, that still hurts.

Jim: I could see that. I mean, I saw it in your face.

Gil: Second. (laughs) Um-

Jim: How does it hurt?

Gil: I- i-… Th- th- the remorse of the first marriage’s demise. What was supposed to be, I think, you know, the- the ideal was gone. It was- it wasn’t coming back. And for me to step into a new relationship that was a marriage, was the end of everything that they had hoped for. You know, because those kids still want you to get back together again. And so for them not to show up, to feel ins- unsupported in a lot of ways. Uh, I wasn’t abandoning them, but I think that they felt that I was.

Jim: Mm.

Gil: What’s… The beautiful part about the thing as time has gone by is, is that one by one, as they’ve seen the love that Brenda and I have for one another. And that we didn’t just, you know, shut them out because they didn’t come. But little by little, they’ve one at a time, come back and said, “We’re really sorry, dad. We should have been there. It was a big day for you.”

Jim: Yeah, let me ask this question because, um, there can be a lot of different configurations to this.

Gil: Oh.

Jim: But parents w- in that spot, there’s a lot of different ways to handle it. It sounds like you allowed them to opt out. I don’t know what kind of discussion you had with them, if it was argumentative or if you accepted it and left it lie. So that you could see down the road 13 years later, and you’ve been married 13 years, so that they could come back around to you and say, “You know, Dad, we’re sorry.”

Gil: Yeah.

Jim: What do you do in that moment, 13 years ago, to make sure you get the right outcome 13 years later?

Gil: (laughs) A lot of prayer for wisdom, daily. I think the thing was lots of grace. I had a decision to make and that was, “This is gonna be a marriage that’s gonna be based upon me loving Brenda and loving God.” But for the love of my children and to force them… I mean, I- I’ve se-… We’ve talked to a lot of couples around the country, who they forced their kids to come to that wedding whether they wanted to or not, and it has backfired on them. So I think the God given wisdom in that moment was is, even with my two youngest, they were really close to coming to the wedding but at the last minute they opted out. And I knew that there were things going on behind the background that I had no control over. So it was like best to just say, “Okay, I’m not gonna force it.” You know, “And I’m not gonna f-… you know, push you into something that you don’t want to. But just know, even though you’re not here, I know you still love me and I still love you. And that’s where we’re gonna leave it.”

Jim: L- let me ask you this question. Both of you. I mean, in that moment, your human emotions can be so on fire. You’re upset. You’re disrespecting my future wife, Brenda, you can let your flesh takeover. I need some advice from you both about how to tap into God’s character in that moment. So you don’t blow it and regret it for the rest of your life. I mean, how do you really settle your heart down and get aligned with the Lord and say, “Okay, Lord, this really hurts. But I want to trust you for the future. And I’m gonna calm down. I’m gonna talk to them respectfully. I’m not gonna demand them to come. I’m not gonna order them to come. I’m not gonna go after my oldest son who probably is influencing my two younger sons.” Um, how do you find the reserve spiritually to be calm in that moment?

Gil: I’m astounded with that question, because simply, it was the Spirit of God just said, “I’ve got you. I’ve got them.”

Jim: So, you trusted in Him?

Gil: “I’ve got them.” I think the thing that really came out of my heart at that point in time was realizing that I had dedicated them to Christ when they were babies, and that they would be seen through no matter what, if I trusted Christ in them.

Jim: Yeah. Brenda, did your children say how come daddy’s kids aren’t coming?

Brenda: Well, Gil’s kids wouldn’t-

Jim: Well-

Brenda: I don’t think they’ve called (laughs)-

Jim: I don’t know they… how they referred to him.

Brenda: They cal- refer as Tim… as Gil although I think couple of them would like to call you dad.

Jim: Did they have questions about it?

Brenda: Um, I think they did. And we just… I, uh… Do you remember, Gil, how we couched it? I mean-

Gil: Oh, yeah they were- they were wondering, “Hey, where are- where are our assumed to be step siblings?” And, um, I think the response was, is that they’ve chosen not to be here and we’re going to respect that choice.

Jim: Uh-huh.

Brenda: It was all done, I think, in love and respect-

Jim: Yeah.

Brenda: … for everybody involved. Because I think our… through our whole time as we were early on, all the kids are very respectful to each other and us. And there weren’t any like flat out mean. There are some trips and (laughs) missteps but not intentional mean like, “You’re not my mom, you’re not my dad.” We hear that all the time. And that’s just the hurt coming out, you know, in anger because these kids are hurting.

Gil: Yeah.

John: Well, we’re hearing about the, uh, messy realities of remarriage and how a stepfamily comes together. And, uh, what an interesting Focus on the Family broadcast with Gil and Brenda Stuart as our guests. And as you two are sharing so vulnerably, I’m thinking so what did you expect going in? I mean, did you have any clue it was gonna be this difficult? As you… As your wedding approached, as you started off the new relationship.

Brenda: I think we tried to intentionally invest and do as much homework as we could. And we actually had to get on a plane and fly to Arizona to hear, uh, a stepfamily seminar by Ron Deal because there is just nothing, nothing out there. So we felt like we had- we had a pretty good handle on it. But (laughs)

Gil: No, we- we-

Brenda: Oh my goodness, there’s always-

Gil: There were things that blind sighted us. The territorialism. The- the nature of, you know, the circumstances of what the kids brought with them when they came from their you know, their other biological parents back to us. I mean, just the cool down sessions for them. The cool down sessions for us. The callus that I grew on the bottom of my lip from biting my lip, so I wouldn’t say the wrong thing.

Brenda: (laughs)

Gil: I mean, there were, h-… There was a lot of really angst of-

Brenda: Well, and-

Gil: … how is this gonna happen? And- and- and it really was tough. (laughs)

Brenda: And we felt that even though we had kind of done our homework. And when we do seminars now, one of the first questions we ask is, you know, “Raise your hand, how many of you did your pre-… How many of you had premarital?” And hardly anybody raises their hand. And it’s like, “Well, we’ve been married”-

Jim: ‘Cause it’s a second or third time around, right?

Brenda: Yeah, it’s like, “Well we’ve been married before, we know how this goes.” Well, how’s that working or you? (laughs)

John: Yeah. Good point.

Brenda: You can never get enough information because this is a whole new marriage here. And if we’re having challenges, if I’m having challenges in this new relationship, it’s because I’m the common denominator. So what’s in me that needs to adjust.

Jim: Let me bring us back to the kids again, because I think it’s so important for those that are in this situation. They’ve remarried, uh, to get practical with the children and what’s happening. You mentioned one thing, Brenda, about bringing the kids into the bedroom, was it one at a time-

Brenda: Mm-hmm.

Jim: … and just talking with them? What are some other things that helped, uh, let some of the pressure out? And, Gil, you know, your kids were the older kids, so they were more cognitive of what was going on? Maybe they even had greater, um, I don’t know, disappointments in some ways. What did you do to really help them and how are they doing today? Where’s your relationship at with them today?

Gil: Well, at the time, uh, the two oldest ones in the seven of those people were mine, and they really didn’t want to engage. They just like were really standoffish.

Jim: Yeah.

Gil: So the best thing we could do was have a strong marriage because they were watching us.

Jim: So you think they were saying, “Prove it to me.”

Gil: Yes.

Brenda: Exactly.

Gil: Absolutely.

Jim: You’ve- you’ve already blown it once.

Gil: Oh, yeah. You… Yeah, absolutely. We’re watching you dad.

Jim: Yeah.

Gil: And this-…. You know, that kind of trickled down to the rest of the children as well. But I think the thing that, you know, Brenda mentioned to having the children in one at a time to talk to them. But the one piece of advice I would give to the listening audience is be sure you bring in the informant child first.

Brenda: (laughs)

Gil: Because if you bring in the tight-lipped kid first, you don’t know what’s going on amongst the ranks.

Jim: (laughs) So, is that called wisdom?

Brenda: Oh, yeah.

Jim: Kinda thing.

Gil: No, that’s just, uh-

Jim: (laughs)

Gil: … experience.

Jim: Okay. Good. So bri-

Gil: Bringing- bringing the- bringing the informant first.

John: Bring the record keeper.

Gil: Yeah. So another thing that we did, and I think it really set the stage because we were dealing with the issues of safety. Well, what about the children?

Jim: Between the two of you?

Gil: Yeah.

Jim: Yeah.

Gil: I mean, literally in the marriage, we’re dealing with the issues of safety and rebuilding trust, et cetera, et cetera. Because they… The children are too. So, seeing and observing the, uh, the territorialism that was there. Now, you know-

Jim: What does that look like? You’ve referred to that a couple times?

Gil: Well-

Jim: Territorialism?

Gil: Depends upon which house you settle in because sometimes, uh, you know, if I own the house and Brenda moves into my place, and the- and the kids are familiar with that place, then if those biological children are familiar with that, that’s their home base. In my case, I moved into Brenda’s home. And my kids were coming and going into an area that were their step siblings home base.

Jim: So the kids by nature, your kids coming in feel like guests-

Gil: Yeah. Oh, yeah.

Jim: … for a period of time.

Gil: Oh, yeah.

Brenda: That’s why ideally, if you can arrange it to- to start fresh and buy a new home, new… You know, you can’t always do that-

Gil: Yeah, it’s not always practical.

Brenda: … financially. So we were able to make sure that each kid that was with us had their own room.

Gil: As best as we could.

Brenda: It’s really important.

Gil: Best as we could.

Brenda: If you can do that. Now, it’s not always feasible. But even if the kids have to share rooms, that they have their own special place within that room that is theirs, and it’s there, you know, it’s protected.

Gil: One of the things that we did do early on and continued to really strive for was to build safety for the kids. And so in essence, what we really pointed out one Saturday morning, Brenda was gone. And I was like, “Okay, I’m gonna go into this with these teenagers. And then when I got into it, I was looking at these kids like, “Oh, boy, what have I gotten myself into?”

Brenda: (laughs)

Gil: But literally, I said, and I identified who the players were, I mean, this is obvious to my stepsons. “I’m not your father but I am your mother’s husband.” And to my children. I said, “No, Brenda is not your mom, but she is my wife. And when you come to this home and you walk through that door, this is to be a safe zone.” And that got tested.

Jim: Oh, I’m sure. All the time.

Gil: All the time.

Jim: Yeah.

Gil: And so here we are now, 13 and a half years later, and now the oldest is 36. The youngest is almost 26. And they… When they’re all together, they’re respectful of one another. You can still see the family units-

Jim: Right.

Gil: … it’s still there. But when they’re together, there is truly a respect and a love for one another, and a respect and love for us as their parents and/or stepparent. That is the point of rebuilding legacy because nobody wants a divorce. But if you go through it, then what?

Jim: Yeah.

Gil: You have to get back to being busy about rebuilding what God has given you to bu- rebuild with the family. And your material, unfortunately, that’s kind of the- the angst of the building of the book was, what we’re being handed to rebuild our family with is broken, and charred, and busted, and cracked. But God can use that too. He can redeem anything if you let Him.

Jim: Yeah. You know, uh, looking back on it, and again, we touched on this last time but, um, in your… both of your cases, it was out of your control. The-… It was your spouses that- that really made the decision to leave the marriage. M- but people who are in their first marriages can glean a lot from what we’ve talked about. Um, if you were counseling that first married couple and they’re struggling, and you could talk about the pain of divorce and what it has cost you emotionally, certainly the benefit of finding each other and rebuilding is there. But what- what would you say to that couple that’s married for the first time, they’re at year, maybe number 10 or maybe number 20? They’ve been married 20 years, but there’s no more spark.

Brenda: Hmm.

Jim: I think I can find something better out there. Um, you’re not my one and only, I thought you were but you’re not that person. What would you say to them?

Gil: What was it that drew you together? What were the bonds? What were the attachments? Go back and repair those things. It may be difficult. You may have to dig out the grout, so to say, this could become moldy and crusty. And that’s done through acts of forgiveness. And that is what really, I would say, let alone when we do sit with couples like that because we do. I typically back up and get out of the way so Brenda can hit him with a pink two by four. Uh, (laughs) she’s pretty, pretty too much… So I’m gonna kind of just let you jump in here a little bit ’cause-

Jim: (laughs)

Gil: … you- you say some pretty strong stuff.

Brenda: Well, because this is a hill I die on.

Jim: Yeah.

Brenda: That’s it. I just, this is ridiculous. We’re adults, sometimes, you know, you need to put your big boy pants on and put your big girl pants on. And when you have kids, it’s not just about you. It’s about your legacy. And there are so many resources. I mean, look at the resources that Focus on the Family app that you could-

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Brenda: Hundreds of years, you could be going through things of resources. So you know, one thing that people don’t realize is that 17 to 25 years of marriage, I call is the hotbed that the majority of divorces happen. You’re usually hitting your 40s, the kids are teenagers so they’re sucking your brains out, (laughing)

Jim: That’s a good description.

Brenda: Totally. And there’s a l-… You know, you’re reevaluating your life. Is this all there is? And isn’t that just… It’s a brilliant ploy of the enemy to take you out.

Jim: Yeah.

Brenda: It’s brilliant because your defenses are down. And if the enemy can take out one more marriage or family then he’s won. So what do you need to do during that time? Is, you’ve got to, um, be able to reinvest in each other. You know, ladies, if I had ladies here I’d say how are you being your husband’s girlfriend?

Gil: Mm-hmm.

Jim: Huh.

Brenda: Really, if you-

Jim: That can be a convicting question, both ways.

Brenda: Yeah. If you don’t know, ask your husband. What would a gir-… And the biggest question that I would ask anyone is would you come home to you?

Jim: Yeah.

Brenda: Whoo. That’s getting in the deep end. But sometimes we have to self-reflect-

Jim: Mm.

Brenda: … and say, “You know what, it’s just not about me. It’s about he’s not my partner, he’s my spouse.

John: Wh- what-

Brenda: What can I do?”

John: What do you ask or tell the guys?

Brenda: (laughs) I would love to do a men’s retreat sometime.

Jim: (laughs) Sergeant Brenda.

Brenda: Not to beat up the guys, not at all. But to uplift them and say, “Oh my gosh, man, you have this incredible calling that God’s given you to lead your family. How many of you are praying with your wives?” And I’m not talking about this deep prayer. I as a wife, when Gil and I pray, I feel protected. I feel cherished. I feel wanted. Um, and if… even if it’s just as simple, ‘Lord, thank you for today.”

Gil: Okay, I gotta jump in. Guys, did you realize that a strong prayer life equates to a strong sex life. Go find out, it’s a true… It’s been statistically-

Jim: Well, built intimacy.

Gil: … for intimacy. It’s built intimacy. And if that is the most intimate thing you could do as a husband is to pray with your wife. She wants your heart. You want other things. (laughing)

Jim: Well, let’s-

Gil: But you get-

Jim: … say you want your heart… their heart too.

Gil: Yeah.

Brenda: Yeah.

Gil: Their heart too. (laughing) You know, I’m trying to get the nitty-gritty here, but-

Jim: Yeah, no, you’re being honest.

Gil: I’m being honest, because the perspective is, is if you’re in a tough spot… Again, counseling basically states this, if you’re in a tough spot, if this is for the long haul, if you can make it and invest those, even it’s really like you’re down in the ditches, five years, give it five years of investing. If you’re doing okay, go to a- a retreat, go- go invest because when your defenses are down, that’s when you can receive. When you need that extra help and that mentoring, there’s mentoring out there. But, uh, there’s so much to be done. But for-

Brenda: But you’re saying the five years-

Gil: Yeah, the five-year mark is is that if you’re really entering in that- that- that tough spot, just think about it. If this is gonna be for a lifetime, five years is nothing. Those five years may be the time that you’re in the trenches. But when you come out, you got legacy, you’ve got grandchildren, you got something to pass on to the next generation here.

Brenda: And your marriage won’t look like it used to ’cause it will be in a better place.

John: What an encouraging conversation on Focus on the Family with Gil and Brenda Stuart. Uh, they have so much experience helping blended families.

Jim: Uh, Brenda and Gil are so inspiring and they do such great work helping couples and their children, which is what it’s about, how to get them to a better place. It’s so important to build a healthy relationship with each other for your marriage and for your children. Marriage reflects God’s character and he wants to redeem families. That’s it. And if you’re in a good place, help us to encourage these folks who may be struggling in a second marriage. Let’s be the Community of Christ together, let’s stand with them and strengthen these marriages. Here at Focus on the Family, we want to help. If you’re in a marriage, that’s wobbling a bit, call us. You’re not going to surprise us. You’re not going to be embarrassed. We’ve heard just about everything and it’s okay. It’s a safe place. Make a call and set up an appointment with one of our caring Christian counselors at 1-800, the letter A and the word FAMILY.

John: And if you’d like to support this ministry and make those, um, counseling services available to others, uh, please make a monthly pledge or a one-time gift of any amount and we’ll say thank you by shipping out a copy of Gil and Brenda’s book, Restored and Remarried. Just donate, uh, a gift of any amount and we’ll send that book to you. You can contribute and request resources and a connection with one of our counselors when you call that number Jim gave, 800-A-FAMILY or visit focusonthefamily.com/broadcast. On behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team, thanks for listening to Focus on the Family. I’m John Fuller inviting you back as we once again help you and your family thrive in Christ.

Today's Guests

Restored & Remarried

Receive a copy of Restored & Remarried and an audio download of "Encouragement for Remarried Couples" for your donation of any amount!

Recent Episodes

Focus on the Family Broadcast logo

The War of Words

In this Adventures in Odyssey drama, a carelessly uttered word from Eugene creates havoc as it becomes the fashionable insult, resulting in a lesson about the power of words.

You May Also Like

Focus on the Family Broadcast logo

A Legacy of Music and Trusting the Lord

Larnelle Harris shares stories about how God redeemed the dysfunctional past of his parents, the many African-American teachers who sacrificed their time and energy to give young men like himself a better future, and how his faithfulness to godly principles gave him greater opportunities and career success than anything else.

Focus on the Family Broadcast logo

Accepting Your Imperfect Life

Amy Carroll shares how her perfectionism led to her being discontent in her marriage for over a decade, how she learned to find value in who Christ is, not in what she does, and practical ways everyone can accept the messiness of marriage and of life.