Custom CSS of Section contains Conditional Preview for See Life Campaign Elements

SAVE LIVES!
See Life 2021
Double your gift now!
Yes, I will help save babies from abortion!
$

The Dad He Didn’t Have to Be: Bonding as a Blended Family

Share:
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email
Blended Family
A last wish, a willing heart, and a little time together have bonded my blended family.

Having a blended family was never something I imagined. However, life can change in a moment, and mine did. My loss was instant. I didn’t have a chance to say goodbye. So, when the police told me my husband, David, didn’t survive his car accident, I panicked: “What were our last words?”

That morning David had slipped out quietly to go to work while our two-year-old and four-month-old children and I slept. But our last significant conversation was a strange one, and perhaps providential.

A Foretelling Dialogue

Oddly enough, David was a toddler when his own father was killed in a car accident. His mom never remarried, which always concerned him. David felt different than other boys, like he was missing something special. He maintained that feeling even into adulthood. 

That’s why Brad Paisley’s country song “He Didn’t Have to Be” was important to David. The lyrics tell the story of a little boy, his single mom, and their loving relationship with the man she married. When the boy grows up to be a father, he muses, “I hope I’m at least half the dad that he didn’t have to be.”

The fateful night of our last conversation, David was watching that music video. He was content with the song’s happy ending, but I was in tears.

“Why are you crying? That song isn’t sad!” David said. Then he uttered his providential request. “Promise me,” he said, “if anything ever happens to me, you’ll get married again.”

Permission to Move On

In my shock at the news of his death, I was thankful David gave me a vision for his family and permission to move on with life. One widow I talked to promised her dying husband not to remarry. I wondered if God had orchestrated our conversation so I would have the strength to make a new life.  

When I met Robbie McDonald, his sons were 14 and 24. My kids were 3 and 5. After a few mentions of marriage, I asked, “What are you thinking? Do you really want to do this father thing all over again?”

Robbie replied, “I feel like God created me to be a father, and your kids need a father.” That was the beginning of a whirlwind romance.

Now, seven years into our blended family, my kids call Robbie “Daddy,” and they call David “David.”

Navigate family life with grace and love!

Daniel P. Huerta, Focus on the Family's Vice President of Parenting, presents a collection of seven powerful character traits designed to help parents grow and thrive while raising Godly children.

Rough Starts for Our Blended Family

Stepfamily living hasn’t been easy. Only days after the honeymoon, my five-year-old son felt threatened by Robbie’s alpha male presence. He once asked me behind tiny, furrowed brows, “Do you love him more than you love me?”

Even at their young age, my kids were settled into a routine — the kind where mom’s life revolved around theirs, and they didn’t want that to change. For them, it meant getting less of mom’s time, locked doors to mom’s bedroom, and mom taking sides against them with her husband. That hadn’t happened before!

It was hard on Robbie, too. He couldn’t play golf every Saturday or go fishing with his friends. Little kids need an active daddy. After 20 years of parenting, Robbie was tired! I’m sure there were days when he wondered, “What did I get myself into?”

And it was hard on me. The kids became master manipulators of the single mom guilt I carried into remarriage. And those initial months of adjustment created irritation and tension in our home. Hurt feelings, yelling, and the silent treatment were daily activities. I remember picking up toys, crying buckets of tears, distressed by all the emotional chaos. Robbie helplessly asked what was wrong. I sobbed, “I just want you to love my kids!”

We were all lost and confused. We clung to promises like Galatians 6:9, “Let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap if we do not give up.” We believed one day, the treasure would be worth the travail — and it is.

A Real Daddy

Now, it’s beautiful to watch my little girl run to Robbie’s arms when he comes home or to witness the three pile up for a tickle fight. The kids’ eyes light up at Robbie’s stories of war or childhood, and they brag about him at school.

Even though my kids mentally know Robbie is their stepdad, they feel like he is their real dad. I’ve overheard them say things like, “You must have gotten your curly hair from Dad (Robbie),” or “I bet Dad was just like you when he was a kid.”

And isn’t that how it is with God? We’re not His begotten children. We are adopted (Romans 8:15). But His love for us couldn’t be stronger, even despite our propensity to push Him away and return again. He disciplines. He waits. And he embraces us with open arms. “See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God” (1 John 3:1).

It’s been hard work, but we’re starting to gather the treasures within our blended family. Like those moments when my son says, “When I grow up, I’m going to be just like Dad.”

And to that, I can only say, “I hope so, son. I hope you’re at least half the dad that Robbie didn’t have to be.”

© 2020 by Focus on the Family. All rights reserved. 

Dynamic CTA Template Below

Your Teen Needs You Most of All

No parent of teens is perfect and even the best can learn how to better connect with their son or daughter. Get practical action steps to better connect with your teenager in 8 Essential Tips for Parenting Your Teen in this FREE video series!

There Is Still Hope for Your Marriage

You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.

There Is Still Hope for Your Marriage

You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.

There Is Still Hope for Your Marriage

You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.
Emerson-Eggerich4-840w

Understand How to Respect and Love your Son Well

Why doesn’t my son listen to me? Have you ever asked that question? The truth is, how you see your son and talk to him has a significant effect on how he thinks and acts. That’s why we want to help you. In fact, we’ve created a free five-part video series called “Recognizing Your Son’s Need for Respect” that will help you understand how showing respect, rather than shaming and badgering, will serve to motivate and guide your son.

Reconnected: The Digital Experience

Is the love there, but not the spark? Reawaken fun in your marriage and move from roommates to soulmates again with the help of this 7-part online video experience. Learn how to connect emotionally and spiritually as husband and wife using techniques such as dreaming together and establishing deep, heartfelt communication. The Digital Experience includes 7 teaching videos, an online study guide and access to additional tools and resources to help spouses reconnect.
Share:
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email

About the Author

Read More About:

You May Also Like

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 1: The Truth About Life!

In this episode, we will tackle tough questions like, “When does life begin?” and “What does the Bible
say about Life?” You’ll discover and understand the stages of pre-born life and that babies are more than
just a clump of cells!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 2: Heroes Providing Hope

Discover the amazing work our PRC’s Directors, Nurses, and Volunteers are making in their communities! You’ll see firsthand testimonies of a PRC in action, and that there are other options outside of abortions! You’ll also discover how your family can support your local PRC!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!

Tell Your Story

By sharing your struggles and triumphs, God can transform your courage into hope and faith for others!