Don’t Let Your Past Steal Your Future
Day 1 - May 11, 2020
Day 1 - Fifty percent of all families are Blended Families
Blended families can be incredible. I know many, many successful marriages that began this way. After all, there are a lot of great blended families in the Bible. Even Jesus came from a blended family. But they also include particular dynamics that are present from day one. These dynamics can be challenging.
One of the most significant issues typically brought into the new marriage is unresolved feelings toward a past partner.
When a word, statement or action triggers an intense emotional reaction, we call these “Bare Wires.” Often, the trigger is an innocent comment or gesture that you somehow relate to your first marriage, maybe specifically to your ex. The emotion is raw because of past hurt or broken trust. Whenever you’re in a similar situation — perhaps only slightly similar — the negative emotions resurface even though the threat is not what it was in the previous relationship.
Still, elements of suspicion, distrust, envy, broken promises and disregard for your feelings and needs can set you off. Your ability to cope with and understand those situations is impaired by your past experiences. You try not to be defensive or to withdraw from your new spouse, but keeping your emotions in check becomes a constant battle.
Day 2 - May 12, 2020
Day 2 - Children Have a Difficult Time Sharing Parents
Blended families may have more children than nuclear families. Two children who are accustomed to sharing their mother's love between them may find their mother's attention and time suddenly divided among five children. A reduced amount of time and attention can become a problem.
- In addition to this reduction in time from the birth parent, children may feel that their biological parent should spend more time with them than with non-biological children.
Day 3 - May 13, 2020
Day 3 - Studies tell us that 50% of married people who get divorced still harbor feelings for their ex-spouse ten years later. Think about that! A full decade after a relationship ends, half the people still experience powerful feelings toward their ex.
- Sometimes those feelings are good.
- Sometimes those feelings are bad.
- Both have the potential to be problematic to a new marriage or a blended family.
It can become problematic when we look back on relationships and idealize the good things, or live in fear from the bad things.
For instance, a new relationship may be going well, but the first time we encounter a difficulty, we start remembering the good parts of our past relationship. Or, how the past relationship would escalate into chaos and fear.
Day 4 - May 14, 2020
Day 4 - The devil torments us by reminding us of the high points in our past relationships. That's because he does not want us to remember the reason the relationship ended. In these cases, we have to deal with these feelings. We need to thank God for the good memories and then move on.
- Rather than long for them, we have to let them go.
Other times we may look back on past relationships and feel bitterness and anger. Maybe we were hurt deeply by that break-up. The enemy likes to distort our memories by perverting or poisoning them.
- Regardless of what happened, many people enter a new relationship burdened with anger about the old relationship.
- Don't waste time focusing on the bad things.
- When this happens, the new spouse bears the brunt of the pain.
Day 5 - May 15, 2020
Day 5 - Unforgiveness is an invisible cord that connects us to our past, and it feeds bitterness. It MUST be severed for the sake of your marriage.
You must learn to take captive the painful thoughts from your past. With God's help, you can take steps toward forgiving those who hurt you.