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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.



Take Action

The first step toward healing will include acknowledging to your spouse that you have bare wires.

  • Because your new husband or wife is a safe place for you, trust and vulnerability can act like electrical tape to cover the exposed wire in your heart — insulating and repairing it to help bring closure.

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.

 



Take Action

Resolving this common issue takes a lot of time and patience.

  • Encourage your children to talk openly about their feelings
  • But make sure that this is done in an atmosphere of mutual respect.

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.

 



Take Action

Weights and Walls

We need to learn from our past, but we cannot live there.  If we focus on our past we run into 1 of 2 problems.

1.  Weights - If you idolize your past, you tend to only focus on the good things and fall into nostalgia.  Nostalgia is an emotional longing for an unattainable and unrealistic past.  It becomes a weight that holds you back from your future.

2.  Walls - If you live in fear from the past, thinking at any moment the past is going to repeat itself, you will build walls to protect yourself.  The walls you build for protection will also keep you from true joy & happiness.

Both of these are lies of compromise.  

Learn from the facts of your past, but keep your eyes firmly on God’s truth for your future.  

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.  

 

 

 



Take Action

Has this happened in your marriage?  

  • Do you have emotional scars from your past?  
    • Don't allow your spouse to take the weight of your past.
  • Cast your care over on the Lord because he loves you.  1 Peter 5:7 
    • Once you give that pain or fear to the Lord, DON'T pick it back up.
  • Seek wise council if you have difficulty letting go of your past.  

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. 

 

 

 

 

 



Take Action

For your marriage to thrive, you need to let old feelings go. 

  • Thank God for the good in your past.  Now, ask Him to help you forgive the bad in your past. 
  • It's time you determine to live in the present.