No Favorites: Parenting in a Blended Family

By: Pastor Darren Bennett
God has no favorites, and as parents neither should we. The challenge to avoid showing partiality towards our biological child in a blended family is real, but it is imperative that we resist. Pastor Darren of Calvary Chapel North Miami shares his experience and God's perspective to help us love well when navigating life in a blended family dynamic.

“Opening his mouth, Peter said: ‘I most certainly understand now that God is not one to show partiality, but in every nation the man who fears Him and does what is right is welcome to Him.’”—Acts 10:34–35

The Bible, in Acts 10:34, as well as Romans 2:11, tells us that God is a God that does not operate with partiality. In other words, He has no favorites, and as parents neither should we. When navigating life in a blended family dynamic it is imperative we resist the urge to play the “favorites card.”
[God] has no favorites, and as parents neither should we.
What do I mean? Well, you are more than likely going to have a bias for your biological child. Don't beat yourself up over that; it's natural. However, it can indeed become increasingly difficult to resist the bias toward your biological child especially in moments of parental tension and disagreement or even sibling disagreements.

For example, I can remember when I heard my stepdaughter getting into an argument with my biological daughter. I had to resist the urge of jumping up and running to my biological child's defense. I had to reconcile in my mind that this was essentially a normal sibling dispute that needed to be worked out amongst the siblings.

How catastrophic it would’ve been if I would have jumped to my biological child's defense. What picture would that have portrayed to my stepdaughter and my wife, her biological mom? Don't answer that. I’ll answer it for you. It would have painted a picture of a house divided, and we know that a house divided cannot stand.
. . . we know that a house divided cannot stand.
Parents, our kids can never feel as if we are choosing one of them over the other, and especially when we are in a blended family situation. Blended families come with natural insecurities and triggers that simply won't manifest in a traditional family setting. There’s an insecurity of the biological parent wanting to feel as if the non-biological parent fully embraces his/her child and vice versa. There’s also the insecurity of the non-biological parent feeling inferior to the outside biological co-parent. There's the insecurity of the non-biological child wanting to win the approval and love of the step-parent and vice versa. You get the point, right?

All of these unique dynamics have to be intentionally considered and given a great deal of sensitivity when blending a family. So what’s the answer, Darren?

The answer is more simple than one would think. The answer is found in understanding the Gospel. The gospel tells us that our affirmation is not given by man, though it feels good to receive affirmation from human beings. Our ultimate affirmation comes from God by way of his son Jesus Christ! When Jesus died on the cross for us all he hit the ultimate “like button!” There is no greater sense of security or weapon against insecurity than that!
The Gospel tells us that everyone is invited into God's blended family.
When we come to a full understanding of and embrace that reality it short circuits the potential for feelings of inferiority or even sinful partiality. The Gospel tells us that everyone is invited into God's blended family. Literally people from every tribe and tongue; therefore, if God, our Father in heaven, grafted us in when we were undeserving of such a gracious invitation, how much more should we be graciously inviting to our non-biological kids? How much more secure should we feel even if tensions tend to rise in the family?

Every family has tension, but not every family understands the Gospel. The Gospel cuts the tension and softens our hearts!

 
Pastor Darren Bennett has been part of the Calvary family since 2010. He and his wife, Christine, have five beautiful children, Destinee, Robert, Darionna, Darriale, and Jael. God called Darren and his family to plant a church in North Miami, and after much prayer and confirmation, the couple opened their hands and let God lead the way. God spoke specifically to Darren when his church taught through a series on Jonah emphasizing God’s heart for the city. Darren and his family reside in North Miami Dade, so they understand the unique opportunity they have to infuse the gospel message to a very culturally diverse demographic.
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