This is another entry on BFW about blended families and remarriages in the Bible. My hope is that we all could see that blended families and remarriages have existed and scripture identifies with everyone and provides a restorative and redemptive message for all.
I've often said one of my favorite people in the Bible is David from the Old Testament. He was a wonder boy who could defeat lions, bears and giants all by himself. He was a golden child chosen by God even though his older brothers all had positions in the army and were more favored by his father. If you read on howeverDavid wasn't quite the picture of perfection as we would guess.
His life was complicated. While he was to be the next king, the current king (Saul) was insanely jealous (David was awarded his daughter after killing the giant Goliath) and numerous times attempted to murder David. Not the relationship with the in-laws anyone would be envious of. When David finally got to be king, Saul was dead and David's wife was very unhappy.
David married other women and therefore had children from several other mothers. Hmmm, the older he gets, the less favorite he becomes. Some of his problems were his own doing. One time he had an affair with a beautiful woman he saw bathing from his balcony. She got pregnant and to cover up, David the king, had her husband (a faithful soldier) sent to the war front to be killed in battle. I guess kings can do that sort of thing but you can see why my favor of this historical figure is waning. The problem is this is where David's life from a #blendedfamily perspective really spirals out of control.
The baby dies and while he grieves and after his cover-up attempts fail, his other children go nuts. One son, Amnon, becomes infatuated with his half-sister Tamar to the point he rapes her in a fit of lust leaving her shamed and humiliated. Another son, Absalam, (half sibling to both Amnon and Tamar) fails in his attempts to get his father to do something about this travesty so ultimately kills his brother and punishes David by stealing the throne. Wow! You thought politics was rough nowadays. Yeah, David's life was becoming more complicated by the day. He had a blendedfamily blowing up beyond compare.
After I have read this whole story of family intrigue, I find myself still liking David. No, I do not like his horrible and tragic choices. No, but what I do like is how God is constantly working restoration and redemption in both David and his family. Not only is he humbled, he is humble. He is quick to admit his failures and take corrective steps (lots of them). It took decades for him to recover from so much brokenness.
He experienced tremendous losses-some due to life's hardships and some due to his tainted choices. Nonetheless, with these losses came complexities at exponential levels. It's quite possible that you relate on some levels with David. If you have stepchildren, if you have children from different relationships, if you have been remarried at least once, you have experienced first hand some of this grief.
Aside from being able to identify with an historical figure like David, whom Jesus was a descendant, let me suggest a few other takeaways...
When David's life was spiraling quickly, he had someone speak truth to him- a godly advisor-and David instantly humbled himself to make the necessary changes to start recovering. Complex problems need wise counsel and an open, humble heart to submit oneself to that counsel. There are no simple steps to recovery. It can and does happen when we let the truth-tellers speak and we listen.
There was another very low point when David was so stricken with grief. His first child with Bethsheba (the pregnancy from the affair) was dying and David took very intentional steps to mourn. He dressed himself in sackcloth and ashes. He couldn't eat or sleep and he prayed. When the child died, David finished mourning and when he finished; completed the process of his grieving, he got up and reengaged life again.
When we try to attend to the hard parts of life without first dealing with our grief, it slows us down and more often than not sabotages our attempts to recover. Read some books on the grief process or talk to a good counselor who knows about grief. Allow yourself the freedom to cry, be mad, be sad and to accept what you have lost in your recent past. Only when you accept these losses can you accept your new future. Only then will you see restorative progress and then find new moments of joy and contentment again.
It is all too common for people to rush away from their losses with another relationship or another big life change only to find they have only complicated their life more than ever with little progress in recovery. I promise you, stopping to grieve for a year or so is highly productive time for you and yours.
Finally, look forward to the future. Recovery doesn't happen in a day, a week or a month but years. That's really okay if you are staying intentional about it. Don't force yourself or your family into being recovered-just continue to grow into it. One day you might look back and see what you all overcame together. David did this. One day he became king again and still more, one day his son became king according to God's progression. His name was Solomon and ultimately is known as one of the wisest kings in history. Why? Seeking wisdom became David's and then his son's regular practice.