I realize that not every step-parenting situation is the same. Some biological mothers have passed away, some are absent. While these situations may be your situation, this post is targeted toward the step-mother who is actively involved with her step children on an everyday basis, whether your visits are once a year or daily. I am a stepmom too, which is why I am sharing my experiences with you.
Part 1 of my 3-part Stepmom Series:
I wasn’t entirely sure I would post this. I’ve had this sitting in my brain for a few months now, and I couldn’t decide if I should write it, because somehow I feel kind of weird and awkward telling other people that I pray for my husband’s ex-wife. The thing is, though, I think we need more people to pray for their awkward situations and the people they don’t always get along with. The world would be a better place.
So I decided to sit down and thoughtfully write this out. I hope it encourages you to be the stepmom God wants you to be and that you will decide to pray for your husband’s ex-wife too. So here it is.
Why I pray for my husband’s ex-wife:
1) Regardless of what I think of her at different points in time, my husband’s ex-wife is a person too, and God loves her. In John 3:16, we’re told that God loved the world so much that He gave His son so that whoever believes in Him will not die but have eternal life. Notice that it does not say that some people who believe in Him will have eternal life. He doesn’t say that He loved John, Mary, and Suzie so much; he loved the world so much. Romans 8:37-39 says, “…For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” If God loves her, and if Jesus tells us to “love your neighbor as yourself,” shouldn’t I pray for her as I would want others to pray for me? She is my sister in Christ whether I like it or not. She is a person, and she is loved by God; therefore, she needs and is deserving of my prayers.
2) The Bible tells us to pray for others. 1 Timothy 2:1 says, “I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them.” It doesn’t sound like there’s much flexibility in this. We’re to pray for all people, not just the people we love.
3) Chances are, she hurts too. Regardless of what your husband has told you about their divorce (how it happened, how she hurt him, etc.), I can guarantee you that there was some amount of pain on her end that your husband inflicted. Now, when you first get married you might not be able to see it. But later on, chances are that the same things that hurt her will probably hurt you. You will need to work together to get through these obstacles in order to stay married, of course, but my point is that, no matter what she did to your husband, he hurt her as well. She needs prayer to overcome her pain.
4) Most importantly, she is the mother of my step children. What affects her affects them. This includes her relationships, her finances, her spiritual well-being, her emotional and mental well-being, and her health. What affects my step children affects me. When they visit my home, their pain becomes my pain, because their attitudes and behaviors will reflect how they are feeling. If I want my step children to feel loved and secure at my home, why wouldn’t I want that for them all the time?
If you truly love and care for your step children, I encourage to pray for their mother. After praying for her daily, you will begin to forgive her for any hurt that she has caused you, and your feelings toward her may improve. Even if you don’t feel like you love her like your “BFF,” at least you can look on her more positively. And eventually, it is possible that her attitudes toward you will change, making life better for everyone involved.
I have put together a printable prayer card as a JPEG for you to keep wherever you pray–at the breakfast table, in the car, beside your bed. As you say a prayer for your children and your husband today, take a moment to pray for your husband’s ex-wife. Your family will be better for it.
Today, I’m linking up at: