Making a covenant does not mean neglecting your kids, but it does mean that they are taught which relationship is your ultimate priority.A marriage that is not the priority will be mediocre at best.As one parent said, "Falling in love is not enough when it comes to remarriage; there’s just more required than that." When you do become serious about marriage, date with the intention of deepening the steppparent-stepchild relationships.Young children can attach themselves to a future stepparent rather quickly so make sure you’re serious before spending lots of time together. Most people think the way to cook a stepfamily is with a blender ("blended family"), microwave, pressure cooker, or food processor. All of these "cooking styles" attempt to combine the family ingredients in a rapid fashion.
Ingredients thrown into a crock-pot that have not had sufficient time to cook don’t taste good—and might make you sick. Elizabeth Einstein, a well-respected stepfamily author and trainer, stunned a group of ministers when she told us to make remarriage difficult for couples in our churches (1).She wasn’t implying that remarriage is wrong, but was simply suggesting that remarriage—particularly when children are involved—is very challenging and that couples should count the cost and be highly educated about the process before getting married.It’s a good fantasy, but stepparents won’t experience or care for your children to the same degree as you do.This is not to say that stepparents and stepchildren can’t have close bonds, they can. When looking at your daughter, you will see a sixteen-year-old who brought you mud pies when they were four and showered you with hugs each night after work.Your spouse will see a self-centered brat who won’t abide by the house rules. Are you more committed to your children or your marriage?