This is an article I wrote for Role Models Of America http://www.rolemodelsofamerica.com
You probably don’t even know her name. You’ve probably just heard of her reputation. She is the one by whom we are all measured. We take the story on as fact, never wondering if there was a back-story, and as all tales of evil women go, the man is always missing or is the one being fought over.
Her name was Lady Tremaine. It sounds respectable doesn’t it? It sounds like someone you’d want to meet. Lady Tremaine, the name has an air about it, as if, at some point, it was aristocracy.
Only if it was, when we meet her in the story she has nothing relating to aristocracy besides the fact that she gets an invitation to the ball. By now, if you haven’t figured it out I’m talking about Cinderella’s stepmother. Yes, we all know her as evil and mean and angry. She has a name and like most stories of angst, it seems unimportant.
Only we know that there was progress because the Brother’s Grimm wrote a story about a woodcutter’s wife and she didn’t get a name at all, she is merely known as the evil stepmother. Her stepchildren, Hansel and Gretel were given a loaf of bread and sent out to the witch’s house to be eaten. Now that’s an angry woman!
Unfortunately, those are the characters by which we are measured. Stepmother’s have gotten a bad rap for centuries. Now in 2010, the majority of families in America are stepfamilies and even though we are the majority, there still isn’t a lot of help out there for us stepmoms. Further, there is very little help in the church for us.
I believe that those in the church don’t want to contend with the fact that many marriages are broken and in need of help. We don’t want to acknowledge divorce and death and remarriage, or maybe it’s that the church leaders have never experienced these things and therefore aren’t really sure how to handle it. So most of the advice from the church has been from the perspective of a marriage, but not a second marriage and that, my friends, is a completely different ballgame altogether. Only we must handle it, because there simply is too great a need for some resources and help.
I often wondered why God selected me to become a stepmother and a Pastor’s wife? I believe it was because in this place, not only could I experience the heartache of blending a family, but also write some things down to help others and a platform in which to access the church.
These messages are not popular. We prefer our lives to be of the fairy-tale variety, omitting the ugly part and focusing only on the fact that Cinderella lived happily ever-after. Unfortunately, it doesn’t take much life experience to realize that it’s not always the plan God has for us. Sometimes, he needs to send someone to walk it out so that they can teach it. He does promise to work it out for us in the end, and the great part is that I sit here as living proof that it does work out, but he never promised that it wouldn’t be painful and life changing. (Jeremiah 29:11, Romans 8:28)
So over the course of time, I will unfold these lessons before you and give you strategy to make it work. After all, 75% of second marriages end in divorce before the 5-year mark. The problem is that statistics also show that it takes about 7 years to blend a family or about 1 year for every age of the child. Can you see the dilemma we have? It’s a big one because statistics are saying we are blowing out a marriage just before we get some relief. If we don’t address it, teach on it, and help you stepmoms, then these numbers can’t get better.