Blending families is hard. Jon and I were married almost 15 years. Over those 15 years I can recall many hard times. There were times I seriously did not think we were going to make it. But looking back now I am so grateful that we endured the tough years. The first 7 years were the most challenging. I have read many books that talked about the magical 7th year and I never believed it. But for us, for some reason, things started falling into a natural order right around the 7th year.
It took 7 years to bring two mini families together as one. It took seven years to smooth the battle lines. Seven years to build trust. Seven years of fighting over loyalties. Seven years to learn our roles. Seven years to calm the defenses. And now finally, I can say all the hard work was more than worth it, our family had found it’s groove.
Yet even after those magical seven years we still found ourselves repeating some of those same old patterns. Why is that? Jesus tells us in 2nd Corinthians 5:17 that “those who belong to Christ become a new person. The old is gone; and new life has begun.” But in our human nature it is so easy to pick up our old defenses and fall back into our old habits. We need to be reminded what Romans 13:12 says; “So remove your dark deeds like dirty clothes, and put on the shining armor of right living.”
The good news is that each time we slipped into old habits, we continued to learn and soon found ourselves moving through them faster and in time we learned how to work through the issues much calmer and much quicker. I am here to assure you that blending does come with time. But when you are right in the middle of it, time is the last thing you want to give. It can be very exhausting. Let me encourage you that if you are in your first seven years, know that it does get better. Or if you have made it past those ever challenging years and still experience a bump or two, hang in there, the ride does get smoother. Keep your eyes on the goal and trust in Jesus and hang on for the ride. You will not regret it.