Blended families are hard. As Jon and I are reflecting on our 12 year anniversary, we recall many hard times but so grateful for all the good times. Those 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. Finally, seven years later, our family had found it’s groove.

Yet even after those magical seven years we still find ourselves repeating some of those same old patterns once in awhile. 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 are learning to catch ourselves falling into our past roles sooner and find that we are able to work through the issues much calmer and much quicker. Blending does come with time. But when you are right in the middle of it, time is the last thing you want to give. 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.