The Christian Broadcasting Network

The 700 Club with Pat Robertson


Author of numerous books, The Smart Stepfamily Marriage, (2015) Founder/President, As For Me and My House Ministries (LLC)

Founder, Successful Stepfamilies

Licensed marriage and family therapist

Licensed professional counselor

Has appeared on Focus on the Family, FamilyLife Today

Interviewed by Fox News, MSNBC, ABC Nightline

Speaks at National Stepfamily Conference and American Association of Christian Counselors World Conference

Masters degree, Marriage and Family Therapy, Abilene Christian University

Wife: Nan

3 sons (Connor died in 2009)


Previous Appearance

Guest Bio

Blending In To Stepfamilies

CBN.comRISKING LOVE AGAIN                   

Stepfamilies are becoming the norm, not the exception, in our society.  Forty percent of families in the United States are blended families headed by stepfamily marriages.  Nearly 35 millions Americans have remarried at least once and another 36 million could remarry.  One hundred million Americans have a step-relationship of some kind.  Remarriages with or without children have a 10-25 percent higher chance of divorce than couples in first marriages.  Ron says it is important for stepcouples (a couple whose marriage was preceded by the birth of at least one child to one of the partners) to understand the unique challenges of blended families.  “The reality of remarriage is that life in a stepfamily is much more difficult than most couples anticipate,” says Ron.  He believes the health of the couple’s relationship is interdependent with the health of the stepfamily.  The average stepfamily has many people in the extended family system and each person is required to manage a multitude of relationships. “Stepfamilies don’t have family trees,” says Ron. “They have a family forest!” Many pre-stepfamily couples spend time together without the children; but once the wedding takes place and real life sets in, Ron says many stepcouples get lost in a sea of activities and relational concerns.

For blended families with children, the experience for the kids may not be what the stepcouple is experiencing.  Children can feel anger over feeling displaced, confused or insecure with the transition.  That can increase the biological parent’s guilt and anxiety about the children’s well being.  Ron is clear to point out that making the marriage a significant priority does not mean neglecting the children; nor that your spouse gets to be the total focus of your attention.  “Loving your spouse should never come at the expense of the children,” says Ron.  “It means that you seek a balance between the love and energy you give your children with what’s necessary to sustain and build your marriage.”


Ron and his team reviewed findings from the National Survey of Couples Creating Stepfamilies, the largest study of remarrying couples with children from previous relationships ever conducted.  Some relationship concerns include: jealousy (the fear of being replaced), suspicion (having trouble believing your partner), worry (how your mate’s previous sexual experiences compare to yours) and fear (afraid of another relationship breakup).  Fear is one of the biggest factors in stepcouples because it pushes people apart and erodes confidence.  “Fear rolls out as jealousy, and it can build resentment in the heart.   We have to understand how fear works within ourselves and our marriage and how we can overcome this fear factor,” he says.  Ron reminds us that in 1 John 4:18 Perfect love casts out fear.  Couples need to manage their inner concerns and fears.

“Stay with the process,” says Ron. “Don’t get discouraged.” Create a home that becomes a redemption center for the children who live there.  Talking about the challenges of stepfamilies feels heavy to some.  “There are challenges, but we know there are things that will help,” says Ron.  Manage communication.  Resolve conflict.  Openly declare and demonstrate your commitment to the marriage in order to establish yourselves as the foundation of the home.  It is the first step toward marital intimacy, stepfamily harmony and effective parenting.  The stepfamily will either become the redemption center for the stepchildren or it will contribute to the demise of the next generation.  Ron is hosting a summit on November 13 and 14 on stepfamily ministry in Irvine, CA.  Log on to for more information.


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