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Stepfamilies, sometimes called blended families, are unique in many ways. Unfortunately, the “Brady Bunch” disguised most of those differences and gave America an artificial security about stepfamily life. If you watched that show you probably assume step-families are just like biological families. Nothing could be further from the truth. Here are just a few factors for single parents to consider before stepping into a stepfamily.

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Don’t begin the journey unless you’ve done your homework, counted the cost and are willing to persevere until you reach the ‘Promised Land. In the Old Testament of the Bible, when the Israelites realized they were trapped between Pharaoh’s army and the Red Sea, they cried out in fear and anger to Moses wishing they had stayed in Egypt. Nearly every stepfamily, shortly after remarriage, experiences a painful pinch between the losses and hurts of their past and the sea of opposition that stands in their future. Children are often heard crying, “Mom, why did you marry this guy? We were so much better off when it was just us.” Truly, the journey to the Promised Land for most is not an easy one. But if you trust God and persevere, He will lead you through to better days.

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Make sure you’re not still haunted by the ghost of marriage past. Emotional and spiritual healing from divorce or the death of a spouse takes time; in fact, the average person requires three to five years before they can be discerning about a new relationship. Don’t let the rebound-bug bite you where it hurts. After his wife died of cancer Gary found himself lonely and feeling inadequate to care for his daughter. “I guess I needed a partner and I wanted a mother for my child,” he said. This emptiness led him to rush into a new marriage that ended after just one year. Remember, time is your best friend, so slow down the dating process.

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Blended Families Can Survive [PHOTOS]  was originally published on