Five years ago, God placed someone in my life that would become my husband. With him came two boys. I truly believe God placed them in my life for a very specific reason and out of reverence for Him, I take my role very seriously. We now have six children between the two of us. Three daughters from my first marriage, two sons from his first marriage, and one sweet baby girl together.
Have you ever thought about why God gives us children? The bible is very clear. Psalms 127:3 states, “Behold, children are a gift of the Lord.” Another version says, “Children are a heritage from the Lord, a reward from Him.” I grew up with that verse tattooed on my heart. I knew that if I was blessed with a child, God was entrusting His child into my care until He was ready to call them home. That way of thinking allows me to let go of all earthly fears and insecurities because I know His love for them is deep. I even think He loves them more than I because He was willing to loan them to me to enjoy, knowing I am imperfect and capable of making mistakes that could potentially hurt what belongs to Him.
How do you view your children? That question changes everything in terms of how we treat our kids, who we allow to love them, how we react when they get hurt, etc.
I chose to write about this subject matter after the realization that not everyone views their children this way. Due to my beliefs, all of the children God has blessed me with in this life are seen the same way. It doesn’t matter if they share my DNA or not. They are all gifts from Him and I feel that He would be very disappointed in me if they were treated differently. I believe children that are from a divorce should be able to call their bonus parent whatever they are comfortable with. My girls have a step-mom and I feel that if they were to call her mom, it reveals that she loves them like they were her own. What mother or father wouldn’t want that for their children?
Once the ex’s became aware that their biological children were calling their step-mom and step-dad mom and dad, things did not go well. I quickly discovered that they see things very differently. They both believe that every child has one mom and dad and out of respect for their biological parents, should never call anyone by that name except for those who share DNA. After trying to communicate why we believe what we do, we were told that they told the kids it was forbidden and we were to respect them and do the same.
We decided not to honor their request, not because we don’t respect them, but because it is about what is comfortable for the kids. We sat the kids down and discussed the issue because their biological parents had already informed us that the kids were told they were to never call us mom and dad again. We explained that we didn’t care what they decided to do, but the decision was theirs and we would love them the same regardless.
Months have passed and the younger two still call us mom and dad on a regular basis. The older kids go back and forth. The biological mom refuses to speak to me ever again and the biological dad won’t speak to my husband anymore either. I have prayed for insight as to why we are all on such a different page in regards to this and God revealed it all comes down to how we see Him.
Divorce is a unique situation and there is no manual that tells us how to approach issues like these, should they arise. As a standard rule, I try my best to do what is in the best interest of the kids, even if that makes me a little uncomfortable. I have noticed that issues always arise when the needs of the parent supersede those of the children. If we see our kids as our possessions, we will feel threatened by the step-mother or step-father who is now a part of our child’s life. Once we realize that kids can love everyone close to them and are blessed to have two sets of parents who love them, there is no need for territorial control or manipulation. If you struggle with this, remember that your children are a gift. Using them as a pawn to lessen our insecurities only creates more insecurities when we don’t get the response we are looking for. It hurts our children and they should never have to choose sides.