Monday, March 8, 2010

Burden vs. Consolation

When people find out that I have stepkids, usually I get some sort of negative or sympathetic reaction.  The first comment is usually something about the extra challenges we'll have.  That's not the reaction I had when I first learned that Raul has kids--I love kids and I was glad to have the opportunity to have a bigger family!  And I was nervous to meet them.  I can't tell you how relieved I was to hear my best friend Alison have the same reaction that I did (her excitement is the title of another post below!). 

It's true that the step-parenting situation is always the result of something off-kilter that happened in the past--be it a divorce, untimely death, abandonment, or unmarried parenthood.  Even in the case of an adoption, "something off-kilter" is related to the biological parents.  It's important though, to assign rights and wrongs to the correct column!  Perhaps there was never a sin at all, or perhaps there was a sin somewhere in the past.  But the presence of children is never wrong.  On the contrary, it shows that the parents made the right choice in bringing a child into the world.

The step-parenting situation, where an increasing number of us find ourselves, is the embodiment of an important consolation for past wrongs, and an even more important hope for the future. Out of every bad situation, God offers an opportunity for joy: the kids.

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