The Ministry of a Christian Stepmom
by Deb Weakly
Mothers are important; we mold the hearts and minds of the next generation. This is true of not only birth and adoptive moms, but also 'Bonus Moms' (stepmoms, foster moms, and caregivers in any capacity).
My parents divorced when I was young, and my dad remarried. My Dad had full custody of me, so I lived with him and my stepmom full-time. These short years became one of the most difficult seasons of my life. My parent’s recent divorce had left me feeling wounded and broken. Furthermore, my stepmom didn’t want me, so I never felt loved and accepted living in her home. They divorced a short time later, and I felt relieved.
After their divorce, my dad dated a delightful woman named Sharon. Though they never married and were only together for a short time, I will always remember Sharon for the way she loved me like a daughter and taught me much about life. She helped me learn all about how to apply cosmetics, and she even hosted my friends for sleepovers. Sharon was a delightful cook and loved to decorate. She was a beautiful example of a sweet mother-figure who chose to invest her life into a defeated young girl.
My dad later married a kind woman named Jean. My children know Jean as Nanny, and she loved them like her own grandchildren. Jean was just what I needed as an adult stepchild. She loved my dad well and took care of him until the end of his life. I will always be thankful for my sweet stepmom, Jean.
As a stepmom, you have the God-given potential to make an enormous difference in the lives of your stepchildren. I fervently believe this is a ministry given to you by God to show His love to your potentially wounded stepchildren.
I don’t know your situation: The children’s mom may be fantastic, and if so they are blessed. On the other hand, the birth mom might be as mine—a broken woman who struggled to be the mom I needed because of her deep wounds that resulted from the divorce with my dad. She was also an alcoholic and later remarried a horribly abusive man. My poor mom then had big issues because of my stepdad. I couldn’t see her or stay with her because of him. This all left me feeling like an orphan from the time I was ten years old.
Sadly, at the age of 20, I became truly motherless when my mom died. As you can imagine, I felt lost and alone. Looking back, I see God’s goodness because He gave me my stepmom, Jean, and my mother-in-law, Joan, who both became sweet mother figures to me. They helped me feel loved and not so alone. They both were there for me in the day-to-day issues of life and also the big events that would have been heart-breaking to go through without a mom: my graduation from college, our wedding, and the birth of each child. I needed a mom during these seasons and I am so thankful the Lord gave me Jean and Joan and also other godly mentors along the way.
My dear friend, if you are reading this devotional, then it probably means you are a ‘Bonus Mom’ of some kind: a stepmom, foster, or any other type of mom. Please, please, please don’t ever underestimate the power of your ministry to your bonus children. You will never replace their mom, but you can be a positive role model and someone who is always there for them to show them the love of Jesus. Sweet Mom, your mothering matters. Never give up on your calling or your bonus kids. The Lord is with you and will help you to love them like Jesus and hang in there when the times get tough. You and God can do this!! He will help you!
Bonus Content While praying over this devotional, I thought about the things I needed from my stepmom(s) when I was living with her and my dad. I felt the Lord impressing on me to discuss five practical ways you can love your bonus children during this season with your blended family in your home.
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