Gents, so what did you do for your summer vacation? Ask any kid in a stepfamily and your answer may pale in comparison. From “oh I spent a couple of weeks with my dad and stepmom. I was excited but really scared too” to “we did nothing because my mom works two jobs and my stepdad doesn’t like me.”
Maybe you get the drift in that what your experience as a stepdad can be is a galaxy apart from a step child’s point of view. On the other hand, dads who put their children on a plane or drive them across town after only seeing them for a short time can be painful.
Now its time to prepare all “those people” (those people are your children bio or step) to return to school. If it’s grade school or their junior year of college, what is the spirit in which you send them off with?
Guys, it does matter how you punctuate summer and transition to fall. Your level of enthusiasm, assurance, encouragement, shared wisdom and advice can make a difference to all “those people.”
A man’s perspective of stepping out and offering (age-appropriate) direction to new situations are bits of you that stick with your kids…step or bio. Once you’ve shared a bit of how you felt about going back to school ask them what they think or feel. Then listen not just to the words but their heart (gut)… next, ask them if you can pray for them.
Have them pray about what they shared…offer a scripture or a fitting quote to create a memorial of the moment. Build a bridge for them to approach you as well as one you can utilize. The point is – one day they leave for school and don’t come back as kids but young adults who have a vital connection to you as dad/stepdad. As many of you know “those people” keep coming back! In what frame of mind and heart they return, in a lot of ways is up to you. (James 1:19-27)
Finally, gents, act as a relief agent to “those people” when you lead in love and concern. That is never forgotten. The pay off is a long term deal! Remember that “till death do us part” segment of your vows? Your wife, believe me, will reward you in the here and now when you lead with integrity and godliness.
This is the stuff you signed up for, rely upon Christ; He can direct and relieve you as you lean and trust in Him. The act of the cross is a choice Christ made to make way for us to live free of regrets or fears. Pass along that thought to your kids…they’ll be glad you did!
I hear a school bell ringing…gotta go!