Now that I’m in a new marriage, I’m beginning to understand the challenges of a “blended family.” Although my husband’s two kids are grown and not living in the house, they still need a significant amount of guidance. My kids are younger: one is in her second year of college and one is a freshman in high school. And as I’ve been told by others who have walked the parent road before me, kids don’t just become instant adults once they leave home. They continue to need counsel, help, advice, money, etc.
When I was a single parent, I thought I had more than enough to handle raising two kids, especially in this world. Now that my husband has brought his two kids into the mix, with their own set of challenges, sometimes I feel overwhelmed. My husband and I were saying just this weekend that kids can cause more problems in a marriage than even finances can. We need to guard our marriage and remember that it comes first, not the kids.
One of my biggest challenges is trying not to get emotionally involved in my husband’s kids’ “stuff.” I want to fix everything, but it’s a different ballgame when you’re trying to “fix” adult kids. You can give them counsel, but that doesn’t mean they’re going to follow it. (This holds true with my own adult college kid, too.) Even when you clearly see them heading down the wrong road, you can try desperately to turn their wheel, but at some point, you have to…be still and know that He is God.
That has been my focus this week. Every time I start to feel my frustration mounting, I take a deep breath and say, “OK, You are God. You can handle this. I can’t, but You can.”
It’s the “be still” part that I really struggle with. Being still is virtually impossible with me. I want to do something, say something, pray something…but what God wants us to do is sit down, shut up and KNOW.
Take a look at Psalm 46:10’s literal rendering from the Hebrew Online Interlinear Bible:
Relax you! And know you! that I Elohim I shall be exalted in nations; I shall be exalted in earth.
Don’t you love this? Relax you! And then God says, with equal emphasis (note the second exclamation point), and know you ! that…
“Elohim” is the plural form of “El” which means, “Strong One.” It is plural because of the Trinity, the plural in the Godhead. It is also the first name ever recorded for God, and given in Genesis: In the beginning, Elohim created the heavens and the earth. Therefore, we could say, In the beginning, the Strong Ones created the heavens and the earth.
And if you look at the verses that precede Psalm 46:10, God makes clear just how strong He is:
The nations made an uproar, the kingdoms tottered;
He raised His voice, the earth melted.
The Lord of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our stronghold.
Come, behold the works of the Lord, Who has wrought desolations in the earth.
He makes wars to cease to the end of the earth; He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two; He burns the chariots with fire. (Psalm 46:6-9)
The Strong Ones. The blessed Trinity. Come, behold their works: they raise their voices and the earth melts. They bring about desolation, make wars cease, and burn chariots with fire–all without breaking a sweat. We really can relax and know that they are Elohim. And because they are Elohim, they can handle our stuff, and the stuff of our kids.
That is why “the God of Jacob is our stronghold.” Not only is He truly our “Strong One,” but you can be absolutely assured that He has a “strong hold” on our troubles, and those of our kids. So relax. Breathe. Know. They are strong.