Perfectly Blended Blog

The Stepdad Perspective

Josh Groce | Dec 6, 2021

Growing up I never realized the complexity of families. I had 3 sisters and no brothers. Yes, you can feel sorry for me. It was tough being the only boy!

Not only was I the only boy, but my older sister and I were adopted by the man I call dad. Our birth father left when I was around 2-3 years old. 

I grew up always knowing but never realizing that my “dad” was technically my step-dad. 

Let me explain.

I watched as my dad treated my 2 little sisters differently. I just assumed it was because I was a boy. That was the only difference I noticed. He wasn’t necessarily mean to me. He was more indifferent. 

He never played catch in the yard with me. He never had me go places with him. He went to work, and then he went into the garage. 

At night, he would go and tuck my little sisters in and then swing by and say goodnight to me, on a occasion. 

I felt the separation but never understood it. 

I, to this day, believe he did the very best he could. I am 46 years old and still don’t feel close to him. 

Doesn't matter if I like it, he was my stepdad. I am now a step-dad. 

I have been greatly impacted by this man in my life. I now can choose the impact he had on me and apply the good stuff to my own kids and step kids, or I can feel sorry for myself about all the stuff I didn't get from him.

I choose to apply the good stuff he taught me.

Big life lessons that I learned from my stepdad and that I work hard on applying to my own step-family are as follows:

1. I am NOT their dad. This is a hard one. I believe not only do most men want to fill the shoes of dad, but they always have a wife that wants them to be a better dad than the one they have. 

This is a nasty expectation. One that is impossible for a stepdad to fill. I understand my role in the family. It took me a lot of years because mostly my pride wanted to take over. 

When my stepson came to me and asked if I would teach him how to shave, I asked him “have you asked your dad yet?” 

This was HARD for me! I want my stepson’s to have a relationship with their dad, even if most of the time their own dad doesn’t want one with them. 

WHY?

If I raise them in a way that serves me first, I will end up raising selfish and self-centered men. 

Our stepkids have this desire to love their biological parents in a way that seems unfair to us. Our goal isn't to get them to love us more, but for us to love them more.

The best way to do that is to understand I am not their dad. I am their stepdad.

2. I am not responsible for everything. As a father, I have a responsibility to be responsible for my household. Except I don’t have the authority in my stepfamily.

The Bible calls us to be the head of our household, but how can I do that if I can’t discipline, control, and lead my step kids?

Leadership is more than control or discipline. Blended family life is like chess, where living in a nuclear family is more like checkers. 

We have to understand that there is a way to lead properly. I can’t be responsible for everything, but I can take responsibility in a way that can impact my family as a whole. 

Finding solutions to family problems without my pride getting in the way has made the greatest impact on my family and my step kids. 

Patience. Proper planning. Perseverance. 

3. Love their mother like crazy. This is huge guys. Treat their mother like the queen she is and you will get a very different relationship with your stepkids than you ever expected.

Does this happen overnight? No. This is where perseverance is the key.

Show ALL the kids in the house how much you love and adore the queen of the house, and you will see your house treat her and you differently.

I have a daughter and a son. Kristy has 2 sons. The oldest of the bunch is our daughter. This left 3 boys at home with the majority being stepkids.

This means I am raising future husbands and dad’s. I am even raising future step-dad’s, which saddens my heart. The reality is, 1-2 of these boys based on statistics are going to be a stepdad. 

I want to make sure that they are either fully equipped to prevent that from happening, or that they understand how to fill that role like a man.

Love their mother like crazy. This will teach them to humble themselves in their love and leadership. 

We have impact and we have influence. That is our best teachers in life.

“And David shepherded them with integrity of heart;
with skillful hands he led them.” ~Psalm 78-72

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