Are you about to embark on the journey of starting a blended family? Maybe you’re becoming a stepparent and you aren’t sure what to do next.

Ron Deal of FamilyLife Blended shares what it looks like to persistently pursue the heart of your stepchild.

“One of the things we know about God that makes us feel so good is how much He loves and desires relationship with us. At the heart of the Gospel is a message about a God who has been pursuing us throughout all of history. He wants to capture my heart and for me to find Him.”

When we really begin to understand that God loves us and wants relationship with us, we glow on the inside.

“Why? Because you feel desired. You feel wanted and you realize the magnitude of that.”

The best way to pursue your stepchild is to show this same love and desire towards them.

“When a stepparent communicates with words and actions to a stepchild, ‘I really want to know you, I really like you, I really want a relationship with you,’ it makes the child feel desired and wanted. I think stepparents who are successful persistently pursue the heart of the child through action, time, and energy.”

Ron says it’s easy for stepparents to be motivated in the beginning of a relationship, but it’s often hard to maintain the desire to build a relationship, especially if they encounter resistance.

“Kids can vary greatly when it comes to how much they want a relationship with a stepparent. If a highly motivated stepparent is pursuing a relationship with a stepchild who has little motivation, that’s a frustrating situation.”

While it’s tempting to quit, Ron says the stepparents who persevere, often end up with the reward of a thriving relationship down the road.

“They are stubborn in their pursuit of the child, just like God is stubborn in His pursuit of us.”

If you don’t have a stepchild in your life these same principles of pursuing the hearts of those you love can be applied to any relationship. Today, take time to build relationships with those closest to you by intentionally pursuing their heart.

Pursuing the heart of your stepchild

Ron Deal, M.MFT., is the founder of Smart Stepfamilies, Director of Blended Family Ministries for FamilyLife Blended™, and an expert in remarriage and step family relationships and therapy.

Featured Songs: Something Greater – Matthew West; Safe in My Father’s Arms – Santus Real; For the One – Bethel Music

3 Responses to "Pursuing the heart of your stepchild"

  • I would like to purchase the audio on Step Parenting or blending families for my son who is about to embark on this situation, where can I get this from?


    1. Dave Conour says:

      Ron Deal’s website is … perhaps you can find the audio you need there.

  • April Marohl says:

    I have given up hope on my boyfriend’s son ever accepting me. He is 20 yrs old and refuses to have anything to do with me. He will not even say hi to me or look me in the eye. It’s as if I don’t even exist. My boyfriend and I have been together for 3 and 1/2 years. We have talked about marriage but I don’t want to live under the same roof with someone who hates me. The boy lost his mom (My boyfriend’s late wife of 28 years) to colon cancer 5 years ago. I have attended his high school graduation, boy scout Eagle ceremony, Christmases, Thanksgivings. I have cheered him on, encouraged him, and he just shrugs it off and has an attitude of whatever. He still refuses to talk to me or even say hi so I just started doing it right back to him. If this is the way the spoiled, ungrateful brat wants it then two can play at this game. Both my boyfriend and I are born again Christians but are not very good at attending church or praying together regularly. I’m sure we felt peace about being together and saw signs from God confirming it. I have prayed about it many times. I am so confused. If it is God’s will for us to be together then wouldn’t his son accept me? I am so torn and my heart hurts so bad.

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