Question: "We are raising a "blended family". The ex-wife is very much involved in the children's lives. What is a good starting point to come together on values within the family while not excluding the third parties views or wishes"
Dr. Kim: Wow! That is such a great question and one that almost every blended family asks. The first really important thing you have to do is accept the reality of what you can do and what you cannot do. You cannot control anything done in the other home. You can control what happens in your home. Start there.
Prayerfully decide with your spouse what you want your home to look like and the values that are very important to you. You might even break these down into two groups. One would be the essential values that you will not compromise on. The second would be the values that are important to you but that you can have some flexibility with. Once you and your spouse are totally on the same page begin to implement these into your home.
Next, be consistent in your home and do not be negative about the other home. The second part of this is so important. My experience is that over time the children will see the difference in the homes and, more often than not, they will choose the values of the home that is fair and consistent and where they see that the values really make a difference in the lives of the family members.
Bottom line: Spend your time and energy on what God leads you to do and then lift the rest to Him in prayer.
Question: "How do you help your spouse to be more patient?
Dr. Kim: In two words "You Don't". Now before you give up, let me share some things with you. In a marriage it is the job of the husband to be the husband God wants him to be and the wife to be the wife He wants her to be. So the job of change belongs to the Holy Spirit.
AND if I am seeking to be the husband God wants me to be, I will be more patient with Nancy as He builds that in me.
One other thing. You as a spouse can set an example by being patient. My obedience each day is to God. If Nancy is impatient with me and I in turn am impatient with her, I am not responding in a way that honors God. My job is obedience to Him. Period. Is it easy, no - but God is always there to help me. I just have to ask.
When Nancy and I were in Albany and Ft. Worth this fall doing Awesome Marriage events, we gave participants a chance to put us on the "hot seat" and fire quetions at us. Over the next few weeks, I will be answering some of those questions.