Blended Family: Rom-Com Turned Reality TV

Terry Barnett

Terry Barnett

Before the dust settles, the exciting search for new love begins. We are convinced they married the wrong person. The only logical thing to do now is to move on and find a new person to fill the void. Maybe his heart was longing for that person in the office or perhaps an old high school flame?

This narrative is becoming all too common, and it was my reality almost a decade ago.

Sparks were flying, and I was a main character in a typical rom-com story where an intriguing conversation swiftly blossomed into a love that I never experienced.

As the relationship deepened, another lifelong commitment seemed to be inevitable. She had two children from a previous marriage and I had four. Destined to form our own Brandy Bunch, we forged ahead at a blistering pace. All seemed perfect at first, then reality hit. Again. Our rom-cam quickly became a reality TV show watched with one eye open. Through all the trials, we decided to push forward and tied the knot.

Perception vs. Reality
Somewhere in the whirlwind of love and excitement, chaos reared its ugly head. The children were at each other’s throats and we felt tension from our different approaches to parenting. The complexity of the blended family dynamics were in its infancy. The kids were pitting my wife and I against each other, former spouses were making an effort to sabotage the new marriage. Did I mention in-laws, former in-laws, former spouse’s significant others, too? Holiday switching, not being with my two children on Christmas morning or their birthday as I alternated with my former spouse…it all became so painful.

The hardest part was all the people influencing my day-to-day life than I could have ever dreamed possible. That is when the guilt set in. With all the disharmony, we clung to our children. Blood thickened and the new blended family was now divided.

The music went somber again.

The Stats
Blended families are on the rise and the trend has no sign of slowing down. With a divorce rate over 50%, blended families are quickly becoming the new norm. Almost 65% of remarriages involve children from a previous marriage. Another shocking statistic: the divorce rate for blended families with one divorce jumps to 70%. The more marriages, the higher the divorce rate. The stats alone make the case that this fast-growing community is in dire need of love and support.

My Blended Family
My wife Jenny and I have been married for 6 ½ years, together for 9 years. Our beautiful family of six children ages 9 to 27 has been one of the most challenging yet rewarding times of our life. Our success in overcoming the struggles and extremely difficult dynamics of our blended family can be contributed to two factors:

1. Our unwavering faith that our Lord and savior Jesus Christ is with us always
2. Our amazing community of blended families and marriage mentors that have walked alongside us every good and difficult step of the way.

The role of the church has a profound impact on the success of the blended families. The truth is, most blended families don’t look like the Brady Bunch or a rom-com. We need all the help we can get to lock arms with other families going through the same challenges. There is healing that takes place when you invite God and other families into your struggles.

The Blended Family Ministry has the opportunities to change a legacy that could impact thousands of generations. This ministry has the ability to save blended family marriages from that 70% divorce rate. If you are in a new blended family, approaching that season of life, or if you’ve been living with this reality for years, please do not face this challenge alone. Stand with us in changing legacies! God loves your blended family; Jesus was in a blended family and there is no mountain He cannot move!

Join the Blended Family Workshop!
This small group workshop is taught from Ron Deal’s book/DVD series called “The Smart Stepfamily.” The workshop provides practical biblical insight into the struggles that blended families face for dating, engaged, and married couples. Join a community that will walk with you as we navigate the complexities of the blended family together.

Workshops will be offered at two campuses and new this year, we will also have Blended Family Home Studies in Oxford (childcare available), Macomb Twp., and Clinton Twp. Learn more and register at https://kensingtonchurch.org/blended-family-ministry/

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December 24 Services
December 24 Services
December 24 Services
December 23 Services
December 24 Services
December 23 Services
December 24 Services
December 23 Services
December 24 Services

Divorce Recovery

You don’t have to go through the pain and stress of divorce or separation alone. Our Divorce Recovery workshop combines expert speakers, small group discussion and a time of community with people on the same journey.

Divorce Recovery Winter Sessions

Troy campus | Mondays 7-9pm | Feb 5 – Apr 15

Orion campus | Tuesdays 7-9pm | Feb 6 – Apr 16

Cost: $45
The cost includes a workbook, snacks at each meeting (including coffee), and dinner at end of session. Childcare available.

You are encouraged to join us on any week. Sessions are self-contained.

Grief Recovery

At Kensington’s Grief Recovery support group, you can find hope and healing after the loss of a loved one. It’s a place where you’ll encounter caring people who can empathize with your pain because they’ve been through it themselves.

Winter Grief Recovery | Feb 6 – April 30 | Orion campus
Winter Grief Recovery | Feb 13 – May 7 | Troy campus (DAYTIME GROUP!)

Find a Grief Recovery group near you: griefshare.org

You are encouraged to join us on any week. Sessions are self-contained.

Kensington Visitation

Our dedicated volunteers bring encouragement and prayers of faith to those who are in local hospitals, medical centers, recovery centers and homebound. If you or someone you know would like to be blessed by such a visit, email visitation@kensingtonchurch.org or call the Troy Campus during business hours at 248-786-0600.

Pastoral Care

Members of our Pastoral Care Team are trained by the nationally known Stephen Ministry program and are compassionate listeners who walk alongside others to provide skilled and distinctly Christian care in times of need. They can’t promise to have all the answers, but they can promise their focused support. To receive care from one of our Pastoral Care Team members, call us at 248.786.0600 and ask for a Campus Care Provider – they can get the process started.

Interested in joining our Pastoral Care Team? Email us for more info.

Retreats

Podcasts

Websites

Subscriptions

Marriage 365

Married People

Growing In Marriage

Prepare Enrich

Subscriptions

Marriage 365

Married People

Growing In Marriage

Prepare Enrich

Books We Love

Preparing For Marriage

Marriage Prep

Before the Last Resort

Marriage Restoration

Vertical Marriage

Marriage Growth

Secrets of Sex and Marriage

Intimacy

Men Only/For Women Only

Marriage Growth

Smart Step Family

Blended families

The Meaning of Marriage

Marriage Prep

The Power of a Praying Wife

Marriage Growth

The Power of a Praying Husband

Marriage Growth

The 5 Love Languages

Dating

Love and Respect

Marriage Growth

Loving Your Spouse When You Feel Like Walking Away

Marriage Restoration

101 Questions To Ask Before You Get Engaged

Dating

Newlywed Couple's Devotional

Newlywed

365 Connecting Questions

Connecting

Fierce Marriage

Marriage

Children's Programming During Services

Troy

5pm | 12/23
Birth–PreK programming

7pm | 12/23
Birth–PreK programming

11am | 12/24

Birth–PreK programming

1pm | 12/24
Birth–PreK programming

3pm | 12/24

Birth–PreK programming

5pm | 12/24
Birth–PreK programming

Orion

5pm | 12/23
Birth–PreK programming

7pm | 12/23
No children’s programming

11am | 12/24
Birth–PreK programming

1pm | 12/24
Birth–PreK and Elementary programming

3pm | 12/24
Birth–PreK and Elementary programming

5pm | 12/24
Birth–PreK programming

Clinton Twp

5pm | 12/23
Birth-PreK and Elementary programming

7pm | 12/23
Birth–PreK programming

11am | 12/24
Birth-PreK and Elementary programming

1pm| 12/24
Birth–PreK programming

3pm| 12/24
Birth–PreK programming

Birmingham

11am | 12/24
Birth-PreK programming


1pm | 12/24
Birth-PreK programming

Traverse City

2pm | 12/24
No children’s programming

4pm | 12/24
Birth–PreK programming

Clarkston

10am | 12/24
Birth-PreK and Elementary programming

12pm | 12/24

Birth-PreK programming

Marriage and Blended Family

The Marriage Course offers essential tools and practical ideas to help couples invest in their relationship and build a strong marriage. Strengthen your communication and gain a deeper understanding of your partner. The Marriage Course is based on Christian principles but designed for all couples with or without a church background.
REGISTER

The Blended Family Workshop addresses the confusing roles and boundaries involved in blending families and identifies why parents so often struggle in blending their efforts. Find a community of people who are contemplating blending a family or are “in the trenches” building and growing their blended family!
REGISTER


Please email 
marriage@kensingtonchurch.org with any questions.

Spiritual Formations

Discover rhythms and practices that can help us abide in the love, grace, and hope of God, where our lives can be transformed. Explore some of these practices together with others who are pursuing the same. To find out more, please email discipleship@kensingtonchurch.org.

Birmingham Campus

We are offering a time for our congregation to gather after the 10am service for prayer in the Groves Auditorium, 20500 W 13 Mile Rd, Beverly Hills, MI 48025.

On Sunday evening, Dec 5, parents of high school and middle school students are invited to the second half of our Edge gathering at Genesis Church, 309 N Main St, Royal Oak, MI 48067, at 6:15pm. We will have a breakout to equip parents in caring for themselves and processing pain with their children in times of tragedy.

Parents & Student Resources

Parents – self care is critical. It’s important to do your own processing with another adult so that you can be more present as your child processes. Here are tools that you can use to get you started.

Podcast

Helpful Blogs

Other Materials

Counselors Are Needed After Tragedy

“The aftermath of the Oxford shooting tragedy will undoubtedly result in traumatic symptoms and experiences across our communities for quite some time. Healing the brain through evidence-based therapies is absolutely possible with clinical guidance. There is a valuable village of Trauma Therapists with collective resources standing by for Oxford, for both direct and secondary survivors to engage in therapy. Until then, we honorably hold a sacred space, as students, families, staff and school partners continue to mourn.” -Laura Azoni, LMSW, Founder of Sanctuary Services

Orion Campus

We believe that unity at this time is more important than ever. Several churches in the area are partnering together to offer space for students to begin the process of healing.

We will have several grief and trauma specialists on site this Sunday evening at our Orion Campus (4640 S Lapeer Rd Lake Orion, MI 48359) from 5-6:30pm and will have a night of prayer, worship and an opportunity for students to process with each other.

Tate Myre Funeral:
Monday, 12.6 Visitation 1 to 8pm
Tuesday, 12.7 Visitation 10-12pm and funeral at Noon

Clinton Township Campus

We will be offering a time for our congregation to gather after each service for a time of corporate prayer in the Greatroom. Prayer will be offered at 10:15 am and 12:15 pm. (25000 Hall Rd, Charter Twp of Clinton, MI 48036)

This Sunday at 3:30 pm as a community we want to gather, pray and mourn together. We are all looking for answers and wondering why tragedy happens but we can find hope and peace in Jesus. 

Troy Campus

Join us Sunday night, December 5th for a Community Prayer Vigil at Kensington Church at 6:00 pm. Invite friends, family, neighbors, and coworkers to come together for a time of hope and prayer. 

Following the Vigil, at 7:00 pm, there will be breakouts for students and for parents to process and be equipped in caring for themselves and those around in times of tragedy.

Marriage Classes

What grows marriages? Focusing on the two of you and being in community!
The Marriage Course includes seven sessions, designed to help couples invest in their relationship and build a strong marriage. Some couples do the course to intentionally invest in their relationship, others are looking to address more specific challenges. Either way, the course offers essential tools and practical ideas to help you build a relationship that lasts a lifetime. The Marriage Course is based on Christian principles but designed for all couples with or without a church background.

Please email marriage@kensingtonchurch.org with any questions.

Financial Compass

Financial Compass is designed to help you discover the freedom found in wisely managing the resources God provides. To find out more, please email discipleship@kensingtonchurch.org.

Bible Basics

Whether you are brand new to the Bible or have been reading it for decades, Bible Basics is a course that will help you understand the overall flow of the Bible. Over the course of several weeks, learn how the Bible came from the original writers to the English versions we have today. We’ll look at the big-picture story of the Bible and how all the individual books add to the whole. We’ll even learn a little about the history of the Jewish nation. But most of all, we’ll grow in our awe of the amazing author of this amazing book!

Please email discipleship@kensingtonchurch.org with any questions.

All Campuses

Clarkston

Orion

Troy

Alpha

What is my purpose? What value does the Bible have in my life? How do I pray? How can I grow in confidence to share my faith? These are the big questions that are at the heart of what it means to have a relationship with God. Alpha is a space to explore life’s big questions, to say what you think and to hear other people’s points of view. Over ten-weeks you will explore and discover while listening to weekly topics, participating in table discussion, and developing community. Alpha courses meeting in-person gather around a meal.

You don’t have to come for the whole series—just check it out for the first session and see what you think. No pressure.

Please email discipleship@kensingtonchurch.org with any questions.

Registration coming soon!

Birmingham

Clinton Twp

Orion

Traverse City

Troy

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For additional questions, please contact giving@kensingtonchurch.org or call 248.786.0637

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