Does The Bible Discuss Blended Families? A Christian Study

by Jack Wellman · Print Print · Email Email

What does the Bible say about blended families?  Are there examples that we can find in the Bible?

The Bible doesn’t really say much about mixed or blended families.  Joseph was not really Jesus’ father but really his step-father, so to speak, so Jesus knew what it was like having to grow up with half-brothers and sisters, having at least four brothers that we know of, James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas (Matt 13:55) and also sisters, although since they are not named, we don’t know how many He had.  The fact that He has “sisters” must mean that He had at least two of them (Matt 13:55).  The fact is that blended families are not really mentioned much at all in the Bible besides the one that Jesus was raised in but Jesus was the only One Who had a different Father and that Father being God Himself.  During Israel’s history, there were some blended families but this was due to the death of the men who were the primary supporters of the family and since the women sometimes had children to support, they usually remarried.

Boaz and Ruth

Although the marriage between Boaz and Ruth, both being in the line of Jesus Christ, was not exactly a mixed marriage, it was a marriage of mixed nationalities.   What makes this remarkable is that God, under normal circumstances, forbids such marital arrangements.  Ruth was a Moabite widow and the daughter-in-law of Naomi, who was also widowed, and surprising, Ruth being a Moabite, she normally would have been considered a natural rival and enemy of Israel.  They would later have a son named Obed who was the father of Jesse, who was the father of David, who is an ancestor of Jesus Christ (Matt 1).  These types of marriages were the exception and not the rule but since there is no indication that God saw this as sin, this marriage was apparently allowed and for the purpose of sending a message to the later writer of the Gospel of Matthew.  The fact that Jesus had Gentile blood mixed with in the blood of the Tribe of Judah, shows that Jesus’ death is applicable to all nations, tongues, and peoples groups of the world.

What does the Bible say about blended families?

What does the Bible say about blended families?

Is Polygamy a Blended Family?

In short, no, polygamous families are not blended families.  According to the Bible, this is not what God thinks is best.  In fact, God commanded the kings to not multiply wives (Duet 17:16-17) although they still did this as with the case with David, Solomon and most of the kings of Israel, each time it resulted in a dysfunctional family adding considerable heartache and family members betraying one another.  If God told the kings to not multiply wives we can assume that He forbade this in the nation of Israel as well. The same goes with the Patriarchs.  These families experienced a lot of conflicts due to jealously and rivalry of having more than one wife but sometimes, as with Abraham, it was the wife who suggested that her husband have another wife for the purpose of having sons so that the family lineage would survive.

The Blended Family of God

Acts 2: 5-12 “Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven.  And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them speak in his own language. And they were amazed and astonished, saying, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language? Parthians and Medes and Elamites and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia,  Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians—we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God.”  And all were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?”

If you look at the Day of Pentecost, we get a hint that the gospel is going to be open to more than just the Jews, even though the church was dominated by them in the beginning.  Acts 12:5 have  the Parthians, Medes, Elamites residents of Mesopotamia, Judea, Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia, Pamphylia, Egypt, parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans, and Arabians all asking “What does this mean?”  Here is what I think it means.  I believe that the family of God will include all nations from all parts of the world.  Anywhere there is a person who repents and puts their trust in Christ they will become a member of God’s family, regardless of national origin.  Paul, who became the Apostle for the Gentiles,  wrote to the church in Galatia that “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal 3:28).

In John’s vision in the Book of Revelation, he saw “a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands” (Rev 7:9).  This gives every indication that God’s family is going to be a blended one and have every people group on the face of the earth represented in the coming kingdom of heaven.  That is the way we should look at other brothers and sisters throughout the world…we are all one in Christ Jesus…all one family and all one, universal church. It is never about race but always about grace.

Conclusion

If you are not saved, meaning that you have never been born again (John 3:3), then you are not in the family of God and will be excluded from eternal, joyful fellowship with God and His children for all time.  Your fate is so hard to describe that it cannot even be fully expressed by the Scriptures (Rev 20:11-15), therefore I beg you to consider repenting of your sins today, confessing them to God, and then putting your trust in Jesus Christ to save you.  If you do that, then you will forever be a member of the family of God and that family reunion will go on for time without end (Rev 21, 22).

Read more about family here: How Does God Define Family?

Resource – Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Anne August 9, 2014 at 2:08 pm

Jack,

As I am sure you know, I have not agreed with your explanations in the article “Predestination versus Freewill,” but I can’t believe you can write and quote the scriptures there about God choosing us before the foundation of the world and His finished work on the cross saved us, and then over here tell people if they will just say some words in a prayer and do something like repent or change from their sinful ways, they save themselves and become a forever member of God’s family. What part of– a child doesn’t get to pick his family but is born into it,– do you not understand? Please comfort people with God’s truth and not man’s ignorance. What should be said is, if you can see that you are lost and undone, a poor wretched sinful man, then it is by God’s grace you know this and according to the scriptures you are already in the family of God, and that is why you should repent and follow Him. Your prayer or repentance doesn’t give you an entrance to God’s family, it is a witness to you and others that You ARE God’s family. Please do not keep putting the cart before the horse.

Rom_8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
Gal_4:6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.
1Jn_3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. (KJV)

Please do not keep trying to take the glory of God away from Him and give it to man. We do not acknowledge God and repent to become sons of God, thereby having something to boast of in ourselves, we acknowledge and repent because we are his family and we are thankful that Christ died for us.

Eph 2:4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
Eph 2:5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
Eph 2:6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
Eph 2:7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Eph 2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
Eph 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. (KJV)

The scriptures will bring comfort and rest to a child of God, but will never make a child of God, so do not keep repeating that lie of Satan. Eating the fruit of the tree did not make Adam and Eve, Gods, but it did take away their innocence and made them to know good and evil, that they were naked sinners, like God already knew. The sinner who doesn’t believe he is, will not acknowledge God, because he is none of His.

Rom 8:5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.
Rom 8:6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
Rom 8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
Rom 8:8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
Rom 8:9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
Rom 8:10 And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
Rom 8:11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.
Rom 8:12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.
Rom 8:13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.
Rom 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
Rom 8:15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
Rom 8:16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: (KJV)

There is not a formula in the scriptures that tells us how to become a son of God, but there are clear instructions to the children of God on how they are to behave differently than those of this world. Yes Jack you are right in that God has chosen for His family out of all nations and people’s, but He created, chose, adopted His family and there is nothing else to be done on our end. We can rejoice because we are His family and do our best to follow His commands. The toughest part of blending families, is knowing what to expect and how to behave. Different backgrounds, different traditions, make it hard to blend together comfortably. I know this because I am living it. The sweet thing about God’s family is we all have the same background (we all fell short,) and we all have the same inheritance to look forward to, (Heaven) and we know this because the Bible tells us so. If you want to help the blended families of this world, tell them to follow Jesus’s example. Sit down, hopefully before the marriage, and tell each other everything you can thing of that is important to you, that has meaning and that brings you joy or grief, and then try not to step on each others toes with what brings you grief, and share all the joy you can, and then together you will form your own traditions and finally blend together as one, (but stay open to ever-learning about one another.) I wish I had known this before my families tried to blend, but I hope it will help those who come after. We can only be one in Christ, and love is the greatest commandment. It is what will pull us through in our earthly families, and in the family of God. Thank-you for the opportunity to share my own lessons, learned the hard way. May you be richly blessed every day of your life!

Anne

Reply

Pamela Rose Williams August 11, 2014 at 5:38 pm

Hello Anne,

I realize this is Jack’s article but as I read your comment some things came to mind that I wanted to share with you.

You admonished Pastor Jack //… tell people if they will just say some words in a prayer and do something like repent or change from their sinful ways, they save themselves and become a forever member of God’s family. What part of– a child doesn’t get to pick his family but is born into it,– do you not understand?//

First, I want to encourage you to remember that Jack is a Pastor and as such he deserves double honor (1 Timothy 5:17) and I believe your words are a little harsh for this man whom has devoted his life “continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.” (Acts 6:4)

Second, just to clarify “repentance” does not mean “turn from your sinful ways” it means “change your mind”. More specifically it means that indeed as a human we come to a place where we agree with what God says about our sinful condition and accept His remedy to avoid certain eternal death. You seem to be going there when you say: //Please comfort people with God’s truth and not man’s ignorance. What should be said is, if you can see that you are lost and undone, a poor wretched sinful man, then it is by God’s grace you know this and according to the scriptures you are already in the family of God, and that is why you should repent and follow Him.//

However I just want to point out that Grace and Faith are not the same thing. Faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross is what saves us and makes us children of God. Grace is God’s way of offering salvation (through faith) to mankind even though we do not deserve it. So, we are offered the opportunity to believe it or not because God is full of grace and offers grace to all of His creation. We choose to believe or not.

I got a little confused when you said: //There is not a formula in the scriptures that tells us how to become a son of God, but there are clear instructions to the children of God on how they are to behave differently than those of this world.//

I cannot agree with you here because I can offer the following Scriptures for your study that do tell us how we are a child of God or not:

(Galatians 3:26) For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus

(1 John 3:10)In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother

(Romans 8:17-19) And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. [You gave the earlier verses for Romans but stopped short of the context]

We truly appreciate that you have shared what you are learning and hope you will continue to study and feel free to add more comments as you find things in the Bible.

Reply

Anne August 12, 2014 at 8:33 pm

To Pastor Jack, Sister Pamela, and all other readers,

Please allow me to apologize for my disrespect and harshness. It is not the first time (and probably won’t be the last) that I have “spoken” before I thought, and let my emotions rule my actions. It has never been my intent to dishonor a man of God nor to offend even one of His little ones. I am very sorry.

Pamela, Thank-you for your admonishment, kindness, and patience with me. I would love to “talk” with you more about these things but I am not sure if this is the right place. After all, the subject at hand is blended families.

Pastor Jack, I should have kept my comments to the subject of blended families and not allowed my frustrations from the other article to be carried over. I appreciate a man’s willingness to study God’s Word, apply it to his life, and share it with others, that God may be glorified. I am truly sorry for disrespecting you and very ashamed that I had to be admonished. I hope that you will forgive me.

Blessings in Christ,
Anne

Reply

Jack Wellman August 12, 2014 at 8:38 pm

Anne, your kinds words spoken in true humility show that the Spirit of God is working in you and is living in you. I wish that I could have $1 dollar for every time that I misspoke because I could then retire but know this, you are loved, your words are like a healing balm to a wound. So cordial…so kind hearted. Thank you. I must say that I love your line….about (hopefully) my focus and goal is to glorify Christ for these is no other purpose under heaven for which we were created, amen? Many God richly bless you Anne.

Reply

Anne August 12, 2014 at 9:12 pm

Thank-you Pastor Jack. Yes, Amen.

Reply

Pamela Rose Williams August 13, 2014 at 11:17 am

Dear Anne, I am so happy with how you have received my words. We love you sister and hope that you continue to read and share more at WhatChristiansWantToKnow.com. Praise God for the humility that you share with your words. “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.” (Proverbs 25:11)

Reply

Anne August 16, 2014 at 12:24 am

Thank-you Pamela!

Reply

mark August 18, 2014 at 9:06 pm

speaking of blended famlies Moses comes to mind,He was Blessed and used much by GOD. It’s all in our hearts…thanksand GOD Bless

Reply

Jack Wellman August 18, 2014 at 9:13 pm

Amen…great, great example Mark. Thank you sir.

Reply

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