Can a Second Marriage Survive, When There Are Children?
By Linda C Dipman   
    
    Without any hesitation my son threw an entire glass of soda on my new wife while we were waiting for food in
a restaurant.  I don't even remember what the argument was about.  It was just a small difference of opinion that
escalated as if spurred by a demon force that wanted to destroy my marriage!

    In a flash, what was going to be a fun time with dinner and a movie, turned into whom did I love more, my
eleven year old son or my new wife. Immediately I paid for the pop and we all left with me doing everything
possible to chastise my son and comfort my wife.

    We got into the car and the fight escalated with my son not backing down.  Pulling into traffic, I stopped at a
red light and my wife got out of the car and started walking off in another direction from our home.  I pulled the
car to the side of the road and got out and persuaded her to get back in because we were miles from our
home.  She was still angry, but after a few minutes she got in and we drove home.

    The stress over the situation was making me feel tight all over and angry that they both couldn't just calm
down and get along.  I loved both of them and this constant tug of war, when it was my turn for visitation with my
children, was enough for me to want to run away from both of them.

    In desperation I turned to God for help!  God I know it is your will for us to be together, but why is it so hard?  
Please help my family get along.

    Micah 7: 5&6, "Don't believe your neighbor or trust your friend.  Be careful what you say even to your wife.  
In these times sons treat their fathers like fools, daughters oppose their mothers, and young women quarrel
with their mothers-in-law; a man’s enemies are the members of his own family."

    As I read these verses a new light of understanding flooded into my mind.  God reminded me of how our
world was once perfect, but everything changed when Adam and Eve ate the apple.  There desire to
understand, brought evil into the world.

    Genesis 3: 7a, "As soon as they had eaten it, they were given understanding."

    Satan was thrown down from heaven with a third of the angels and they became the great deceivers of
mankind, because Satan had led Adam and Eve into disobeying God's command over eating the apple.  The
Devil became the evil serpent leader of the world, whose only goal was to fight against everything good God
created, especially God's children.

    1 Peter 5:8&9, "Be alert, be on watch!  Your enemy, the Devil, roams around like a roaring lion, looking for
someone to devour. Be firm in your faith and resist him, because you know that your fellow believers in all the
world are going through the same kind of sufferings."

    These verses opened my eyes up to the reality of our world.  Satan didn't want us to love each other.  He
wanted to destroy our marriage because we were determined to follow God.  That is the reason why Micah told
the people that their own family members would be their worst enemy. Satan uses our families to destroy the
love within a marriage.

    Satan was using my son's behavior to destroy my marriage.   I had to resist Satan by not getting pulled into
taking my sons side when their was a fight and he was clearly in the wrong.  I had to be a calm presence in the
storms of controversy and inspire them to love even if they didn't want to do this.

    The only way to get my sons attention was to not pick him up for the next visitation.  I also had to explain to
him I would pick my wife over him.  This was very hard for me to do, but I couldn't let Satan use my son to break
up our family.

    When the next visitation came, my son was a completely different person.  He was calm and well behaved
because he wanted to be with me.  My wife was especially nice, because she saw how hard it was for me to not
pick up my son.

    Can a second marriage survive, when there are children?  I believe that it can only succeed if you
understand why it is so hard.  Paul gives us even more insight into why marriage is a favorite target of Satan.

    1 Corinthians 7: 25-28, "Now, concerning what you wrote about unmarried people:  I do not have a
command from the Lord, but I give my opinion as one who by the Lord’s mercy is worthy of trust.
    Considering the present distress, I think it is better for a man to stay as he is.  Do you have a wife? Then
don't try to get rid of her.  Are you unmarried?  Then don't look for a wife.  But if you do marry, you haven't
committed a sin; and if an unmarried woman marries, she hasn't committed a sin.  But I would rather spare you
the everyday troubles that married people will have."

    When you are married you must live according to the world's standards, because you have a responsibility
towards your family to take care of them.  You must work hard at a job to provide for your home, food, clothing,
education, and of course entertainment.  You must be a good example in your faith in God and have a loving
behavior towards your family.  All of these things are hard to do and each of them keeps you completely
involved within the workings of the world.

    I Corinthians 7: 29-31, "What I mean, my brothers, is this: there is not much time left, and from now on
married men should live as though they were not married; those who weep, as though they were not sad; those
who laugh, as though they were not happy; those who buy, as though they did not own what they bought; those
who deal in material goods, as though they were not fully occupied with them.  For this world, as it is now, will
not last much longer."

    As I read these scriptures I began to understand that Paul wasn't talking against marriage, he was telling us
how Satan would fight against marriages.  Satan uses our daily need of things to make us feel afraid that we
won't be able to pay our bills, so we become preoccupied with work.  Not having enough money puts stress on
parents.  It leads to quarreling and fights when a child demands things.  And Satan will use hot emotions and
desires to come in and destroy love in a family and take away their devotion to God.

    These are just some of the ways that Satan can destroy love in a family.  He uses bad grades, discipline,
child rivalry, toys, vacations, eating time, after school events, etc. to divide families and cause frustration.  He
gets us so involved with what is going on around us that we don't have time to read our Bibles, pray, or go to
church.

    1 Corinthians 7: 32-34a  "I would like you to be free from worry.  An unmarried man concerns himself with
the Lord's work, because he is trying to please the Lord.  But a married man concerns himself with worldly
matters, because he wants to please his wife; and so he is pulled in two directions."

    As I began to understand how this world worked, I saw the controversy in my family in a completely different
way.  I saw how Satan would fight against our family and I was determined to resist him.  I still had to provide
well for my family, but I couldn't let things get in the way of putting God first.

    This does not mean the problem between my son and wife went away.  This means that after years of trials
and tests we learned to get along with God's help.  We took each problem one at a time.  We didn't keep a
record of wrongs, instead we talked and listened to each other and found the middle ground.  All the time as
the years passed we bonded and learned to love each other as a family.

    1 Peter 5: 10, "But after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who calls you to share his
eternal glory in union with Christ, will himself perfect you and give you firmness, strength, and a sure
foundation."

    What we cannot do as human beings, God can do!  Second marriages with children can succeed when you
allow God to help you!  No matter how hard it is, He will never let you down, because He works within our hearts
and gives us the strength and patience to begin over again each day.