In 1982 when I married my wife, she came with two precious daughters … 6 and 9 … from a previous marriage. I made a conscious decision at that point, that they would always be known as my children … NOT my stepchildren. Fairy tales, Disney movies and television shows had revealed to me there could be a real stigma attached to being known as stepchildren … or a stepfather.
And when the time came that they chose to call me ‘Daddy’, it was precious indeed. And a year later, when my wife and I had our only child together, I found myself with three children … nothing changed … much to the frustration of that child who always believed she should have been the ‘chosen’ or ‘special’ one.
It’s now 2012 … and my now 36 year old daughter remembers how I always treated her as my own daughter. Unfortunately, for the last few years she has struggled as a divorced mother herself doing her best to raise her now 7 and 10 year old daughters. But God seems to have brought a man along to be her new husband and a ‘Daddy’ to her girls … and so memories of her childhood and how I loved her as a father are being refreshed.
I wish I could say I was inspired by Scripture in the approach I took with my daughters when I became an instant father of two … but alas I did not know Christ as Lord when we married.
But I have to say it it quite clear to me from Scripture there are no stepchildren in the kingdom of God.
For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to promise. Galatians 3:26-29 (NASB)
The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him. Romans 8:16-17 (NASB)
And God is no stepfather …
For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” Romans 8:14-15 (NASB)
But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God. Galatians 4:4-7 (NASB)
See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. 1 John 3:1 (NASB)
How great a love the Father has bestowed on us indeed!