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The Remarried Life

Jan 21, 2020

Brian Mayer talks about being nice to your family including your stepkids even when you feel like they don’t deserve.  Heap burning coals on their heads is a biblical reference to doing kind things for your enemies.  The burning coals is supposed to awaken those that you are being nice to how to act differently toward you.  We hope you enjoy today’s message.  For more information and additional resources please visit our website at

Today's Goodies

  • I so get the thought of why should I be nice to them if they are not nice to me.  You mostly likely are in a blended family where you feel that one or more of the stepkids don’t like you. 
  • Now it could truly be a dislike for you or most likely it could be a dislike for the situation.  Whatever it is, it still probably feels like the former where the brunt of an issue that a stepchild has is with you. 
  • My wife certainly experienced this with my biological daughter.  At times she wouldn’t listen to my wife, would act rudely, or often just shut down.  At the time my wife took this very personally.  She would have moments where she would try to be the bigger person but oh so often she did not. 
  • It was just a tough situation all the way around for both.  My wife would often come to me asking how in the world should she even handle this situation because it often didn’t matter what she tried, be nice as pie, be stern, or be cold.   Whichever way she went she was just not getting the response she needed. 
  • However my wife did come to the realize that because she was the adult that she had to be the one to come forward often toward my daughter in order for their to be at least some sort of relationship. 
  • This is where the title of the episode comes in.  You might be wondering what the phrase “heap burning coals on their head came from.  In the bible it says “If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; if he is thirsty, give him water to drink.  In doing this you will heap burning coals on his head.”  Proverbs 25:21-22 NIV. 
  • Wow heaping burning coals on someone’s head doesn’t sound like a nice thing to do.  But according to the meaning of this phrase it does refer to something more positive that what it sounds. 
  • The heaping of burning coals really refers to getting them to awaken to what you are doing.  It will help to stir to a different way of being or doing.  So it is not meant to harm but is more meant for their good. 
  • Now I would assume this was never actually done to anyone for the express purpose of getting them to change their ways, but probably more a metaphor.  But who knows it could like the whole sort of walking on coals things were there are reports that if you can mentally calm yourself that walking on hot coals won’t affect you.  I don’t know that I would want to try that just like I don’t think I would want to take a hot bucket of coals and dump it on someone’s head. 
  • But as difficult as it sometimes is, being nice to your stepchildren in spite of what you get back can hopefully produce some more positive results longerm.
  • Think about it in a few different ways:
    • You are training these children even though some are not yours biologically to function in society when they become adults.
    • This is not going to last forever.  This too shall pass, which interestingly is not actually in the Bible, meaning that your time will eventually come to an end as they move on with their lives.    
    • Being nice sometimes can release anger.  I know I am hitting on biblical references a lot today, but I love the passage in Romans that says “Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay’” says the Lord.  Romans 12:19.  Or how about the song called “Let it Go” from the movie Frozen.  However you slice sometime repaying evil with good will take the weight of anger off of you. 
    • Do something nice not worrying about the consequences.  If you spend your time thinking that you should get a certain way of acting back from a stepchild then this will very quickly stop you from doing nice things. 
    • Envision them thanking you when they are 30 years old.  This is a long ways away but once they get some adult years under their belt and their brain has fully formed (around age 25) you might actually get a thank you for what you did. 
  • This episode is really just meant to encourage you to keep going even when it is tough.  Sometimes this thing feels like you are out in the Alaskan wildnerness, cold and frostbitten with many miles to go.  But as was said in the great movie “The Shawshank Redemption, ”  “you better get busy living or get busy dying.”  You will surely mentally and emotionally die if you repay bad deeds with more bad.  Now of course I am not talking about discipline for sure.  Kids do need to be held accountable for their actions, but if you can peer into what is wrong it can often bring you closer together.     


  • None Mentioned

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As always remember that marriage is not something you have, it is something you do.  Talk to you next week unless you are binge listening in the future in which case I will talk to you in about a minute!  Take care.