God created humans with the intention that we live in family units. A family, though, can grow, expand and evolve over time, such as when two partial family units come together as one, more commonly known as a blended family. Blended families aren’t a foreign concept for Christians. Blended families mentioned numerously in the Old Testament and Christ taught His disciples that the Church is in fact its own blended family:
For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will…In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. – Ephesians 1:4-5, 11-12 (NIV)
A blended family comes with its own challenges, but thankfully Pure Flix has some movies that take a deeper look into how a blended family can be successful and come together as a single unit.
Christian Movies Featuring a Blended Family
In an effort to win over his girlfriend’s children before he proposes, Jason takes Ben and Sam on an adventure. As his plan falls apart and they struggle to survive, we see bonds form as Jason shows Ben and Sam how he wants to be a part of their lives. Jason builds up and encourages Ben and Sam to be who they are created to be, acknowledging their individual gifts and talents.
At the same time, we learn how Jason was raised in a non-nuclear family situation as well. Having had some difficult experiences growing up, Jason knows and understands how important a united family unit is to raising children in a loving and beautiful way.
This film’s take on a blended family reminds us of the scripture:
And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” – Matthew 3:17 (NIV)
Based on a true story, “Lifemark” follows David, an adopted child, as he meets his birth mother for the first time at the age of 18. We learn about the difficult path his birth mother endured leading up to her decision to have her son adopted and her nervousness before meeting him after so many years. Her concern evaporates as David and his parents embrace her and thank her for giving him life.
Adoption is a beautiful and courageous endeavor that can be healing and life-saving. A blended family formed by adoption, by default, has to overcome obstacles that traditional families may never encounter. When contemplating this beautiful depiction of a blended family, we’re reminded of this Bible verse:
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. – James 1:27 (NIV)
“Lifemark” begins streaming on Pure Flix November 22.
After their mother passes away, big sister Gertie takes over the responsibilities to care for herself and her little sister, Izzie, in an attempt to keep them out of the foster care system. When a caring teacher realizes the truth, she and her husband take the pair of sisters into their home. After some hard conversations, the couple officially adopts the girls and changes all four of their lives forever.
This blended family may not look like a traditional family – and it required sacrifices from both the Freemans and Gertie and Izzie – but it doesn’t hinder the love and care that is shown within every member of the family. They learn to embrace each other, heal from past losses and move forward together as one. As such, we’re reminded of the scripture:
I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. – John 14:18 (NIV)
Watch “Raising Izzie” now streaming on Pure Flix.
Blended families come in all shapes and sizes – including grandparents taking care of their grandchildren in place of a parent in unfortunate circumstances.
This is the backdrop of the inspirational film "Birdie." Determined to change his life around after getting out of prison, Luke wants to reconnect with his 8-year-old daughter who is being raised by her maternal grandparents. Unfortunately, Addie’s grandparents would prefer Luke to stay away from them and their granddaughter, as they realize her meeting Luke raises many questions they’d rather not face.
Addie’s grandparents become rather protective of her after many years in their care. As Luke re-enters their lives, this blended family learns to leave grievances in the past and move forward together in healing, learning to trust each other once again.
Even in families, it’s important to remember forgiveness, just like the scripture:
Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. – Colossians 3:13 (NIV)
READ ALSO: 5 HEALING PRAYERS FOR FORGIVENESS
Blended families that are created by second marriages often take a little ... adjusting. That might be an understatement for the Bennett and Song crews in "Bennett's Song." Both of these families are blended families in their own right -- with multiple children on either side being adopted. Though none of them look alike or even remotely related, can they still come together and learn what it means to love each other as one big, happy family?
"Bennett's Song" opens your eyes to see what it means to be an American family in the 21st century. Familial love transcends what you look like or where you came from. Blended families show that love can grow despite all of it. Which can be said for God's love of us, His children as well.
We can find this in the first letter to John:
See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. -- 1 John 3:1-2 (NIV)
Watch "Bennett's Song" now available on Pure Flix.
Anything Is Possible
After his mom goes missing in action during her deployment to Japan, Nathan learns that the only father he’s ever known is not his biological father. Nathan runs away to escape being taken by Child Care Services. After an adventure across Detroit, Nathan is reunited with his stepfather but has to stay at an orphanage until the proper paperwork is filed for his stepfather to have legal guardianship.
Just because blended families aren’t always biologically related doesn’t mean they aren’t full of love for each other. Though Nathan didn’t know his father wasn’t his biological father, he did know that his father loved him very much and fought long and hard to get Nathan back under his care. Both a mother and father figure are important to the upbringing of children in each family. It reminds us of the Bible verse:
Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him. – Psalm 127:3 (NIV)
Watch "Anything Is Possible" now on Pure Flix!
Prayers for Blended Families
A blended family is often born of grief, loss, hurt, or failure. For this reason, blended families may need more nurturing, comfort, grace and patience, which is where prayer is helpful. Members of a blended family can ask Our Lord for these virtues, as well as the strength and courage to work together to become a family unit.
This prayer, borrowed from Bible Study Tools, helps a blended family ask for the virtues and protection needed to come together as one.
Lord, bless my family and children. Give them hearts that follow after you. Give my family the strength to not be afraid. Give them the courage to stand up to what is right. Produce within them an attitude of integrity, giving their lives to giving you glory. Protect each family member under the shadow of your wings. Lord, help us to find our strength in you. Increase our unity and peace as we seek to follow after you. Amen
This prayer by Pat Nischan can be said by spouses together, with each line said alternately.
She: God of all people, we find ourselves together as a family.
You chose each of us to live and move and have our being in you.
He: You foreknew that we would be living together, a blended family.
As this family, make of us something new that has not been before.
She: When we are tempted to take sides, smooth rough edges and ruffled feathers;
bring your peace and love. Help us grow in love of one another, as you love us.
He: Just as a tapestry is woven of many threads into a beauteous whole,
we ask you to weave us together that our family may be whole and beautiful.
She: We know we are all your children in your Son, Jesus Christ and,
as such, owe you our loyalty and respect.
Together: May we show each family member the same loyalty and respect.
We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.
This prayer for blended families asks God to help the family build a Godly home with a strong foundation.
Lord, thank you for this family you have blessed me with. I pray that you “blend” this family the way that YOU would have it blended. I give you (name each family member here) and pray that these relationships be your relationships Father. I pray that you bless us with your spirit of perseverance as we nurture and grow our new family. I pray that you bless us with your wisdom. Thank you Lord! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
It’s not easy to build bridges in a blended family that has experienced loss, heartache or grief. But we hope these movies inspire every family out there that healing, hope and faith are possible, no matter your circumstances.