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There is a new marriage preparation requirement for couples entering into a second union whether following death of previous spouse, or a previous nulled marriage.

Typical marriage education programs and ministries are not sufficient for couples entering into blended family marriages. Since marriage in a stepfamily is a "package deal" you must minister to both the couple and "the package”. This requires addressing dynamics related to ex-spouses and co-parenting, loss, stepparenting, spiritual shame, finances, and the expectations of both children and adults--just to name a few”. To do anything less is grossly inadequate to prevent divorce. The Smart Stepfamilies program, created by author, therapist, and blended family expert Ron L. Deal, brings together these different aspects a stepfamily will encounter, in order to empower blended family couples and their extended family for successful family living.

The Remarriage Retreat is a way for couples to come together in a non-threatening setting to learn about the challenges that will be experienced, as well as children entering into a stepfamily. It is also an opportunity for a couple to, possibly for the first time, begin to focus on previously unknown information or previously undiscussed topics that will bring challenges and begin the process of sharing with each other how this will be addressed within their new family dynamic.

All the Facilitators have journeyed through the trials and blessings of living in their own blended family and are willing to share their stories and help with the questions the attending couples may have.

The next retreat will take place the weekend of October 29th at St. Francis Retreat Center. To learn more go to:

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