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Smart Stepfamilies

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Recommended Resources for Christian Stepfamilies & Stepfamily Ministries



Compiled by Ron L. Deal, President, Smart Stepfamilies




Updated August, 2016





National Ministry Organizations:


FamilyLife Blended (a ministry of FamilyLife):  www.familylife.com/blended. his ministry combines the best of FamilyLife and Smart Stepfamilies.

     Ron L. Deal, Director

InStep Ministries:  www.instepministries.com   InStep Ministries is a non-profit organization dedicated to serving the  community by providing practical, Biblical resources, support and counsel to single, divorced and remarried individuals, their families and the churches who minister to them.

     Jeff Parziale & Judi Babcock-Parziale, Directors; 2506 N. Alvernon
Tucson, Arizona 85712.  Phone: (520)721-0800; Email: info@instepministries.com


Restored and Remarried: www.restoredandremarried.com

     Gil and Brenda Stuart, Founders

Smart Stepfamilies:  www.SmartStepfamilies.com 

     This site provides resources for pre-remarital couples, stepfamilies, and the churches who serve them. Site includes free articles as well as books, curriculum, audio/video resources, and information on live conferences around the country.

     Ron L. Deal, President.



Other Christian Stepfamily Web Sites:


CoParenting International: www.coparentinginternational.com

Institute for Family Research and Education: www.ifre.org



Other Helpful Web Sites:


Association of Marriage & Family Ministries: www.amfmonline.com (Stepfamily Focus Group)

Family Medallion: www.familymedallion.com (a gift to share with children during remarriage wedding ceremonies)

Focus on the Family: www.focusonthefamily.com

Getting Remarried: www.gettingremarried.com

GrowthTrac: www.growthtrac.com

Opportunities Unlimited: www.cgtaylor.com

National Stepfamily Resource Center: www.stepfamilies.info


**  Other links available here




Books for Christian Stepfamilies & Couples Considering Remarriage:


NOTE: An ** indicates highly recommended resources.


Adkins, Kay, (2004).  I’m Not Your Kid: A Christians Guide to a Healthy Stepfamily.  Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

Barnes, Bob.  Winning the Heart of Your Stepchild.  Zondervan Publishing, 1992.

Becnel, Moe & Paige, (2000). God Breaths On Blended Families: A Testimony of the Becnel Family. Baton Rouge, LA: Healing Place Productions, Inc.

** Broersma, Margaret, (2003).  Daily Reflections for Stepparents: Living and Loving in a New Family. Grand Rapids, MI: Kregal Publications.

Broersma, Margaret, (2004).  Stepparent to Stepparent: Answers to 50 Common Questions Stepparents Ask. Grand Rapids, MI: Kregal Publications.

** Deal, Ron L. Dating and the Single Parent. Bethany House Publishers (2012). Ideal for single parents and the people dating them. Contains discussion questions.

** Deal, Ron L.  The Smart Stepfamily: Seven Steps to a Healthy Family.  Bethany House Publishers (2006).  Contains a discussion guide for stepfamily groups and questions for pre-remarital couples.  

** Deal, Ron L. & David H. Olson.  The Smart Stepfamily Marriage: Keys to Success in the Blended Family. Bethany House Publishers (2015).  Includes an online relationship profile. Also available with a small group study guide.

** Deal, Ron L. & Laura Petherbridge.  The Smart Stepmom: Practical Steps to Help You Thrive!  Bethany House Publishers (2009).  Contains discussion questions for stepmother groups.  

** Deal, Ron L.  The Smart Stepdad: Steps to Help You Succeed!  Bethany House Publishers (2011).  Contains discussion questions.  

Douglas, Edward & Sharon. The Blended Family: Achieving Peace & Harmony in the Christian Home.  Franklin, TN: Providence House Publishers, 2000.

** Gillespie, Natalie Nichols, (2004). Stepfamily Success (formerly titled The Stepfamily Survival Guide). Grand Rapids, MI: Revell.

** Goodman, Karon Phillips  (2002). The Stepmom’s Guide to Simplifying Your Life. Culver City, CA: EquiLibrium Press.

** Goodman, Karon Phillips.  (2004). A Stepmom’s Book of Prayer. http://KaronGoodman.com.

Kniskern, Joseph W. (2003).  Making a New Vow: A Christians Guide to Remarriage. Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

Lauer, R.H. & Lauer, J.C. (1999).  Becoming Family: How to Build a Family That Really Works.  Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress.

Parrott, Les & Leslie. (2001). Saving Your Second Marriage Before It Starts.  Zondervan. 

** Petherbridge, Laura (2014). 101 Tips for the Smart Stepmom: Expert Advice From One Stepmom to Another. Bethany House.

** Partridge, Donald R. (2001). Single Parents Savvy Partnering: Stage 1—Dating. Pleasanton. CA: Ginger Court Press.  Designed to help pre-remarital couples date intentionally and anticipate stepfamily issues.

** Partridge, Donald R. (2001). Single Parents Savvy Partnering: Stage 2—Engagement. Pleasanton. CA: Ginger Court Press.

** Partridge, Donald R. (2001). Single Parents Savvy Partnering: Stage 3—Merging. Pleasanton. CA: Ginger Court Press.

Smoke, Jim (2004).  7 Keys to a Blended Family. Eugene, OR: Harvest House Pub.


Educational Curriculum, Videos, & Ministry Resources for Churches, Christian Stepfamilies & Couples Considering Remarriage:


NOTE: An ** indicates highly recommended resources.


**Adler-Baeder, Francesca. (2002).  Smart Steps for Parents and Children.  6-week curriculum for stepfamily adults and their children.  Includes two videos and a CD with Power Point and handout masters.  A Christian supplement entitled “Growing in Wisdom” by Ron Deal is included.  Order from www.stepfamilies.info

** Deal, Ron L. (2004). Blended Families: Helping Yours, Mine, and Ours Become a Family. DVD produced by AACC; designed for stepfamily educators and counselors. Available from www.aacc.net The Smart Stepfamily DVD, 8-sessions on 2 DVDs

** Deal, Ron L. Ministering to Stepfamilies DVD. Available at www.familylife.com.

** Deal, Ron L. The Smart Stepfamily DVD (8-session small group curriculum). Based on the bestselling book The Smart Stepfamily. For groups or home study use. Available at www.familylife.com

** Deal, Ron L. The Remarriage Checkup: Tools to Help Your Marriage Last and 10-week Small Group Study-Guide. Includes an online relationship profile. Available at www.familylife.com

Focus on the Family (2004).  The Blended Marriage. Colorado Springs: Focus on the Family.  A 4-session study based on their small group marriage series.  The study provides good discussion questions but unfortunately does not provide the leader with any background study material to help answer the many questions that arise in stepfamily classes.  Recommended for advanced stepfamily educators only.

** Parziale, Jeff (2004).  How to Start and Lead a Stepfamily Support Group.  Tucson, AZ: InStep Ministries.  A self-published guide for ministry leaders.

** Parziale, Jeff & Judi (2002).  Looking Before You Leap…Again! Preparing Yourself for the Adventures and Challenges of Remarriage.  Tucson, AZ: InStep Ministries.

Also, Jeff and Judi have a 10-session group study available based on Looking Before You Leap.  It is called Second Chances: Preparing for Remarriage in the 21st Century.  A Leader’s Guide and Couple’s Workbook is available. Tucson, AZ: InStep Ministries.

** Parziale, Jeff & Judi (2002).  The Journey: A Traveling Guide for Christian Stepfamilies.  Tucson, AZ: Fenestra Books.

Also, Jeff and Judi have a 10-session group study available based on The Journey.  It is called How to Succeed as a Stepfamily.  A Leader’s Guide and Couple’s Workbook is available. Tucson, AZ: InStep Ministries.

Pratt, Lonni Collins.  Making Two Halves a Whole: Studies for Parents in Blended Families.  Elgin, Ill: David C. Cook Publishing Co., 1995.  A 13-week Bible study curriculum for adult groups.

** Taylor, Carri & Gordon (2003).  Designing Dynamic Stepfamilies: Bringing the Pieces to Peace (video series).  Eight-part VHS or DVD series includes a study guide.  "Ready-to-use" for workshops, conferences, and small groups.  Order from www.cgtaylor.com

Townsend, Loren (2002) Pastoral Care with Stepfamilies. St. Louis, MO: Chalice Press.


Resources for Therapists and Family Life Educators:


Bray, James.  Stepfamilies: Love, Marriage, and Parenting in the First Decade.  New York: Broadway Books, 1998.

Browning, Scott.  Stepfamily Therapy: A 10-Step Clinical Approach.  Washington D.C.: American Psychological Association, 2011.

Deal, Ron. Video: Blended Families: Helping Yours, Mine, and Ours Become a Family.  Part of the AACC Caring for People God’s Way series, Vol. 2, 2004.

Emery, Robert E.  Renegotiating Family Relationships: Divorce, Child Custody, and Mediation.  New York: Guilford Press, 1994.

Hetherington, E. M. & Kelly, J. (2002).  For Better or For Worse: Divorce Reconsidered.  W.W. Norton & Co., New York.

Gamache, Susan.  “Parental status: A new construct describing adolescent perceptions of stepfathers.”  Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of British Columbia, 2000.

Ganong, Lawrence H. & Coleman, Marilyn (2004).  Stepfamily Relationships: Development, Dynamics, and Interventions. New York: Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers.

Journal of Divorce & Remarriage.  The Haworth Press, Inc. 1-800-342-9678.

Kelley, P. (1995). Developing Healthy Stepfamilies: Twenty Families Tell Their Stories.  New York: Haworth Press Inc.

Martin, Don & Martin, Maggie.  Stepfamilies in Therapy: Understanding Systems, Assessment & Intervention.  San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1992.

Papernow, Patricia.  Becoming a Stepfamily: Patterns of Development in Remarried Families.  Analytic Press, 1998.

Stewart, Susan D. Brave New Stepfamilies: Diverse Paths Toward Stepfamily Living, Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 2007.

Visher, Emily & Visher, John.  Old Loyalties, New Ties: Therapeutic Strategies with Stepfamilies.  New York: Brunner/Mazel, 1988.

Visher, Emily B. & Visher, John S.  Therapy With Stepfamilies.  New York: Brunner/Mazel, 1996.



View an online marriage & family ministry resource guide from our friends at the Association of Marriage & Family Ministries (AMFM): Click here



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