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Encouragement for Step-Parents - My Pop (1 Viewer)

Joe Bryant

Staff member
A little bit personal. And maybe an encouragement for you folks out there who are step-parents.

I've been thinking about this today as my stepfather, who I call "Pop" had some serious surgery today. He's in recovery and doing well. But had me thinking.

Short version is Pop's the world’s best stepdad. Stood in the gap for me and little brother Rich when we were obnoxious little kids.

The longer version is he showed me what the gospel looks like in real life treating me like his own son when I was a ****. He never treated Rich and I one bit differently than he did our half-brother Ben, his actual son. He was the boring guy compared to my dad who was the fun big personality entrepreneur guy.

I thought Pop was the dorky guy and my dad was the cool guy. I love my Dad dearly, but Pop was the true rock star. I didn’t realize it until I was about 35 years old. Fortunately, I had the good fortune of apologizing to both he and my mom some 20-plus years ago and telling him how much I appreciated him and how I saw it now.

He’s a real one.

For all you folks out there who are step-parents, my prayer for you today is I hope you can be like Pop.

Peace and Grace to you.
I can only imagine how hard it is to be a step parent. Luckily I have never had to directly experience it from either side. I have only seen friends and others and how it can play out in a myriad of ways. It has to be one of the hardest things to do when you have full kids also involved. Not playing favorites (or being perceived to play favorites) has got to be nearly impossible. Even if you are doing everything as unbiased as you think you are the perception is something you have no control over and can totally derail your best intentions. Good luck for any that have to navigate those waters.
That's beautiful, Joe. Thanks for sharing.

My wife is step-mom to my older two sons. She has been in their lives since they were little (bring on the jokes).

Anyhow, my oldest is 20 now and when he decided to "come out" at 17, he made a phone call - not to me, not his mother but his step-mother. That's a BIG announcement for anybody, let alone a teenager who is probably dreading the reaction. He chose my wife to speak with first and I think that's really cool. He had that much trust, belief and faith in her to field that first call.

Lucky and proud,
Wonderful story and something we should take time to do for all the important people in our lives, let them know now how much they mean to us and don't worry about a regret of not having said it when they are gone. Praying for his quick recovery.
I will echo a lot of the praise for Step-Parents and glad to see others have good ones too.
My parents divorced when i was very young. Both remarried several years later. My parents and step parents never talked bad about the others in front of my brother and I. Both of my step-parents always treated my brother and I like we were their own kids (and both parents had other children after remarrying). It was always hard seeing how my mom and dad ever got together in the first place as both just fit so much better with my step parents.
Fast forward to a few years ago and seeing how both step-parents took care of my dying parents just solidified what I always felt about them and what great people they have been in my life. With both my mom and dad passing...I now still have my step mom and step dad being awesome still to my brother and I...and incredible grandparents to my kids.
I hit the lottery in a way with both of them.
Step dad here as well. Love every minute of it. In speaking with other dads, there is definitely some nuance to parenting as a step parent but I was fortunate to have a wife that was very patient in working with me and help figure it out.

I absolutely love when my boys call (they are now 30 and 34). When it is just chit chat, they talk to both of me and their mom, but when it is when they are looking for life advice, they always seem to ask for me!
I have similar experience. I am not too close with him but recognize that he has always been there for my mom and that’s not easy. He put up with me and my brother.

He’s a saint. I love him for it.
Thanks Joe,

I am the step dad to 2 young men. They were 9 and 1 when the wife and I met. We had our moments with both of them. The oldest took out a lot of his anger with his father on us when he promised to be at ball games and didn't show or said he would be at a school program but didn't show. It always bugged me a little bit because when his father did show up to an event, it was like we weren't even there, even though we religiously went to all of his events just like we did all of our kids.

It made me feel very good when after he got married (he has step kids now as well) he started asking me life advice, and how I handled things with the kids and other fatherly advice. Then came one night that we were talking and he apologized for being a jerk when he was a teen and thanked me for always being their for him. That really hit and made me realize it was all worth it because despite having some things he still needs to work on (we all do throughout our lives), he turned into a fine young man.

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