My daughters were 3 and 5 years old when I married my husband, Randy, following a messy divorce. The road has been bumpy, with curves and potholes along the way, but the girls will tell you they dearly love and cherish Randy. Though they are now young adults, I still enjoy watching them celebrate their stepdad on Father’s Day.

If you need a few suggestions on how to show appreciation to a stepdad in your life on Father’s Day, or at other times, consider one of their ideas:

1. If you can’t spend the day with your stepdad on Father’s Day, call him.

I’ll never forget the year my daughter served overseas for nine months. Communication with her was sporadic because of the seven-hour time difference and lack of reliable Wi-Fi in Mozambique. But she didn’t neglect to call her stepdad the morning of Father’s Day.

Randy’s eyes glistened as she shared her meaningful work, wished him happy Father’s Day, and closed with “I love you, Dad.”

2. Offer grace and opportunity for do-overs.

Randy will be the first to tell you he’s done a lot of things wrong as a stepdad. But his stepdaughters have learned to forgive and start again as they forge ahead in a loving, trusting relationship. And Randy has done the same for them.

Scripture tells us God never hesitates to offer grace to His children (see Ephesians 2:8-9), even when we don’t deserve it. And He asks us to do the same (see John 8:1-11).

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3. Try to form relationships with your stepdad’s side of the family.

Everyone likes to talk about their family. If your stepdad’s family lives several states away, ask about his mom and dad, grandma, or siblings. Show a sincere interest in understanding more about his heritage and his upbringing.

And try to nurture relationships with stepsiblings, even into adulthood, sharing meals and conversation as a family.

4. Celebrate the blessings of your blended family.

A thankful heart breeds contentment. Maybe there’ve been hard seasons along the way, but there’s likely been growth and emotional maturing as a result.

Did you learn to trust God in a deeper sense? Perhaps you better understand love outside biological lines and how to foster relationships in imperfect settings. Share the blessings of your blended family with your stepdad, rejoicing in his role that contributes to your thankful heart.

5. Let him know you care.

Whether it’s a meaningful card, a handwritten note, or a simple “I love you,” every stepdad needs affirmation that his efforts matter. Offer specifics of how he has shaped and molded you through the place he holds in your life. Thank him for his investment in you.

The stepdad role can include heartache and hardship. Blending two families doesn’t happen naturally. But there are rewards to those who persevere in relationship building, as I’ve seen firsthand with my daughters and their stepdad.

Father’s Day is the perfect time to celebrate your stepdad. Don’t let the day pass by without a gesture of love and appreciation for the important role he’s played in your life.

Copyright © 2020 by FamilyLife. All rights reserved.

Gayla Grace serves on staff with FamilyLife Blended and is passionate about equipping blended families as a writer and a speaker. She holds a master’s degree in Psychology and Counseling and is the author of Stepparenting With Grace: A Devotional for Blended Families and co-author of Quiet Moments for the Stepmom Soul. Gayla and her husband, Randy, have been married since 1995 in a “his, hers, and ours” family. She is the mom to three young adult children and stepmom to two.