Elizabeth Oates recalls her troubled childhood marked by abuse and loneliness and tells how that emptiness eventually led her to a deep and abiding relationship with Christ. Oates shares how growing up in a single-parent home, and then in a home with a stepfather, shaped her views on dating and marriage. Oates and Ron Deal remind listeners that the family we grew up in marks us, but it doesn’t have to define us.
Elizabeth Oates is cofounder and vice president of Project Restoration Ministry. She and her husband are raising their five children (three biological, one adopted through foster care, and one they are currently fostering) in Waco, Texas, where she blogs and mentors women who’ve experienced brokenness in their family trees.
Ron L. Deal is one of the most widely read and viewed experts on blended families in the country. He is Director of FamilyLife Blended® for FamilyLife®, founder of Smart Stepfamilies™, and the author and Consulting Editor of the Smart Stepfamily Series of books including the bestselling Building Love Together in Blended Families: The 5 Love Languages® and Becoming Stepfamily Smart (with Dr. Gary Chapman), The Smart Stepfamily: 7 Steps to a Healthy Family, and Preparing to Blend. Ron is a licensed marriage and family therapist, popular conference speaker, and host of the FamilyLife Blended podcast. He and his wife, Nan, have three sons and live in Little Rock, Arkansas. Learn more at FamilyLife.com/blended.