Basically, the enemy we face in our country today is not an enemy attacking from the outside of our border, but an enemy embedded within. Freedom cannot thrive if the family unit does not survive. Without an understanding of noble sacrifice, serving others, or divine accountability, we are doomed. The time is critical. We need men to step up to the plate of leadership; we need women to come alongside; and we need abandonment to be abandoned. As mentioned on the backside of this book, I am a product of this loose lifestyle myself, and as I matured into a young adult, I just fell into my place of hurting and misleading others too. This may be a similar lifestyle that you are in or came from. I did not truly understand the destruction that I was distributing until I looked at the wake I was leaving behind me in this lifestyle. So where did my personal change come from in my life? First of all, my personal change wasn’t as easy as an oil change at Walmart. No, it was more like an engine overhaul by NASCAR. Disassembly of thoughts and lifestyle is part of the process. Reassembly with perseverance, grace, and love is a must in order to foster a changed life. Between the self-help books, shots of tequila, A.C.A. meetings, a couple six-packs, some acid trips, divorce, counseling, and losing my car a couple times, plus a dozen or so girlfriends, I finally opened a book my grandmother had given me. This book introduced me to Jesus. Now please don’t drop this book and run. I’m not here to convert or preach, but I wouldn’t be honest if I didn’t mention the Bible and Jesus. Through both, I’ve learned the ability to love others as I would have liked to be loved as a child. Sacrificial, unadulterated, and kind—love that leads to the building up of others, not only to build my family directly but mankind as a whole. People obviously learn how to love by the example given them by their parents. The model lived out before them is the foundation with which they’ll build their lives on. Women won’t reach their full potential as an adult until they have made the decisions required of a mother, and boys won’t grow up and become men until they are challenged to serve their own family and not themselves. Even if you don’t believe in the Bible as an inspired word of God, Jesus taught us to be accountable to something bigger than ourselves and to love our neighbor as ourselves. If we could just put those two things into action—first in our lives, then our families’ lives—our communities would thrive and not have to get into welfare lines, abortion lines, or battle lines. This book and workbook to follow are designed to give you, the reader, a better perspective of how challenging the “step life” can be. Whether you’re the parent or the stepparent, the challenges and frustrations will be unique to your marriage. Sometimes you may feel like you’re shipwrecked on an island all alone in the ocean of life because when you speak to friends or family they don’t have an ex- to deal with. They don’t have children to deal with: children that aren’t biologically theirs. They don’t have the feelings of frustration when the other parents’ rules are mentioned in defiance or that parent does something that you disagree with, and you have no control to change their influence. Anyway, these things and more will be dealt in later chapters; so read on, soldiers.