I think that it is very important that the heart of the matter is looked at. For years there have been conflicting issues between step families. The new wife may feel threatened by her husband's children because she wants to be "first" in her husbands life. This is a normal feeling for any woman. A woman does not want to feel as though she falls 3rd in line when it comes to her husband's love and priorities. Even the childs natural mother wouldn't like this. At the same time, children may feel "pushed aside" when their father marries another woman. Thus, they may feel that this woman is "taking" their father away from them. Of course, no child should ever be made to feel this way. But...because of apparent jealousy issues, there tends to be a tug-of-war over dad's love and affection between the new step mom and children. This can go on throughout the lifespan of the new family system and unfortunately, tends to continue on after death. Although a spouse has the "legal" right over her husbands cremains, his children and their feelings should not be disregarded. This only continues on with the tug-of-war syndrome.
It is important to understand that we are talking about two kinds of love here. The love that a man has for his wife is completely different than the love that he has for his children. Although the love is different, they both hold equal value to the husband/father. In other words, there is enough love to go around for both his new wife as well as his children. Ma'am, your husband loved you immensely, but he loved his children very much, too.
As far as sharing your husbands cremains and your spiritual values, if you read your bible, you will see that Jesus always chose mercy over the law. There are many passages of Scripture proving this point. Read the whole chapter of Luke 6 and you will see for yourself. Luke 6:2-4 "And some of the Pharisees said to them, "Why are you doing what IS NOT LAWFUL to do on the Sabbath?" But Jesus answering them (in the disciples defense) said, "have you not even read this, what David did when he was hungry, he and those who were with him; "how he went into the house of God, took and ate the show-bread, and also gave some to those with him, which is not lawful for any but the priest to eat?"
...Scripture proves that Jesus chose mercy over keeping the laws and customs much of the time. People were not made for the law, but the law was only meant to be a tutor to guide people into righteousness. When Jesus came to earth, the law was fulfilled and no longer needed because we are now under grace and the law of liberty - but we are not to take that liberty as a means to give us permission to sin. But again...we are not "bound" to laws anymore.
In the case of sharing the cremains, do you think that Jesus would break the heart of this man's children just to keep the law?... If a person truly knows the merciful heart of God, they would know that Jesus doesn't do this sort of thing.
I would say to find a way to make his children feel loved and to recognize that "in truth" - apart from the laws of this country, they hold a "position" as his biological children. This position should not be denied any less than your position as his widow.
Barb Pierce., M.S. Counseling Psychology