Sibling-rivalry can disrupt the peace in your home and set your teeth on edge. There were times I would hear my kids argue or scream and I would roll my eyes. Truly, I wanted to hide because it’s so hard to know the real culprit. Besides most of their squabbles had not basis. One child would not want his sibling to look out his window. What a crime! Of course, I knew I had to enforce property rights. That’s in scripture. Someone can’t steal what you own and if they borrow, they need to ask first. And I also spoke up when I felt one child attacked another’s dignity. That’s never good. However, it was easy for me to get tired, to wish I could keep reading my book, or stay on the couch rather than engage.
And truly many of those childhood disagreements fade over time, especially if you teach Scripture. I love that verse in Psalm 31 that says “the teaching of kindness is on her [mom’s] lips.” Children don’t start off with manners and respect. We must teach that.
However, I knew one family that had a child struggling with a disability. Several of the other kids ridiculed and treated him badly. The family claimed to be Christian, but somehow that didn’t change the torment, and I believe it should have. Pray that sibling-rivalry stays in childhood. In this case, that did not happen, and the siblings carried the hatred into adulthood. That separated the family, and they remained that way.
As we raise our kids we are trying to teach them godly living. It’s so important. Teach them to love each other and to forgive.
Our families are so important to us, yet things happen that we cannot change. It breaks our hearts, but it happens.
My guest today is Julie Cantrell. She has written Perennials, a story about a family with that same brokenness.
Learn more about Julie here.