This series is intended to help you think through and plan for your family’s priorities for this school year.
My desire is for you to parent with purpose, vision, goals…to truly know the priorities for your family after seeking God first.
Today I’m sharing with you about beautiful interaction that can take place between your siblings. When it’s a priority.
Sibling Unity… Say What?
Get out your Thinking it Through Notebook.
Be still and ask our Heavenly Father about your children. Ask Him to reveal how they interact with each other right now. Are they living in a home in which the siblings are kind to each other? Are feelings hurt? Do any of them feel less signifcant or mistreated by another? Are you allowing “wounds” to take place right under your very roof? Are you allowing words that cut, are divisive, that stir up…rather than words that unity, encourage, and bring peace?
Romans 12:18 As much as it is within you, be at peace with all men.
What changes need to happen so that your home is a place in which their interaction is peaceful, encouraging, supportive, loving, self-less, kind, considerate of others, and shows interests in the heart of the others?
Is there pride amongst the brotherhood rather than humility happenin’ in your abode? (100% of us should have said yes to this. This is a struuuuugggggllleeee that is a heart issue, prone to all of us.)
Philippians 2:1-4 Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, 2 fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. 3 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. 4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.
Changes need to take place within the hearts of each and every one of our children…and ourselves.
When we’ve gotten a picture of the “state of our union” (get it?) we can then see priorities that need to take place in our home. By knowing these priorities we will be much more consistent in our discipline and in our determination to stop the world to deal with the heart when we see certain patterns that we’ve identified.
Let’s say that two of your kids are always arguing. This basically boils down to two kids and two points of view. Each is selfish and sees through his own perspective. Ask the Lord to reveal the heart of your kids and to enable you to see more clearly through their perspectives.
What’s going on to cause such ugliness? Perhaps the older one is inconsiderate, bossy, ignores the younger one, or constantly makes him feel he’s a bother and in the way.
Boom. There’s one priority in parenting that child. Be intentional to help him INCLUDE and SUPPORT and COME ALONGSIDE his sibling. Instead of being resistant to his sibling, teach him to see the beauty and uniqueness in him. To admire differences. To encourage. To support. To even get on his level and participate in his brother’s interests. To stop what he’s doing to be a part of things his brother enjoys. To invite the younger one to enter his world and be part of the activities he likes. “James, want to throw the ball with me?” “James, want to play Lego’s with me?” (where as before he would say, “GET AWAY FROM MY LEGO’s”).
See the difference?
The former way of thinking is self-centered. Biblical thinking is others-focused. “How can I be about investing in my brother?”
The younger child will need to be taught things as well. Maybe he is inconsiderate, selfish, even terrorizing in the way he breaks his brother’s Lego projects or writes in his books. And maybe YOU’VE allowed this. Train ahead to him. Role play so he learns to respect of his brother’s things. When there are issues in unity, deal with all parties.
So, back to the older sibling. Talk with him. Role play with him situations that you see a pattern of his unkind behavior with his younger sibling so that he sees the points you’re trying to make. To be patient, to come alongside, to be gentle, to encourage, to be respectful. Assure him that you are also working with the younger brother as you are aware of how he plays into this.
By determining changes you want to see in your home between your children, you will be much more intentional to take these little altercations seriously. As Barney Fife says, (oh my… do any of my reader’s even know who he is?), you’ll find it a priority to “Nip it. Nip it in the bud.”
Our Parenting Needs to Change.
When we identify changes that need to take place in our children, it always starts with us. AHHH!!
Parents, you’ve allowed it to happen. You own part of the current state within your home. A large part, that is.
When you recognize behaviors that tear apart rather than build up, recognize these small things play apart in the overall tone in your home. Each child should indeed feel safe and encouraged in your home.
I really don’t mean to sound so harsh. Yet, I really do mean to have a wake up call for any who may be hearing this for the first time. Your parenting makes a difference.
Good news. Continue to spend time with our loving Father, asking Him to show you ideas to address their heart and change their behavior. He will. Ask Him also to reveal how YOU have been letting this happen so that YOU are prepared to change. This could include simply finally dealing with it, or being more consistent in tending to it. It might be your attitude is mirrored in your child. Boom! (ouch). It could be that you find things funny, or ignore things, or maybe you’ve simply never noticed how your child’s sarcasm hurts the heart of his siblings. Training ahead is most likely going to need to be part of your plan. Meeting with your child one on one- while alone fishing, or driving together in the car, or just snuggling up on the couch together might be the idea the Lord gives you a vision for in HOW to communicate gently and lovingly, yet firmly about this behavior and the affects on those in the family (and out of the family).
Once we’ve identified priorities in the character-shaping within our homes, we’ll be much aware when our kids do these things we are wanting to change. We can talk with them, train ahead, and role play with each sibling, teaching each child how to be respectful. In the example used above, we can teach one how to not rule over the other, and the other how to not be trampled on.
Both need coaching, and YOU’RE the one.
Good news, though. Cry out to the Lord for specific help. He’ll guide you. Look especially at verse 7.
Psalm 86: 4-11 (NASB)
4For to You, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
5 For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive,
And abundant in lovingkindness to all who call upon You.
6 Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer;
And give heed to the voice of my supplications!
7 In the day of my trouble I shall call upon You,
For You will answer me.
8 There is no one like You among the gods, O Lord,
Nor are there any works like Yours.
9 All nations whom You have made shall come and worship before You, O Lord,
And they shall glorify Your name.
10 For You are great and do wondrous deeds;
You alone are God.
11 Teach me Your way, O Lord;
I will walk in Your truth;
Unite my heart to fear Your name
If you read that whole passage, though, wow! We serve that kind of God! We can ask Him to teach us. He gives ear to the cries of our heart. He can help us identify priorities in the training of our children, seeing to their hearts, and He will give us the wisdom we ask for in training to their hearts. To God be the Glory!
Keep up the good work, parents. Your children will naturally argue and have disagreements (sorry if you thought I was a miracle worker), but your determination to have a calm home where siblings are friends and respectful of each other will pay off. Hallelujah.
Tomorrow, I’m sharing on Older Siblings Teaching the Younger Ones.
What changes are priorities in the state of your union?
Rhonda ohmy.Itakeanotherchildbacktocollegetoday ellis