Sibling Rivalry vs Sibling Affection
Biblical truth concerning sibling rivalry …
I. Our flesh is our enemy…
A. In Genesis 4:4-7, Cain was offended. He refused to see that God rejected his offering because He chose not to use a blood sacrifice. Instead of doing what was right, Cain blamed everything on Abel resulting in murder.
o Discuss…Are there any bad attitudes and actions of jealousy, anger, bitterness, etc. that need to be exposed and confessed?
o Key… expose wrong actions and attitudes (sins), confess sins, and deal Biblically with offenses, ASAP.
o Read & meditate I john 1: 8” If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.( 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
B. Esaau & Jacob are another sample of sibling rivalry. The parents fostered it by showing partiality and giving bad counsel. Jacob (his mother) desired Esaau’s 1st born birthright & blessing & father’s affections. Instead of submitting to God these desires, Jacob sinned against his brother by manipulating, stealing, lying, etc.
o Discuss…Are there desires that are causing one of them to hurt or harm the other by isolating, mocking, teasing, slandering, etc.?
o Key… submit/yield your desires (things you think you have a right to) to God and ask Him for the things you need or want.
o Read & meditate … James 4:1 “What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you?2 You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. 3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.”
C. Joseph’s ,dreams, giftings, an obedient life, and favoritism shown by his father were the reasons for his brother’s resentment, hatefulness, and even cruelty by selling him as a slave to Egypt. But God used the evil events for good not only for Joseph but his brothers, family, his nation, and Egypt. Joseph trusted in God for the good and the evil that happened in his life and chose to forgive the offenses of others.
o Discuss… Are there differences, circumstances, talents, appearances, etc., good or evil, that we are not accepting with thanksgiving from God?
o Key… accept with thankfulness all differences, gifts, abilities, circumstances, even bad ones.
o Read & meditate… Psalms 139 )
14 I am fearfully and wonderfully made;…
all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
17 How precious are your thoughts of me, God!…
23 Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.
II. The world is our enemy…
• The world encourages siblings to drift apart in their affections via age segregated schooling, Sunday schools, youth groups, birthday parties, etc. TV and other media stimulate family discard displaying the norm rather than the supernatural life in Christ. There is a lot of confusion as to what brings happiness…stylish clothes, drugs, alcohol, sex, etc. So that once you are a teen, you are faced with major decisions about God, family, life, etc.. Like a salmon going upstream, these could be very difficult years to get through.
o Discuss…Are you counter acting what the world’s messages are sending by making God, marriage, family, friends, others purposeful, fun, important and exciting?
o Key…foster family time together by cleaning, cooking, watching tv, reading a book, devotions, friends and other families with camping, games, outings, birthdays, church, Women/Men Discipleship groups (13 & up), serving, etc.
o Read & meditate… Hebrews 11:7 “By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.”
III. Satan is our enemy…
• Satan is subtle and deceptive, coming in like waves finding the tiniest cracks in the walls of our lives, homes, etc.. The flood will drown us, if we do not take care of the cracks immediately. Satan’s goal is to “kill, steal, and destroy” our witness and our Godly seed. Do not let Him…be on guard day and night!
o Discuss…Are there any evil influences such as bad lyrics in music; ungodly friends, neighbors, etc,; impure books, magazines, tv, internet, computer, cell phone; bad indulgent habits (cursing, smoking, drinking, gluttony, arguing, etc.) in our homes, churches, marriages, schools, etc. in which they can be defiled?
o Key… unloving, dishonoring, disobedient, indulgent, sinful actions start in our minds and hearts. Examining ourselves truthfully and then getting rid of all the leaven (sins) in our lives and homes till
o Read & meditate … Colossians 2:8 “See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.”
Practical tips to teach sibling affection instead of rivalry..
1. generously & joyfully share & give. Practice this throughout the day to be considerate; to think of the other person first… quiet when napping, waiting when busy, choosing another toy, using kind words, giving honor where honor is due, respect for others opinions.
2.be content with differences by pointing oout God given age, gender, ability, culture differences. God made us all special & unique!
3. do not show partiality/favoritism…They are not God; the universe does not revolve around them. God loves us all equally without conditions…find something to praise them each about, learn how to serve by training them to pick up after themselves.
4. Forgive one another…this will free them up from guilt & shame & will increase their affections for one another.
5. Be affectionate…say I love you, show love through hugs, kisses, & use manners like thank you & please.
6, pray for one another…love is first required to pray for someone; pray when hurt, sick, sad, happy…pray all the time about everything!
7. bless one another…the ultimate test of love is, instead of cursing or revenge, be or do a blessing…note, chore, gift, special activity.
8. be honest & clear with your feelings & expectations…do not use my sweater without permission. You will wash the dishes; I will sweep the floor.
9; use principle of “reaping & sowing” to teach responsibility & consequences of their actions… time out, take away privilege, add chores, spank without anger or praise, reward, blessing depending on the behavior. Make sure God’s word determines what is right & wrong.
10. ask God for the power to be affectionate & love; it is impossible to do this without God.
In conclusion, God has given us His Word and the Holy Spirit to guide and empower us to walk In Spirit, truth, and love. While our children are still under our roof (headship), it is important that we “prepare our ark for the saving of our households”. “A house divided can not stand.”
Remember: Decluttering (cleansing physically & Spiritually) our lives and homes, having personal and family devotions (worship, prayer, Bible study), walking in the Spirit not the flesh, and training and teaching (discipleship) our children to live for, in, through, and by Christ is essential for healthy Christian living.
Essential: You must “teach them in the way they should go”. To live supernaturally will not come naturally. They must learn how to submit to the Spirit & Word of God.
Prayer: Lord give us courage, perseverance, wisdom, & love to affectionately love our siblings and teach our children to do the same. In Jesus’ name!