Cultivating Healthy Sibling Relationships – Part 2
This is Part Two of a series about cultivating Sibling Relationships, if you haven’t read part one I would encourage you to give it a read at some point 🙂 HERE!
Sibling relationships are so good for the heart issues we naturally face in life. Working through the difficult relationship heart offenses when we are young can help to develop healthy lifelong relationships, not just with our siblings but other relationships we will have like friendships, marriage, work and more!
In part 1 we covered teaching our children to not be in a hurry to tell on someone else. Our goal is to help our children be able to work out disagreements between each other before seeking help, and that our children can preserve relationships when they are not seeking to get the other sibling in trouble, and lastly when they seek to get our sibling in trouble they reveal their own heart issues that also will need to be addressed.
Now as we dive into part 2 of cultivating sibling relationships we will see yet again an opportunity to train the sibling offended/hurt to grow in these situations. Here is our guide verse:
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
As we will discover as we dive into this scripture, there is one glaring false assumption we must first address. Today in our culture we have taken this opening line, “Do not judge, or you will be judged,” to mean we should not have discernment or encourage righteousness in our brother/sister in Christ. This is FALSE, this is a myth of what the I believe the intention of the verse is trying to encourage us in. This verse is stating DO NOT BE A HYPOCRITE, you will be held to the standard you are holding others too. The verse is setting us up to see the humor and dire reality of the speck and log illustration a few verses below. Why is this important? This is KEY to being able to help your child learn to see their sinful hearts in order that they might see their part in the disagreement and help to resolve the conflict.
Our goal as parents is to help our child to learn to, Remove the plank from their own eye first.
It might seem humous to show your child how a plank in you eye verses a speck in their eye. Even draw a picture to show the difference between them both, and ultimately to illustrate a point that we have to check ourselves first before we are to point our our brother/sisters sin.
I have used the resource outline from Doorpost.com resources on the brother-offended checklist to help guide this conversation I have with my child. They have literally taken bible verses to help ask questions about heart issues.
The following questions can be used to help your child discover their own “plank” in the situation.
- Are you being easily provoked? Help you child see if they can be slow to anger they we have more happiness, less arguments, and more peace. This is a great but hard lifelong skill that can be worked on at an early age.
- Proverbs 19:11 – A man’s understanding makes him slow to anger. It is to his honor to forgive and forget a wrong done to him.
- 1 Peter 4:8 – Above all, love each other deeply because love covers over a multitude of sins.
- Are you thinking of yourself first? This is a great question to ask when it comes to struggling with sharing. It is a question that helps the child see if their heart position is only thinking of themselves or others.
- Philippians 2:4-5 – Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interest of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus.
- Romans 12:10 – Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.
- 1 Cor. 13:5 (NLT) – Love does not do the wrong thing. Love never thinks of itself.
- Are you repaying evil with evil? Evaluating is your child’s actions trying to get back at their sibling, maybe their are using their frustration to hurt someone else instead of handling it in a healthy way. For older kids this could also involve gossiping, slandering character, and speaking poorly of others in a “christainy” way, “I think we should pray for Mary she has been doing (xyz).”
- 1 Peter 3:8-9 – Last of all, you must share the same thoughts and the same feelings. Love each other with a kind heart and with a mind that has no pride. When someone does something bad to you, do not do that same thing to him. When someone talks about you, do not talk about him …
- Proverbs 24:29 – Do not say, “I’ll do to him as he has done to me; I’ll pay that man back for what he did.”
- Romans 12:19 – Christian brothers, never pay back someone for the bad he has done to you. Let the anger of God take care of the other person. The Holy Writings say, “I will pay back to them what they should get,” says the Lord.
Discovering and training the heart of our children is a task that is not a one and done, but a daily reminder of how we are sinful people in need of savior. We will never obtain righteous living on our own, even those people who are following Christ will still have our sinful hearts show up uninvited to the party. When that uninvited guest shows up we must show him to the door. It will be hard work, but the fruit of the spirit will be growing in our children’s hearts and they will be transformed by the Word and renewing of their mind as we point them to God’s word and God’s design for our lives.