Cultivating Siblings Relationships – Part 3

Cultivating Sibling Relationships – Part 3

Welcome to our part 3 of our series on cultivating healthy sibling relationships. If you haven’t got to read the first two parts of the steps to healthy sibling relationships make sure that you check those two out: PART ONE, and PART TWO.

During part one and part two we talked at length about doing a heart check, making sure that we are not quick to get someone else in trouble, and removing the plank within our own eye before taking the twig out of our brothers/sisters eye.

Part 3 is all about becoming a peacemaker. Interestingly we are to teach our kids to become peacemakers, not peace keepers. This may seem like a simple play on words but I do believe the important difference in peace making is that it is intentional, active and full of truth and love. While, if we were to look at peace keeping I think it is taught out of a passive approach, dismissive and suppressing of conflict or differences (not relationship restoring), and can lend to walking on eggshells, or the common scenario where the loudest person “wins.”

When we look at our kids we can help them become peacemaker by looking at some key verses that help them to formulate a healthy peaceful living:

Romans 12:18 “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” There are simply relationships that take more thoughtful intentions then others, frankly, some are “easier” then others, YET, with that said I love that God has created siblings to help us work at what it means to lived peacefully. The kids word in sibling peaceful relationships is LIVE, they are not a passing friendships (here today gone tomorrow) or a relationships you choose to not engage with but simply put: YOU CAN’T when you are literally living with each other! Siblings MUST learn what it looks like to live peacefully, as a parent you wouldn’t want one kid to be pushed around by another, and equally you wouldn’t want another kid to learn to dominate a relationship, because that is 1.) NOT HEALTHY for their relationship with each other and 2.) NOT HEALTHY for their relationships with others (current and future.)

Questions you can ask your kids during a time of encouragement towards peacemaking:

  • Are you being patient?
    • Ephesians 4:3 “Make every effort to keep unity of the spirit through the bond of peace.” The fruit of the spirit shows us that patience is a fruit that is grown, and as we can visually size fruit growing in creation today we notice two KEY aspects:
      • First, we see that in order to grow fruit the fruit HAS to be ATTACHED to the branch! We must show and teach our children that in order to display the fruit of the spirit of patience we get that by abiding to CHRIST! Through him we are able to show christ like patience. The kind of patience that isn’t man made, but that through the renewing of the mind we can use the spirit to help us!
      • Second, we can see in nature (God’s creation) that fruit do NOT grow over night, yet it takes time, and care to help a fruit grow. We must realize and show our children that they will work on this fruit of the spirit over time. And as they grow closer to God and abiding in His Word they will see all the fruits of the spirits amplified.
  • Are you Sharing?
    • This is a DAILY struggle for us here at the Rice family household, I mean with 5 kids, you could imagine the constant battle against selfishness that is at play when it comes to sharing.
      • Provers 11:25 “The generous soul will be made rich, and he who waters will be watered himself.” This verse is a great way to show your kiddos that as we display generosity among our siblings then in turn the siblings will be able to show generosity with them.
      • Corinthians 13 shows what true love looks like, and many of the ways we can show love apply within siblings relationships, when it comes to sharing I wanted to give a parenting tip I learned from Ginger Hubbard in her podcast (which I HIGHLY recommend), I have found within my home that many times my kids will ask their sibling over and over to have a toy that their sibling is playing with. We approach this in two steps, first we ask the child who doesn’t have the toy to kindly as the brother or sister who has the toys politely if they can have a turn when they are finished. Sadly, if they continue to repeatedly ask for the toy, I will pull them over to myself and have the following conversation:
            • “Jonah, does it look like Noah is having fun with the toy?” – Mom
            • “Yes mom” – Jonah
            • “Is it polite or rude to take a toy away from someone who is having fun with their toy?” – Mom
            • “Rude momma” – Jonah
            • “So are you being polite or rude by asking for the toy, after you have already asked Noah to have it when he was finished with it?” – Mom
            • “Rude” – Jonah
            • “And remember love is not rude, so lets not ask brother for it again.” – Mom
            • “Yes momma” – Jonah
  • Are you trying to stop a quarrel?
    • Proverbs 20:3 “It is to a man’s honor to avoid strife, but every fool is quick to quarrel.” Reminding and teaching our kids that the GOAL of every disagreement to work towards ending with resolution, finding a resolve to the problem at hand. We should avoid living in strife or creating strife but with respectful voice, and desiring an outcome of peace we should work through the issues at hand. It is a heart position that is fixed on truth and love that will guide them/us through conflict.
  • Are you overcoming evil with good?
    • Romans 12:20-21 “IF the one who hates you is hungry, feed him. If he is thirsty, give him water. If you do that, you will be making him more ashamed of himself. Do not let sin have power over you. Let good have power over sin.”
      • My mom always says, everything is sweeter with honey, and she is not talking about actually honey (although that is true as well) she is talking about our words and actions. Similarly, my dad always says, smile at everyone. If we approach situations with  a heart to serve, love and care for others we are approaching situations with the upper hand: the hand that hasn’t given way to sin.

Peacemaking verse peacekeeping, and working hard to teach the skills needed to become peacemakers is no easy task, and something that will be a constant learning curve even into adulthood, BUT will serve your children well to work on these skills even at a young age.


Father – Daughter – Husband – Wife


Do you think that the relationship you have (whether present or absent) with your father affects your relationship with husband (or significant other)? Something to ponder right, whether you are 18 or 81 our experiences with the first man or absent of the first man in our lives can influence us! I was talking with a friend and I said the comment, “It sounds like when you are in discord with your dad your relationship with your significant other suffers.”

Where do we learn how to become a wife?

Where do we learn how to treat our husband?

As daughters of human fathers is that what we base our future relationships on (either wanting the same as our dad or opposite?)

I have to say I had a very good relationship with my father. Yes, we have had bumps and bruises along the way but I am SUPER thankful for the relationship we have. So for myself as I ponder this topic I am reflecting on it in regards to the task at hand in raising our family as well as an overall evaluation of role I play in my marriage.

I also believe even if you have had a wonderful daughter-dad experience or one that was damaging there is always something to be learned about how love and respect look to our husbands AND how we view ourselves based on our experiences.

I read an article that was about a pediatrician sharing about father/daughter relationships. The pediatrician said that a girl’s experience of parental love with her dad pretty much serves as the model to what male love is all about. And if it is a positive experience, she will do better later in life, and that his love can helpmate or break her self-esteem. In fact, if you google search dad and daughter relationships there is TONS of articles written about the influence of that special relationship (either with positive outcomes or negative).

I truly believe in a redeeming FATHER God, who as we develop our relationship with Him that he can heal our hurts, and show us our true identity, self-worth and what unconditional love looks like. In that process of discovering FATHER God I believe we also discover our need for him through painful experiences and joyful ones as well. As we deal with our father/daughter relationships we can see the character of God through the good of our human fathers and at the same time we can see our FATHER GOD as the true example of what a Father looks like.

This process of sanctification can be painful but so refreshing as we learn more about ourselves and FATHER GOD. So here are some questions to consider and think about as we are learning to grow more into in our relationships.

  • What memories do I have that bring me joy when it comes to my human father and why?
  • Is there a connection between the way I view my father and the way I respond to my significant other?
  • Am I dealing with hurts that are internal, based on my father and I’s relationship that is causing myself to view myself as less than?
  • What similarities are their between the way I treat my significant other and way I treat my human father?
  • What feelings of security and love does my FATHER GOD’s relationship bring into my life?
  • Do I have any questioning or unsure feelings in regard to my FATHER GOD that I am casting on him, due to my past father/daughter relationship?
  • Is the way I am treating my significant other how I want my daughter to treat him?
  • Are there areas of unforgiveness with my human Father?

These are questions to begin the thinking process. I don’t have answers, I myself just have a lot of thoughts. I am truly blessed by  my human father and my relationship. He is a wonderful man who instilled a lot of great fruits into me. But as I mentioned above there is always time for improvement, encouragement to others and reflections as a now parent of a daughter. I know as I continue on this journey of discovery I can start to find answer in HIS written word:

How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!  –1 John 3:1

For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship.  And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.  — Romans 8:15-16

  “No, the Father himself loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God.  — John 16:27

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you.”  –John 14:1-2

“Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.  –Luke 12:32

But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.  Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.  –Luke 6:35-36

There is hope, new-life, and a relationship to be had with our HEAVENLY FATHER GOD! The last question I would ask myself is, “what is holding me back from this pure, true, loyal, grace-filled, patient, kind, and loving relationship with FATHER GOD?”

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