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Sibling Rivalry

September 18, 2014
all in good fun.... hoping it stays that way....

all in good fun…. hoping it stays that way….

I was asked to contribute to a newsletter on this topic. I reacted like it was a challenge rather than an assignment…. As a mother of eight children you might consider me an expert – at least someone with LOTS of experience – on this topic. But what I still lack, even today, is the solution to this “problem.”

So many children…. So very different from each other…. Expressing their own individuality and often fighting with each other. Quite frankly, I have secretly rejoiced that we all lived through the day. I have counted it a victory if a different pair than the day before were at odds with each other.

Sibling rivalry – maybe any rivalry – in sewn up in our flesh. Our natural man values self supremely. Compromise allows us to get along with others, but is not always the cure.

So how do you deal with sibling rivalry? We can encourage and model selflessness, but only Christ can change people. The only answer is to be conformed to His image.

There is a Bible account about James and John asking Christ if one could sit on His right and the other on His left in the kingdom. I recall the other disciples’ indignant reaction to the request. Isn’t this an example of rivalry in a family? Maybe we should answer like Christ…. That who ever would be chief, would be the servant of all. (Mark 10:37-45)

Every time I remind my children of Christ’s response, I have to remind myself. I have learned that I was not blessed with the many children and strong personalities because I am a great mom; but rather, because I needed to be conformed to the image of my Savior. They are my reminder; they are my sermon.

This year our children asked if we could have a different kind of Christmas. A celebration that would not focus on exchanging gifts but on a time away from home and a time together – all 15 of us – in one place for four days of togetherness! This made me happy. 🙂 This is my proof that despite the rivalry, they do love each other.

Don’t misunderstand, I would like to minimize those ugly, selfish evidences of our carnality like sibling rivalry. I’m sure there are moms that have great ideas and biblical advice for it, but for me, I just need to remember that the greatest among us is the servant.

Keep pointing your kids to Christ, keep serving.


2 Comments leave one →
  1. Rosie Potter permalink
    September 18, 2014 3:08 pm

    Wonderful reply Candy! I’m thinking it applies to more that siblings in the home!

  2. September 18, 2014 5:22 pm

    Like 🙂

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