I have four children ranging in age from seventeen to five. I love them dearly and believe they are blessings from the Lord, but also, some days, I wonder if they will ever learn to get along. Often it feels like everyone is constantly arguing with each other.
“He took my toy.”
“He didn’t do his chores.”
“She was mean to me.”
“He won’t help me. “
“He is being annoying.”
Some days just listening to and trying to manage the arguing is exhausting. We talk about it, pray about it, do Bible studies about how to treat siblings, and discipline as needed. However, some days it feels like nothing we do is working.
It can be tempting to throw my hands up in defeat, and there are moments when I feel like a failure due to all of the arguing. I say all of this not to throw my children “under the bus,” so to speak, but to let you know that if it is happening in your home, you are not alone.
Hope and Encouragement
However, God has been gently and lovingly showing me that there really is hope in the arguing.
Over the last several months, God has been opening my eyes to the ways that my children love on their siblings. He has been showing me that they are still learning and growing, but that I should “not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:9)
I have seen my seventeen-year-old help his little brothers build a turtle enclosure (without being asked by a parent), I have seen him take his little brother fishing, I have seen my daughter spend her own money to buy her older brother his favorite drink from the gas station just because she thought he might want something.
I have watched my nine-year-old spend his money to buy his siblings gifts on their birthdays. My five-year-old will draw pictures for his siblings and loves to spend time with them.
The arguing isn’t done (and while I trust and believe it will get better, it will probably never be over this side of heaven), but there is hope in the midst of it all. They are learning how to treat one another, control their emotions, and express their love.
Don’t Give Up
If you feel like the sibling arguments in your home are never-ending, if you feel like what you are doing is not having an impact, I want to give you hope and encouragement. Keep up the hard work of helping them learn to interact with others, and remember that they are growing and learning. It can be a slow process but look for the wins. Look for the times when they show love and grace to one another (even if they are arguing again five minutes later).
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