Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Sibling Rivalvry: What Does the Lord Think About It?

Better is a dry morsel, and quietness therewith, 
than an house full of sacrifices with strife.
Proverbs 17:1

This is certainly a subject that is near and dear to my heart.  One goal for our children is that they will grow in love and mutual respect for each other, building a bond that will last a lifetime.  So, it is grievous to me when I hear the children fussing and feuding.

This morning was particularly trying as the two youngest were given a chore to do. Instead of doing it, they proceeded to argue between themselves over who was going to do what and which one made the bigger part of the mess. The arguing led to a physical scuffle before I could get into the room.  

I had been reading in I Kings earlier in the day, specifically about King Solomon asking the Lord for wisdom to rule the people. At that moment, I too asked the Lord to increase my wisdom as a mom, in raising our children.  Little did I know that not two hours later, I would indeed need a lot of wisdom!

If my experience can be of any help to someone else, than the purpose in sharing these events will have been accomplished.  After some biblical chastening for the arguing and fighting, I removed the issue of their squabble. In this case, it was every single toy in their bedroom.  They are currently in garbage bags in the basement.  While that might seem a little extreme, fussing over the clean-up of the bedroom is a daily thing and they were not without warning. 

I then took a few moments to pray, seek God's face and His Word and called the girls to the table. I have a book that I *highly* recommend called Proverbs for Parenting: A Topical Guide for Child Raising from the Book of Proverbs/King James Version    It is verses from the book of Proverbs divided by topics pertaining to child training.  It is very helpful when looking for a specific verse on a particular problem or character trait. 

I didn't lecture....but rather started off by prayer and then explaining that I wasn't angry with them but I was grieved by their actions. From there we read the Scripture beginning with:

Proverbs 6:16  These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:  
Proverbs 6:19  A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.

Abomination is defined as extreme hatred; loathing.  God absolutely hates when His children are fussing and fighting, whether it's in the church house or in our homes!

Proverbs 10:12  Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins.

When there is strife, it is because there is hatred in the heart of one or both people!  Hatred is the opposite of love and is not of God.

Proverbs 13:10  Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom.

When a heart is full of pride (self - "me first"), there is contention and strife!

Proverbs 16:28  A froward man soweth strife: and a whisperer separateth chief friends.

Froward is defined as unyielding; disobedient.  It is a heart that will not yield that causes strife. Again, not a godly character trait and the mark of either a lost man or a carnal Christian.

Proverbs 17:19  He loveth transgression that loveth strife: and he that exalteth his gate seeketh destruction.

The Bible says that if you love strife you also love sin!  Isn't that amazing?

All of these verses show us that strife and discord is not only ungodly but that they are far more serious than we often give them credit for!  The sin of strife goes far deeper than surface relationships but straight to a heart that is full of pride and a love for sin.  God does not want His children wallowing in the muck and mire of sin!

Often, parents will seek for peace and quiet at any cost.  Put the children in front of the tv, buy them the latest video game, stick some ear buds in their ears and let them listen to whatever they choose....anything to have quiet!  Oh, if you fit in that category, you are missing the mark!  You might wonder why it is so important to me that the children get along, after all, you might think that "kids will be kids".  Here's why:

Proverbs 18:19  A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city: and their contentions are like the bars of a castle.

It really isn't about kids just being kids.  I know what it is like to have an "offended" family member, full of unforgiveness and bitterness. It's not fun!  No amount of apologies or trying to make things right can soften a heart that wants to cling to strife.  I think it becomes a part of them until God brings that person to a place of either salvation or repentance.  As a parent, I do not want that for my children. I am looking towards their futures....with each other and with the Lord.

There is no better earthly relationship than that of family whose hearts are knitted together with love.  God is glorified and honored when families get along.  I want our girls to enjoy the fellowship of each others company not just today but ten years from now....fifty years from now if the Lord tarries.  That will only happen if we begin NOW and not allow division and strife to creep in.

The devil is sly and cunning.  He is the master of division.  

2 Corinthians 2:10-11   To whom ye forgive any thing, I forgive also: for if I forgave any thing, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ;  Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.

Do not be ignorant to the devil and his devices.  Purpose today that by the grace of God, Satan will not get your children! Fight for them mama.....because if you don't, who will?

© Adorning Grace 2010

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