TEACHING CHILDREN TO LOVE ONE ANOTHER
Healing Sibling Rivalry

I. CAUSES OF SIBLING RIVALRY

JEALOUSY OF SUCCESS

Gen 30:1  When Rachel saw that she was not bearing Jacob any children, she became jealous of her sister. So she said to Jacob, "Give me children, or I'll die!"

JEALOUSY OF AFFECTION

Gen 37:4  When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of them, they hated him and could not speak a kind word to him.

BRAGGING

Gen 37:5  Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him all the more.

YOUNGER BEING GRANTED AUTHORITY OVER THE OLDER

Gen 37:8  His brothers said to him, "Do you intend to reign over us? Will you actually rule us?" And they hated him all the more because of his dream and what he had said . . . 11  His brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the matter in mind.

UNFORGIVENESS OF OFFENSE

2 Sam 13:22  Absalom never said a word to Amnon, either good or bad; he hated Amnon because he had disgraced his sister Tamar.

ONEíS LIGHT EXPOSES THE OTHERíS SIN

1 Sam 17:28  When Eliab, David's oldest brother, heard him speaking with the men, he burned with anger at him and asked, "Why have you come down here? And with whom did you leave those few sheep in the desert? I know how conceited you are and how wicked your heart is; you came down only to watch the battle."

JEALOUS OF THE OTHERíS SPIRITUALITY

Gen 4:2  Later she gave birth to his brother Abel. Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. 3  In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the LORD. 4  But Abel brought fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The LORD looked with favor on Abel and his offering, 5  but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast. 6  Then the LORD said to Cain, "Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? 7  If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it." 8  Now Cain said to his brother Abel, "Let's go out to the field." And while they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.

IRRITABLE, UNSUBDUED SELF WILL

(A wise son = one self-controlled, subdued will / A foolish son = one ruled by his passions)

Prov 29:15  The rod of correction imparts wisdom, but a child left to himself disgraces his mother.

Prov 17:25  A foolish son brings grief to his father and bitterness to the one who bore him.

Prov 15:20  A wise son brings joy to his father, but a foolish man despises his mother.

Prov 18:6  A fool's lips bring him strife, and his mouth invites a beating.

Prov 20:3  It is to a man's honor to avoid strife, but every fool is quick to quarrel.

Prov 22:10  Drive out the mocker, and out goes strife; quarrels and insults are ended.

James 3:13  Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. 14  But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. 15  Such "wisdom" does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil. 16  For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. 17  But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. 18  Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness. 4:1  What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don't they come from your desires that battle within you? 2  You want something but don't get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God.

 

II. CAN WE TEACH OUR CHILDREN TO LOVE?

 

Ps 94:12 Blessed is the man you discipline, O LORD, the man you teach from your law; 13 you grant him rest from days of trouble . . .

  

Mat 22:39  And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'

  

John 15:13  Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.

  

Five practical ways our children can be taught to love each other

1. Assume a kind countenance

Col 3:12  Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13  Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14  And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

2. Speak a kind word

1 Cor 4:13  when we are slandered, we answer kindly.

Rom 12:14  Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.

Eph 4:31  Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32  Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. 5:1  Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children 2  and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

3. Perform kind acts

Luke 6:27  "But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you. 28  bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.

Rom 12:10  Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.

4. Physically share things

Luke 6:35  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.

5. Pray for them

Luke 6:27  "But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you. 28  bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.

 

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