It Is Not Enough To Hate Hatred!
This is the seventh and final post in the series: “What does the Bible say about sibling rivalry and how can I get my kids to get along?”
We started out this sibling rivalry series by establishing that what the world says is normal in family relationships, is not what God wants for Christian families.
The world says that sibling rivalry, rebellious teenagers, kids and parents not getting along and family fighting are all part of normal family life.
However, Jesus himself said that the two greatest commands were to love God and to love others and that all of God’s law is summed up in these two commands. Christian love is a foundation of our Faith and teaching it, is a core Christian parenting skill.
God has called parents to bring their children up in the training and instruction of the Lord—to teach them how God says life works and how we are to live. The Christian home is the place where God meant for children to learn how to love God and others. They need to be taught what love is, to be trained in how to walk it out and to see it exampled in the lives of their older siblings and parents.
God intended that the Christian home be the classroom for developing relational skills and learning how to love. Sibling relationships and parent/child relationships are the crash test dummies that prepare our children for every other peer relationship and authority relationship in their lives.
Jesus said, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:34, 35)
Jesus said that the world would be able to tell who his disciples are by the love they show. Why? Because God put an innate need to be loved in the heart of every one of us. Real love speaks of truth and calls each one of us towards it.
In a day and age where children are being raised to hate, it’s not enough for us to speak out against hate. We must lead the way and intentionally teach our children to love. If we don’t, we may not be teaching our children to hate but by our lack of teaching, we cause our children to become indifferent and/or self-centered. Indifferent and self-centered people don’t reach out and help change a hating world!
Expecting our children to somehow learn how to love by osmoses or by just telling them to love, is like expecting them to learn math without math lessons.
The second greatest command reflects the second most important task of Christian Parenting. We are called to roll up our sleeves, cry out to God for help and take the time and energy to practically instruct and train our children in how to love. Teaching them about forgiveness, kindness, patience, kind words, encouragement, compassion, cooperation, conflict resolution, gentleness, faithfulness, thoughtfulness, sacrifice, selflessness, listening, generosity, fairness, building others up, being helpful, manners, respect, honor, duty, standing up for the rights of others and much more.
These concepts are all mere words to our children until they are explained and taught. They may hear about them at Sunday school and in Bible stories but in order to really learn these family values and virtues, they need to be taught while life is happening.
I love the song ‘The Prayers of The Children.’ The generation of children growing up in the world, like every generation before them, want to love and be loved. Only the hate in the world and their fallen nature leads them away.
But if our Christian children are taught by us and the Holy Spirit within them to truly love in their hearts and with their actions, they will reach past hate and make a huge difference i
n their generation—and by that love, the world will know who God’s children are.
If this is the first blog in the Sibling Rivalry series that you’ve read, I encourage you to make your way through the first six. There are lots of practical tips that will help you on your journey to teach your children how to love. I’ll also be posting more in this category from time to time so stay clicked in.
For more practical parenting advice and day-to-day ideas for strengthening your family relationships and making your home a ‘Home Sweet Home’ we recommend the Christian resource, “The Seven Mistakes Parents of Toddlers Make”
(RICK OSBORNE / Christian Author, Speaker & Dad – your source for Christian Parenting advice)
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