When I told Brian I wanted another baby, I told him I specially wanted another baby because I wanted Lu to have a sibling. I kept thinking about my sister, Dawn, and how thankful I am to have her in my life, and I wanted that for Lu. And I will admit, I wanted Lu to have a sister, but of course I would have been just as happy if she had a brother.
Not too long ago, I was getting myself all worked up over my daughters and their relationship with one another. Some days it seems like they dislike one another and other days they can’t get enough of one another. On the days they don’t get along, I start fast forwarding to their future and pray they become the best of friends for the rest of their lives. When Brian and I are no longer here on this Earth, the thought of them not being there for one another and always having a built-in therapist to listen to one another and never judge, makes me very sad. I can’t predict their future and I can’t make them be best friends (I will haunt them from the grave if that happens lol). Somehow, I need to get over these thoughts and move forward.
Ironically, the most recent day I had these thoughts, I got a notification on my phone from YouVersion, which is a Bible app, for a blog post about sibling rivalry. After reading the blog, it provided some perspective.
Here are some highlights from the blog post:
Imagine your family as a team that God assembled to reflect His glory. He carefully crafted each family member to help the whole family fulfill its shared potential. Your role as parent is to serve as coach. You lead toward a vision that you can all accomplish together, teach everyone how to play, and work with each child to help them contribute meaningfully. Here’s how:
1. Celebrate each member of your family for their unique value.
…a person’s body has more than one part. The ear might say, “I am not an eye, so I don’t belong to the body.” But saying this would not make the ear stop being a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, it would not be able to hear. If the whole body were an ear, it would not be able to smell anything.
Just as in the body of Christ, each member of your family has a special role to fulfill. Help each of your children explore and discover their gifts. Help them learn to enjoy using their gifts in ways that serve the whole family. Along the way, encourage them with gratitude every time they show behaviors you want them to repeat. By equipping each child with self-awareness, service, and praise, you’re actually training them to cheer on every other member of your family.
4. Adopt Grace and Forgiveness as honorary members of your family.
Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace.
Especially as you begin this journey, set some short-term goals that will help your family score some quick wins. Just don’t lose sight of what you truly want: to build a lasting legacy together over time, a sustainable mindset of family unity that will span generations.
My girls won’t always get along and there will definitely be challenging times ahead with sibling rivalry, but I will try and remember to put on my “coaching” hat and never give up.