HOW TO EFFECTIVELY HANDLE SIBLING CONFLICTS
When a couple gets married and have their first child, they lavish their time and affections on her. And then the second child arrives. And may be the third, fourth, and so on as the case may be. When the couple has two or more children, the time and affections can no longer go to one child. Every one of those children ought to be cared for. However, these children will have to go through different stages of development and they have to share (or compete for) their parents’ attention.
Wherever you have two or more children, conflicts are sure to abound. Some of these conflicts are minor and some are very dangerous. Indeed, members of the same family have been known to disown each other. Some, even in Bible days, have killed themselves. Parents need to be aware of the dangers of sibling rivalry. Parents need to be prepared to effectively handle whatever rivalry springs up among their children.
Some causes of sibling rivalry
Favoritism. If a child is favored above others, this will lead to rivalry. Even if a child (wrongly) thinks he is not as favored as his brother or sister, it may lead to conflicts.
“But when his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him and could not speak peaceably to him.” (Genesis 37:4) Joseph’s brother planned to kill him but they ended up selling him into slavery.
Sometimes, each of the parents might have their personal favorites among the children. “And Isaac loved Esau because he ate of his game, but Rebekah loved Jacob.” (Genesis 25:28) This favoritism almost led to Esau killing his younger brother, Jacob.
Special ability. If a child appears to be specially endowed or much more gifted than her siblings, this might be an invitation to rivalry or jealousy.
“Now Joseph had a dream, and he told it to his brothers; and they hated him even more.” (Genesis 37:5)
A child might be more intelligent, or better behaved, or more talented in sports or the arts than the others. Any of these can bring about envy, especially if the parents make some sort of comparisons.
Birth order. The order by which a child comes into the family may determine what set of challenges he would have to deal with. When I was growing up, I had some older brothers in my family. Whenever there were gifts to choose from, these guys always had to go before me. While I was waiting my turn, some gifts I actually wanted might have been picked. This was very disheartening and I sometimes wondered why I wasn’t the first child in my family.
“Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age.” (Genesis 37:3) Some parents favored their last-born above other children in the family and it may cause resentment.
Individual differences/preferences. Every child is unique and no two persons will ever be the same. This uniqueness might be reflected in our physical appearances, personality, character, choices, etc. Any of these could be a source of sibling rivalry.
Handling Sibling Rivalry
Incorporate harmony into the family’s vision. Teach your children how to live in harmony with others. Let your child know it’s ok to be unique but everybody must compromise for the peace of the family. You may have to regularly organize family activities to help your children play together and bond.
Don’t take sides. One of the worst things a parent may do is to constantly side with a child and blame another for a series of conflicts. This will escalate the problem. The child being sided might be at fault too but she would not learn to be responsible for her actions. The “condemned” child might feel unwanted, unloved, and become suicidal. Parents, don’t show preferences for one child over another. Don’t compare them. Don’t accuse one and defend another.
Don’t underestimate every conflict. Some parents have a tendency to simply ignore rivalries among their children. While you have to “pick your battles”, don’t just overlook every conflict. Be sensitive. When you feel something is not right, call the children involved and explore their feelings with them. “The beginning of strife is like releasing water; Therefore stop contention before a quarrel starts.” (Proverbs 17:14)
Teach conflict resolution skills to your children. Teach them to settle their disagreements promptly. They should not give time to any conflict to grow bigger. Teach them how to be specific on the issues and avoid personality attacks. Teach your children to admit their faults and ask for forgiveness.
Teach your kids to be compassionate. “Then the LORD said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” He said, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?” (Genesis 4:9) Cain, obviously, lacked any form of compassion for his brother. Not only did he kill Abel, he also denied knowing where Abel was! Each child must be taught to look out for the good of others. “Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. 32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:31-32)
Teach your child to fear God. Regardless of any other strategy you employ, if your child doesn’t fear God, it’s all in vain. Invest your time reading the Word to your children and teaching them to live their lives based on the Scripture. Let them know that they are to obey God and be responsible to Him in all they do.
-Pastor Victor Adeola King
How do I get past the pain of the past years? I do not think I can forgive this, this is too much! Can you imagine? She … He…
These are the voices of many people in different forms of relationships today. Everyone has been hurt by someone they thought they could trust. It hurts because we trusted, and got disappointed!
The effect of the rolled over pain and unattended disappointments have left strains in a lot of families.
Many marriages today are very far from their places in destiny because of one disappointment or the other. Spouses are unable to get past the pain of disappointment to healing and fulfillment. How do we get to this place while being led by the Word of God? This is the question I pray this article will answer.
Every relationship thrives on the ability to forgive and forget. Everyone must come to accept forgiving and forgetting as a lifestyle and the key to having fulfilled relationships.
For some time now when I see couples, I keep seeing the wonder of what lies between them. For every couple having a great time together, laughing and working together, there lies forgiving and forgetting. Hurting one another is inevitable where two people are working closely with one another and especially in marriage. A friend used to say,” I can only step on your toes because we are close enough to each other”. Offense is inevitable in any relationship of any kind: the closer the relationship, the greater the possibility of offense. Someone once said there are very few people who can hurt you like your spouse and children. This is the fact of life we must live with. But when there is an offence what do we do? How do we get around it to get to our perfect destination of Peace and Harmony?
So many families are under the captivity of unforgiveness, brothers and sisters in discord because of longstanding sibling rivalry, husband and wife relationships heavily strained because of past offences. And in some cases, the marriage ends in divorce. How do we ensure our relationships do not become part of the statistics?
- Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colours. And when his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him.
- And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it his brethren: and they hated him yet the more.
- And he said unto them, Hear, I pray you, this dream which I have dreamed:
- For, behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and, lo, my sheaf arose, and also stood upright; and, behold, your sheaves stood round about, and made obeisance to my sheaf.
- And his brethren said to him, Shalt thou indeed reign over us? Or shalt thou indeed have dominion over us? And they hated him yet the more for his dreams, and for his words.
- And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it his brethren, and said, Behold, I have dreamed a dream more; and, behold, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisance to me.
- And he told it to his father, and to his brethren: and his father rebuked him, and said unto him, what is this dream that thou hast dreamed? Shall I and thy mother and thy brethren indeed come to bow down ourselves to thee to the earth?
- And his brethren envied him; but his father observed the saying.
- And his brethren went to feed their father’s flock in Shechem.
- And Israel said unto Joseph, Do not thy brethren feed the flock in Shechem? Come, and I will send thee unto them. And he said to him, here am I.
- And he said to him, Go, I pray thee, see whether it be well with thy brethren, and well with the flocks; and bring me word again. So he sent him out of the vale of Hebron, and he came to Shechem.
- And a certain man found him, and, behold, he was wandering in the field: and the man asked him, saying, what seekest thou?
- And he said, I seek my brethren: tell me, I pray thee, where they feed their flocks.
- And the man said, they are departed hence; for I heard them say, let us go to Dothan. And Joseph went after his brethren, and found them in Dothan.
- And when they saw him afar off, even before he came near unto them, they conspired against him to slay him.
- And they said one to another, Behold, this dreamer cometh.
- Come now therefore, and let us slay him, and cast him into some pit, and we will say, some evil beast hath devoured him: and we shall see what will become of his dreams.
- And Reuben heard it, and he delivered him out of their hands; and said, Let us not kill him.
- And Reuben said unto them, Shed no blood, but cast him into this pit that is in the wilderness, and lay no hand upon him; that he might rid him out of their hands, to deliver him to his father again.
- And it came to pass, when Joseph was come unto his brethren, that they stripped Joseph out of his coat, his coat of many colours that was on him;
- And they took him, and cast him into a pit: and the pit was empty, there was no water in it.
- And they sat down to eat bread: and they lifted up their eyes and looked, and, behold, a company of Ishmeelites came from Gilead with their camels bearing spicery and balm and myrrh, going to carry it down to Egypt.
- And Judah said unto his brethren, what profit is it if we slay our brother, and conceal his blood?
- Come, and let us sell him to the Ishmeelites, and let not our hand be upon him; for he is our brother and our flesh. And his brethren were content.
- Then there passed by Midianites merchantmen; and they drew and lifted up Joseph out of the pit, and sold Joseph to the Ishmeelites for twenty pieces of silver: and they brought Joseph into Egypt.
- And Reuben returned unto the pit; and, behold, Joseph was not in the pit; and he rent his clothes.
- And he returned unto his brethren, and said, the child is not; and I, whither shall I go?
- And they took Joseph’s coat, and killed a kid of the goats, and dipped the coat in the blood;
- And they sent the coat of manycolours, and they brought it to their father; and said, this have we found: know now whether it be thy son’s coat or no.
- And he knew it, and said, it is my son’s coat; an evil beast hath devoured him; Joseph is without doubt rent in pieces.
- And Jacob rent his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his loins, and mourned for his son many days.
- And all his sons and all his daughters rose up to comfort him; but he refused to be comforted; and he said, For I will go down into the grave unto my son mourning. Thus his father wept for him.
- And the Midianites sold him into Egypt unto Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh’s, and captain of the guard. (Genesis 37:3-36).
Just like Joseph I am very sure you have the right to feel offended. Being angry really is not a sin. Scripture confirms it to us in Ephesians 4:26 “Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:” Really you have a right to feel offended but how do we ensure that SIN does not take hold of your anger.
Offense always leads to bitterness where not properly taken care of.
We cannot prevent offenses but we have the power to take care of them when they occur. Our Lord
Jesus taught us through the Bible that we should forgive as many times as we are offended.
“Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, until seven times: but, until seventy times seven. Mat 18:21-22
Just like Joseph, you have every reason to be offended but going further down the passage above, our Lord Jesus told a parable of a servant who refused to forgive little after he had been forgiven so much. Jesus concluded that the servant was WICKED. To refuse to forgive is to act wickedly, unfortunately we do not act wickedly against the person alone but even against ourselves. Nelson Mandela said “Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.”
Keeping offense takes us off the path of trusting God! When we keep offense we take over, instead of allowing God to defend us.
I hear someone say this lady does not know what she is talking about, I should just forget that I read this. This is the more reason you must forgive.
Why we must forgive
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.(Matthew 6:12)
For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. (Matthew 6:14 -15)
I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins. (Isaiah 43:25)
We forgive first for our own sake, for our own healing. When our Lord Jesus Christ was teaching us how to pray He said forgive us just as we forgive others!
We need to forgive just as much as we require forgiveness ourselves. And do not we all need God’s Forgiveness?
We need to forgive because we must get to our place in destiny. I believe Joseph got to destiny because he forgave. He had forgiven his brothers even before his first encounter with them after they sold him off.
The story of Joseph is one that thrills me every time I read or think about it. After reading and meditating on his story I wondered how he was able to forgive his siblings.
He had every right to be bitter against them and even God. He got revelations from God about his future and instead of having things fall in place from then on, his life seemed to go haywire. His own brothers sold him into Slavery, his master’s wife wanted to sleep with him and when he stood his ground in the fear of God, he landed in prison.
At some point I thought he would have just given up on God, but he did not. Rather, he held on to God the more; and little wonder, even in the prison he was interpreting dreams.
We cannot afford to lose hold of our God-given promises because of bitterness. As I write, I sense some people are not just bitter against their spouses, but even their in-laws and this is creeping into the relationship they have with their spouses. I pray that healing will come for every hurting soul.
We are forgiven as much as we forgive ourselves.
Forgiving after a broken heart!
It can be very difficult after a heart has been broken too many times by the same person. I will not just speak scriptures and walk away. Nothing heals the heart more than the Word of God! Yes your heart has been stepped upon without care but you need to take responsibility for your heart.
What do we do about the unrepentant we need to forgive?
How do we forget?
Decide to Forget
Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. (Isaiah 43:18)
You and I have the responsibility of choosing to forget. Choose to let go. You will have flash back of the pains and disappointments but as you decide to forget and act contrary to your feelings of revenge you will get to the place of healing and wholeness.
- And Joseph returned into Egypt, he, and his brethren, and all that went up with him to bury his father, after he had buried his father.
- And when Joseph’s brethren saw that their father was dead, they said, Joseph will peradventure hate us, and will certainly requite us all the evil which we did unto him.
- And they sent a messenger unto Joseph, saying, Thy father did command before he died, saying, So shall ye say unto Joseph, Forgive, I pray thee now, the trespass of thy brethren, and their sin; for they did unto thee evil: and now, we pray thee, forgive the trespass of the servants of the God of thy father. And Joseph wept when they spake unto him.
- And his brethren also went and fell down before his face; and they said, Behold, we be thy servants. And Joseph said unto them, Fear not: for am I in the place of God?
- But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive. (Genesis 50:15 -20)
See everything as working together for your good. As much as people act wrongly against us, it does not change God’s plan, it is part of His plan. “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;” (2 Corinthians 4:17). When we face injustice as Christians, we should remember that Jesus Christ suffered much more injustice for our sake. “For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake;” (Philippians 1:29)“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28).
Things work together for good only when we are in line with God’s love and purpose. Being in line with God’s love and purpose is to forgive and forget.
Even if it’s personal against you and repeated seven times through the day, and seven times he says, ‘I’m sorry, I won’t do it again,’ forgive him.”(Luke 17:4 –The MSG)
What to do next?
This is the very difficult part. There is no simple answer other than letting the Holy Spirit guide you in all your ways.
Our Lord Jesus promised never to leave us without comfort and He keeps this promise through the Holy Spirit, the Seal of our redemption. The person you need to forgive may not be repentant, and may be your spouse or someone you cannot readily get rid of. Yet you need to keep on holding on to the Word of God and allowing His Spirit to guide you in all your ways. Ensure you have no resentment and be open to God about your feelings. Sometimes we are hurt and heaven knows we are, and we ought to feel hurt. The best part is that we have a High Priest that is moved by our issues. He understands betrayals and hurt more than you think. He can get you through this also.
Pray sincerely telling God exactly how you feel and watch a miracle begin in your heart! He will fill you with so much love than you can ever imagine! You are on your way to healing!
Rules of Engagement for Couples
From experience I have found that it is necessary for couples to set rules for what can and cannot happen in the event of any disagreement. It is interesting that often we assume our marriages will just work out fine, especially for Christians, but today we have found that it takes a deliberate attempt by both partners no matter how Spirit filled to make it work.
Decide as a couple limits of how far you will ever go in the case of a disagreement.
No Physical Abuse, name calling, bringing up the past except that is what the discussion is about. No dragging of third parties into the argument, stick to the matter that needs to be addressed. Respect your partner’s feelings. There is so much that we could share, here is a link you can go to for more information.
Maybe you are reading this article and your marriage just came out of a terrible storm and the wounds are still fresh, this is good information for you.
To the Forgiven
You know you have done wrong and you have been forgiven, it is not time to forget completely it ever happened. It is time to build back confidence into your partner. Your partner is trying to do the right thing by forgiving you, so you need to make it easy by “bearing fruits worthy of repentance” (Matthew 3:8). Make deliberate efforts with the help of the Holy Spirit to take your family far away from yesterday.
To the Forgiver
Thank God you have taken the road to freedom which is forgiveness. Now, it is time to forget. Forgetting takes deliberate effort not to go back there, for your own sake! Your mind will wander back to the pain, please make deliberate effort to offload your mind of your hurts, do not push them back, bring them up and deal with them. Trust the Holy Spirit to help you do the right things to renew your love. Fill up your being with God’s Word. Nothing heals like God’s Word.
Have you ever found yourself in a situation that you are confessing so many things concerning a situation in your life and when it gets to praying about it, you could not utter a word? Could it be your marriage? Your spouse has hurt you in so many ways that instead of praying for him to change you wish God could just get you out of this web you have found yourself in!
I have Word for your today. Give God all the pieces of your broken heart; for a broken and contrite heart God never ignores.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise. Psalms 51:17
Speak to God like you know He knows all your thoughts about your home. Be real with God. Tell Him exactly how you feel and ask Him to heal your heart, give you fresh hope and zeal for your home.
Don’t give up yet, your family may have, your friends may have given up but God has not. If He did not withhold His Son, He will not withhold healing from your home!
He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?Rom 8:32
Great and successful families don’t just happen. I believe we all can live the best of life possible if we can receive and apply the divine wisdom we need every day. Even if we grew up in dysfunctional families, I strongly believe God wants us to change the story. We don’t have to perpetuate dysfunctional ways of living and then die without fulfilling our potentials. A great family is a great possibility.
There’s a reason for every family. And every couple needs to discover the divine purpose for their family. Proverbs 29:18 says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish…” It’s really unwise to start a family (or any enterprise for that matter) without a vision of what it will look like. Whether you’re single or married, I encourage you to capture the vision of God for your family. Without a vision, a man will abuse his wife. Without a vision, a woman will dishonor her husband. A lot of people get married for various reasons. When couples get married for all the wrong reasons, they’re simply asking for disaster! Relationships are generally difficult. How much more the romantic type?
When I was a single man, I came to a point where I really wished I was married. One day, I purposed to fast and pray for three days to seek guidance from the Lord. During the first day of fasting, I picked up the Bible for my daily devotion. Then I came to Proverbs 24:27. It says, “Prepare your outside work, make it fit for yourself in the field; and afterward build your house.” From this verse, the Holy Spirit let me know that I still needed more preparation to do prior to getting married.
I didn’t bother to continue the fast. I thanked the Lord for His guidance and went about making every necessary preparation I knew to make. I studied the Bible and prayed. I read extensively. I had books and tapes all over my bedroom. I attended several seminars designed for singles. I studied the lives of married couples around me. One day, the Lord spoke to me through Matthew 22:8. “The wedding is ready…” That was when I knew I was ready to be married. It was then I got a clear indication of who I was going to marry.
As you read the Bible, pay close attention to every family related issue. Highlight specific verses and meditate on them. Find out why some families are blesses and why some aren’t so blessed. For example, Priscilla and Aquila were mentioned by the Apostle Paul in Romans 16:3-5. He wrote, “Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus, who risked their own necks for my life, to whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles. Likewise greet the church that is in their house.” Do a study on couples like this.
Please devote yourself to prayers. Capturing God’s vision for your marriage or family isn’t enough. In fact, it’s a responsibility. You need the help of God to implement what he has shown you. Prayers connect us to God. Prayers enable us to draw power from God to handle our daily affairs. Prayers enable us to move through the challenges of relationships. Prayer will help you find your spouse. Prayer will help you love your spouse and children. While in courtship with then wife-to-be, we invested many hours into fasting and prayers. As a result, God assured me that we’re going to have a great marriage. I began to confess that on a regular basis. Even when all the circumstances were contrary, I always said, “We shall have a great marriage.” That declaration was based on faith in God and what the Word can do in a relationship.
I believe God wants us to build such families that bring Him glory, honour and praise. He will give you a vision for your marriage. He will help strengthen you for all He wants you to do as a father or mother. Study the Word and keep growing as Christ’s follower. All is well in Jesus’ name.
-Pastor Victor Adeola King
Every family requires these three elements for survival in the world we live in. Yet, many of us have overlooked their importance to our own peril. Many people in our world have lost any sense of faith in the ability of God to come through in their relationships with their spouses or children; they have no hope that things will get better because they have been disappointed many times; and their love has waxed so soft that it’s almost completely melted away in the face of the harsh heat of reality.
I hope to challenge this vicious cycle fading faith, hapless hope and lethargic love in this new series on the role of the ingredients of faith, hope and love in family life and child care. The plan is to restore our faith, renew our hope and refresh our love so the wheels of family life can run smoothly once again as they get oiled with these graces. The family remains the functional unit of society and almost every societal ill can be traced back to a breakdown in the family structure. Christian homes which should serve as a model for the world like a city set upon a hill are sadly not exempt from this unfortunate situation of decay… How do we return and take our place in the plan of God for the world? How shall the sons of God be manifest in this dying world?
It is when we shine as lights in the midst of a wicked and perverse nation. It is when our faith is so strong that nothing else matters; our hope is so tangible it is almost palpable and our love- our pure unconditional love is so real that it overflows in selfless actions.
I will introduce the subject of faith as a necessary family life ingredient today with the following story of the Syro-Phoenician woman’s encounter with Jesus when He walked this earth:
From there Jesus set out for the vicinity of Tyre. He entered a house there where he didn’t think he would be found, but he couldn’t escape notice. He was barely inside when a woman who had a disturbed daughter heard where he was. She came and knelt at his feet, begging for help. The woman was Greek, Syro-Phoenician by birth. She asked him to cure her daughter.
He said, “Stand in line and take your turn. The children get fed first. If there’s any left over, the dogs get it.”
She said, “Of course, Master. But don’t dogs under the table get scraps dropped by the children?”
Jesus was impressed. “You’re right! On your way! Your daughter is no longer disturbed. The demonic affliction is gone.” She went home and found her daughter relaxed on the bed, the torment gone for good. [Mark 7:24-29 (The Message)]
This woman wanted her daughter healed by Christ- she believed and knew that Jesus could cure her daughter and she didn’t get daunted in her faith even when He told her that healing was first for the children then left-over scraps could be scrambled by dogs. She knew Jesus had the power to heal and she wasn’t going to give up at the initial words which some would have felt was discouraging at the least or even found insulting. Jesus recognized her faith and granted her heart’s desire!
We see also the faith of a parent in the story of Jarius- a ruler of the synagogue who wanted healing for his daughter as well before further complications arose and the little girl was dead. Yet, Jesus said to him- “Don’t be afraid; just believe”. These same words are for you today- do not entertain fear in your parenting, let the power of Christ be manifest as you tackle the affairs of daily living in this world; whatever the situation may be in your home, however complicated it may seem; take the words of Jesus to heart- “Don’t be afraid; just believe!”. Remember we are joint heirs together with Christ; for as many as received Him even to as many as believe on His name- to them He gave the power to be called sons of God. Healing is the children bread. You can experience it in every area of your family life. When faith is present, contradictions don’t faze us, the cares of this world don’t break us, we have our faith grounded in He who was and is and is to come! Hallelujah…
We’ll continue with the subject of faith next week before we delve into hope and love in the family… till then, continue in God’s grace.
Dr ifelayo ojo
“When I fed the five loaves to the five thousand…
When I fed the seven loaves to the four thousand…
…were there not left-overs?”
Jesus had demonstrated his ability to more than supply human needs on these two different occasions in the presence of His disciples. Yet, they (the disciples) were worried about not having bread for their trip and worse still, they misinterpreted Jesus warning about the teaching of the Pharisees to be a rebuke for their forgetfulness to take bread along for the trip!
The master of the universe, El-shaddai, the multi-breasted one- God who is more than enough was saying to them here- “remember the occasions of old when I made provisions for human needs out of nothing?”
The baskets of left-overs which Jesus instructed them to collect after the miracles of feeding so many was considered insignificantly small by the disciples though they were meant to serve as monuments; reminders of God’s mighty power. They were never supposed to doubt His ability to meet their needs; yet, here they were like many of us being very anxious and worried over bread. They had the fountain, the bread of life with them and they were worrying about the supply of bread, while Jesus wanted their hearts on more spiritual things. How could they have taught that He whose meat was to do the will of the Father was rebuking them for bread? However, we all fall into this error many times, rather than trust God to supply our physical needs while we learn spiritual truths at His feet; we beg and plead for crumbs forgetting that we are children and ALL that our Father has is ours! At moments, when we forget the works of God, and distrust the ability of our King, displaying no faith, we ought to chide ourselves like Jesus did his disciples.
This year, stay in the place of trust in God for your needs and that of your family as a whole; do not waste useful time debating whose fault it is that there is just one loaf of bread when you have the chief-multiplier who has proved himself more than sufficient on your side. Instead, take the spiritual lessons He’ll have you learn and stop being so physical in your reasoning. Think more than enough at all times, because our God is more than able to take care of you and any deficiency you may perceive in your life and he’ll rather have you in the place of worship and receptivity to his voice than hearing your groaning for what He’s already provided. Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees who care more for physical appearances than what is on the inside, take time to get rooted and built up in the grace that’s for you in Christ so you can be a greater blessing to all around you.
Scripture references: Matthew 16:5-12, Mark 8:14-21, 1Timothy 6:17-19, Romans 8:32, Colossians 2:6,7
-Dr ifelayo ojo
The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart…1
Welcome to a time of enlightenment as we delve into God’s word to see what to do when faced with some life situations in the family.
The Christian family is not immune from the everyday issues of life and living. The assurance we have is that of VICTORY over all that might come against us in the world. However, for a victorious walk, we need to display wisdom, Godly wisdom coming from the one by whom every family in heaven and earth is named.2
We cannot afford to neglect God’s offer of wisdom by His word and turn to worldly means for solving problems; God’s word contains the complete and perfect solution for anything you might be going through as a family.
This week, we’ll be considering ‘what to do when you have a disobedient child’.
Disobedience is simply a willful decision to go against orders. It can also be described as non-compliance, defiance or breaking the rules. In our context, disobedience is when a child deliberately does the exact opposite or a variant of what his /her parents instructs. We see disobedience at varying degrees and extents in the lives of our children, but what do we do about it as Christian parents?
You need to first be able to say if your child is born again or not. There was a physical birth that made this child yours, then, there ought to be a spiritual birth which makes the child that used to be natural, God’s own NEW creation. He that is born of the flesh is flesh and he that is born of the spirit is spirit3. It will be wrong to assume that children born into Christian homes are automatically born again, the new life is not inherited, it is only by faith in Jesus Christ and the work of the cross.
Do not expect the same behaviour from a child who’s born again and one who is not, because disobedience is natural to anyone who has not partaken of the new birth (see Ephesians 2:2).
These few steps are generally useful when giving instructions to children:
- State clearly what you want your child to do.
- Give the reasons for your instructions or desires. (Don’t just expect compliance because you call the shots, Children these days want to know why and they deserve to know. It kills your child’s individuality when you just give instructions and the only reason it has to be obeyed is “because I said so!”)
- Entertain questions or suggestions (if your child is old enough for this)
- Agree to a reasonable punishment for disobedience with your child.
- Reward obedience, but do not bait your children!
You would notice that interaction is key to achieving compliance or obedience in children. Disobedience needs to be punished in order to discourage future occurrence. Remember, obedience can only be complete in the new creation; So, if your child is not yet born again and it’s not due to the constraints of age or understanding, log in next week when we’ll be discussing ‘Ministering the New birth to your Family’ and you’ll learn to apply God’s panacea to disobedience.
(Scripture references: 1-Psalm 197-8, 2-Ephesians 315, 3-John36)
– Dr ifelayo ojo
I have had cause to witness many families weathering stormy periods. Few people take it in their stride, while many others fall apart at such periods.
A member of the family is ill or is not living up to our expectations; worse still, someone may have been diagnosed with an incurable illness.
Our worst characteristics get to show-up at such times, we fear, we fight back, we snap at people around us and concern ourselves with every other thing save that which we should. ‘Entertain no worry, but under all circumstances let your petitions be made known before God by prayer and pleading along with thanksgiving.’ (Philippians 4:6)
For those going through stormy periods at the moment; I have this to say: the storm is only for a while, it has come and it will pass, you can either sit it out or command it to stop. Remember, Jesus slept while a physical storm raged during a boat trip he had with his disciples; his response to the storm was to command it to BE STILL when the disciples woke him up for fear that they would all perish. No storm can withstand his omnipotence. We know the end of the story from the beginning- we are more than conquerors. The struggles of day-to-day may not look like it, especially with family life but it does not change the mind of God concerning us and our life’s story- “whatsoever is born of God overcomes” (1John 5:4)
Take charge and exercise the dominion given you by virtue of sonship, you too can remain calm in a storm and better still, you can also calm storms.
– Dr. ifelayo ojo