Sibling rivalry is a common phenomenon in families and it is worsened by the fact that most parents do not recognize its existence. In fact, many parents stimulate sibling rivalry by their words and actions towards their children.
Sibling rivalry is a type of competition or animosity among brothers and sisters, blood-related or not.
We find an element of it in the story of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32) which we were to read and ponder upon as requested in the last post on this blog. The younger son was obviously more outspoken and pragmatic than his brother.
– He asked for his portion of the father’s wealth and got it.
– After the father apportioned his property to them, (notice it was to both of them that the father gave portions- verse 12b), he collected all he had and travelled, squandered his inheritance and when things became rough he had the good sense to return home! Though, he felt he was only deserving of a servant’s position in his father’s house, he judged that it was better-off there than the strange-land he’d migrated to.
However, like we know, his Father accepted him right back to status-quo making the elder brother jealously angry. He felt cheated and unappreciated because he’d never had a party in his honour despite his good behaviour, yet the ‘bad boy’ got one, he seemed to be eating his cake and having it.
LESSONS FOR PARENTS
Learn from the way father handled his older son’s anger:
– He also went out to meet the elder brother who’d refused to enter the party in protest (verse 28)
– He listened to him and allowed him air his grievance
– Then he went ahead to explain to him the reasoning behind his action, reassuring him by reminding him of his rights in the home- “all I have is yours”.
Let’s take a break here with a short note to us all:
ALL THAT OUR HEAVENLY FATHER HAS IS OURS!!!
For his divine power has bestowed on us every requisite for life and godliness through knowing him who has called us to his own glory and excellence (2Peter 1:3 RBV)
Act like the King’s kid that you are- walk in authority and live your life without apologies to any of the elements that once held you bound, DOMINATE!!!
We’ll continue in our next post with more lessons for parents and then for children reading this blog, till then, I remain yours, 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