Posted on July 21, 2020 in General
I heard it said recently that your sibling relationships are the longest relationships of your life. When you think about it, it sounds plausible. I have a younger sister of 4 years and millions of memories, good and bad, have been shared between us. I remember the day she was born, when she started school, lost her first tooth, and changed classes for the first time. I remember when she played on her first sports team and started to drive. I was there when she graduated high school and college, married her soul mate and had her sweet baby girls. We have laughed together over the silliest things and walked each other through the most difficult times in life like seeing our children hurt and burying our precious momma way too soon. She is my dearest friend and knows me better than anyone other than my husband. I would not want to live life without her.
All those years ago when our parents would tell us to appreciate one another and to “get along” I had no way of knowing how important she would become to me. I can remember long summer days when we annoyed each other to death and many times as teens when it nearly came to blows over who was wearing whose jeans. We have always loved each other, and you can bet when it came down to it, we were on each other’s side. We loved each other but some days liking one another was pushing it. But now, I am so thankful that it was important to our parents for us to have a close relationship. Her friendship and support have held me up more times than I could count.
So how do we cultivate a lifelong relationship among our children? I know sometimes the task can seem daunting, but it will be worth it. They are family and were meant to pick each other up along this journey.
Here are some things to think about.
- Watch how your children speak to one another and this starts early. If we can get on top of this in the beginning, it is much easier to avoid than to correct once it gets out of hand. It is important for our children to not degrade, insult or yell at each other. Of course, they will have arguments and not agree sometimes, but we need to teach them how to disagree in a healthy way.
- Encourage them to spend time together. All healthy relationships require time. Sibling relationships are no different. If they never spend time together they will begin to become distant.
- Don’t show favoritism. Our children are each different and have unique talents and giftings. Appreciate them individually and celebrate their successes equally.
- Pray that the Lord would create a bond between them and that the spouse they someday choose will encourage that closeness as well.
I am so thankful for my sister and I love watching my children laugh together and encourage one another. We have got to be each other’s biggest cheerleaders. This life is hard sometimes and our siblings can make all the difference in the world.