Healing Sibling Rivalries

What’s up guys, and welcome to another Five Minute Fatherhood. So, is there something in the scriptures that teaches us how to heal sibling rivalry? One of the most toxic things that can happen in a family between siblings is when there’s rivalry, and you might be experiencing that in little ways with little kids, but man, if it gets epic, if it gets like Cain and Abel, bad things happen to your family multi-generationally. And so, I actually think there’s a very specific thing that the Bible says about how to heal a sibling rivalry, and it’s right in Luke 15 in a story of the prodigal son. It’s about to erupt in this guy’s family. It’s been erupting and it’s amazing how the father deals with this.

So you have the younger brother, you guys know the story, comes back, has squandered the family’s inheritance, and the father just accepts him back in, throws a party, and out in the field is his older brother, and he’s like, oh, just stewing. He’s like, “I’ve slayed my whole life for you. What are you doing?” The father comes out to his son and this son just says, “Why are you throwing a party for that kid?” He’s just ruining our family and the father’s response is fascinating. So, what you expect is the father smack down. At this moment, your son is… I’m the dad. I want to celebrate, my son just came home. I thought he was dead. I expect the father to be angry, but the words the father says is this, “My son,” the father said, “You are always with me and everything I have is yours.” That is how you end. It’s all right there. “My son, you are always with me and everything I have is yours.”

The thing that the son doesn’t believe, the son is still trying to get something from the father. That’s the reason why the son is out there, and this is what creates sibling rivalry. If you have a strong family culture, what could happen is that, they could begin to see, well, there’s scarce resources from the father and so, I need to get whatever I can get from dad or this rebellious kid is taking his attention. And so, all that stuff can just really foam at resentment between siblings and what children need to hear in their heart is, you are my son or daughter and everything I have is yours. And so, that is such a healing thing to be spoken over your kids to believe at some deep level. I’ve just been pondering that phrase for the last couple of weeks, just in my own relationship with the father. It’s just healing something inside of me, and I think that there’s something that can be healing inside of family relationships if we can really get a hold of what Jesus is saying here.

Yeah, and you used the word I was going to use of, the whole layers underneath the tones and those words between the father and the older brother is scarcity and abundance. The son is believing in scarcity, that I have to grab and take what is mine, and if he gets something, that means I don’t, and the father is answering with saying, “No, the kingdom is a bigger table where everyone can feast and you have a feast set for you as well.” And so, I think that, that is almost a metaphor or a tone that you have to take with all the kids of like, “Hey, all that is mine is yours as well. I’m giving you a feast as well. But this is true, too, but you’re the one pounding outside.

Come sit at the table. I think in that story, Jesus is obviously talking to the Pharisees and the religious people of the day, kind of saying, “Hey guys, I’m actually not like condemning you guys. You’re just not eating the feast.” And so I think that everyone is open to the table to come and feast at the table of Jesus is a huge, huge deal. And I think that kind of spirit and that tone is really what kind of keeps a sibling rivalry at bay.

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