A Secret to (Sisters and Brothers and Everyone) Getting Along

Maybe if we implemented this secret there wouldn’t be so many mommy wars,

Or rebellious kids,

Or fathers that flee,

Or children that leave the church,

Or sisters that won’t talk to each other for decades.

I don’t know.

But I do know this “secret” is changing my heart and my mind and my whole perspective on just about everything that goes on in and around my home.

A Secret To Getting Along

getting along

{That’s my beautiful Ariya – I mean “Elsa” – girl along with her sister “Anna”bella. This sweet girl got a handmade Elsa dress and cape from my mom for her birthday. An Anna dress has already been requested for big sister’s birthday. :) Oh, how I love these girls! And I want them to know how blessed they are to have each other.}

Secret to getting along

Family {Bible} Time1 Peter – Week 8
(Corresponds with this week’s 1 Peter 3:8-22 Bible Study)

And maybe, just maybe, this “secret” is what we’ve all been needing.

It isn’t flashy or bold, or even something new to me. I think I read a whole book about it in college? But this week we’re actually trying to DO it.

It’s repaying evil with a blessing. (from vs. 9)

This evil that is inwardly foul, rotten, poisoned… and comes out in so many ugly ways.

This blessing that gives honor and benefits others.

This blessing that speaks well of and does good by God-empowered strength.

(Oh, how incredible this fits with last week’s lesson!)

And let me tell you that this voicing or displaying of a blessing – especially when there’s been sin by the other – it’s really, really hard for me. I hear the whiny voice and the hurt-filled words. I see the disobedient child and the fight over toys. I feel the frustration, the anger, the exasperation, the fear. And (being honest here) a blessing is probably the last thing on my mind. It’s much more natural for me to start pointing out faults or to try to fix them or to get ugly right along with them.

It’s part of the reason why I write about our days and why I try to capture moments with my camera – because it forces me to find the beautiful, the good, the blessed… amidst the hard and the messy.

But this takes it a step further, and can only be done because of what Christ has already done for me!… for you!… for our kids!…

So, over a picnic lunch we read through these verses.

And with the help of a paper heart and some Washi tape, I shared this secret with my kids.

how to get along

(I got the idea for the heart from this book. I love how God works. So often He places numerous things in my path – even within the same day – to teach and guide me on the same concept. And, if you’re looking for some wonderful parenting resources, I highly recommend Connected Families! – More on that another day.)

First we talked about how the evil we do, and the evil that is done to us really hurts – like crushing and ripping our hearts. As we talked of some of the ways we’ve done evil, the heart got crinkled and torn… so sad.

sad torn heart

so sad

(Ariya tried so hard to have a sad face.)

Then we talked about how we could repay evil with a blessing.

First by keeping our own tongues from evil. (Hold them if you have to!) – from vs. 10

hold your tongue

keep tongue from evil

And then by choosing to bless (whether in speech or action).

Each one was encouraged to say a blessing to the person to their left, and then to say a way that they could bless someone. With each blessing, we put a piece of Washi tape on the heart.

giving blessings

blessed heart

This was NOT easy for some (although they loved the activity). And it was where I admitted how difficult it can be for me too. But, also how thankful I am for the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and for how it is only through Jesus that we can even begin to do this. And we talked about how much more easily this will come when we work at blessing others. For, what a much better use of our words and energy and minds – thinking of ways to bless, instead of wasting them on tearing others down.

The blessing Isaiah received stands out to me. For, more times than I can count, when he has joined into a sibling conflict, it’s been to protect someone else. So if Ariya is crying that someone took the horse she wants, Isaiah will wrestle that other person to the ground to get that horse back for Ariya (no matter the circumstances surrounding). Usually that ends in more tears. But, today I shared with him how thankful I am that he is willing to protect others. Yes, that “protection” needs to be a bit re-guided, but it is truly a gift in him that I believe God will use to do great things. But, today was probably the first time I told him that.

You should have seen the smiles when each was given a blessing!

And, in the end, our “heart” was much stronger and more beautiful!

beautiful heart

secret to siblings who get along

1 Peter Family {Bible} Times: #1 1 Peter Introduction “When All Our Kids Hearts are Dirty” – #2 1 Peter 1:1-2 “How to Get Kids to Love the Bible” – #3 1 Peter 1:3-12 “How to Share the Gospel With Kids” – #4 1 Peter 1:13-25 “Showing Grace & Teaching Obedience”#5 1 Peter 2:1-10 “Displaying to Our Kids that God is Good” – #6 1 Peter 2:11-25 “Following in His Steps” – #7 1 Peter 3:1-7 “How to Deal With Sibling Conflict”

Comments

  1. I love this! What a great way to teach our little ones such an important lesson! We’ve been struggling with this at our house too! But I think we may just try this too. Thanks so much for sharing. I always love your posts but I’ve never commented before but want you to know that you’re an inspiration to me! By the way precious kiddos!!

    • Thank you for your kind words, Deana! Oh, how thankful I am that God’s still working in our hearts (both little and big)!
      Many blessings to you!
      ~Jessica

  2. Dear Jessica,
    We were delighted when we saw this mention on our pingbacks app. We’re so thankful we can be a blessing to you on your parenting journey. The pictures of your children are adorable. It was fun to see one of our recommended activities in action. I felt like I was there in your backyard with you! And especially cool that you recognized Isaiah’s “gift gone awry!”

    Just curious…where did you first hear of Connected Families? What is your ministry passion? You can message me privately if you’d like.

    Peace,
    Anna Braasch
    Community Engagement Director
    Connected Families

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