How to Deal With Sibling Conflicts

I think we tried to start the day over at least twelve times this morning.

It’s Vacation Bible School week around here, and we’re all a little bit more tired, a little bit more in-each-other’s-space, a little bit (or a lot) more grumpy, and a little bit more lacking in grace.

We’re all this work in progress.

Thankfully God is somehow working in these dirty hearts – making them pure and lovely.

But for this morning, it’s been a bit hard to see.

And as I pushed the frustration of all the conflicts between big sister and little sister, twin sister and twin sister, brother and middle sister, sister and sister and brother… to the side, I couldn’t help but giggle to myself at how much this passage in 1 Peter talking to wives and husbands relates to the sibling relationships going on right under my roof.

Oh, these relationships to the closest people in our lives that can come so naturally and beautifully, but often are just plain hard (a lot like our marriage)!


{I love these pictures that show how similar yet different these two littlest sisters are. These are completely unscripted and right off my camera in the order they came.}

sisters 2

sisters 3

sisters 4

sisters 5

sisters 6

Family {Bible} Time1 Peter – Week 7
(Corresponds with this week’s 1 Peter 3:1-7 Bible Study)

And so, today, we used the first seven verses of 1 Peter 3 to help us get along with one another.

There are many other really helpful points within these seven verses, but these were the three that stood out for today, for they seemed to really highlight some steps to resolving conflicts…

1. Be Still – (from vs. 4) Having a gentle and quiet spirit doesn’t mean talking in a whisper all the time, or having a shy personality. It’s this stillness of relying on God rather than our own strength so we don’t stir up needless friction.

We talked quickly about some of the ways we had stirred up friction this morning, and then talked about specific ways we could *be still* and quiet our hearts especially when there’s been bickering or fighting: going off by ourselves, reading, taking a deep breath and praying to God, playing quietly, looking up Bible verses, journaling, & coloring were all mentioned.

2. Choose Understanding – (from vs. 7) This means being considerate – having a personal knowledge of one another. It’s about talking kindly, and really listening to one another so we can see things from the other’s point of view.

For a few minutes we acted out some conflicts from the morning – making sure to exaggerate the listening and the understanding.

3. Honor One Another – (from vs. 2 & 7) When we honor others, we see their value, their worth. We see them through God’s eyes – as priceless, precious, children that He paid for with His life.

And here I challenged our kids to find specific ways to show honor to one another today. It took a while, and a couple are still in the “brain-storming” process (and, yes, I helped the 3 and 4 year-olds with ideas), but the glistening of honor that started shining through was truly beautiful. One decided to share, one chose to play with the other when she really didn’t want to, one gave hugs, one wrote letters to the others, and one got a special treat prepared.

lovely sisters

No, things are still not perfect. There’s still been bickering and annoyances loud. And I don’t have this whole parenting thing or relationship thing down. But what joy and peace (and at least a little less shouting) in being still and relying on God instead of my own strength in order to work in the hearts of my children and me!

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”


  1. This is wonderful! It seems that since we have stopped our school schedule, summer has come and brought an increase of sibling conflict right along with it! Thank you for your words on using scripture to talk to our children about resolving conflict. Very well said!

    • Thank you, Sarah! Oh, how thankful I am for His Word to guide us. We’ve still got a long way to go, but it’s amazing how the mood changes when we realize the God-given value in the other. Hoping you’re having a good day!

  2. Jenny Schmitz says:

    Loved this one! The pictures made me smile and the content was soooooo what I needed right now. :)

    • Thanks, Jenny! :) Always so grateful for God’s sweet work in us!
      Missing you and your beautiful family!

  3. Hey Jessica!
    We have been dealing with the sibling conflicts also! I have been having my kids (and myself) memorize 1 Peter 3:8-12. Also we have been learning about walking in the Spirit and the Flesh, like you were saying, and drawing our strength to walk in love from God. We too have been walking through scenarios and continually instructing on the proper way to respond to one another. Sundays they have been going through Romans in their Sunday School class so we have been correlating that “fight” between the Spirit and Flesh with all the things the Lord has been showing us at home. It’s been great! (or at least I know God’s Word doesn’t come back void… so I know it will be great once I start see the fruit). I am working on a post all about this too!

    Keep up the good work sister! It’s always encouraging to hear how you deal with the struggles I face everyday and to get your creative ideas on how to hide God’s Word in your kid’s heart and how you’re teaching them to apply it to their lives.

    • Cassie, I always enjoy hearing from you! Those kids are so blessed with you as their mama (even on the hard days)! :) I’m praying for you and that beautiful family of yours right now!