Devotional on brothers and sisters getting along

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Sibling Love (1 of 3): Lost

Sometimes curing sibling rivalry might be easier than you think. Use this devotional on brothers and sisters getting along to help your kids get their thinking straight. Stories are powerful tools in the heart of a loving dad.

For dad only:

Disciple like Jesus

Sitting on the creek bank the other day, my three-year-old girl climbed into my lap. She and I were watching her brothers and sisters fish. She had been fishing with her cane pole but lost interest interest in the sport after whipping it around for a while, hooking another child’s line, and then dropping the thing in the water—hook, line, and pole.

So she would not get weary and start begging to go home, I did something I have not done with my kids for a while. I told her a story.

Build memories and a legacy with story telling

Back before I started writing Devotions with Dad, I used to make up stories for my kids. This is where the Rusty stories come from. It got inspired to tell you to try this too. Jesus taught most of His lessons through stories.

Dad, you do not have to wait on these stories or any other devotional story guide—you can make up some great stories with your kids. Tell them about your childhood. Make up stories about each of your kids where they get turns being the heroes.

I told my little girl character-building stories that I made up on the spot—one about a bear that was so mean he did not have any friends. I told her Bible stories she had not heard yet and filled them in with color, conversations, and detail. She begged for more.

In the past, I have mentioned that Dads should not just read the Rusty stories to their kids, but tell them instead. Read through and get the idea of the story and its key points, and then tell it in your own style or change it to suit your tastes. The kids will love it because they are learning your heart. They will open theirs to you.

Jesus used word pictures to get to people’s hearts. You can do the same. Pray for guidance before you sit down to tell your kids a story and then go after it with lots of theatrics. Even my older kids enjoy/tolerate my antics.

Devotions with your older children

For family devotions, try using Life! Journals. Sit down together, read each day’s selection, and answer the questions as a family. Be prepared for some amazing insights and thought provoking discussions. My kids have raised questions and brought out insights I have not heard even in seminary! As you go through the Scriptures with a fine-toothed comb, you will encounter things you had never thought through before.

Another great discussion-maker and discipleship tool we use are books about missionaries, preachers, and other notable members of the kingdom. My kids and I have read a few Nona Freeman books together and heard some amazing reports about what God is doing around the world. I recommend the this e-book of missionary stories the whole family will enjoy together.

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Read this devotional on brothers and sisters getting along:

Going Downhill

“Wow! Look at all this snow,” Misty said, gazing out the window.

“I know, it is going to be awesome for the boys sledding party today!” Rusty said.

“I want to go sledding so bad,” Misty said. “Can I come, too?”

“Nope, just us boys get to go. We are all going to Rocket Hill!”

“That’s not fair,” Misty said. “Mom?”

“Yes, honey,” Mom answered from the kitchen.

Misty walked toward the sound of her voice, “Can I go sledding, too?”

Mom shook her head, “We have a lot to do, and you can’t go with Rusty—it’s a party just for the boys at church.”

Misty huffed and sat down at the kitchen table. “Why does he always get to have the fun?”

“Careful, young lady,” Mom said. “Your attitude could get you in trouble.”

*       *       *

At Rocket Hill, Dad and Rusty noticed that some of the boys from church had brought some friends along. Some of them were pretty young and did not weigh enough to get their sleds going. Rusty and Dad volunteered to help the little guys get push started so they could make it all the way down the hill like the older kids.

Rusty had pushed about a dozen times when he noticed one boy standing by himself. “Hey, don’t you want to go sledding?” he asked.

The boy shrugged. “I don’t have a sled.”

Rusty felt bad for him. He got his sled out of Dad’s truck and said, “Here, I haven’t gotten to sled yet. Use mine.”

The boy grinned really big in spite of the cold wind that had sprung up. Rusty gave him a big push and laughed watching him careen down the hill.

Some of the younger boys could not steer and ended up going way off the track or rolling over. Rusty rode with a couple of them so they could make it to the bottom. He was careful not to go over the jump or do anything crazy.

*       *       *

Mom was setting a pot on the stovetop.

“So what are we doing?” Misty asked.

“Making hot chocolate. Get a jug of milk out of the refrigerator, please.”

“Cool, I love hot chocolate.” Misty got the milk out.

“Oh, this isn’t for us. It’s for the boys at the sledding party.” Mom poured some into the pot and set Misty to stirring it, to keep it from burning. “I know they are going to be cold, so we are bringing something to warm them up.”

“We’re going?” Misty asked, “Yes! I get to go sledding.”

“Misty, do not be stubborn. You know this is a boys’ party and we are going to let them have their fun. We will just be serving them—that’s all.”

After Misty and Mom finished the hot chocolate, Mom set her to making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. They packaged them up in plastic baggies and poured the hot chocolate into a couple thermos containers.

*       *       *

Rusty was just coming up the hill from piggie-back riding with a little boy when Mom and Misty pulled into the parking lot.

“Hey, what did you bring?” Rusty asked Mom.

“Hot chocolate and PB&J’s.”

“All right!”

“Are you having fun?”

Rusty nodded. “I’ve been helping a lot of little kids who do not really weigh enough to go sledding. So has Dad.”

“Well, we’ll be ready in a minute,” Mom said.

A small troop of miniature sledders had already surrounded Rusty begging him to send them back down the hill.

Mom and Misty set up their goods on the park picnic table. Soon a line of kids stood ready for a snack. Misty smiled and chatted with the little guys who came up as she filled their cups with hot cocoa.

Finally, Rusty came up. “Here’s a cup,” Misty said.

“You’re not going to fill mine like you did for everyone else?”

Misty huffed as a cold wind sent down a spattering of new snow. “I don’t know—are you going to let me use your sled?”

“No.” Rusty stepped up and filled his cup. “I haven’t even gotten to go down once on my own. I want a ride before all this is over.”

“You’ve gone down a bunch of times.”

“With little kids. I want to go over the jump and do some crazy stuff I can’t do with little kids.”

After the boys finished their snack, they went back to sledding. Mom chatted with a few of the mothers who had been sitting in their vehicles to stay warm. Misty sat in their van and frowned.

The snow was picking up and everyone decided it would be best to leave soon. As all the other kids were loading into their vehicles, Misty asked Dad, “Can I go down one time, pleeeeease?”

Dad shrugged. “This snowstorm is getting pretty thick. But I think you could go down once. Rusty, you should have a run down the hill by yourself, too. Why don’t you follow her?”

“Okay!”

Misty took Dad’s sled and ran toward the edge of the hill. She jumped on and down she flew. The snowflakes splatted against her face and the wind seemed to push her down the hill.

She looked behind and saw Rusty coming down, too. She pawed at the ground with her mittens too make the ride even faster. Soon the ground leveled out, but Misty wanted to make this trip worth it, so she kept paddling and pushing herself along.

The ground sloped gently and then ended in a dry creek bed. When the sled stopped she lay back and caught snowflakes with her tongue.

Soon, Rusty found her. “Wow, you went a long way!”

“I know. I wish I could go again.”

“Yeah, but this storm is getting strong. We better get back to Mom and Dad before they worry.”

“All right.”

Rusty picked up his sled and started walking back.

“Hey!” Misty said. “The hill is this way.”

Rusty squinted his eyes into the driven snow. “I think it is this way.”

Misty followed him complaining that she thought the hill was the other way. After a few minutes of walking, she yelled, “Shouldn’t we be going up hill by now?”

They came to a barbed wire fence.

“Maybe this is the wrong way,” Rusty said. “I can’t see very well.”

“Follow me. Let’s go back to the creekbed and I can find the hill.”

They walked back, side-by-side. When they got back to the creekbed, they could not see their own tracks.”

“We must have come into it further up,” Misty said. “Let’s just follow this dry creek until we see where I slid into it.”

They walked up the creek, looking through the blinding storm for a trace of their footprints or sled marks.

After a while, Misty felt sick to her stomach. “I don’t know where this goes.”

“Me neither,” Rusty said. “But I think we are safer if we follow it than just wandering out in the open. Maybe we will see a house or come to a road.”

They walked for a long time. Finally they came to a fence, which they climbed over. Rusty held Misty’s sled while she climbed over. The ground went up sharply and they were on a dirt road covered with snow.

“No one has come this way since it started snowing,” Rusty said. He turned toward his left. “But the park area should be back in this direction.”

“Do you think it is far?” Misty said, her chin beginning to chatter. “I am getting really cold.”

Rusty felt fine, so he figured they could walk until they found something. After a little while, he could see Misty was shaking all over. She had not worn a lot of winter clothes because she did not plan on staying out in it too long.

“Look at that hole under the road,” Misty said.

“The culvert? What about it?” he asked.

“We could get down there to get out of the wind.”

Rusty stopped and looked down at the concrete culvert pipe sticking out of the side of the ditch. “Come on,” he said, “let’s check it out.”

They climbed down and looked inside. It was dry inside except for the snow that had blown in.

“Go on, climb in,” Rusty said.

“Are you coming with me?”

“Of course, get in.”

Misty crawled into the pipe, and Rusty followed right behind.

Misty hunched up against the edge of the pipe and tried to stop shaking. Rusty sat and tried to figure out what they were going to do.

“That wind is coming right through here,” Misty chattered.

“I know. I have an idea.” Rusty climbed out of the tunnel with both sleds. He jambed them sideways in front of the culvert pipe and packed snow around them. Then he climbed over the road and entered the culvert from the other side.

“Is that better?”

“Yes, much better, thanks.” Misty was still shivering.

Rusty crawled over and hunched up beside her.

“I am so cold,” she said, leaning against his shoulder, “and so tired.”

 

Find out what happens next time.

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Discuss this devotional story about brothers and sisters getting along!

How did Misty feel about not being able to go sledding? Have you ever felt like this when your brother or sister got to do something special without you?

 

What nice thing was Rusty doing for the little kids on the sledding hill?

 

How did he respond when his sister wanted to use his sled?

 

Misty seemed happy to serve the boys hot cocoa. How did she behave when Rusty came up?

 

Do you find it easier to do nice things for people you do not know well or for your own family members? Why?

 

Why shouldn’t you go to sleep if you are lost out in the cold?

Because hypothermia sets in and you could die.

 

How does Proverbs 18:24 apply to brothers and sisters?

 

Who is the Friend that sticks closer than a brother?

 

How does John 15:13 apply?

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Read God’s Word together to combat sibling rivalry:

Selfishly Generous

Six days before the Passover celebration began, Jesus arrived in Bethany, the home of Lazarus—the man he had raised from the dead. A dinner was prepared in Jesus’ honor. Martha served, and Lazarus was among those who ate with him.

Then Mary took a twelve-ounce jar of expensive perfume made from essence of nard, and she anointed Jesus’ feet with it, wiping his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance.

But Judas Iscariot, the disciple who would soon betray him, said, “That perfume was worth a year’s wages.It should have been sold and the money given to the poor.” Not that he cared for the poor—he was a thief, and since he was in charge of the disciples’ money, he often stole some for himself.

Jesus replied, “Leave her alone. She did this in preparation for my burial. You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.”

(John 12:1-8, NLT)

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Let’s talk about this devotional on sibling rivalry!

Was Mary Magdalene being generous and kind to Jesus?

 

Was Judas really wanting to be kind to the poor?

 

Do you sometimes do nice things for other people but forget the ones you are close to? Why or why not?

 

Why should we love our families as much or more than other people?

 

Role play: Your little brother/sister is scared of the dark. You are not scared, though, and want to teach him/her how to be tough so you run into the house and leave him/her in the car alone. Is this helping?

 

Your friend has a birthday and your sibling (brother or sister) has one the same day. You only have $5 and want to get them both a gift that costs $5. What will you do?

 

When have you done something nice for your brother or sister when you really did not feel like it? What helps brothers and sisters to get along?

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Memorize this to help overcome sibling rivalry!

Proverbs 18:24

A man that hath friends

must shew himself friendly:

and there is a friend

that sticketh closer than a brother.

 

Sometimes curing sibling rivalry might be easier than you think. Use this devotional on brothers and sisters getting along to help your kids get their thinking straight. Stories are powerful tools in the heart of a loving dad.

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