Oh my goodness! It’s a boy!
Our second boy entered our family fast, furious and screaming like a banshee.
His older brother stared in amazement and shock as his brother’s little body was laid on Mommy’s chest and all eyes turned to this little person that would bring great joy and delight to our family.
The boy who made me a mother now had a brother, a friend and a confidant. He was elated and smitten from the start.
Family relationships run deep.
Family relationships are a key part of God’s design for knowing Him and making Him known.
But it starts with you – the parent, the individual.
When God is the Lord of your life, it changes everything. The way we, the parent, live our lives will teach those who come after us, namely our children, how to live and worship God with their entire lives.
You are called to be co-laborers of the Gospel together with your family. God doesn’t want you to love and worship Him in a bubble. He gave you a family, and He intends for you to do Gospel ministry together as a family.
Your children need to know this truth, believe this truth, and live this truth alongside you. Your purpose is to bring God glory in all you do!
Because it is this truth that will give you a reason to foster close sibling relationships and give them the desire to respond to your leadership in this area of their lives.
Sibling relationships are a gift worth cultivating for the glory of God, and it’s not as hard to do as we make it out to be.
4 Simple Ways to Foster Close Sibling Relationships
1. Develop a family mission statement
Your family mission statement will be what will help establish unity in your home among all the members of the family.
“Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!” ~Psalm 133:1
You can learn how to create a family mission statement here.
Tell your children often that God placed him or her in this family for a reason. God didn’t make a mistake. You’re together because it is His will for your lives. It is part of your life story and theirs, and you need each other to accomplish God’s perfect plan for your lives.
Believing that each member of the family plays an important role in a grand purpose (to know God and make Him known) will promote strong family relationships, especially among siblings as they live out their faith together.
2. Foster a deep relationship with your spouse
We are being watched, and our children will inevitably emulate what they see lived out. If we want to foster close sibling relationships, it starts with our relationship with our spouse.
Marriage is the most tangible display of the Gospel available to our children; thus making marriage an effective tool for sharing the Gospel and emulating Gospel fellowship.
When your children look at your marriage relationship, what do they see?
3. Spend time together as a family
Be intentional about creating an atmosphere of togetherness. Make spending time together as a family fun, inviting, and rich in God’s Word.
Each moment spent living and working alongside each other teaches our children to intentionally cultivate an atmosphere of love, learning, and passion in a home full of encouragers, examples of humility, and a family defined by forgiveness.
Being together as a family, not running every which way for every event and function, and enjoying time together in a slow, unhurried way will foster deep, abiding friendships among siblings. The best way to grow together is to be together.
4. Pray for your children
Finally, pray that your children would be co-laborers of the Gospel together with you. Pray that your children will seek after the heart of the Lord. Pray that they would desire to know God and make Him known.
Because it is only by the life changing power of the Gospel that our children will even desire to count others more significant than themselves. It is Jesus who will transform their hearts, enriching their lives with His truth and grace that will inevitably flow over onto the lives of others.
God wants all of you in every circumstance and season. He loves you that much! He can’t get enough of you!
It is this. This amazing, glorious truth that we have the privilege of living out loud for our children and those around us.
It is this truth that will transform the lives of your children. It is God’s work in them and through them that will foster the sibling closeness that brings Him glory.
What about you? What ways have you found to foster close sibling relationships?
Leigh Ann Dutton, author of Live for Him: A Grace-Filled Look at Planning, is the wife to the man of her prayers, Mark, and mama to two loveable little boys, Samuel and Timothy, and one baby girl born into Heaven. She takes joy in spending her days creating memorable moments with her husband, conducting kitchen experiments, researching every natural alternative known to man, and making her little boys laugh. She does it all by the grace of God.