Loving Your Brother

When I was pregnant with my second son, visions of two brothers deeply in love with each other danced in my head. When I shared my hopes and dreams, people scoffed! I was really taken aback by many reactions, "That'll never happen!" "Siblings are supposed to hate each other!" "Dream on!"
I will be the first to admit a Pollyannaesque worldview. If the glass isn't half-full, then let's do something about that, eh? I also have a bit of a rebellious spirit. If someone tells me something cannot be done, I'm going to try that much harder to ensure that it will.
My boys have not been AS in love with each other as I hoped. But then if they were born mature, what would they need parents for? (And if I didn't have children, would I be forced into maturity as quickly as I ought to be?)
Our 3 sons do cherish each other deeply. They truly are best friends. Sometimes while we are out shopping, I notice them holding hands (but I NEVER point it out, for then they might stop — if anyone teases them about this you will forever be on my blacklist). They make each other cards or homemade board games when they are sick. They often bring each other snacks or glasses of water when they stop to get something for themselves. More often than not, after tucking them each into their own beds, we will peek in on them to find all three of them snuggled together under one blanket.
I feel that home schooling has been another surprise answer to prayer. Close family relationships were the desire of my heart — I had no idea that home schooling would be one of the vehicles God would use to grant us this desire. The boys spending more time together during the day, and being on the same family team — not running off on their own individual tangents all the time –has produced amazing friendships. I feel blessed that God "talked us into" home schooling and then astonished us with so many extra benefits!
God has been kind enough to their dad and me to give us a foretaste of this desire of our hearts. So far, it seems that the Lord has clued us in when the friendships start slipping — which inevitably happens every once in a while. We had one little neighbor boy who used to spend a lot of time in our house, and he really was quite destructive to the brothers' relationship. We prayed about what to do, and God asked me to play with the group of boys when the neighbor boy was over (which they actually seemed to enjoy, not to mention I had a bit of fun myself!) and this helped much. Not long after that, the little boy moved away, and I breathed a sigh of relief.
The last few weeks have shown a bit more bickering and jealousy in the house. I have been so busy with Christmas and reading other people's blogs that I have chosen to turn a blind eye to much of it. A lot more derogatory words have been exchanged from the olders to the youngers. And as for our youngest, we haven't held as high standards for him as we should have. He is the one to show favoritism and try to play one older brother against the other. His brothers have been too kind to him, letting him be the Prince of the House.
I just read a cute post on Making Your Kids Love Each Other. Such good ideas!
How thankful I am that God's mercies are new every morning. I am inspired to wake up tomorrow morning and help my littles love on each other more and more. I am inspired to get myself back on the family team and not be off doing my own thing for much of the day.
Back to loving God, and loving others — this is where I want to go. And everything else will fall into place…
Lord God, will you guide Ron and I in helping our children love each other? Do not let us tolerate ugly words amongst them. Help us to teach them biblical ways of dealing with conflict, and biblical ways of loving the unloveable. Help us to love them and enjoy them while we discipline and disciple them. Thank you that You are such an enjoyable God! May we learn to feast on You and share You with the little ones you have loaned to us. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

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4 thoughts on “Loving Your Brother

  1. That was really sweet! And if I must be honest, my very best and dearest friends are Courtney and Gabe… my older sister and younger brother. No one else comes close, even though I have many dear friends outside of my family circle. And if I ever have kids, I have dreams of endeared siblings that love eachother more than anything! If that’s idealistic, I’m glad I’m not the only one that dreams that way ;o). Dream on!

  2. What a sweet post! It made me cry! Ihave two little boys and I feel exactly the same way. They are really little right now (3 and 1) But they are already starting to be friends and it makes me so happy!! I am glad to see that there is hope for them to have a good relationships. If you have any suggestions on books to read about helping this happen I would love to hear them!
    Amy

  3. I think my kids have a love/hate relationship. They love each other one minute and the next they are ready to kill each other. I know they are still young so I’m hoping they will outgrow some of that. When I think back to my relationship with my brother though, it seems that we were the same way. Playing nicely one minute and whipping each other with TV cables the next. And now look at us…all we want is for everyone to just get along.
    And just for the record, I love my sister-in-law so very much (does that count?)

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