Siblings Being Best Friends

by GfG on August 9, 2012 · 7 comments

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Watching my kiddos play, hang out, and interact in general is a delight to me.

Except when it isn’t.

I have six kiddos and they are all sinners. No big surprise there, right?

I have six kiddos and they are all uniquely designed. No surprise there either.

I have six kiddos and each have their very own hearts.  It turns out that I was surprised at how that truth clashed with a belief I used to have.

Not that long ago, I believed my children should be best friends. I believed that it was right (aka: biblical) to believe so, promote so, and expect so. After leaving a relationship that taught this (and several other anti-Biblical behaviors) and after learning more about my own weaknesses and leanings, I started to reevaluate my beliefs.

It has been like I am taking each belief out of a box and looking at it with fresh eyes. I’m using the Bible only to decide if that belief is right, or if it’s a conviction issue, or if it is flat out wrong.

Its a process and will take awhile.

Anyway, at some point, I realized that the expectation that my kiddos should all be best friends was revealed as unbiblical.

While I still would enjoy it if they were, I have taken that expectation off of them. Why?

  • I have no right to dictate their hearts’ leanings/connections.
  • No where in Scripture does it say that siblings should be best friends, nor does it imply it.  (It only implies that they be there for one another.)
  • Their individual design will decide which people they are closest too.
  • When I place a burden (especially one that I teach is biblical) on them that they can not fulfill, I set them up for feeling like they are disappointing me, and worse, like they are disappointing God.
  • I can only train in how to treat people and how to consider them, not how to feel about them.

Does this mean that they are not trained in how to be friendly?  Of course not!  My kids are actually all good friends, possibly most are even besties right now.

I still believe that the family is a very special entity.  I still believe that God chose each individual member to place in a family, for that individual’s benefit as well as the family as a whole.  I still believe that we are called to learn the importance of all biblical behaviors here, in the family, first and foremost.

Relationships are hard.  Family is the crucible.

Best friends (aka: the person/people your heart is closest to; and by the way, I don’t even like the term “best friends”!  A post on that coming up!) are not decided by training in biblical behavior, but by the individual’s preferences, leanings, personality, and that weird intangible.  I have no right to decide who that person will be for each of my children.

I believe that I should train my children how to encourage each other’s strengths, pray for each other’s weaknesses, how to truly love one another, and how to take care of one another.  Those are definitely all shown in Scripture.

I’ll trust God with the rest.

“A friend loves at all times, a brother is born for adversity” Proverbs 17:17

 

 

 

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Brooke August 9, 2012 at 9:13 am

Agree, agree, agree!!! Well done.

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Heather August 9, 2012 at 9:49 am

wonderful and again, it is such a joy to watch this in you. love.

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Autumn Beck August 9, 2012 at 9:49 am

I agree. My sister-in-law and her sis are probably the only people I know who have always been best friends. I know their parents didn’t plan it that way. At this point, I pray for days where my children are just respectful of each other :)

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PapaLou August 11, 2012 at 1:40 pm

Beutifully done and well told. Since being around Hannah since 1999 and happily around the other siblings as they were born, it is just darn fun to be in the presence of the Brouse Kids! Beautiful family, kids included! Miss you all sooo much!!

Love you all sooo much,
PapaLou

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Thyme August 12, 2012 at 11:25 pm

Something we’ve stressed with Sydney is that we are to treat our siblings the same as our friends. I truly dislike how kids treat their friends with respect and are kind, but are horrible to their siblings. To my husband I, this is unacceptable. We understand that they will bicker and fight, and we explain to them how they should have handled things. We do tell Sydney that Audrey is her best friend, that her friends will come and go, but at the end of the day it’s important to have a good relationship with Audrey (and Zachary.)

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GfG August 13, 2012 at 10:44 am

I agree with most of what you say.

We, too, tell our kiddos that if they can’t be kind to their siblings, then we don’t need to have friends over. They have to be learn how to be kind (or whatever issue they are struggling with).

We, too, tell them that God placed these particular siblings in their life and they will always be family. It’s a very special bond.

We do not tell them any longer, though, that “Princess is your best friend” just because she is her sister. That part we do not feel is right to demand.

I challenge you to consider this:
If my daughter grows more and feels a stronger connection to a girl outside of the family, yet still loves and treats her sister well, cherishing her and truly loving her, then I have set up my daughter to feel that either A) she is disappointing me and God for not feeling that her sister is her best friend, B) being angry that someone should dictate her heart’s connections, C) like she should keep trying to do something that her personality/heart simply can not do, D) struggle with resentment toward her sister for being placed in a position that isn’t rightfully hers and E) never truly developing the relationship God has placed in her life for a best friend because she feels like she isn’t supposed to.

in love, mindy

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Beth Rumbo November 28, 2012 at 8:48 am

ugh…so good! I love reading your blog! The pics of the kiddos are really good. We miss you and the family so much.
MUCH LOVE FROM THE RUMBOS

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