Back to my Sibling Summer Survival Guide…
Feel like we are continuing to struggle in the “sibling sector” this summer. I wrote a couple posts regarding sibling relationships (peacemaker pledge and out of the heart the mouth speaks). One area I neglected to address, but has become apparent in our home lately, is “retaliation” or “revenge”.
Hitting because “He hit me first!” Frequently, unrest in our home is due to a desire to “get back” at a brother.
We often use the phrase: “Do not return evil with evil”.
“Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.” 1 Peter 3:9
Lately we’ve needed a stronger reminder. Back to the table with hot chocolate (instead of tea this time) and treats…
I had the boys list all the bad choices they make/have made (I shared mine as well). We covered our chalk board with sin.
Then I asked them if they thought God was up in heaven keeping a record of all our choices? If every time a brother hits a brother it’s written down…
They giggled at the thought of God writing down: “called his brother ‘stupid'”.
I shared with them this verse:
“that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.” 2 Corinthians 5:19
Then I handed them each a wet paper towel. Asking them to clean off the board. Reminding them how God not only doesn’t keep a record of wrongs, He doesn’t even see them because all He sees is Jesus, perfect, spotless Jesus when He sees us. A clean chalkboard.
I needed this lesson. All the guilt I feel over those “bad mommy moments” is wasted energy. God’s not keeping track. Why should I?
That guilt I hold onto and beat myself up over…it builds and convinces me I can’t change. My evil is not a blessing to myself. It becomes evil for evil. My yelling (evil) is returned with guilt & regret (evil). Instead I need to turn my evil into blessing. To accept His reconciliation. To move on in my day. To apologize and hug and love and MOVE ON!
When a brother hurts another brother, hopefully, he can make a decision to be a blessing instead of returning evil for evil. To reconcile to his brother. To not count the wrongdoings against him. To wipe the board clean. To remember in a small way he is sharing in the blessing Christ gave us when He wiped away our sin in God’s sight.
Do your kiddos struggle with “revenge”? How do you handle it in your home? What words of truth do you give them? Would LOVE to hear more ideas here!
A few ways my boys have been a blessing to me this week:
entertaining their baby brother…
sharing in the joy of baseball with daddy (this pic was NOT set-up…makes the moment even more precious)…
enjoying our luxurious backyard pool (clothing optional…)
Thank you for this great illustration! We need it at our house!! Me the most…so relate to sinning as I parent the kids, and then dwelling in the guilt all day. This is a great picture for my mind to remember His view of me, and in turn, how we can view one another. Love it.
So glad you liked it Jacki. I’m sorry to hear it’s not just us struggling in this area. I hope it continues to be helpful to you!
Yes! We are struggling too 🙁 I get so weary of refereeing. Thank you for sharing this wonderful illustration of forgiveness! I would like to do this with my kiddos. I am also learning that my kids get over things farely quickly. They do pretty well with saying sorry and I forgive you, but I find myself worn out, and sometimes dwelling on it long after the issue. I think focusing on the ways my kids are a blessing, just like you did, could really help. Working on it!