“But I want to play with you!” “No! Only Esther and Tess are allowed to play!”
Some wounds from childhood cut deep enough to stay with us for decades. Rejection is leaves scars and warps identity and relationships.
If it’s not fun for one, the game is done.
When I see our children playing at the expense of sibling, I immediately remind them of their identity. “We are Crouses. We work together. Play together. Love each other. When we fight, we forgive each other. And no matter where we are, or who we are with, our brothers and sisters will always be our best friends and welcome to join in.” It requires frequent reminders. But, I have seen it play out heartachingly beautifully.
Train them up in God’s love. In school, playground can often be hurtful battlegrounds. But if a sibling is in view, there should be a sense of refuge there. A safe place to run an be accepted. “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.” – Proverbs 17:17
Rejection and rivalry wrecks havoc in our homes. As parents, we often pick our battles. I believe, this should be one of them that we as parents should fight tirelessly. The wounds of rejection grow to beliefs about personal value and love. It changes the way we see ourselves. For a child it becomes a part of the fabric of his or her identity and can warp their relationships far into the future, leaking from the home into our churches and our society as well.
God’s family is full of people from different backgrounds, languages, cultures and values and he bonds them together in the unity of love. When it comes to the blended and diverse families, there is none larger than the family of God. We find in His word the key to bringing our family into unity. He even made it into a family creed:
“There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call—one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” – Ephesians 4:4
What is your family creed that binds you together? When divisions arise and the spirit of Rejection steals into your home, do you have a truth you speak over your children to keep them rooted and grounded in love? If you need a few ideas, here are several great places to look: Read Ephesians 4:1-16, 1 Corinthians 12:12-31 and pray Ephesians 3:14-19.
Father, give my family a spirit of unity and love. Lead us to be “rooted and grounded in love” that we may all know “with strength to comprehend…what is the breadth and length and height and depth and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge.” Let your love permeate and define our family so that rejection and division have no place in our home.