It occurred to me today that we parents of more than one child are simply expecting too much if we expect our children to love and get along with each other. I mean, think about it. If your husband had more than one wife and he claimed to love each of you equally, in your own unique way, would you have any desire to love and get along with the woman? Would you go out of your way to share your things with her — your home? Your computer? Your TV? Your husband’s attention? (Well, okay, maybe sometimes we wouldn’t mind sharing that!)
If we’re Christian parents, we should definitely realize that we’re expecting to much. What source are we, as Christians, supposed to look to for guidance in our lives? The Bible! Okay, so let’s look at some Biblical siblings. We’ll start with Cain and Able. C’mon, even most of our non-Christian friends know enough about the Bible to know how that sibling relationship ended!
That’s just one example, you say. They can’t all be that bad. Okay, how about Jacob and Esau. Jacob tricked his brother, Esau, out of his birth right, then, had to go spend the next couple of decades in another country so that his brother wouldn’t kill him like Cain did Able.
Need more proof? How about Joseph? Ten of his eleven brothers plotted to kill him. It wasn’t until the oldest got to feeling a bit guilty that they decided to sell him into slavery to a traveling caravan instead. And, they still told his poor father that he was dead!
What about Jesus’ own brothers? They thought he was crazy…and a little conceited! They ran him down to all the neighbors.
So, really. Let’s face it. This ain’t Leave it to Beaver. We’re expecting too much if we think our kids should love one another and live in harmony, gladly sharing everything and being happy that they were blessed with such wonderful siblings. We should just be happy if we make it through the day with everybody still living in the same country and relatively unscathed for their time together. It could be worse!