I am passionate about the languages of love! But do you know there is also a language of how you need an apology spoken? Nothing is worse for me than someone saying, “Sorry!” It actually makes the offense worse for me. We have a family of FIVE, and there are FIVE languages – one for each of us. It has been challenging to speak someone else’s language, but it has allowed us to be more like Jesus in the process. I encourage you to have your family take the test, print it out, and discuss the results.
Siblings are God's built-in training ground to raise successful adults
The Father cares deeply about what is happening in our homes today because He sees the fruit it will produce.
During a parent coaching session, a mom shared that she had difficulty growing up in her home. There wasn’t a lot of love, and she felt rejected by a sibling, which caused a lot of pain and confusion. When she graduated, she wanted to get far away and start over someplace new. She left her home and traveled to another country. Can you imagine the parents whose family is broken up years later simply because they didn’t know how to help their children get along when they were younger? Ask any mom in the season of grandparenting; we will reap tomorrow what we sow today. Good or bad, our choices will grow fruit. If you want your children to have unity when they are older, we must sow into their relationship when they are younger.
I have been overwhelmed with the goodness of God. The kind that makes you break out in worship and praise. The kind that makes little sense why your heart is so overjoyed and can’t be matched to any earthly circumstance. The kind that declares over and over, “You are so good.” The kind that brings tears to your eyes and makes you fall in love with Him more. I asked Him, “Why is my heart so overwhelmed with joy?” and heard Him say, “You are feeling how I feel about my children learning how to get along.”
SIBLING CONNECTION MATTERS TO THE FATHER BECAUSE HE DESIGNED SIBLINGS TO BE THE PLACE WHERE CHILDREN FEEL LIKE THEY BELONG. If there has been one common theme amongst our youth this past year, it is that they have been attacked in the area of belonging. The Father cares about their sense of belonging!
To teach your child about the powerful use of their tongue, go to a thrift store and buy a fancy but cheap plate. Spread out a sheet/blanket outside and as you raise that plate to the air and proceed to smash it to the ground, call out the words you hear your child speak. “I hate you,” “Leave me alone,” “You are stupid,” “I don’t like you,” “I don’t want to be your friend,” and then sincerely say, “Oh whoops, sorry!” and ask them to put the pieces back together again. They will be dumbfounded as they know it won’t be able to go back together again. Explain that our words can shatter a person’s identity and worth (it actually doesn’t change their worth, but one’s ability to receive and believe it). Even when we say sorry, the damage is already done.
Do you have a son surrounded by sisters? If so, may I issue a word of caution? Boys play differently than girls. I probably need not tell you that. But when boys are outnumbered by girls and given the way girls are vocal about their displeasure, it is SUPER important we are not sending our sons the message that there is something wrong with being a boy! There has to be a balance of boys learning how to play and interact in a way that keeps others feeling safe. As well as teaching daughters that God is allowing them to learn how to interact with the opposite sex through her brother. We have had our own battle with this as four females surround Hudson. God warned me years ago about the indirect message that it is wrong to be a boy just because he is wired differently.
Have you taught your children about love? We can’t expect what we do not first teach in times of peace. I love what this mom shares in our class. Have each family member take the online quiz, print out the results, and spend time talking about what each one looks like.
“It was so helpful for our family to discuss and identify together each other’s love languages. I’m excited to see how God will use this understanding of how we individually receive love to grow our relationships with one another!! I want to be intentional about daily having this awareness of filling my children’s love tanks in a way that speaks to them.”
It never ceases to amaze me how things like a family vacation, school breaks or holidays, etc. can cause a breakdown in the connection among siblings. It is easy to want to partner with scolding them for being so selfish, but the reality is they need HELP staying connected in different circumstances. I found myself putting out little fires between this one and that one, that one and this one. Finally, one morning I called a family meeting and had them close their eyes. I prayed and asked everyone to listen. “Jesus, has anyone in this room hurt, offended, or taken from me?” Every hand went up. I led them to forgive that person. I then walked through, “Jesus, is there anything I need to forgive ______ for?” and I went through each person’s name. I then asked, “Jesus, is there anyone in this room that I need to ask forgiveness for?” And every hand went up.
We walked through being humble and owning the ways we have hurt others. It generally isn’t the big things but rather the little things that build up over time. I shared with them that if each person had to forgive for two things, times the five of us, that is TEN hurts or offenses between us, and I had them picture a ball of yarn like a spider web between us that the enemy can use to pull and influence. We want to take out our spiritual scissors and cut the strings through forgiveness. The JOY and peace that come from these family times are tangible. I don’t want forced connections and fake smiles. I want my family to genuinely have love and care for each other, and sometimes we have to go after the little foxes of offense that are ruining the vineyard.
Video – Family Detox – YouTube
When my four children were toddlers, I scored big with a large trash bag full of Beanie Babies. While they brought so much joy and fun, it often ended with tears. I began watching them interact. The girls would line up their favorites, giving them great affection. Hudson would have his in a big pile and would grab one making it pounce on each and every one the girls had so perfectly lined up. They would cry. Beanie Babies were put on the shelf for a while because this same scene always played out. I began to realize that neither party did something ‘wrong’, but that boys and girls play differently. It was not about finding out who was the offending party but teaching them how to interact with their differences. By God’s design, girls and boys are different, play differently, and respond differently. I have told the kids countless times that, yep, it might not be easy to figure out how to interact with a brother/sister but that it was their training ground for future relationships, their spouses, future children, etc. Someone doesn’t have to be ‘wrong’ in order for God to teach us through their differences.