Perhaps one of the greatest ways you can increase peace and love in your homes is to speak your child’s love language and empower siblings to do the same with each other.
INCREASING PEACE AND LOVE
“My two boys have been angry. I knew there was a deeper issue. They said I forgive you; I love you, but it was happening more and more until they got rid of the deeper. I said, ‘You know how to do this.’ I don’t know all that was said, but I walked the older one through why he was angry at his younger brother. I asked him to ask Holy Spirit and just listen. He was trying to protect his brother and give him advice to keep him safe. When his brother didn’t follow the advice, it made him angry and like he failed to keep him safe. The younger brother was feeling rejection and anger. When he heard WHY his brother wanted him to listen, it also broke the anger off him. There is more. But the whole thing was so powerful and healing. I wanted to say thank You, God, for the guidance. Thank you, Lisa, for getting the tools out there.”
Parents – you have homework! Love is a VERB. Grab some paper and begin to write notes to your child. So tuck them in their underwear drawer, by their toothbrush, in their favorite book. Let them find your nuggets of love!!!! You can do it for your children or have them do it for each other.
Each morning, set up a date with your child. Five minutes feels like a long time for a child. They can pick whatever they want to do with your time, and they normally pick something they need from you – talk, spend time cuddling, or play a game. It is a great way to get those tanks filled and get you focused on hearing what they have to say! (Don’t tell them it is only five minutes, though). I like to make a big deal about it by saying something like, “Meet me in the living room at 2 pm today,” or “Let’s have a date, just you and me.” Love languages matter!
I don’t wait, hoping and praying someone sees me to fill my love tank. I know when my tank is feeling low, and I intentionally put myself on the path to get it filled up. We can teach and empower our children to do the same. For example, when there is a conflict between two siblings, I often bring up their love tank. They almost always say it is feeling low. I encourage them on how they can go after getting it filled up in healthy ways that promote connection and peace rather than by acting out as an orphan, which only pushes people away further.
Your child needs to know not only their own language but their siblings’. When a child is aware of their needs, it makes it a lot easier for them to get their need met in a healthy way. Say their language is quality time, and yet they haven’t invested any time in their family; they are going to feel disconnected. Love tanks aren’t something to just passively let others fill. We can intentionally put ourselves on the path to be filled up. They can be doing things that encourage their needs to be met. Many times when there is conflict in my home, it is because their tanks are low with each other. While it would be so much easier to just separate the two ‘offending siblings,’ what they REALLY need is connection. When I see this is an issue, I will ask the child what their brother’s love language is and ask what she can do to fill it and vice versa. The older they get, the more I solve sibling issues this way than anything else. Disconnected kids act out like kids starving for attention!
My youngest two have always been super close; however, they have been snapping at each other a lot. I finally sat them down to dig deeper. It was obvious that one of them was carrying some hurt, but they didn’t know what or why. Not a problem, Jesus knows! Psalms 139 tells us He can search our hearts and reveal things to us. So, we asked Jesus to shine His flashlight into her heart. She started crying and said that during Christmas break, she asked to play with him on numerous occasions, and he told her NO (I assume it was because he was busy playing with his new toys). She took this very personally and has built a wall around her heart with him. I could have disciplined her flesh for snapping at him, but her flesh wasn’t the issue – her hurting heart was. As soon as Jesus revealed the truth of what was going on, she could forgive and be free from the hurt that was agitating her heart.
Ephesians 2:14 – “For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility.”
This word is in reference to the Jews and Gentiles and the relationships of the five-fold ministry, all working together, not divided. If this verse is for nations and opposing people groups, SURELY, it is applicable to our families as well. Next time you have two sibling groups that are walking in disunity and conflict, show them this verse and remind them that Jesus is their peace and He has destroyed the inability to work together!!!!!
When all my children entered formal school for the first time, it was a huge deal for them. They got inundated with many new things all at once. My goal for the two weeks leading up to it was simply focusing on their love tanks. The more they experience love at home, the more they will be able to handle what comes their way. Isn’t that true for you? Are you a better parent on the days when you and your spouse have conflict and are feeling detached? I bet not. Love languages matter!
The Word says if you have EVERYTHING (money, fame, status, awards, a big house, a perfect-looking family, IG followers, Pinterest-worthy snacks, A+ students, fancy cars, leadership titles, etc.), but have no love, you have NOTHING! Love matters because God designed our heart, mind, and soul to need it. I have seen the messiest of situations, exasperated parents, and the most challenging children MELT with the ointment of love.
A child who feels connected (not tagging along 24/7 but truly connected) to their parents is a secure child. Read this testimony.
“I firmly believe in the love languages but haven’t had practical steps to put them in place like this before. Instead, I see all my children’s needs and get quickly overwhelmed – rather than asking Jesus to help me prioritize and highlight how to love them well. I love the 5-minute dates! In fact, I just played hide-and-seek for 5 minutes just now… The response was, ‘Wow, Mommy, thank you for playing with me.’ And then I see a content heart that it produced.”