(The video version of this post is at the bottom, if you would rather listen than read!)

“To the outside world, we all grow old. But not to brothers and sisters. We know each other as we always were. We know each other’s hearts. We share private family jokes. We remember family feuds and secrets, family griefs and joys. We live outside the touch of time.” – Clara Ortega

Most of us have at least one.  Some of us have several…but there is an undeniable bond that happens between those who have the same parents or even one of the same parents.

Maybe it’s the fact that we traverse our journeys through childhood together.  Sometimes it’s because we survived a far less than ideal childhood alongside one another creating a unique bond similar to prisoners of war.  Other times, we have countless memories made from spending hours on end playing board games, fishing, swimming, or just hanging out together.

Whatever our experience most of us have a strong desire to see our kids become each other’s best friends, but in the chaos of the everyday…the bickering, the squabbles, the all out war of words, we wonder how in the world that can even happen and more importantly, is it worth the energy it takes to try and at least have them get along!

After 26 years of parenting (8 kids) and homeschooling from the beginning, I can tell you it IS worth it!  We love the relationship that our kids have now that most of them are adults and I want to share with you three great reasons it really is worth the effort:

1.) Sibling relationships are really our kids’ first exposure to real life relationships.  The people and communication skills our kids acquire in childhood are foundational for future relationships. Our kids learn to deal with different personalities, hopefully learning to appreciate and respect other people’s strengths and be gracious with other’s weaknesses.  They learn what it means to “bear with one another in love”. (Ephesians 4:2)

2.) By taking the time to nurture our kids’ relationships, we teach our kids that although relationships can be hard, they are a worthwhile investment.  We live in a culture that is addicted to instant gratification, but our kids will learn that relationships are a long term investment.  Countless relationships are crumbling because so many haven’t been given the tools to have and maintain healthy relationships.  We always tell our kids that friends will come and go…a few will stay, but they and their siblings will ALWAYS be family.

3.)  Lastly, by nurturing their relationships,, we teach our kids how to be the Body of Christ to each other.  The New Testament is full of instruction from the Apostles to the early church telling and showing what it really means to be part of the Body.  We give our kids a jump start in knowing what it looks like to BE the church to each other so they can grow up and love on their brothers and sisters in Christ in a real and meaningful way…knowing what it means to have and build community.

So, if you’re discouraged and feel like giving up on navigating the choppy waters of sibling rivalry and bonding, please know that your labors are not for nothing!  Take the time to slow down and invest in your kids’ relationships.  Those efforts are sure to have a far reaching ripple effect on the next generation!

For more encouragement in family relationships and homeschooling, please check out my simple, mercifully short book…The Unhurried Homeschooler

Here is the video version of this post!

For more encouragement in family relationships and homeschooling, please check out my simple, mercifully short book…The Unhurried Homeschooler