Why I Want My Kids to Cherish Their Fights

How wonderful and pleasant it is when brothers live together in harmony! Psalm 133:1

“Ow! Hunter hit me!” “Because, Hayley hit me first!”

“Hunter, get out! I don’t want to play with you!”

“Hayley, I don’t like you anymore!”

This is just a sample of of the fighting and bickering that takes place in our home, and probably the home of many parents around the world who have children of multiple ages, personalities, and moods. Call it the product of shared living space, 18 months of separation between the two, or good old-fashioned sibling rivalry. These fights can often be a constant in our home, and I often find myself attempting to break the pattern of bickering with what I consider to be a firm dose of reality!

“You two better stop fighting. You better love each other, now. One day Hunter won’t be a phone call away! One day you won’t have Hayley to talk to each day!”

And, then of course come those blank stares. The ones that say they are afraid for a few seconds. The ones that move from fear to “Yeah, right. She doesn’t know what she is talking about” stares. And the ones that then quickly turn to the stares of scorn as they look at each other and continue their argument.

And, as I walk away wishing I could pick up the phone and bicker with my brother once again.

Keep on loving each other as brothers and sisters. Hebrews 13:1

I know my brother and I had our share of fights. Goodness, I have tons of stories that contain the many tricks I played on him, all the times I told him I didn’t like him anymore, and the times I made sure I found ways to keep him out of my room.

But, there were also many more times when we stood up for each other. When he didn’t tattle on me when I gave him a bloody chin. When we told each other how much we really did like each other, or the many times we snuck into each others rooms at night to play with toys and talk.

And, despite my “mom-advice” to my own children. I also remember and cherish the fights. The times we dished all our secrets over Thanksgiving dinner. The times he did manage to get into my room to read my diary. The times when I had the opportunity to have a good fight with my little brother.

While my brother is still around in the physical sense, he is not accessible during the cherished moments of life since he is behind prison walls. He has missed the births of two nephews. He has missed too many Christmases to count. He isn’t available for me to simply pick up the phone and talk about the things that bother us that only the two of us could understand. To talk to about our favorite shows, our favorite music, and what we really think of our gray hair. And, yes, even to fight and lock each other out of our rooms.

So, while I want my children to understand that they are called to love each other with kindness, gentleness, forgiveness, and joy; I also want them to be able to look back and cherish every moment. Even the not so great ones. Even the ones when they don’t like each other very much. Even though they may be far away from each other. Even though they may not be able to talk.

I want them to cherish the moments that make them each brother and sister-bickering and all!

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