YouVersion Responds to Parent Questions: What Can I Do About Sibling Rivalry?

Children playing together

Recently we asked the YouVersion Community to share your parenting questions with us. (Thank you for your responses!) Today we’re sharing Scripture around a topic many of you asked about: Sibling Rivalry.

Got any tips for how I can reduce sibling rivalry? How should I handle sibling rivalry between teens? How do I raise my girls to be kind to one another, so when they're older they'll be close friends?

Imagine your family as a team that God assembled to reflect His glory. He carefully crafted each family member to help the whole family fulfill its shared potential. Your role as parent is to serve as coach. You lead toward a vision that you can all accomplish together, teach everyone how to play, and work with each child to help them contribute meaningfully. Here’s how:

  1. Celebrate each member of your family for their unique value.
  2. …a person’s body has more than one part. The ear might say, “I am not an eye, so I don’t belong to the body.” But saying this would not make the ear stop being a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, it would not be able to hear. If the whole body were an ear, it would not be able to smell anything.

    1 CORINTHIANS 12:14,16-17

    Just as in the body of Christ, each member of your family has a special role to fulfill. Help each of your children explore and discover their gifts. Help them learn to enjoy using their gifts in ways that serve the whole family. Along the way, encourage them with gratitude every time they show behaviors you want them to repeat. By equipping each child with self-awareness, service, and praise, you’re actually training them to cheer on every other member of your family.

    More on Connecting with Your Children Individually

  1. Unite your family around a common vision.
  2. Where there is no message from God, people don’t control themselves. But blessed is the one who obeys wisdom’s instruction.

    PROVERBS 29:18

    Talk together as a family about what you want your team to be known for. Start broadly, then gradually focus in on narrower themes, such Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, etc. In the Bible App, tap the Search tab, and explore under “What does the Bible say about…” (Or just type the trait you want into the Search box.) Once everyone agrees on a core family value, together pick a “Family Verse” that captures it.

    More ideas for Family Verses

  1. Never stop talking about what your family is about.
  2. Get my commandments inside you and your children. Talk about them wherever you are: at home or in the street; talk about them from the time you get up until you fall into bed.


    Unless you make it tangible, your family vision will fade. Use family pictures to make Verse Images of your Family Verse, then put them everywhere. Save them as backgrounds on everyone’s devices. Help your kids make their own custom versions. Print a few of your favorites, get them framed, and hang them in prominent places around your home. Most of all, reward your kids every time you “catch” them living out your family values. Over time, your family’s vision will become ingrained in your family’s dynamic.

    How to make Verse Image

  1. Adopt Grace and Forgiveness as honorary members of your family.
  2. Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace.

    EPHESIANS 4:2-3

    Especially as you begin this journey, set some short-term goals that will help your family score some quick wins. Just don’t lose sight of what you truly want: to build a lasting legacy together over time, a sustainable mindset of family unity that will span generations.

You will make mistakes. Your kids will make mistakes. Don’t give up on yourself. Don’t give up on each other. God’s mercies are new every morning. Keep trying, and keep showing love to each other.

Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.

1 PETER 4:8

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