Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Duggars on Sibling Rivalry vs. The Love Dynamic

(Comments from Jim Bob Duggar are taken from my 2007 interview with the Duggars for ParentLife magazine.)

"We’re trying to teach our children to love God with their whole heart, soul, mind, and strength, and to love others and treat others like they would like to be loved and treated," says Jim Bob Duggar. There are a couple of ways the Duggars put this into practice.

It's Your Serve. "We try to get our children, each one in our family, to serve each other," Jim Bob shares. "When a child realizes that the world does not revolve around him, that we are in this world to actually serve others and serve God, that creates a whole new level of maturity."

A Love Dynamic. "Michelle and I never wanted our family to operate in an 'evil for evil' relationship. Instead, we wanted to create a whole new love dynamic at home, where everybody is trying to love each other and serve each other and invest in each other’s lives. That means we look out for each other. We love each other and serve each other, and it creates a wonderful place to live."

So what does this look like? On a daily basis, what is it really going to look like in MY home--in YOUR home? Fundamentally, I think it looks like self-discipline and self-sacrifice, don't you? Those are two weighty life lessons--but where better to learn them than in the home?

I will discipline myself to not respond in anger.
I will sacrifice my desires for yours.
I will put your needs ahead of my own.
And I will do it cheerfully--because in this I am bringing glory to God.

After all, those sibling relationships are precious ones, and the ones that last the longest. You have your siblings before you have a spouse. Your sibs usually live longer than your parents. It is a lifetime relationship. This is a point that I often stress at the Pure In Heart Conferences, when I'm talking with the 5th and 6th grade girls. They are usually astounded to hear that they can actually practice Christ-like attitudes with their siblings...right in their own homes!

All posts in this Sibling Rivalry series:


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