“What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you? You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them. Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it.” James 4:1-2, NLT
Years ago I ran the ‘mom taxi’ for my two middle school sons and friends. Rarely did we taxi about town sans an argument. “I call shotgun!” “You cheated!” “Stop looking at me” “You’re a _” “I HATE you!” “I’m tellin’…”
I scolded, gave consequences and quoted Scripture. To no avail, I demanded teen boys speak only edifying words to one another. Heart-broken over these word-brawls, we purchased an SUV with three-row seating. Problem solved. I claimed the front row with each son one behind the other. No more carpool unification strategies. I simply chose to divide to keep the peace and protect my sanity.
Afraid of being awarded ‘worst mother’ designation, I’m tempted to scrap this post and pick another topic. However, Holy Spirit reminds me of truth. My sons aren’t the first, nor are they the last siblings to treat each other with such selfish and jealous contempt. My brother and I were no better, but we can trace sibling rivalry through the generations all the way back to Cain and Abel.
The truth is that such behavior is the natural condition of our flesh. Unfortunately, all of God’s children, myself included, at all ages and stages of life are capable of similar unhealthy, unproductive and simply sinful behaviors. And it breaks the Father’s heart.
Be completely humble and gentle, be patient, bearing with one another in love. Ephesians 4:2 NIV
Is the Father’s solution separation? No the plan to divide and conquer is the plot of the evil one. Instead, our Father calls for humility, gentleness, patience, and forbearance all wrapped in love. To seek to live peaceably with all and in unity with His Spirit in love is to bless our Father’s heart and bear much fruit. (Romans 12:18, Colossians 2:2, Ephesians 4:2-3, NIV)
I have the honor and privilege of writing weekly devotionals for Daughter of Delight on Instagram. This post with some slight variation was first posted as an original devotional for Daughter of Delight on Instagram – 1/13/2018.
I invite you to please take a moment to visit @daughterofdelight on Instagram. I feel certain you’ll be encouraged and refreshed!