Monday, December 9, 2013


(oops... I deleted this column by mistake.. here it is again.) 

Last year, I was asked by a magazine editor to write and research the subject of ADULT SIBLING RIVALRY. I bring it up now...... because... now.... during the holidays.... adult siblings are often forced to be together... and...and it is during the holidays that the simmering resentments rise to the surface like boiling lava and burn up any semblance of peace on earth. A person can get away with not having to deal with that sister or brother all year long, but when Christmas is approaching.... everybody want to make believe everybody gets along. *My article is too long to include here.. but I will tell you something that I learned from some GODLY experts - pastors, counselors, psychologists - about the root cause of ADULT SIBLING RIVALRY.  READY?

Most often adult sibling rivalry is a result of parental favoritism when that child was.. well.. a child.  A child cannot process WHY Mommy loves "Amy" more... but it hurts. 

When the holiday season rolls around... well meaning extended family tries to get everyone to be together... to ACT like a great big HAPPY FAMILY... but... 
it isn't real.

And it doesn't work.  The only thing that happens is that the resentment grows... and... EXPLODES.

"ADMIT IT" said one well known Christian family therapist.

"Admit it?" 

"Yes... admit it.  Most parents know that it is true that they favored one child over another, but are ashamed to admit it.  So the child that was NOT the favored one goes through life being forced to believe a lie.  It's confusing because they KNOW the other kid is preferred but MOM and/or DAD won't acknowledge it.
So the first step toward healing is to ALLOW the adult child to describe the feelings of being the UNfavored kid.  
And then.. if it's true... admit it. 
And apologize.
And stop doing it."

A parent who really wants healing might EVEN -he suggests - apologize IN FRONT OF the favorite kid.  Saying something like, "AT times I paid more attention to 'Amy' because I felt like you could take care of yourself and Amy could not... Amy this was not fair to your sister.  I shouldn't have allowed that to happen, and because I favored Amy... the two of you don't get along.  I want to settle the score.  I want there to be love."

And if you don't have a good reason then simply admit it.. and ask for forgiveness.

who is LOVE ITSELF..
who sent HIS ONLY SON so people could be part of His family...
Doesn't forgive someone who doesn't ASK to be forgiven.

DON'T MISUNDERSTAND.. I'm not telling you that if your parents favored a sibling you are allowed to hold a lifelong grudge.  NO.. I'm not talking to the kids who are rivals.... but to the parents.. whose favoritism was responsible for the rivalry.

Admit it.
Deal with it.
Ask for forgiveness.

And dear extended family.. 
You often do not know the whole story.
You don't know HOW the parents treated that child behind closed doors. 
You don't know HOW abusive the parent may have been.
Or ungodly

Ask the Lord... to help you forge a real one.
The BLOOD OF JESUS.. is enough to cover every failure and sin.

No parent should be ashamed.
You can be forgiven.
And then you can ask for forgiveness..

 Let there be peace on earth 
And let it begin with MOM.
And Dad.

Mrs. Older


  1. This was very difficult for me to read. I know it is the truth. I favored one daughter over the other. It HAS caused a very divided family. I know what you say is true but it choked me up so completely I can just about see to type this. I am too proud to admit it. I know what I need to do. Please pray I have the courage to do it.

    1. The first step in any healing is pain. We feel pain and that causes us to want to be healed of the pain. With God all things are possible and the Holy Spirit WILL give you the strength to begin healing. The family did not become divided in one day and it will not be healed in one day. God be with you.