I have three beautiful little girls ages 8 months, 4 and 6. Obviously the baby isn't involved in sibling squabbles yet but the older two have been known to push, shove, and otherwise engage in physical altercations over some pretty petty things. Things like a Happy Meal toy or a five cent pencil. The lesson that I try to get through to them after the punishment phase is over is that their sister means more than that little toy. I try to convey that those toys will come and go but those little objects are never worth hurting each other over. A toy is just a toy but she's your sister and that matters more.
I was painfully reminded of those teachable moments when I was working on my current Bible study from Beth Moore. It is the study of David and there is a section about how David dealt fairly with his enemies. This is what caught my eye:
"Pray for your enemies. Pray they will accept God's delegate of mercy toward them. Pray for a willingness to be a vessel of God's mercy in their lives. A battle is coming and all captives will be kept eternally."
I heard God saying as I read over those lines:
"She's your sister. He's your brother. You know those people that you were struggling with? Not over a toy but over an ideal or a hot topic of conversation? That topic or ideal is about as important as a Happy Meal toy in the view of eternity. See them as I see them."
You drastically change how you treat others when you begin to view them through the telescope of eternity. Their political party or parenting method don't seem to matter nearly as much as their heart.
So I will keep striving as a mom to teach my kids the lesson that, "she's your sister," as I learn to remember that we are all God's children and deserving of mercy and kindness.