And we should strive to treat all of our children equally. They are all of equal value in God’s eyes, one no more important than another. It is the failure of equal treatment that causes much conflict in families. Our goal is to show our children that we love them greatly and that we love them equally as much as their siblings, so that they will be convinced of their worth not only in our eyes but also in God’s eyes. We are God’s representatives here on earth. The first real example of God’s love to them will be the treatment they receive from their parents. Many children grow up angry at God because of the abuse they suffered within their family because they equate parents with God, and they do this because parents are usually the most powerful beings in their lives on this earth. So, as God’s representatives, we should teach our children of their equal value with others in this world by teaching this principle first in the home. If we are successful in showing them their equal value among their siblings, then we will stop many of the countless sibling squabbles before they start; they will not feel the need to turn the family dynamic into a power struggle, a survival of the fittest and a competition for your affections and for the resources and comforts of your home. Moreover, if you teach them to treat each other respectfully, to fight fair, and to work out as many of their squabbles as possible by themselves without your intervention, following sound principles of love and fairness, then you will protect the soundness of their relationships, preparing them to be life-long friends. They will learn to love each other and value the unique qualities in each other. Additionally, your success, in teaching them good relationships among themselves, will prepare them for success in their many adult relationships, especially their future marriages.
The family should be the safe proving ground and training camp for good social skills outside of the home at present and in the future. If you place the right principles within them about loving family relationships, then you will not hobble them by convincing them that family life is about power struggles among the children or between husband and wife. Of course, this requires that you model the correct behavior by treating your spouse respectfully at all times; not being rude or short-tempered with her or him; not arguing over minutiae, remembering that you are not perfect and you do not know all things unless you are God (which you are not); always being willing to be the bigger person in the argument and say “I’m sorry” first; never quick to find and point out error in your spouse because you are not perfect either; always thinking of your spouse in positive terms in your mind so that Satan never gets an opportunity to turn your negative thoughts into a serious fracture in your relationship; never viewing them nor treating them as if they are the enemy; remembering always that you are both on the same team; remembering that we fight not against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers, meaning that many of the battles between us occur because we have selfishness, ignorance, or weakness within us that Satan sees and exploits to cause turmoil; and remembering that, in any argument, both people are usually wrong to some degree. These may seem like a tall order, but anything is possible if we lean on God and allow Him to give us power to do what we should, even asking Him to change our hearts sometimes when there is hardness or hurt there that we cannot seem to get beyond in order to do the right thing.