How To Help Siblings Get Along From a Biblical Perspective

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When I was pregnant with my second child, my hope and prayer was that my children would be the best of friends despite an unplanned gap in their ages. Whenever I would share that hope and prayer out loud, well-meaning individuals would joke about sibling rivalry and how my prayers were useless because they were fated to hate each other. Driven by my desire to raise children who loved each other, I was determined to pray harder and create a home where sibling relationships flourished. Today, I am going to share with you how to help siblings get along from a Biblical perspective.

How to help siblings get along

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Why is it important as a Christian Family?

Disagreements and fighting are a normal part of anyone’s childhood, and I think we can all agree that it is a normal part of adulthood as well; however, normal does not mean it is aligning with what the Bible says we are to do.

Jesus is pretty clear about how we should treat others in our lives. In Matthew 22:37-38, He says this, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. 1’”

With this verse in mind, Christian families should have a desire to work through disagreements and fighting in a loving, God-honoring way. It is important for Christian families to help siblings get along by showing love to God and their brothers/sisters with their words and actions.

But how do we help siblings get along from a Biblical Perspective? Keep reading to find out some helpful Christian parenting tips!

What to do with siblings that don’t get along?

Embarking on the journey of helping siblings learn to show kindness and love through words and actions is an everyday training on the part of a parent. 

There will be days when a child wakes up “on the wrong side of the bed” or they just don’t feel like being kind. There will probably be seasons when siblings disagree or struggle finding commonalities, but parents have a major role to play in helping siblings get along.

Here are some important truths to keep in mind when teaching and modeling to your children how to get along with their siblings.

It is a heart issue

It is important to remember that the Bible tells us in Mark 7:21-22 the following: “For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come—sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and defile a person. 2

Siblings not getting along is down to the core a heart issue from within.

Ginger Hubbard, who is an author of many Christian parenting books, writes this about Mark 7:21-22, “The Bible teaches that behavior is not the basic issue. The basic issue is always what is going on in the heart…The ‘from within’ part of this verse tells us that outward behaviors are only the manifestations of the real problem, which lie in the heart. 3

Siblings not getting along is down to the core a heart issue from within.

I want to remind you that forcing your children to get along because the Bible tells us to do so does not get at the heart of the issue.

God does not want parents to be in the business of behavior modification but of heart modification.

Ginger Hubbard sums this up so accurately when she wrote this: “It is not that difficult to train our children to act like Christians. We have really accomplished something when we have trained them to think like Christians 4.”

Point them to Jesus

The only way to have true heart correction is to point them to Jesus, and pray that they will be open to Jesus transforming their hearts and actions to reflect Him. 

Whenever there is a heart issue in my child, like not getting along with their sibling, that I am trying to walk through, I remember a quote from a parenting book I read several years ago. It helped me shape my mindset as a parent to remember that every opportunity, including sibling battles, is an opportunity to point my children to Jesus. 

This mindset shifting quote is this:

“Parents, we all need to have an ‘everything I do, I do to point my children to the presence and promises of God’s grace’ way of parenting our children. Every conversation is an opportunity. Pointing them to the beauty of nature is an opportunity, every moment of correction and discipline is an opportunity, every sibling battle is an opportunity, success or failure at school is an opportunity, family worship is an opportunity, birthdays and holidays provide an opportunity, teenage identity angst is an opportunity, bedtime conversations prove an opportunity, discussions after watching something on Netflix provide an opportunity….Because, by God’s plan, every good thing, every beautiful thing, every hard thing, every sad thing, and everything to celebrate drive us an opportunity to point to the God who, in grace, rules it all.5

“Parents, we all need to have an ‘everything I do, I do to point my children to the presence and promises of God’s grace’ way of parenting our children.”

Pray for them

Praying for your children is not a last ditch effort or the “only thing we can do” situation. Praying should be our first and most important defense as parents.

One of my most favorite parenting books is called Raising Kids to Extraordinary Faith, and the author of that book writes this about prayer: “Nothing keeps us praying more than understanding that something occurred that would not have happened without prayer. 6

Praying over your child’s character and their relationships is so crucial as a Christian Parent. If you need some help with praying for your child, check out my blog post on Parents’ Prayer for Children

Not only can you pray over your child when sibling conflict is not happening, you can also pray while the battle is ensuing.

As you are stepping into a sibling argument and before you speak, ask God to give you the wisdom and words you need in that moment to point them to Him. I have even been known to pray aloud for my children to hear so they know that God has been invited into this situation.

So, what do you do with siblings that don’t get along? You remember that it is a heart issue, that the goal is to teach their hearts not change their actions, that we have an opportunity to point them to Jesus, and that we need to pray! With all this in mind, you help guide their hearts to Jesus. 

Related Blog Post: Parents Prayer for Children: Why and How to Pray for Your Children

How can parents help with sibling rivalry?

I hope that you know, as a Christian Parent, that you have an active role in helping your children get along with each other. Parents can really help set the tone, expectations and environment in helping siblings get along. Here is a list of do’s and don’ts for Christian parents to follow when it comes to helping siblings learn and desire to get along.

Parents, please DON’T

  • Play favorites:
    I don’t think that this one needs to be said, but I am going to say it anyway. Don’t play favorites. Playing favorites is a sure way to create jealousy and animosity between siblings.

    Find unique and meaningful ways to show love and attention to each child. Learn their love languages, be interested in what they are interested in and be their biggest fan.

  • Compare:
    Just like playing favorites, comparing the successes or failures of one child to their sibling is a guaranteed way to create massive sibling battles.

    Compliment each child on their own gifts, talents, successes and character instead of being tempted to compare especially if your motive for comparing is to have a behavior modification.

  • Always blame the oldest sibling for the fight:
    This is a common pitfall because we sometimes think that the oldest should know better, but refrain from the blame game. If intervention is needed, listen to both sides of the argument. Most of the time, both children are sinning and “in the wrong.”  

  • Pin them against each other:
    Pinning your child against each other for whatever reason is a great way to create competition and lead to jealousy.

  • Always intervene:
    If you always intervene to break up a fight, then your children will never learn how to work through difficulties with each other. Give them the tools they need for success, teaching them whenever things are calm and coaching them from the sidelines when conflict is erupting. 

    Kids are amazing and will surprise you if you let them practice what you have taught them. *always intervene when it gets physical 😉

  • Rise to your child’s level of intensity (stay calm):
    If you rise to their anger levels when they are in the middle of the battle, your child will not be able to regulate their own emotions. Be the steady, even and calm one who can guide your child back to a reasonable intensity level. That way reconciliation can occur.

Parents, please DO

  • Model Christ-like behavior to everyone:
    If your child sees you always being in conflict, rude or abrasive with others, they will believe that they should and can treat every one that way…including their sibling.

    Ask the Lord to constantly show you how to be a reflection of Him to everyone you see and talk to. Your children are watching, and your children will duplicate your behavior.

  • Talk about what the Bible teaches about love:
    There are three verses that I teach my children at a young age so they understand what love is and who we are called to love. We talk about at least one of these verses every day, and I point them to these verses when coaching them through conflict. The verses are:

    Matthew 22:37-40 (NIV):
    “Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind,’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. 7’”

    1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NIV):
    “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hope, always perseveres.”

    1 John 4:19 (NIV):
    “We love because he first loved us.”

  • Create a team atmosphere:
    I learned this concept from a conference when I worked as a Children’s Pastor. The speakers, Jeff and Alyssa Bethke, explained that successful faith-based families believe that their family unit was created to be a team for God’s Kingdom.

    Each teammate in the family needs to work together, cheer each other on, build each other up and spur each other on to accomplish all that God has created that family unit to do. If you have a team mentality from the beginning, siblings will grow up with the mindset of working together and getting along.

    *If you are look for more information on building a family team atmosphere, check out Take Back Your Family and Family Revision: How Ancient Wisdom Can Heal the Modern Family.

  • Set expectations:
    When everyone is getting along, use that as an opportunity to praise your children for their love for one another in that moment, and then transition to talking about your expectations to love one another even in a conflict or argument.

    Point them to Jesus while setting these expectations, and remind them of what the Bible says about love.

  • Role play/practice conflict resolution:
    Helping your children practice conflict resolution and reconciliation when they are calm is really helpful for your children. This will aid in solidifying the words and actions they need to have when their anger is raging.

  • Coach from the side when intervention is needed:
    They will need to draw on their knowledge of what the Bible says, the expectations you have set and the role playing you have done to navigate a sibling disagreement. If needed, remind them of these things from the sidelines as they are working out the conflict with each other. 

  • Praise positive interactions:
    Positive reinforcement is such a good tool for parents to help guide and train their children in many areas, but especially in areas where your children might struggle.

    I personally don’t reward the behavior with food or prizes, but I do use my words to praise, praise, and praise some more. I acknowledge the behavior that is pleasing to the Lord and I comment on the area where God is growing them.

    For example, you might hear me say, “Wow, boys! I see you are working through a disagreement right now. I can tell that God is growing kindness in you!”

  • Intervene when someone is about to or already hurt:
    Physically hurting someone is something that is not tolerated in my house, but this is so hard when they are younger. We often use books to explain why we don’t hurt someone else.

    *If you are needing a book series to help your little ones understand why hurting someone is unkind, check out books like Teeth Are Not For Biting or Hands Are Not For Hitting. There are several other hurtful behaviors covered in this series as well.

How do you strengthen a sibling relationship?

The best way to help your children strengthen their sibling relationship is to be parents who use every opportunity to point them to Christ and to a life of loving God and loving others.

Here are some practical ways to do that:

  1. Create a positive sibling experiences often.
    A positive sibling experience where everyone involved is having fun, encouraging each other, laughing with each other and growing together. This could be a family outing to a special ice cream shop, afternoon at the bowling alley or a family dinner filled with Fun Dinner Questions for Families.

    Whatever the experience is, creating a positive environment for making memories will be sure to build deeply rooted friendships between siblings. 

  2. Teach them to serve each other
    A wonderful passage in the Bible that helps us understand why serving your sibling is so important is Galatians 5:13-15. It says this:

    “You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other. 8

    Humbly and lovingly serving your sibling is a beautiful example of loving your neighbor. The passage ends by warning you not to “bite and devour each other” which is what often happens when siblings don’t get along. 

    Eventually the biting and devouring will lead to a destroyed sibling relationship, but teaching siblings to serve each other with a true servant’s heart will lead to love. 

  3. Help them to find their place within the team
    Everyone has an important part to play on their family’s team, and no team can “compete” in life to its fullest potential if one team member isn’t playing.

    Helping every person on the team realize that they are valuable and that their teammate is valuable will change the culture and attitude of the house. Siblings will stop looking at each other as rivals and begin to see each other as valuable, important individuals.

Related Blog Post: 54 Fun Dinner Questions for Families

Best Bible Study to help strengthen a sibling relationship

As I have mentioned a few times in this post, pointing your children to Jesus is the best way to help siblings get along.

In my opinion, the best Bible Study to help strengthen sibling relationships is the My Brother’s Keeper Bible Study by Not Consumed Ministries.

Here is a quick breakdown of what the Bible Study looks like, and why I think families with kids of all ages NEED to do this study. 

My Brother’s Keeper Bible Study Book

This is a four week Bible study that covers ten sibling relationships that are found in the Bible.

Through studying some of the good and bad sibling relationships, children will learn God’s true design for a healthy sibling relationship and how to help siblings get along. As the siblings go through the study together, their relationship and bond will be strengthened. 

Best of all, there are five different age appropriate study book options! All age ranges cover the same topics each day, but each book is broken down to the developmental levels of your child’s age.

My children love the graphics inside the Bible study books, and they have really been bonding as they go through the daily study. I highly recommend My Brother’s Keeper Bible Study Books. Grab your copy here.

Sibling Conflict Management Magnet

This has been such a useful tool in my household. With an eight, four and two year old, conflict arises about every ten minutes or less over here.

This little chart has been a wonderful tool to use for equipping my children on how to handle sibling conflict, scripture to go with the conflict, how to pray during the conflict and actions to take for forgiveness.

It hangs out on my fridge, and we reach for it often over here. Such an awesome item to have when trying to teach siblings how to get along by pointing them to Jesus. Grab your Sibling Conflict Management Magnet here.

The Sibling Challenge Game

This is a game that will be in my house for years to come. There are 48 cards that each have a challenge to complete for your sibling. Some are challenges a child does for their sibling and some are challenges a child does with their sibling.

These cards are such a unique way to strength a sibling bond through acts of service and words of affirmation. Grab your Sibling Challenge Game here.

It is my prayer that this blog post will help encourage and equip you as a Christian Parent to help them get along by using every opportunity to point them to Jesus. I would love to hear from you. Do you have any favorite tips for helping siblings get along? Comment below!

If you like this post, check out these past posts:
54 Fun Dinner Questions for Families
The SOAP Bible Study Method for Kids and Parents
Parents Prayer for Children: Why and How to Pray for Your Children

Christ-Centered Christian Motherhood Blog


  1. NIV Beautiful Word Bible. Zondervan, 2016.
  2. NIV Beautiful Word Bible. Zondervan, 2016.
  3. Hubbard, G. R. (2004). Don’t Make Me Count to Three! (p. 22). Shepherd Press.
  4. Hubbard, G. R. (2004). Don’t Make Me Count to Three! (p. 28). Shepherd Press.
  5. Tripp, P. D. (2016). Parenting: 14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family (pp. 54-56). Crossway.
  6. Salter Goodwin, D. (2008). Raising Kids To Extraordinary Faith: Helping Parents & Teachers Disciple the Next Generation (pp. 89-90). Beacon Hill Press of Kansas City.
  7. NIV Beautiful Word Bible. Zondervan, 2016.
  8. NIV Beautiful Word Bible. Zondervan, 2016.

About Alisa Price

I'm a follower of Jesus Christ, wife and mom of three, and I am passionate about children’s discipleship, healthy living, Christ-centered motherhood, family rhythms, homeschooling and so much more. Grab a cup of tea and follow along! With over a decade of education and experience, I am your go to gal for all the helpful ways to center your household around God.