Kids, In Our House, Love is Not Optional


I break this blogging break – for a soapbox on sibling fighting.

You guys – my kids. The fighting!!!

I know. I know. They are kids. They are little. They will fight. One minute, they are basically making out with each other – and then the next they are squeezing the fire out of each other’s arms. And the boss hogs are in town. They will be leaders. Repeat. They will be leaders.


So – I just have to share what has gone down today in HOPES that it will help you – in case one or two of you have people fighting in your homes.

We went to check out Gateway again – there are SO MANY fantastic churches around here and we are just trying to let God lead us to the best spot. The leader of Larson’s room was surprised but so open when I asked to sit in and watch. I want to know what my kids are being taught. How much is entertainment? And how much is the gospel? So I sat in the back row with 200 kids.

And it was awesome.

This video seriously brought the chills – that you know is only from above. I grabbed Larson’s hand and whispered from one “little sister” to another little sister – “Larson, your sister loves you.” Because I know what it’s like to want to be your big sister. I know what it’s like to be left out and have your feelings hurt. Sisters are HARD. I feel bad for Ella who is trying but sometimes just wants space and her friends.

This video. Y’ALL. THIS VIDEO!

Connie’s Testimony on Forgiveness from Gateway Amazing Kids on Vimeo.

Please please watch it with your kids – boys or girls.

It is an incredibly powerful reminder for them – how we can impact our siblings in hurtful ways and then redeem that with forgiveness.

I came home also rocked by what the guy (Bryant?) said about I Corinthians 13;4-7. It was like I was seeing it for the first time again. I don’t often pull my kids for an official “devotional” around the table. But we did today and I took some photos because I knew I’d be sharing it with you today.

Step 1.

We discussed the video from church (you can watch right here!)

Connie’s Testimony on Forgiveness from Gateway Amazing Kids on Vimeo.

Step 2.

We got our Bibles and highlighted two verses – the one from the Virtue Cards and from In This House, We Will Giggle for this month. I Corinthians 13:4-7 and I John 4:19


Step 3.

We colored the verse.


Step 4.

I gave them a chance to write each other a letter and used this template that I whipped up. Sorry, not a designer but it worked. Beautifully.


I GAVE THEM ONE RULE: you cannot mention your sister’s faults. Only what you can do better.


Step 5.

I read them this Code of Siblings that I made up today. Again, I’m not a designer. But I like having this as something we can refer back to.



Loving Well

This virtue is so important to me. LOVE! Siblings are going to be their closest friends for life (or we pray). They will surely disagree – but the way they protect and love one another is core to the foundation of family. There has to be boundaries of respect and honor in family. As parents, we have to place a high value on this – love one another like Jesus would. We can’t love our friends and strangers way better than we love our family. Even when it’s hard – we gotta choose to love. We need to find ways to make that a virtue that is valued in our home – in how we expect them to treat one another. We can even spend time ensuring they get space from one another. Loving one another doesn’t mean always being together.


I don’t want my kids to love well – because I want good Christian kids that hold hands and act nice – it’s because their hearts matter. It’s because Christ first loved us. It’s because little jabs from siblings can add up to major wounds. And as we all know, wounds divide families.

Your siblings are often the ones with you in the end. The ones you can call when everyone has gone. With you when you lose your parents or birth a child. They’ve known you the longest and they know all of you – the best and the worst.


Let’s practice this month (well, in February) in very small and sweet ways how to put our family first – try #LoveEmUp – ideas in my book and here on the site. From sweet notes to picking up each other chores – the options are endless. Let’s be the kind of families that start modeling this idea of LOVE – we protect each other. We are patient. We are kind. We make our homes a safe place to be, not a war zone.


In this journey with you all. Thanks for listening to another soapbox. Hoping these tools help you in some small way. It certainly made my Sunday go from highly discouraged and frustrated to seeing these beautiful girls TRUE hearts for each other.


When they read the notes to each other – they asked me to put the camera down. It was like they knew – this part was sacred. This part was raw – the private moments of my girls. When only our family could peak in and see the true them.

It was love.

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  1. I NEEDED this today! Thank you, Courtney, for helping me to help my kiddos choose love. Thank you for the tools to disciple our precious people.

  2. This is great! I was just wondering this morning “God? How do I foster more love between my boys?” Especially from my 4-year old to my 8-year old who just can be really mean. Thanks!

    1. hey sweet jess! i love that word foster – bc i want to FORCE it so bad some days. and mine too – so mean. and so can i!

  3. Spot on Courtney! Not only do I adore your perspective, but love that printable!!!! Best part (other than the adorable pictures)….”you can’t mention your sister’s faults.” I might just read this and do this word for word with my kids. Thanks!

  4. This is awesome…my girls are too little for the notes, but the coloring and the watching we can do that. Thank you for a concrete and intentional way of teaching/showing/modeling love for our littles.

    1. i’m so proud of you – some people just tune it out quick and you found a way to make it work for yours. awesome.

  5. Such a sweet and encouraging post Courtney! I attend Gateway and love it for my children.

    Sibling battles last for a season but when you sow into them, as you are doing with truth, they make it out on the other side as brilliant friends who love one another well.

  6. Thank you for this. Thank you for sharing and encouraging us. Also reminding us that we are not the only ones going through trials of sibling arguing and the discouragement that can bring as a parent. What a truly beautiful opportunity you have created with your girls. I love your Sibling Code of Love. I have been thinking about something like this for a long time. It is perfect.

  7. Love this article, Courtney!!! Sibling rivalry can be sooo tough, and this was a beautiful reminder to CHOOSE love and to remember the depth of how much we are loved by our Savior! No question that God is working through you, Courtney!!!

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