“Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another” (Rom 12:10).
Have you ever wondered, like I have, why brotherly love is held up in Scripture as an example of love to pursue? It seems like brotherly love often doesn’t look much like love. It looks more like a wrestling match or competition, with one brother continually trying to outdo or one-up the other.
Encourage brotherly (and sisterly) love in your home by proclaiming a “You First” Day. Encourage your children to think and say, “You first,” in every situation possible. Encourage them to let their siblings decide what to play. Coach them in letting others take the first turn, the first serving, the first seat, etc. Let others go through the door first and others sit down first at the table. This should get rather humorous if everyone in the family takes your challenge seriously. Everyone will want everyone else to go first! A good problem to have!
If it gets too crazy, take turns being the “You-First Person.” Have one child focus on saying “you first” for an hour, then another child the next hour, and so on throughout the day. Make sure you join in on the fun, too.
Talk about Mark 9:35, where Jesus said, “If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all.” What does Jesus say about the person who desires to be first?
On days when arguing and selfishness are especially bad, lighten up the atmosphere and help everyone refocus, by spontaneously declaring “You-First” hours. When everyone is busy trying to please others, the mood will quickly change!