Summary: ALL IN THE FAMILY – Sibling Rivalries Siblings are a gift to each other from God; siblings are different from each other; siblings learn to relate to God together, and sibling rivalry teaches us how to get along with other people.

Genesis 4:1-9 (NIV)

[1] Adam lay with his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain. She said, "With the help of the Lord I have brought forth a man." [2] Later she gave birth to his brother Abel.

Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. [3] In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord. [4] But Abel brought fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, [5] but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.

[6] Then the Lord said to Cain, "Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? [7] If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it."

[8] Now Cain said to his brother Abel, "Let’s go out to the field." And while they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.

[9] Then the Lord said to Cain, "Where is your brother Abel?"

"I don’t know," he replied. "Am I my brother’s keeper?"


I had days that I just wanted to kill him! My brother is five years younger than me and half my size (well he’s little but not that little). I stand about eight inches taller than Doug and out weigh him by at least forty pounds. When we were kids our difference in size was even more noticeable. Like all sibling rivalries we had our moments; Doug would sometime say or do something that I didn’t like and we would be off to the races. You see what Doug lacked in size he made up for in speed. When he knew I was angry with him he would start running; he was as quick as a rabbit and as nibble as a cat. I can still see him running circles around me in the front yard and darting around the corner of the house and in the back door to hide or find mom. I’m convinced that he is alive today because I just couldn’t catch him.

It’s time again for ALL IN THE FAMILY; this week we’re going to tackle sibling rivalries as we look at the first sibling rivalry between Cain and Able. What lessons can we learn to help brothers and sisters get along with each other, and how might our sibling relationships affect our relationships with other people? It’s my hope that we will all find something in the story of Cain and Able for everyone; yes, even us adults who may just need some help getting along with our “siblings” within the family of God.

But first a chance for you to laugh a little once again with my top twelve common words as redefined by parents with children.

12. DUMB WAITER: one who asks if the kids would care to order dessert.

11. DEFENSE: what you’d better have around the yard if you’re going to let the children play outside.

10. STERILIZE: what you do to your first baby’s pacifier by boiling it and to your last baby’s pacifier by blowing on it.

9. THUNDERSTORM: a chance to see how many family members can fit into one bed.

8. TOP BUNK: where you should never put a child wearing Superman jammies.

7. FEEDBACK: the inevitable result when a baby doesn’t appreciate the strained carrots, green beans, or spinach.

6. TWO-MINUTE WARNING: when the baby’s face turns red and she begins to make those familiar grunting noises.

5. VERBAL: able to whine in words.

4. WHOOPS: an exclamation that translates roughly into "get a sponge".

3. GRANDPARENTS: the people who think your children are wonderful even though they’re sure you’re not raising them right.

2. INDEPENDENT: how we want our children to be as long as they do everything just the way we told them to.

1. OWWAH: the first word spoken by children with older siblings.

Well before we have any siblings start poking each other and the little one’s crying “Owwah!” we had better get started—ALL IN THE FAMILY; Sibling Rivalries.

I. Siblings are God’s gift to each other.

Genesis 4:1-2 (NIV)

[1] Adam lay with his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain. She said, "With the help of the Lord I have brought forth a man." [2] Later she gave birth to his brother Abel.

1. The family you are born into is not just a matter of chance; it is a gift from God.

a) Eve understood something that many of us in the 21st century have forgotten; CHILDREN ARE A GIFT FROM GOD.

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