I don’t mean to complain.
But I haven’t been sleeping too well lately.
It’s all the racket that goes on upstairs.
That party that seems to start up most every night.
I won’t mention any names, but they’re girls and there are 3 of them.
And they happen to be mine.
Who like to stay up late (which is to say, past 10 pm) and talk and laugh. Confide and cry. And get a little crazy together.
That’s our girls.
Now – not to pull you into our personal family matters – but I will tell you that it used to annoy my husband. All that noise and chatter. His inclination was to shut it down. Put a stop to the soiree.
I protested, “But, Honey, I actually really like it. Those are beautiful sounds to me. In fact, I LOVE to hear the girls giggling late into the night.”
Because, you see, I never had any sisters.
No built-in friends for me.
I just went to bed and lights out. No one to talk to . . . or laugh with . . . or cry on. A rather lonely deal.
But these girls haven’t had that same experience because they’ve grown into good friends.
The closest of friends.
Notice that I say “grown into” because that’s the key word here.
They were not born best-friends.
This is something that we worked on. Worked hard on at times.
I just don’t want you go get the wrong idea. Like we’re all simply peaches-n-cream over here. All politeness and understanding. Soft answers and sacrificial love.
Because I don’t know what your daughters are like, but let me say this about mine.
These girls are strong. They have very different personalities and sometimes very different ideas from the others.
So this sweet friendship that they now enjoy?
It took a lot of effort and encouragement.
On their part.
How to Encourage A Strong Bond Between Sisters
Help them to appreciate one another’s differences.
They say “opposites attract” but they must not have been talking about sisters because this sure didn’t happen naturally in our home. As the mom, I got to play a heavy role in helping the girls see the good qualities in each other. One child is dreamy and the other is practical. One child is a “messy” and the other a clean-freak. One is a chatterbox and another is quiet and more reserved.
These differences often resulted in irritation, argument, and sometimes downright jealousy between the girls.
So it fell to Matthew and me to help them get beyond these surface things and on to a deeper understanding and appreciation of each sister. To help them see and celebrate the differences.
Insist on loyalty to each other.
Each of our girls has friends outside of the family. But those friends all know that the Jacobson girls are fiercely loyal to one another. That’s just a well-known fact. So don’t even think of talking behind their backs or saying anything disparaging about a sister.
Because blood is thicker than water and all that.
And these girls stand by each other.
Take the time to talk things out.
And if you’re thinking, but that could take hours! You would be right. Yet those hours are well worth it now that they’re older and turn to each other, every bit as much as they turn to me.
So take the time and teach them the skill of working things out. They’ll have the rest of their lives to thank you for it.
Set aside time to build a friendship.
It’s not easy to grow close when everyone is busy and always scattering in opposite directions. So we started by having a Tea Time together once a week and now that ritual has grown into Tea Time every night. Before retiring (well, before their Dad and I turn in – because their party is only beginning, as you know), we gather together for a cup of tea and discuss what went on in our day—-events, frustrations, feelings, and things of interest.
Since the girls have grown older and can drive, they like hanging out together – go out to coffee, catch a movie, or help out a family in need.
Pray for their relationship.
Often the best thing you can do is simply pray for your girls and their friendship. Pray for a breakthrough, for better understanding, and for a new closeness. Pray for healing where there’s been hurt feelings and for reconciliation where there’s been broken relationship. Pray that they grow to love one another.
Sisters & Friends
They’re already making plans on how they’re going to visit each other, Skype one another, and spend their holidays together.
Continue to talk and giggle and grow together.
Because, of course, that’s what good friends do.
So the party goes on . . .
And I can’t tell you how much I’m going to miss those loud, laughing noises upstairs!
In His grace,
*What do you do to encourage friendship in your family? Did you grow up having sisters – and are you close now?