Genesis – In the Beginning
Chapter 4 Cain and Abel – Sibling Rivalry * Murder * Anger * Bullying
By Carri Pratt
“While they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.” Genesis 4:8
Mothers all across our country are faced with the dilemma of sibling rivalry, jealousy and bullying abuse. With violence on the rise in movies, television and video games, there is an increase in anger and a decrease in patience being modeled for our youth.
The Bible tells us being angry with your sister or brother is the equivalent of murder. Jesus shocked his listeners when He told them “But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment.” Matthew 5:22
In this passage of Genesis, God is showing us what can happen when human emotions are not dealt with properly. As a mother I would like to know, where was Eve long before it ever got to this point? What could she have done to prevent it on both sides, as the mother of the bully and also as the mother of the one being bullied? What am I doing to prevent such a tragedy in my own home?
Bullying is also a huge problem in America. Many of the children in the United States live in constant fear of being bullied (in their own home and at school). “160,000 kids will stay home today because they are afraid of being bullied.” Jim Dubreul, 20/20 News. (Dubreul’s video, “School Bullying” click here)
Mothers may expect bullying at home, however, CBS News reports that bullying in the home is a similar problem. They report this might be from a blended family situations or from siblings simply acting out. “Experts told CBS 2 that parents shouldn’t brush off bullying between siblings, and cautioned that it could be a cry for help from the bully.” “Testa said that the first step in stopping bullying at home is for parents to acknowledge that it is wrong. What may appear to be a sibling rivalry could be taking a significant toll on a child’s well-being.” (CBS News report click here)
As Christian women, we can intervene by talking to our child(ren) about being kind to their siblings as well as to other children at school. We can find an opportunity to discover what our children are experiencing in the home, when our backs are turned, as well as at school and church. Do they feel threatened in any way?
Most importantly, as parents we should model good behavior for them. A child's number one way of learning is from watching what mom and dad do.
“Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble.” 1 Peter 3:8
Excellent Resources for parents and educators at
11 Facts about Bullying
Online Bullying – Yale teams up with Facebook
School Bullying Video