We Bicker Like Family

a rainy day

“We bicker like family, but we really do love each other.”

I heard that while watching a documentary about Pentatonix  – whatever member said that about the rest of the group, it made me stop and think. Why do we just assume “that’s what families do – they bicker?” Does your family argue, fight and fuss at each other? Bicker isn’t a word I use every day, so I looked it up Googled it. Bicker is a verb that has two meanings:

  1. To argue about petty and trivial matters.
  2. To flow or fall with a gentle repetitive noise; patter. (like water)

Growing up, bickering was not allowed in our house – ever. That strictly enforced rule created a habit between my sister and me. We don’t bicker! We haven’t always gotten along, but for the vast majority of our lives, our exchanges have been pleasant. My sister is a naturally nice person, but I cherish the fact that I can call or hang out with her and know our conversation will be kind. If you’re a parent, I hope this encourages you to outlaw bickering. It will go a long way in creating good relationships between your children. 

The second definition immediately brought a verse to my mind:

“A continual dripping on a rainy day and a quarrelsome wife are alike.” Proverbs 27:15

God used this verse to convict me recently. Paul and I don’t argue (for one, he’s a sports official. Have you tried arguing with a referee? It’s not usually very successful. LOL) but I really love a good rant. If someone does something I don’t agree with, I really enjoy telling Paul exactly what I think about the situation and what I’d love to tell them. I’m still working on this! Even though my irritation is not directed at him, my attitude sets the tone in our home. If we had children, I would be telling them (by my actions) that it’s okay to raise your voice and argue when things don’t go the way you think they should.

Because my husband officiates sports, he hears a lot of bickering at work. Moms, dads, coaches, assistant coaches and anyone else who doesn’t agree with his decisions let him know exactly what they’re thinking. I want to create an environment in our home that’s totally opposite of what he faces on the court.

Do you want your home to be a place of bickering – arguing about petty, trivial matters? Do you want to be an annoying sound like a constant drip from a leaky roof? I don’t! I want my home to be a safe haven of love and kindness, and I really believe that begins with me. We all have a good example to follow, found not far from that quarrelsome wife of Proverbs 27:

She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. Proverbs 31:26

If you find it hard to be loving to those in your home (it happens!), 1 John 4 is a good place to start. God’s love is the diving board that launches us into the pool of loving others. Don’t accept the world’s standard that families always bicker. Turn off that annoying leak and let some love into your home!

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8 thoughts on “We Bicker Like Family

  1. It’s so true what you say, Whitney. I have bickered in the past (quite recent, in fact LOL) and I never feel good after doing it. My partner can be very stubborn (but then again, so can I) and I have realized more recently that bickering does more harm than good, even though it seems like we’re achieving something as it’s an action, but it’s a negative action which can create resentment and ill ease. We don’t have children (we have a fur baby) but I can see how detrimental bickering could be on little ones (I remember my dad bickering and how unpleasant it was). Reading your post has made me want to strive more on taking action against the negative affects of bickering. Thank you.


    1. Thank you for sharing that, Elizabeth! You’re right – bickering only yields a temporary satisfaction. (I apologize for the late response to your comment – I didn’t intend to get so behind on replying to comments!)


  2. Great advice. My husband and I rarely argue and I love the idea of teaching your kids not to argue. We definitely disagree, but have worked hard at having discussions about things. I’m going to have to remember this when we’re dealing with sibling issues and raising two little people. My side of the family tends to not talk about things when there’s an issue so I’d really love to be able to implement a healthy discussion strategy vs silent treatment to work things out.


  3. I think we all struggle in this area. It is so easy to become impatient with others. My grands, Kendall and Landon, like to bicker and I try to shut it down by reminding them that they love each other. Landon knows exactly which buttons to push to get his sister going….she is a lot like me, it does not take much to get her riled up!! Now that it is just me and Marvin, we do not have much bickering. Mostly we “discuss” what I told him that he says he never heard!lol I have laryngitis this week so he is getting a break.


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