Three ways to love your siblings
Living together isn't always easy, but our brothers and sisters are God's children too.
“Check mate,” my brother said with a victorious smile. He glared at me, just waiting for my reaction.
I definitely don't like being beaten, but it's even worse when my younger, aggressively competitive brother gloats in his victory.
How do you treat your siblings?
My anger boiled within me, and I acted without hesitation.
I seized both sides of the wooden chess board and flung it into my brother’s face, sending chess pieces flying all over the room.
What I realized a few hours later is that in that moment, I saw my brother as someone that I could treat however I wanted simply because he was my brother. I would not dare to fling a chess board in one of my friend’s faces, but I did not hesitate to do this to my brother.
Why is that?
When I responded in anger, I not only gave into my flesh, but I also gave into a common idea that many people have about siblings – that they get in the way of what we really want to do, and the people that we really want to be around.
Which is not how God wants us to think of our siblings at all.
1. Love your siblings
John writes, “Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness. Whoever loves his brother abides in the light, and in him there is no cause for stumbling” (1 John 2:9-10).
It is popular to view our siblings as pests.
Everywhere I turn, culture is telling me that I must be my own person and pursue my own dreams, not letting anyone else get in my way. I am told to follow my heart and to do whatever floats my boat.
But many times, this involves pushing away the very people whom I am to love and care for: my siblings.
When my brother invades my space, when my sister interrupts my conversation, and when my siblings simply won’t leave me be, my world no longer revolves around Christ. My world now revolves around me.
Instead of loving our siblings and caring for them, it can be too easy to focus on ourselves and exalt our own desires above theirs.
2. Walk alongside your siblings
Proverbs 17:17 says, “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.”
God has given us siblings for a purpose – they can walk through the deepest valleys of grief with us.
In 2019, our grandfather died tragically. One of the ways I was able to go through such a loss was alongside my siblings, who alone shared a similar journey of grief I was walking through.
Although my friends also encouraged me, I found immense comfort with those who knew every aspect of the story, and who truly cared for me, and I for them.
3. Live in peace with your siblings
The gospel transforms the way we interact with our siblings. If we love God, we will respond out of love for them.
Although at times, siblings can seem to be the hardest people to love, God has given them to us for a purpose. He has provided friendships to be cultivated within your very home.
Refuse to throw the chess board, but “aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you” (2 Corinthians 13:11).