Why Did God Give You Siblings?
If you have siblings, you've probably secretly wished you were an only child at least a time or two. I have two brothers and two sisters. Through the years we've had our share of disagreements, frustrations, knock down drag-outs, and misunderstandings. But that's what siblings are supposed to do, right?
Our culture touts sibling rivalry as "normal" and says that friends, not siblings, are the natural choice for support. But does that line up with God's plan for siblings?
Here's a sweet little kernel of truth that jumped off the page at me recently.
"A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity" (Prov. 17:17).
I've heard the first half of that verse quoted often. It's certainly good advice to note that good friends stick close by no matter what. But I've never really noticed the second half of the verse until recently. It's a powerful truth.
"A brother is born for a time of adversity."
These few words give us a glimpse at God's plan for our families, especially our sibling relationships. Why were your siblings born? To provide support when life goes haywire. Essentially God has given you a built-in support system. He knows that life isn't easy and trials will inevitably come, and He's given you siblings to support you, cheer you on, listen to you, and pray for you during times of trouble.
How would it change your family dynamics if you saw your siblings as a God-given gift? What if you looked at them less like an annoyance and more like a support system that you've always had and always will have? How would it change things if you stopped seeing your brothers and sisters as a source of adversity and started seeing them as the solution when adversity comes?
Here's an even more important question: How would it impact your family if you became intentional about being a support system for your siblings when they face tough times?
Notice that the way that you answer that last question has nothing to do what kind of siblings you have. So ... your siblings aren't Christians? That doesn't mean you can't pray for them. Your siblings don't want to talk to you about their problems? That doesn't mean you can't be a source of constant encouragement. Your sibling won't make an effort to get along? That doesn't mean you can't offer forgiveness freely and be a safe place for your sibling to turn if/when they decide they want to chat.
And for those of you who do not have siblings, God's hasn't left you without somewhere to turn in times of trouble. As an only child, you may have felt the void that not having a built-in support system can cause, but God has provided the church to be like a family to you.
"Both the one who makes people holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters. He says, ‘I will declare your name to my brothers and sisters; in the assembly I will sing your praises'" (Heb. 2:11-12).
I want to encourage you to re-think your sibling relationships. Instead of seeing your brothers and sisters as an annoyance, believe God's Word that they are His provision for support when life is hard. Sibling rivalry may be normal, but sibling friendship is God's original plan.
How can you live out God's plan for siblings today?
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