by Hannah H.
from Virtuous Daughters, November 2010~Volume 10, Number 8
Sibling relationships are something that I get really excited about!! Maybe because siblings are such a wonderful and special part of my life!! What a treasure and tremendous blessing God has given us in our family! Sometimes you may have to have a little imagination to see it that way. It’s like a diamond in the rough. :) Maybe you’re saying, “What, siblings and blessings; isn’t than an oxymoron? You don’t know my siblings.” No, I don’t. But, I do know that unity in the family is important to God. Psalm 133:1 “Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity.” Whether you find it difficult or easy to get along with your siblings, in this article I want to come alongside you and encourage you to build stronger sibling relationships. There are so many blessings and benefits in our sibling relationships.
You will be blessed for life by the time you invest! At the moment it may not seem like it, but our friends will come and go, they will move away or change directions in life. Most of us will have our siblings for a lifetime! Isn’t that neat? Relationships do take work! But anything worthwhile does, right? The groundwork you are laying now as a young lady at home will last a lifetime! What kind of foundation do you want to lay, a foundation of selfishness and arguments or of love, joy, and peace? What kind of stories do you want to tell your kids about growing up with the uncles and aunts? Memories and fun and wild adventures you’ve shared or lonely and unpleasant times of bickering and simply putting up with each other? We might as well decide to make the best of this opportunity that God has given us!
Being the second oldest of ten and having seven sisters and two brothers, I feel truly blessed! Because of years of work, my siblings have truly become my best friends! I don’t know what I would do without them! As I have mentioned before, a family is like a built-in peer group and support team. :) We love doing things together! We all enjoy playing music and singing together. We older girls have enjoyed having a family music teaching business. It is fun working alongside each other and we like to share ideas and insights. Three of us play in a community orchestra together. I was so glad when two of my sisters joined me in this! It turned a mundane weekly event into a sister bonding and talking time! Many times we wish the car ride was longer and will often sit out in the car awhile just to finish a conversation. :)
We enjoy spending time together in the great outdoors too, camping, canoeing, or hiking. Getting away from normal distractions is a good way to focus on your sibling relationships. We also love playing sports together! We thoroughly enjoy playing basketball and volleyball together!...Playing as a family means that we can be honest with each other....Playing sports together definitely builds relationships.
You can learn to use each other’s strengths and weaknesses to make a pretty strong team in sports and life in general. It is neat how God puts a family together. It’s like a beautiful puzzle or stained glass work of art. You know that God does things for specific reasons, right? He has given us the siblings we have in part to work as heavenly sandpaper. :) That sandpaper can be the very thing that turns us into the gem that God intends us to be. Often certain characteristics in others bother us because we actually have a weakness in that particular area ourselves. Or it may be that you and your siblings are opposites. That can cause conflict too. But, we need to choose to celebrate and enjoy the differences versus allowing them to bother us. This one truth has particularly helped me in my sibling conflicts!
It’s funny to think that many times the thing that irritates us the most in someone is the very thing we love the most about them. I know this sounds contradictory. But, think about it. Do you have a sibling that is a little messy or tardy? Maybe that is the sibling that always has time to help others or is flexible with their schedule and time. Do you have a sibling that is extra chatty? Is that same sibling willing to talk to you about anything whenever you want? Think about it, it can be kind of funny. :) We can choose to find the good in others or to dwell on the “ugly.”
Here are a few practical suggestions on building sibling relationships:
When picking activities to do together, try to think selflessly. You and your siblings may be polar opposites and both of you will probably have to do some giving. Remember just because you are making new strides in the relationship doesn’t mean that they will always respond in the way you desire. It may take a little time. Don’t forget it will not happen overnight. I have been working at it for 23 years. :) It is not all bliss. We still have our conflicts and disagreements. But we do our best to work through them or avoid them all together. Keep at it! It is definitely worth it!
The Article Library
This "Library" contains articles that were published in previous issues of Virtuous Daughters. It will keep growing as we continue to upload articles from the 20 years of printing. We pray they are an encouragement to you!