7 Bible Tips for Growing Closer With Your Siblings
Just as we didn’t get to choose our parents, we also didn’t get to choose our siblings. Some of us are blessed to be very close to our brothers and sisters. Unfortunately many of us can be estranged from them as well. Our earthly relationships can test our faith and give us to question God on how we can grow closer to our siblings even though we may be very different in our viewpoints and experiences. Here are 7 Bible tips for growing closer together:
Tip #1) Be Patient
“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love” (Ephesians 4:2).
Many times our siblings have their guard up with us and we don’t even know why. Perhaps they’ve never been healed or delivered from childhood hurt. We can’t take away their past, but we can be patient and resist the urge to judge or push them into a relationship. By patiently praying and trusting in God—we can eventually grow closer to them.
Tip #2) Be Truthful
“Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ” (Ephesians 4:15).
Even though it’s not easy, we must strive to speak to our siblings in truth with love. They ought to know that we won’t lie nor would we attempt to deceive them. As we desire to grow closer to our siblings, the relationship needs to be built on the foundation of truth. As we speak the truth, the Holy Spirit can convict their hearts and draw them closer to Jesus.
Tip #3) Be Grateful
“We ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love all of you have for one another is increasing” (2 Thessalonians 1:3).
There are many people in the world who don’t have siblings. If we are blessed to have earthly brothers and sisters, we need to show our gratefulness towards having them in our lives. It’s very easy to get a card or make a phone call—just to keep in touch. Our gratefulness will be evident in our investment into the relationship.
Tip #4) Be Kind
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience” (Colossians 3:2).
Parents aren’t perfect and therefore, neither are siblings. Sometimes it’s easier to speak or treat a family member more harshly than it is to a stranger. We become so accustomed to one another that we take each other for granted. Yet a kind word can many times heal old wounds so that siblings can become best friends for life.
Tip #5) Be Loving
“For this is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another” (1 John 3:11).
Love is the mark of every true believer in Jesus Christ. The love that God has shown us through Jesus Christ should flow out of our hearts to our siblings. They will know we are real about our faith in how we show them love in our words and actions. There’s no faking or pretending if we are being led by the Spirit.
Tip #6) Be Sensitive
“Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind” (Philippians 2:1-2)
Sometimes family hurts run very deep within the hearts of our siblings. If we’ve been healed or protected by God’s grace—all the more reason, we need to be sensitive to the things that cause them pain. Our sensitive responses reveal how we are sincere in our desire to be close to them.
Tip #7) Be Available
“Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good” (Titus 3:1).
Our availability to our siblings is one of the best indicators of our desire to be close to them. We may not be able to see or talk to them every day. However we can make greater efforts to reach out even in a text or card. They need to know that we can be available when they are ready to talk or need advice on an issue.
Sibling Relationships instead of Sibling Rivalry
Satan and the world thrive off of division within families. However God has called us to be the peacemakers not only on the job and community, but also for our families. We may need to forgive and let go of the past in getting closer to our siblings. As we pray daily for them, let us seek God for wisdom and direction to get closer to them while we still have a chance to do so.
Article by Crystal McDowell
Crystal McDowell is a writer, speaker, and teacher with a passion to encourage believers to know and grow in their relationship with Jesus Christ through practical application of God’s word.
Crystal and her husband, Marshall, raise their five children in the Bloomington, IL. As a freelance writer and editor for over 13 years, Crystal has published numerous Christian curriculums for Sunday School and VBS as well as many articles dealing with marriage, motherhood, and relationships. She’s a weekly staff writer for www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com as well as writing her own blog at http://crystalmcdowellspeaks.blogspot.com.