Jul 25, 2017

Project Love: Brothers



Once upon a time, two siblings didn’t get along.  I was the sister, and the other was my little brother.

He would say mean things, and I would run away and cry.  But I was equally crafty;  I could always get revenge. (and then he would run away and cry.)  He made good movies.  I tried to copy him by making my own movies.  But they were ill-made, and I was frustrated.

I had to find my own talents, so I sat down and wrote a story about a dog fair.  He read my story and wrote a story about a cat fair.  We compared drawings, argued about who was the best photographer, and didn’t like the same animals.

But we grew up.  He thrived making movies and is becoming a skilled videographer.   I write stories, and he doesn’t try to copy them anymore…unless to turn them into a short film.  He’s an expert in gardening, so I ask him for tips with my lettuce and tomato plants.   And sometimes, when the sun is starting to set, we like to sit down together and talk.  Share our struggles.   Encourage each other.   Laugh about life.

We still clash and get upset at each other, but we learned something important:

Siblings can be friends.

The Bible is full of relationships gone wrong.   One brother killed his little brother (Genesis 4:1-15). Another man stole from his brother and had to flee for his life (Genesis 27).  Two siblings complained about their brother, and God punished them by striking the sister with leprosy (Numbers 12).

There’s a verse that sends chills down my spine.

"If someone says, 'I love God,' and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?" – 1 John 4:20

We cannot love God if we do not love our siblings.

God is love.  If we really love Him, that love will be evident in our own life.  (1 John 4:8)  Thus, if you constantly clash, argue, nit-pick, or hold grudges against a sibling, you need to fix that.  Something’s wrong with your heart.  Solve the problem, and then seek God.

In the New Testament, there were three siblings who were tightly knit together in love.  Mary, Martha, and Lazarus were people who welcomed Jesus into their home with open arms.  They had completely different personalities, and sometimes they clashed.  But they were family.  And Jesus loved them.

Let’s be that family.  The family who overlooks differences and loves just the same.

We talked about relationships with sisters last week.  I’m going to turn it around and address the other side of the spectrum: brothers.




I have five brothers and one more in heaven.  And they all have different personalities.

One brother is extremely intelligent, understands anything math, computer, or science related, and is encouraging to have deep conversations with.

Another likes to sing opera, plays any instrument he can get his hands on, and brings laughter and hugs into our home.

My third brother is a videographer, photographer, great gardener, and pretty much everything else.   He plays the piano and has a great singing voice.

Next comes Gilly, and he is all smiles and encouragement although he's a farm boy who loves animals and working outside.

My youngest brother has a louder personality but is very serious and sweet if he wants to be. ;)  Although he won't admit it, he loves hugs and kisses and snuggles on the couch and holding my hand.  (I wrote this post because of him. ♥)

Although I love my brothers a bunch, I also struggle in this area.  So let’s jump right in.

Older Brothers.

This also applies to little brothers who are growing up.   =)   Older brothers are one of the biggest blessings in life.  They’re becoming men.  They’re getting busier.  They’re also getting wiser.  Their relationships with God are stronger than ever (ideally), and, because you’re their sister, you can reap part of that in deep conversations.   You used to chat about pets and your favorite colors, but now that’s gone.   Older brothers aren’t only siblings. They can be great friends, encouragers, and fellow prayer warriors.

Little Brothers.

What fun they add to the house!  Yes, they bring dirt and noise and chaos sometimes.  But they also give hugs.  They go on walks with you.  They’re always tickled to help you with cooking or other jobs.  They still hold your hand.

All brothers are different. Some are huggy, lovey brothers and others are more serious and reserved.  Like we did last week, I’m going to share some ideas of how we can build stronger relationships with our siblings.  And I hope you'll share your experiences in the comments.

I’ll start with little brothers:

  • Give lots of hugs.  They claim that they don’t like it, but they really do.
  • Complement them.  Point out what they’re good at.  A lot.
  • Let them do things with you.  Even if it makes your work harder it sure adds fun. =)
  • Ask for their opinion.   It helps them feel grown up and appreciated.   My little brother loves helping me with story ideas.
  • Have special one-on-one time with them.  Something like playing a game, going on a walk, exploring, or eating lunch on the porch (call it a date and they feel extra tickled! They’ll start begging YOU to "go out for lunch").   =)
  • Tell others how much help they are.  If the little brother hears you saying it, he'll get a huge smile!
  • Be interested in what they’re doing.  If they tell you something, really listen.

And older brothers:

  • Ask them deep questions.  Discuss things with them.
  • Be willing to share your struggles.  And ask them how you can pray for them.
  • Respect their time, priorities, hobbies, and so on.  They’re growing up, after all.
  • Talk to them.  Don’t let life fly by without being a real family.
  • Random acts of kindness.  This is good for every age.
  • Know their love languages.  I hope you’re not tired of this one already. =)
  • Share what God has been showing you.  Have meaningful conversations.
  • Look for chances to serve them.  Do their chores, wash their laundry, etc.
  • Encourage them in their talents. Even if you don’t understand how anyone could enjoy what they do. ;)

Phew. We’ve had to fly through these family relationship posts. I think we could spend a month more focusing on loving siblings, parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents…but time is short.  So let’s pause here and remember what Jesus said.

“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” – 1 John 4:7-11

Loving others is hard.  It’s not always fun.  It takes effort.  But it’s so worth it.

As we work on building strong relationships with our family (brothers especially!), I would like to hear from you.  How are you striving to love more?  Do you have brothers?  What encouragement or advice would you give someone who wanted to become best friends with their brothers?

Now to live out Love.  ♥

10 comments:

  1. Great post! I hope it can reach out to some people. I don't have any brothers (though sometimes I want one) and I hate it when I see brothers and sisters not getting along. It's a blessing to have brothers and sisters... to have siblings. They are a gift from God - God placed some potential best friends right under your roof!
    Keep shining His light :)

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    1. God gave us so many gifts that we often overlook - like siblings. Instead of wondering why we have the family we do (or for you Sarah, maybe no brothers), let's be thankful! Praise Him! And make a difference right. where. we. are.

      Your family is perfect for you, and my family is perfect for me. So let's praise God for them and live like it!

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  2. Great idea for a post!!

    https://tizziestidbits.wordpress.com

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    1. Thanks, Tizzie. Brothers are a gift we often take for granted. How special it would be if we realized how they are best friends in the making - ones who live with us and understand us better than anyone else perhaps.

      God is so good, and we are so blessed. ♥

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  3. Awww, great post, girlie!! I MUST HEAR YOUR TWO SINGER BROTHERS SING. THAT IS AN ORDER. Heyyyy I've got a deal for you...if you let me hear your bros singing, I'll let you hear my sis (who wants to be on a competitive singing show when she's older) sing! xD
    I feel like I have more of a struggle when I try to show love to my brother than my sisters...I think his love language might be quality time (which I've said before--and by the way, love languages were a GREAT thing to include in the post!) so that would be a smart route to go. ;) Please pray for me, because I think God really wants me to invest in my brother and to help him to grow in Christ and in our relationship.
    Speaking of brothers, our final two (I hope and pray!! xD LET'S JUST FIND A NAME, PEOPLE) names for the newest addition are....Michael and Jackson!!! Which do you like best??
    You're awesome, sweet girl. Keep on loving others and showing Christ. <333
    -Ariel

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    1. Sure, that can be a deal, Ariel - as long as we do it in person! Bring up your family for a visit. We could do praise and worship together... ♥ That would be such a sweet time. =)

      YES! Invest in your brother, Ariel! I'll be praying for you, but you have a good first step in knowing his love language. If he's a little brother, quality time is easy. =) Prayer coming your way... ♥ And, by the way, how are those sister relationships going?

      Michael! It's a cute name, and it has a good meaning: Who is like God? I'm excited for this little baby!! He's coming soon now, isn't he?! xD

      I keep realizing how important love is, day after day. I'm thankful to have you as a friend. Your encouragement is so special to me. =)

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    2. OHHHH my goodness that would be sososo fun if we could see each other someday, wouldn't it?! And since some people in both of our families are into singing, the praise would be especially sweet!!
      Thanks, girlie. <333 *smacks forehead* Okay, so a couple of my sisters have commented on the amount of school that I've done and am doing--and I feel like they are feeling like my time with them is being taken away. WHICH IS SOOO NOT OK. Please be praying for me, because I really need to get my priorities straight.
      YES I love the name so much--and the meaning!! ^_^ We are 99% sure that Michael is going to be the name. And we need to pick it soon because we've got like NINETEEN DAYS!!!!!!!
      I'm thankful to have YOU as a friend, Hosanna--you're pretty special. <3
      -Ariel

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    3. Yes, it would be such fun! =)

      That's hard, Ariel. School is important, and we should do it. But what is MORE important? I hope (and pray!) that God gives you wisdom in this area. ♥

      Is it 16 days now?! How exciting!! xD I can't wait to finally "meet" baby Michael! =) *bear hugs*

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  4. Replies
    1. Thank you, Paige. May we press on towards Love and become young women after His own heart. ♥

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