By Vivian Bricker, Crosswalk.com
As an adult with two older adult siblings, I am familiar with valuing your adult siblings. We are often told the importance of respecting or getting along with our siblings as children and teens, but not much is spoken of valuing your adult siblings. If anything, we need to continue to value our siblings into adulthood and support them to the best of our abilities.
Here are three specific reasons to value your adult siblings:
The first reason to value your adult siblings is because of love. Even though years have come and gone, the love we have for our siblings will remain. We all have been hurt by our siblings in various ways, but we still love them. Although we may not like them at times, we always love them. This is because love is a choice. It is not based on a feeling, but rather, it is an intentional decision we make every day.
Despite the fact our siblings may be adults doesn't mean they have everything figured out, and it doesn't mean they don't need help. We can extend the love we have for our adult siblings by being there for them and being supportive. This will ensure they feel valued and cared about. Even though your siblings have become adults doesn't mean the love you have for them has diminished. It is true that your siblings may have hurt you, but it doesn't mean you don't value them anymore. In fact, they may feel as though you don’t value them anymore if you don’t extend love, support, or care toward them.
Love is one of the strongest bonds we can have with one another. It is mighty and is an exact representation of God's being (1 John 4:8). When we choose to love and value our siblings, we are being God's light to the world. It's hard to say that our siblings have never hurt us because that would be an impossible statement to make. A true statement that we can make is despite the pain and hurt our siblings may have given us as children, teens, or even as adults, we still love them. By loving them, we are truly valuing our adult siblings. The Lord gives us the command to love all people just as He loves us (John 15:12).
2. The Past
A second reason to value your adult siblings is because of the past. While I understand not all of us were supported and loved in the past by siblings, there is a high chance that you had a strong bond with your sibling at some point. For my siblings and I, we have all gone through the death of our family dog and our mother together. We were all together at these points in history, thus, we share that same pain. Although many of our friends may never understand our pain, we know that we, as sisters, can share that same pain. The past is often what connects us, and it can cause us to value others.
We should never stop valuing our adult siblings because, at the end of the day, they are still our siblings. The past that we share with them is deeply interwoven into our hearts and minds. Since we spent a great deal of our past with our siblings, we need to keep valuing them even into adulthood. Maybe your siblings have not made the best decisions, but you still need to value them because of the past you share and the love you have for them. Even amidst the pain and hurt, we can still value our adult siblings regardless of the past.
3. They Are Made in God's Image
A third reason to value your adult siblings is because they are made in God's image. Every single person is created in God's image (Genesis 1:27). This includes your siblings. Maybe you are reading this and you are holding onto a great deal of pain because of your siblings. My heart goes out to you because I understand how you feel. It is not an easy feeling to have nor is it a feeling that simply can be waved away. This is a hard teaching of the Bible because Jesus does command us to love all people even if they are not kind to us (Luke 6:27-36).
Sadly, our siblings can often be the most vicious people to us. We may extend support and help, but they might deny our help and put us down. Even if our siblings have done this or continue to do this, we still need to value them. Similar to everyone else, our adult siblings are made in the image of God. Since everyone is made in the image of God, we need to value our adult siblings. We should want the best for them and help in ways that we can. It is also worth mentioning that sometimes siblings can change as they get older as compared to how they were as children.
Sometimes this change can be for the better, yet sometimes this might be for the worst. Even if your sibling doesn't make the best of decisions, it is important that you still value them. God values each and every human life and we should do the same. If we are truly following God and we love Him as much as we say we do, it is vital that we love, respect, and value our siblings. It brings God glory when we love and value others.
It is often hard to love those close to us because of past pain. It hurts so much more because the individual was close to us and we trusted them. Often, our siblings can hurt us and this can cause us to not value them anymore. If you have noticed this in your life, know that it can happen, but you can get back on the right track. You will never be able to control the way your siblings act, but you can control your own behavior. Rather than holding hate toward your sibling or choosing to not value them, you can choose to love freely and value their very beings.
God wants us to value all people, including our siblings. While this can be difficult for many of us, it is vital that we do value our adult siblings. Unfortunately, not many of us think about death until it is at our doorstep. My sister recently was speaking about this topic and it affected me deeply. She pointed out that individuals normally don't think about death until it is in your midst. From my own experience, I can vouch this as being true.
I never truly thought about death until our family dog passed away and our mom passed away nearly seven years ago. The topic of death was uncomfortable and I didn't want to think about it. Most people feel the same as we don't choose to acknowledge death until we see our loved one take their final breath and we miss their very presence. We need to remember this because our time on earth is short and so is our siblings time on earth. Our siblings could be here one day and gone the next. We need to value our adult siblings because they are valuable to us, yet we might not see that until they are gone. Thus, choose to value your adult siblings, be supportive of them, and help them grow in the Lord.
Photo Credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/digitalskillet
Vivian Bricker loves Jesus, studying the Word of God, and helping others in their walk with Christ. She has earned a Bachelor of Arts and Master's degree in Christian Ministry with a deep academic emphasis in theology. Her favorite things to do are spending time with her family and friends, reading, and spending time outside. When she is not writing, she is embarking on other adventures.