Growing up we were always told, “Friends come and go but family is forever. So make your siblings your best friends.”
Growing up we rolled our eyes and kept up our typical sibling banter. But now that I’m grown up, I am eternally grateful for listening before it was too late.
I’ll be honest. Being the oldest child means great responsibility. And with great responsibility comes great power. (wait I think that’s the other way around… with great power comes great responsibility…? oh well 😉 ) However, to a young mind, great power can turn into great “bossiness.”
I wasn’t the nicest sister, but very bossy and a perfectionist making sure my siblings did things my way and correctly. I was always critiquing my brother and excluding my sister. It wasn’t until my freshman year of high school that God blessed me with a two-by-four across my head and knocked some sense into me!
Receiving some reality, I realized (that I just alliterated… 😉 ) that I had four years until I graduated and therefore four years left to leave a legacy and establish my relationships with my siblings. I had to decide what memories I wanted to leave behind.
It took four years to turn around, grow, and redevelop. However, now I have friendships I would never give up and people I would die for, that I love to pieces.
In this day and age, too many of us forget the value of siblings. We get so caught up in the teasing and fighting and are surrounded by a culture of broken families that we lose the opportunity to have friends personally given to us by God.
A while back, my brother and I had a random conversation of the power of the words “I love you.” The three simplest words, that have the deepest meaning. We may know someone loves us, but it means so much to receive that verbal reminder.
“Love always says the same things, yet never repeats itself.”
Jean C. J. d’Elbée (I Believe in Love)
My brother and I have never actually said “I love you” to each other. I mean it’s not something siblings really do, right? Deep down we did love each other. So we personally gave ourselves a challenge, without even telling each other, to say “I love you” more to the other.
It was hard and awkward at first to have that come out of my lips, even towards other siblings. After a while, it became normal and more love and beauty came forth from those simple words.
Yes, we still argue and tease. Yes, I can still be bossy. Yet, I have grown to see past the imperfections, to the beautiful soul that lies within each sibling.
In the end, I’m not saying sibling relationships need to be all “lovey,” but I want to encourage you to step out of your comfort zone and show/tell your siblings that deep down you truly care about them. Maybe, over time, that deep care can rise closer to the surface and influence your daily interactions, building a stronger, more charitable relationship.