As a child, my brother and I picked at each other at every chance we had. Looking back to the things we said to each other in moments of anger makes me cringe. We would tell each other, “I wish you die so that I remain the only child to our parents”. How crazy and naive! I thank God this never came to pass. In summary, my brother and I had the most exceptional sibling rivalry.
Decades later, we are grown ups now. We still argue, quarrel and even go for weeks without talking to one another. There’s this time we were attending a prayer retreat for a week. We journeyed to the retreat to and fro daily. We would go together in the mornings and return in the evening together.Then, I was expecting my second born. I needed to replenish my energy from time to time. As a result, I carried snacks and drinks. In the mornings I would forewarn my brother to carry his snacks too. He would agree to this but never carried. During the retreat when hunger pangs got the better of him, he would beg me to share my drink and snacks which I did after giving him a good lecture. haha.
one time in the evening while we were going home from the retreat, the matatus went on strike. so I advised my brother we trek as we waited for my hubby to come pick us up, of which my brother did not like.The only functional means of transport were the motorcycles but their services were costly. My brother wanted us to board one of these to which I refused bearing in mind my pregnant stature. we had a huge fight about this and yet we were from a prayer meeting. Come the next day, we talked and joked as if nothing happened. It’s not that none of us cared about what had happened the previous day but we knew each other so well. Both of us knew what strings to pull with care and with caution. So what may seem like an out-of-control fight may as well be the norm. After all, it’s never that serious between siblings. Is it? Hahaha! Isn’t it our siblings who know our extremes?
Many of us in our families fight each other because of one thing or another. It could be parental favoritism, selfishness, jealousy and so on. Fighting may be constantly or once in a blue moon but that does not mean we love our brothers less.No! It means that we learn to perfectly love our imperfect brothers. Isn’t this what Christ would want? That as we fight, we also learn to kiss, make up and make peace with our brothers flaws? (Psalms 133:1)
How we handle sibling rivalry kinda shapes our social orientation in life.I guess charity begins at home. Through sibling rivalry we learn to forgive seventy times seven or hold onto grudges.Love our neighbors as ourselves or be self-centred and cruel. Be our brothers’ keepers and value them above ourselves rather than envying them. Protect and trust them rather than harm and betray them.Respect and be patient with them rather than show arrogance and a don’t-care attitude. Handling sibling rivalry positively breeds harmony, which in turn breeds a blessing.(psalms 133: 3) How wonderful is this!
On the other hand, negative handling of sibling rivalry breeds strife and confusion which in turn is the cause of every evil work. (James 3:16) These brothers can’t , won’t forgive or overlook their differences with their siblings. My prayer is that they do not get to Cain’s and Abel’s story’s ending but to Joseph’s and his brothers’ story’s ending. The saying blood is thicker than water is being watered down by today’s ‘westernized’ society that applauds individualism more than brotherhood. consequently, most of our brothers’ blood is crying to God for the sake of their brothers’ unfavorable treatment.It should be blood that we stand by and for but not against.Having a fight with a brother? It’s never that serious. Forgive and love Perfectly the imperfect as Jesus Christ taught us.
REFERENCES: 1cor 13, Rom 12:7, 13:10; Mark 12:31, 1 peter 3:8, Philippians 2:3-4, Matth 18:22