Thursday, July 16, 2009

My Sibling, My Friend

I was recently watching a You Tube video about the Duggar family that I mentioned in the links and book review last week. One of the older girls was being interviewed and they asked where the Duggar hairstyle comes from and why they all look alike. Her answer was, I believe, foundational to good family relationships particularly between siblings. I am paraphrasing but she basically said, "Why do all the girls in a school look the same? They are friends so they want to look like one another."

In a family, there should be a sense of "this is where I belong." When no one else in the world believes in one, he or she should be able to turn to his family members to receive strength and encouragement and, yes, friendship. A husband and wife should be best friends. Parents should be friends with their children while, of course, maintaining authority. And, contrary to popular belief, it is totally natural for siblings to be friends.

Photo courtesy of Ivan Makarov

It seems like the world, even popular children's books, encourage sibling rivalry (yes, I knew I spelled that wrong the other day--it was a play on words!) and expect siblings not to get along. That worldview is based on allowing our selfish natures to overtake us and not consider the other person. However, if we line our beliefs and practices up with God's Word, we see the message that we are to take up our cross, follow Him and lay down our lives for others. Within a family, it is critical that we do this!

I shared a few humorous stories of life with my siblings when we were smaller earlier this week, however the years of growing and playing together have left us with an incredible bond. A few poignant memories I have are the three of us comforting one another in a group hug at the funerals of our grandparents, calling up my brother when I was down for a much-needed laugh, calling my sister for encouragment when my stress levels were through the roof and having two of my best friends in the world standing by me as I pledged my love and life to my groom ten years ago.

But the memories aren't over. The three of us are as different as three people could possibly be, but I look forward to sharing many more life experiences with them in the future. And, maybe, just maybe passing on a little of that bond to my own three children so their bond will be just as strong in years to come.

Photo courtesy of Olivireland

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