Today in our society, older sisters who take the time to invest in their younger sibling's lives are extremely hard to come by. And to the modern families, this “way of sibling-hood” is foreign. Why? Why is the idea of older sisters investing foreign? Honestly ladies, I don't know why! Perhaps, no one has explained the importance of the investment they put into their sibling's lives. Perhaps, they haven't been presented with “the challenge”. No matter what the case may be, it is so important that we, as older sisters, invest in our sibling's lives.
When we invest in our sibling's lives, you show a love that they will cherish. This love is not the ushy-gushy love that we hear about today. The love I'm referring to, is the kind of love Christ commands:
“A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.”
It is so super easy to apply this verse to our outside friendships … am I right? However, we need to actively apply this verse to our sibling friendships!
When you portray love (John. 13:34) you portray honor. When you portray love and honor, you aren't allowing pride to get in the way … and when the pride doesn't get in the way, then you become more and more sensitive to the feelings of your siblings.
Being sensitive means to be aware of the feelings of others. Sure we care feelings of our outside friends … in fact we hate the feeling/thought of offending them in any way! But when it comes to our sibling's we seem to throw their feelings off to the side. Besides … we can get to them later, because we see them 24/7 … right??
Instead of throwing their feelings off to the side, take the time to show that you care! Become their hero. Become their shoulder to cry on. Become their confidant. Become their best friend.
Romans 12:15 says:
“Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.”
The next time your little sister comes to you and says “look look look! I got an A+ on my spelling test!” Rejoice with her and show her that you care dearly for what she has to say! The next time your little brother comes to you with tears running down his cheeks and says “my pet frog died! What should I do?” Gather him in your arms, and weep with him. Host an on the spot funeral for his pet frog.
Why are those little things so important?
How do you want to be remembered by your younger siblings? Do you want to be remembered as their hero, confidant, best friend, and much more. Or do you want to be remembered as the older sister who only cared about her personal life? The question we should ask our-self is : what kind of legacy am I leaving behind for my younger siblings? Leaving a legacy behind aren't only for when you are blessed to be called “Mommy” and then “Nana” … you begin to leave a legacy when you are living at home.
Do you have friend who is always pulling you down and pointing out the negativity in everything? Would you agree with me that it is so hard to enjoy your time with her? If you don't like spending your time with a person who far from uplifting, then do you think that your siblings enjoy spending time with you if you aren't uplifting?
An uplifting older sister is a girl who:
::lends an encouragement word and a listening ear
I treasure when my adopted-older-sister-by-heart gives me an encouraging word and is always ready to listen to me. Just recently she sent me a card, encouraging me in the trial I'm currently facing.
Be the older sister who your siblings long to go to for a listening ear and an encouraging word.
::praises them in the little things
Sometimes we often take the little things our siblings do for granted. The next time your younger sibling does something as small as share their toy with another sibling … offer words of praise. Or if you and your three year old brother are dancing around the living room, tell him that he's a very good dancer.
:: isn't inferior to her siblings
This is really simple … don't promote a sense of competition in your father's home … instead, promote a sense of companionship. Be real, open, available when your siblings need to talk. Allow your siblings to know that their role model has weaknesses … allow them to know your weaknesses. Also, share with them what God is teaching you … you never know when you'll silently encourage them!
Ways to invest
The way we invest in our sibling's lives is so important! Will we invest with an un-joyful, negative, and begrudging attitude? Or will we invest with a joyful, positive, and uplifting attitude? Our sibling's know when our hearts are truly longing to invest in their lives, or if we are only doing it because our parents want us to. They can tell when we truly show them that deep sincere love that Christ commands in John 13:34 or if we are being double minded.
Fun ways to invest
:: do a Bible study with them (or read them Bible stories if they are too young for a Bible study)
:: take your younger siblings on a surprise picnic
:: throw a surprise tea party for your little sisters
:: dance with them
:: sing with them
:: help them with their AWANA or Bible Bee
:: take them swimming, to the park, bowling, etc.
:: help them with school
… but most importantly …
be on their side!
I have always struggled with investing in my younger sister's life. Thankfully, God has recently convicted me in this area, and taught me what I was able to share with you.
In HIS grace, Alisha