I did it again. I could have tried harder at controlling myself, but instead I just got angry and blew the whole situation up. Again. It always happens right after I pray that God would help me to extend love and kindness towards them. Immediately my desire to do just that – extend love and kindness – is put to the test when faced with confrontations. He won’t settle down, though I have told him five times now to stop running around and making noise. She won’t go pick up the mess in her room without being reminded fifty gazillion times all while being coached on what to do. These grumblings take over my mind. I snap. There goes love and kindness… there goes patience.
Not only do I still have to work towards showing love and kindness, but I also have a mess of my own anger that spilled over I now have to clean up. Why won’t they listen? Mom left me in charge. Shouldn’t they remember that and respect it? More grumblings. Complaints. In essence, excuses for my actions.
Siblings are human beings. They mess up. They aren’t always going to listen perfectly. And when they don’t, I wish I could always remember that in that moment, instead of lashing out. I need to take a deep breath, pull them aside, and talk with them. “Hey, if I ask you to do something I really need you to try to do your best to do it. If you need help, just let me know and I can grab a buddy to help you.” Or, “You’re starting to really act up and I need you to settle down, please.”
What kind of example am I setting as a sister to my younger siblings when I get angry? Not a very good one. I want to be a positive example to them, but they don’t see positivity in my anger. That’s going backwards.
Grace. It goes a long way with anybody. Siblings are no different. I notice that if I make an effort to pull someone to the side and talk to them one-on-one I will get a much more willing response. Now if only I could remember to do that all the time in those “heat of the moment” situations.
You see, I have this deep desire to be a great sister. And I am terrible at it. Really. Just ask my siblings. (On second thought, don’t. Who knows what kind of response you’ll get in my family. Haha!) I have to be intentional about praying every day for the strength to do something right as a sister. The only reason I get anything “right” is by the grace of God. There is no other explanation. I love being a sister. I love that God has given me this wonderful opportunity to invest into their lives and cultivate a deep relationship with each of them because of Him leading me to stay at home. But the truth is I don’t take full advantage of this opportunity. I wish I could say I do. Here is what I can say, though: that with every passing day I desire more and more to bring this matter of being the sister I need to be for my siblings and loving them the way I know I should love them to the Lord. I cannot do it. I cannot be the wonderful sister I know I should be. I fail daily at taking hold of every opportunity to help when help is needed. I fail daily at showing grace and mercy in sticky situations and instead get angry. Only through the grace of God will I become the sister I should and be intentional about loving each one of my siblings.
This might seem over the top to some. They’re just my siblings, right? I only have to deal with their peskiness until I move out, right? I mean, what’s the big deal?
I believe there is a reason for everything. God put me in this family for a reason. He even made me the oldest child in a large family… for a reason. Also, I want to learn to love everyone around me by showing grace. Those outside of the home, as well as my family. ESPECIALLY my family. I want to love them. I want them to KNOW I love them. That is so important to me. So I pray, not only that I would be conscious of this desire in me to show kindness and love each and every day, but also that I would bring this to Jesus every minute of every day. It will do me no good if I don’t lay this at His feet. It is only through HIS love that I can love.
I read something recently that said if you want something to last forever you need to treat it differently. You need to treat it with tenderness and care. That was inspiring to read. That is how I want to view my relationships with my siblings. Something I want to last forever. But they are fragile things that, if not treated the right way, will shatter. That’s why being intentional about kindness and tenderness is important. They are some of the trickiest relationships to maintain sometimes because so many siblings butt heads. But, like I mentioned previously, there is a reason for everything. Including who my siblings are. I love each one of my brothers and sisters dearly, and hope I can continually strengthen that love as the years go by.
“A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” – John 13:34-35
I shared this blog post on AMamasStory.com’s Monday’s link-up!