Thursday, November 18, 2010

A Brother is Born for Adversity

Proverbs 17:17 
A friend loves at all times,
and a brother is born for adversity.

Adversity was also translated trouble, distress and affliction. That definitely sounds more like what a brother causes in your life, not helps you through in life.

Friends are easy. You get to pick them. If your relationship cools off, it doesn't matter; they aren't going to show up at the family reunion.

A brother is born to help in times of adversity?

This isn't a natural relationship. Brothers (this applies to all siblings, but I'll use  brothers) seem born  to be adversaries, not born for adversity.

The first older brother was a murderer.

Didn't get ya' much hope as a Mom, did I?

As a Mommy, how do you turn their hearts together to fight  against the common Adversary instead of each other? Yea, him, the wicked one. By turning their hearts to the true Friend, Jesus. He is a friend that sticks closer than a brother.

It goes even deeper than just teaching kids to get along, but teaching them to fellowship.

Satan loves to destroy and divide. If he can come between any relationship, he can keep their focus away from the Holy One who knew no sin. If he can divide brothers, he can keep a powerful and spiritual bond from forming that would give the Lord much glory and honor.

My Mom always told us, "Charity begins at home. If you can't love your family, you won't be able to love anybody else."

Yea, my poor Mom had to deal with a lot of squabbles between her six children, but over and over she stressed that we had to practice common courtesies in the home or we wouldn't practice them outside the home.

Sibling rivalry isn't an excuse for your home to be in chaos, it is the reason you need to help your kids overcome.

These are their first trials, their first relationship issues that they are learning to overcome.Who better to bring out all the nastiest residues of our heart than a sibling?  Shouldn't we help our kids root out their uglies before they establish their own homes?

They should learn to confess their sin. They should learn to forgive 7x70. They should learn to let love cover a multitude of sins. They should seek a relationship of peace. Learn to work out differences. Learn to share. Learn to be slow to anger.

For those of us that resisted certain areas of correction from our parents, our regrets were huge when we began parenting. Not only did we still have a weakness to deal with, we displayed that fault to our children.

That's why a brother is good practice. You learn to not fight against each other, but to support and encourage each other.  You learn to be a better listener, more patient, more forgiving, more prayerful.  Then, you can fight together against the real Enemy, instead of fighting against each other and giving the Enemy a foothold.

But, you you can only be a brother born for adversity, if you know the Friend that loves at all times.


  1. Yes...but how!

    Seriously, I am really struggling with this right now. There are times when my girls can be the best of friends, but they seem to be fewer and fewer. More often than not, they are trying to maim one another. I am serious. There has been blood.

    I sat them down this morning and asked them to close their eyes and imagine life if a sister were to die. How would they feel if their last words were said in anger? By the end of the discussion, we were all in tears. Of course, 35 minutes later, they were chasing eachother around the backyard, one trying to pummel the other.

    Who needs brothers (even if they have one) when you have sisters!

    Anyway, that is my longwinded way of asking you for any advice you care to share.

  2. Having two young boys this was a great post. we have always had the rule of NEVER fighting no matter what, and not allowing them to ever be mad at each other with out going to the other and apologizing and forgiving. The hard part comes in where my eldest is a natural servant and very humble and my younger is very prideful and my eldest is always more than happy to let him go first, build him up, give him what he wants or let him win! Praying for guidance on how to teach the older how to not always be taken advantage of, but not lose humility.

  3. This is very much one of my soap box issues as you well know. I very much want my children to be friends as adults -- good friends!

    Our new issue is to fight over who gets to read a book next. They argue over who gets to read it next and then when everybody is hopping mad they turn to me and expect me to choose who goes next. So then no matter who I pick I'm the bad guy.

    Yesterday I finally told them, "No, I will not mediate over these little squabbles any more. From now on when you have a problem, you will stop and pray about it, asking the Lord for guidance in how to resolve the issue. That is not a suggestion that's an order. If you do not stop and pray you will be disobeying me and will be dealt with accordingly."

    I should have been doing that all along but sometimes I get too caught up in being a mother.

  4. I want to say something that there are no words for ---- but I think all your brothers have found you a true friend in their times of adversity.
    It is the Lord's doing, and I thank you for allowing him to work through you in marvelous ways.

  5. Queenie - thanks for the encouragement to write more on this topic. I started asking my kids about this topic to blog more and one child replied, "Are you kidding? We use to pound the crap out of each other when you were gone."

    So, since I guess I am not going to win mother of the year, I am praying about this, talking to my kids, and will blog about this in the near future.

    If nothing else, maybe you will just learn from my mistakes. :)


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