Let’s Encourage Our Siblings! (April)

by Sarah L. Bryant

This month, KBR is hosting an “Encourage Your Siblings Challenge.” We invite you to join us in this exciting adventure together! We will be posting one article each week by different sisters with ideas on how to invest in and encourage the younger siblings in our lives. We would love to hear your ideas as well, so feel free to comment.

Greetings, dear sisters!

We all want to change the world for Christ, right? Many of us dream of sharing the Gospel and being missionaries to lost people groups across the world.

However, when was the last time you looked around and realized that you are living in a mission field right now? If you have a family, you have people to share the Gospel with on a daily basis, and if you have younger brothers and sisters, so many little eyes are watching you. This gives you a wonderful opportunity to share Jesus every day. So often, because this seems rather ordinary and sometimes “mundane,” we overlook the most important fields of ministry that God has given us as daughters and sisters—that of using our time wisely and investing it in the siblings that are in our lives.

Jesus Christ discipled his twelve disciples on a daily basis. He lived and ate with them, and in so doing He showed them and taught them what the Kingdom of God was truly about. In a much smaller, yet similar way, we as big sisters are given a privilege to live with other souls and to share with them what Christianity is all about. What true love is all about. What sacrifice looks like.

We are not promised another day with our siblings. James 4:14 minds us, “Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.” Do you know what this next year will look like? Are you even promised another hour of life? Do you know what your siblings will be when they grow up? None of us know what the future holds. You do not want to look back with regret on how you spent the years you had together with your siblings. In ten or twenty years, you will not want to look back and see that the way you treated that “more difficult” sibling degraded and discouraged they as they matured. Rather, it will bring such joy if you can look back and say, that by God’s grace, you strove to uplift and build up your siblings and see the beautiful fruit of godliness in their lives as Christian adults. We must take heed and invest in the opportunity we have been given to grow up in a Christian household.

While we are not to instruct our siblings with authority, we as older sisters certainly do have a special influence in their lives. We should support our parents’ authority and teaching, and set a good example for our siblings. It is very important for little Jonny to see that big sister honors her parents and does what is right when mom and dad are not looking. When she loves him and values God’s Word, she also encourages him to do the same.

Our siblings, Lord willing, will mature into adults and will have their own families one day. They will have legacies. Today we can influence them positively and encourage them to invest in what will truly last—God’s Word and a relationship with Christ—and ultimately impact many generations to come! I find this to be a tremendously sobering realization. It makes me fall to my knees and plead with God for help, for grace, and for wisdom in the way I treat my siblings. The time is so short, the need of the hour so crucial.

There are so many ways to encourage and uplift our siblings both physically and spiritually. However, let me share just a few of the exciting things the Lord has done in my own sibling relationships throughout the past few years.

  • One very important and simple thing that we can do easily is simply listening to our siblings. Communication is a life-line for relationships. If there is no communication, you cannot have a thriving, growing friendship. Sometimes it might take more effort to go out of way to be with a sibling or be around when they’re doing something so that you can talk with them. Making time to be together is a key to simply keeping the line of communication open and ready. Ask your sisters and brothers how they really are doing deep down inside, what they are learning, how they need prayer—simply be interested in their life and their interests. I have some very special memories of late-night conversations with my younger sister! For your brother or sister who enjoys talking, be a good listener—it can be easy to continue looking at what you are working on and nod your head, but take your eyes off your project and pay attention to the conversation. For siblings that are still fairly young, we can do this by taking time to stop and listen when they come running to show us a little picture they drew, a bug they captured, or a Lego truck they made.
  • Some of the most memorable memories our siblings have of times spent together are often things we don’t even remember. Young minds are very impressionable. My sister was telling me recently about some fictitious stories I told her when she was very young (like if you talk too much when you are young, your voice “runs out” when you get old). I didn’t remember telling her those things, but she still remembers! You never know how the choices you make will impact your siblings. When you sit down on the floor and play a short little game with your little brother or plan a sister tea party, it can really be special to them. Take your baby sister on a scroll outside in the baby backpack. Bake some bread or read a book with your four-year-old sister. Write little encouraging notes to your siblings every few weeks.
  • Making fun memories happens naturally in the life of a busy, big family—but we can also make an effort to do fun things with our siblings. A few weeks ago, my siblings and I planned a special “camp-out party” in our basement. On the scheduled evening, we played games, told stories, recited memory verses, sang songs, ate ice cream, and then gathered our sleeping bags and pillows for the night. However, the funnest part of the whole evening was one unique twist—before arriving at the party, we all individually dressed up in the most interesting attire we could find in our closets. We then walked one by one into the pre-decorated basement, and squeals of laughter were exchanged for a long time as we all examined one another’s very eclectic attire. For some reason, this was so funny to each of us and made the party very memorable. Sometimes all that is needed for making fun memories is a bit of the unusual and some creativity.
  • Another fun thing to do with your siblings is to write down what you want to be “in ten years.” Let your imaginations free and have fun writing down random things about one another! In several years, these lists will be so fun to look back on and read together.
  • A few years ago the Lord showed me how important it is to honor and encourage my siblings, instead of discouraging them. I need to show them I have faith in them and believe they can do big and important things—whether that be learning to balance a bike or build a treehouse or earn enough money to buy a house one day. I have made mistakes in past relationships, by saying things like, “You can’t do that!” or making other passing statements that discourages their dreams and goals. You must realize how important this is, and ask for God’s strength and wisdom, so that you can do as the virtuous woman who “openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness” (Proverbs 31:26). Cast a vision by encouraging your siblings in their “big dreams” and ambitions. Who knows—your little brother just might become that astronaut he has always wanted to be!
  • I have been impressed with the importance of praying for my siblings, especially when they are going through difficulties. Prayer reaps a harvest that we will never fully know. I challenge you to pray daily for each of your siblings’ salvation. Plead with the Lord for their eternal souls, pray for their sanctification, pray that the Lord would fill their souls with the glory of the Gospel and overflow them with awe, for their courage to fight the many battles we face as Christians. Pray that your brothers would be filled with the power and strength that God requires of godly men, pray that they would be shining lights in a world of darkness, pray that the Lord would raise up their progeny to be powerful warriors in the Kingdom, that God would call their descendants to proclaim the Gospel to the ends of the world, and pray that their future children and all those who follow from their lineage would fight for the crowned rights of Jesus Christ until His return! There are so many important battles at stake, sisters. Praying for our siblings is so much more than just meets the eye; it can have eternal results extending farther than we will ever see in our own lifetimes. I challenge you to develop a habit of praying daily for your siblings.
  • For the past few years, my siblings and I have done a challenge together each summer to read the Bible, memorize Scripture, and be accountable to respective friends, to whom we each recite our verses every few weeks. This fun challenge has been very helpful in encouraging my siblings to develop a solid habit of Scripture memory and Bible reading. I have also encouraged my siblings to read the Bible every day of the year, and for two years in a row now, they have completed that challenge! A few weeks ago we enjoyed a treat together for their accomplishment—some ice cream. It is so exciting to see the spiritual fruit of this diligence in my siblings’ lives; God’s Word never returns void. When older sisters encourage their siblings in these goals, it can really have a powerful impact in their lives.

Ice Cream Treat Together

These are just a few ways that we can invest in the lives of our brothers and sisters. There is so much more to be said, and in the next few weeks we will have several other sisters share how they like to encourage their siblings. We hope you will join us in our “Encourage Our Siblings” challenge this month, as we seek to establish a foundation of investing in and inspiring tour siblings to seek the Lord Jesus Christ in their youth. This can have a lasting and profound impact, which will only be seen in years to come. You may never know what impact the investments you make will have; sometimes the fruit may seem long in coming. However, I can attest that God is faithful, and does answer our prayers, with the watering of His spirit and answer to fervent prayer. Be faithful and trust the Lord to do the work in their hearts.

What a privilege it is for us to be able to seek the Lord with our best friends—our brothers and sisters! Let us press on, looking forward to the ultimate Day when we all stand united at Christ’s throne, singing loudest praises to Him forever! This is our goal!

With His love,
Sarah Lee
{Founder of KBR Ministries, Big sister to Four}

P.S. I encourage you to read this encouraging article about the influence of sisters written by Timothy Arthur.

We encourage you to tell your friends about this challenge and encourage them to invest in their siblings with you!

Enjoy this month’s special computer desktop wallpaper:

6 thoughts on “Let’s Encourage Our Siblings! (April)

  1. Sarah,
    Thank you so much for the inspiring article! God Bless you and your siblings! I always enjoy reading about you all and seeing the pictures . . . it really helps when you know that you are not the only Christians with your mindset in the world! Give thanks to the LORD with a grateful heart!

  2. Amen sister!
    You really convicted me! God bless you!
    Your siblings must have a excellent sister!
    lydia-grace meggs

  3. Hello!
    I would like to participate in this challenge, but forgot about it until yesterday (April 2nd). Is it “too late” to join in and still enter the giveaway?
    Thank you!
    Rachel

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