The Sister He Wants Me to Be (April Challenge)

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by Sarah Wiens

“Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies,
kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;
Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any:
even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.”
{Colossians 3:12-13}

It’s interesting being the middle child in a family with very large age gaps. Growing up, I was the youngest, and I longed for younger siblings. My older brother made it look very easy to be the oldest. He always had time to spend with me, even playing games with me that he did not particularly enjoy. I was sure that, if I had younger siblings, I would do just as well as he did as an older sibling – maybe even better!

Things changed when I was twelve years old . . . because that’s when I got younger siblings.

My two younger brothers and younger sister were adopted in May of 2008. I quickly realized that, rather than this being the end of the story, this was only the beginning! And, in all honesty, it looked like a rather scary beginning to me! My three younger siblings were not the sweet little angels I had imagined them to be . . . and, even more shocking to myself, I was not the sweet angelic older sister I had imagined myself to be, either.

There’s a lot I could say about my journey as a big sister. It hasn’t been easy, but I’ve really been able to see the Lord’s hand at work. God brought them to us so they could hear the truth. It’s a mission field in our own home! That seems to be something I have to remind myself constantly, because it’s easy to write on the importance of being a good big sister – but it’s much harder to live out. It’s very difficult to give them my time when there are so many things that need to be checked off my checklist. It’s difficult to respond sweetly when my day is going chaotically. I know that Christ will give me strength to do what is right if I allow Him to control me, yet it is easy to give in to my flesh and just do what is natural. Being a big sister is hard.

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That’s when I have to think. When this season of life is over, how are my siblings going to remember me? With disdain, as they think about how selfish I was as I lived my own life and ignored them? Or with a smile, as they remember all the good times we had together? Most importantly, what are they going to think about Christianity from watching my life? These are sobering thoughts for me, as I think about my failures.

“For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing:
for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.
For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.

Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me…
O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
{Romans 7}

Thank God that His mercies are “new every morning” (Lamentations 3:22-23)! Each day is a new opportunity, yet I would still mess up if I had to do it on my own. I cannot be a good big sister on my own strength. But Christ is willing to make me the sister He wants me to be. He can use me as a tool for good in my siblings’ lives. Will I let Him work?

“My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.”
{1 John 3:18}


This month, KBR is hosting an “Encourage Your Siblings Challenge.” Throughout April, we are posting one article each week by big sisters, who will share encouragement and ideas for how to bless the younger siblings in our lives. We would love to hear your ideas as well – feel free to comment.

Feel free to tell your friends about this challenge and encourage them to join you as you “Encourage Your Siblings”!


 Siblings Challenge April 2014

This Month’s Desktop Wallpaper

4 thoughts on “The Sister He Wants Me to Be (April Challenge)

  1. Dear Sarah,
    Thank you for sharing your journey as an older sister. I found it to be so true that we can not be good big sisters on our strength, but with only Christ’s help we can be loving older sisters. God Bless you!
    Rejoicing in Jesus,
    ~Lydia Grace

  2. This is so true! It is always easy to be good at something, until you try it! Then you learn that you are good at nothing without the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ! But the Lord teaches you his plan, and lifts you back up when you fail. Praise him :)!

  3. This hit home for me today, sweet sister! I’m 21 and the oldest of 6 children, and lately I’ve really been letting the ball slip through my fingers on this one. I’ve found that getting along with my sisters and brothers has gotten harder as they go from being children to young men and women with their own (very different!) personalities and struggles.
    I liked what you said about how having younger siblings is like being a missionary in your own home! That is a wonderful perspective (that I have had a head knowledge of, but needs to work it’s way down to my heart and be LIVED OUT in my *life*).
    I, by God’s grace, the prospective you brought out about how, ONCE THESE YEARS ARE OVER, HOW WILL MY SIBLINGS REMEMBER ME? Will it be with a cringe, or with a smile? Will they only remember the incessant tears and stress I portray as I suffer through trials, or will they SEE HOW GOD WORKED IN MY LIFE THROUGH THOSE TRIALS? Needed this! (Hugs to you today, dear sister)

    1. Well, Katie, I’m glad that I was able to bless you. :) I know, being an older sister, what difficult days look like (although my siblings are probably a lot younger than yours). And yes, being a good big sister isn’t easy. But I also know, as a younger sister, how much younger ones appreciate time that their older siblings spend with them. I’ll admit, there’s days when it’s easy to forget what I wrote, easy to forget to live it out. But God is always faithful to remind me of these truths when I need to be reminded!
      May God bless you and give you grace and strength to persevere!

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