"Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who
promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near." Hebrews 10:23-25
I do not think older children realize the impact that they can have on their younger siblings. As the oldest child in my family, I have the responsibility of setting a godly example for my younger sister. She will most likely follow in my footsteps.
Even if our younger siblings do not seem to notice or care what we do, they are watching how we treat them. What if God is using our example to bring them to salvation and to a knowledge of the truth? If we call ourselves Christians and yet fight, bicker, complain, and ignore our siblings; what kind of impression does this have on them? When they see us being kind and compassionate to our friends and yet we come home and give them nothing but grief; what does this say about us? It is hypocrisy and it is wrong.
How we treat our siblings shows us who we really are. Matthew 23:27-28 says this, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones and all uncleanness. So you also outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.” If we cannot love our siblings like we can our friends, we are only appearing to be beautiful to outsiders. Our siblings know who we really are.
I don’t know about you, but I haven’t done a great job of being a good example for my sister. I have let her down. She needs to know that she has a sister that loves her unconditionally and that really cares for her.
Our brothers and sisters have so much potential. If only we would take the time to listen and to pass on a little encouragement! They need our love and respect.
The good news is that even though we may fail, we have a Savior who is quick to forgive us! He will pick us up and set us back on our feet. We just need to run to Him!