3 Ways To Be A Godly Brother
By Fin Sheridan
First up, notice that the title doesn’t say “good” brother. If I’m being really honest, I’ve been a pretty average brother in a lot of ways. Also being a “good” brother is pretty subjective. Being a good brother to your loud, extroverted younger sister looks a lot different to be a good brother to a shy, younger brother. But what about a “godly” sibling? What does that look like?
I’m the oldest of 5 boys (the response to that is always “Your poor Mum!”) and we get on pretty well. We live scattered across the world: 4 different countries at the last count and we see each other about once a year but due to the wonders of WhatsApp and social media, we talk every day. We’re very different yet very similar.
“Your presence, words, posture and approach have tremendous impact.”
Now, sometimes older brothers get a pretty bad reputation in the Bible – the first one that most think of is the older brother in Luke 15, in the story of the Prodigal Son. Not the best example. I’m writing as an older brother because that’s all I’ve known but I think these lessons apply across the board. So, here’s a couple of lessons that I’ve learnt, trying to be a godly brother.
- Know Your Place. This is a classic older brother phrase, normally said to younger brothers when they’ve done something annoying. But there is an element of truth – knowing our place in the family is important. You’re not in charge: that’s the parent’s job but you can be responsible. Responsible for looking out for your younger siblings, responsible for helping around the house and responsible for setting an example.
- Know Your Value. As the saying goes, you can’t choose your family but you can choose your friends. A brother can be the best sort of friend – a connection of choice AND inevitability. That kind of relationship can incredibly valuable with deep levels of trust, knowledge and love available.
- Know Your Impact. The words of a brother seem to carry a profound power. When you speak life and encouragement, it lights a fire of belief in your siblings. When you criticise or cut down, the wounds cut deep. Your presence, words, posture and approach have tremendous impact. Consider that carefully.