Siblings....they can be your best friends or your worst enemies.
What are your siblings to you?
I personally, have a brother that is five years older than me and a sister that is two years younger. The older we have gotten the better our relationships have become. My brother is from my Dad's first marriage, so throughout my childhood my brother would live most of the time at his mom's house and occasionally at our house. As the years went by we saw less and less of him as he became involved with sports, boy scouts and other things. However, my sister and I adored our older brother and I can honestly say I only remember having one fight with him when I was really young. My sister and I however, have grown up side by side. We did everything together and knew the other one as well as we knew ourselves. We were each others best friends....but there were times we wished the other one lived on another planet.
This summer, for those of you who remember, Altogether Separate took a blogging break as we the writers were going on vacation. Part of my vacation consisted of attending a "Whatever It Takes" conference in Indianapolis, Indiana. We started the conference out by discussing the false beliefs that many of us. Satan has uses these false beliefs to cloud our minds and keep us in bondage. One of the false beliefs that was mentioned was: "My Parents/siblings Are My Enemy". Ouch! How many times had I viewed my sister as my enemy. After all, she was the one saying or doing something to me that hurt...right? As Paul and Jenny Speed (The speakers) discussed this false belief, I realized that I had spent my life believing this lie and it has brought such destruction to my relationships. Even though I grew up knowing we live in a spiritual daily battle, I still saw my sister as my enemy, when in fact, the true enemy was Satan. I know this sounds so simple, but it hit me hard. Every time I say something mean, or treat someone with disrespect I am allowing Satan to use what I say or do in the lives of other people and vice versa. Yes, my siblings (and myself included) made the decision to say or do whatever we did and are responsible to God for them, but Satan knows that the person who the words were said to, now has a choice to make and that is when he starts to work on the other person. He plants assumptions, thoughts and ideas in our heads to encourage us to fail. He uses the failings and struggles of someone else to make us sin and therefore two people (at the very least) are rendered ineffective to Christ in that short period of time.
As I sit here trying to type this out. I'm trying to figure out how to make this as simple as possible. When our siblings are battling the enemy and they fail (sin), we need to realize that at that moment it is not our siblings who are our enemy but Satan who is using them as a tool. I know how hard it is to view it this way. When someone says something that hurts me deeply, all I see is that person who said it. But what I need to see is the enemy behind the person.
In the workbook we were given at the conference, the false belief "My Parents/siblings Are My Enemies" had some bullet points that I would like to share with you.
* This belief will later become "My spouse is my enemy." This lie does not just stay with our siblings, because it is a part of how we view people when they say or do something that hurts us. Therefore, this lie will transfer to your future spouse if we do not make efforts to change our outlook now!
* Our Parents/Siblings are our battle partners - not enemies. For those of us who have christian siblings and parents we are fortunate to have God-given battle partners in our own homes. However, Satan has blinded so many of us to that fact because we view our family as the enemy when we are struggling with something. When either a parent, sibling or even friend strike out at us, it is a sign that they are battling and starting to fail.
When you watch those action movies and a battle is being acted out before our eyes, usually there is a scene where one of the heroes is being beaten by the enemy, but the heroes friend steps in to help and together they defeat the enemy.
As Christians in a spiritual battle, we need to see our family as our spiritual battle partners. We need to see our sibling (battle partner) failing and jump to the rescue. - not just hear the hurtful words and see them as the enemy!
*See our Parents/Siblings as God's gifts - we will see our spouses the same way. Cultivating this response to hurtful words and actions will help us in every relationship that God brings into our lives, including our future spouses. I know I do not want to to view my spouse as my enemy and I do not want Satan to be able to work through him to get at me, therefore I need to be cultivating this response now, at the training ground God has placed me at.
"For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places." Ephesians 6:12