10 Sep 2006

Sibling Rivalry

Good old sibling rivalry – it’s been around since Cain and Abel. My family was not exempt. I grew up in a busy family of five children spanning eleven years. Some would say our family was unique; others would think we were just plain crazy.

Most of the time my brother Jonathan and I struggled with each other. (That is the nicest way I can put it.) There were many times growing up that I wished our family didn’t have a son two years younger than I was. He was a hard sibling to like and even harder to live with. I’m sure he would say the same about me. His competitive and boyish nature bothered me beyond-my-years girlish attitude. How my mom and dad tolerated our constant bickering, I’ll never know for sure, but one thing I do know, it was constant.

Now I stand at a different point in my life. I am twenty-eight years old. I have an amazing husband and two fabulous children. My brother of so many difficult years is now grown as well. He lives in southern California and is known by all his friends in San Diego as a thoughtful and kind person. I often wonder what changed this person. I would have never described him that way as we were growing up.

Last night I sat at dinner with my brother and his fiancée, Christina, a fabulous young woman. I listened as she told the story of the incredible proposal he had planned. Every last detail was carefully thought out to awe and excite the woman with whom he has fallen in love. He did a masterful job. She is a precious gift from God to him and he is treating her with great love and respect. As we shared memories of growing up, we had many different perspectives but one thing was very obvious, we both love the Lord Jesus and are thankful for our family.

A friend of the family shared an interesting perspective with me a few years ago. Only my siblings will I know for my entire life. My parents I will know from the time I am born till the time they pass. My husband I will know from the time we met until one of us passes. My siblings will know me from childhood to the grave, Lord willing. Siblings are the only ones with whom we will walk for our entire life.

As a mom, there are days when I can’t tolerate one more argument between my children. I wonder if they will grow up to love or hate the other sibling. Then I am reminded and encouraged of my own experience with my brother Jon. Growing up is a tough thing to do in a family, but the joy of relationships with grown siblings is so very sweet. Enjoy the journey!

Sarah is the oldest of the Werner children.

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