All right, so the title is a little misleading. I don’t have any brothers, actually. I grew up with three older moms–I mean, sisters. Go ahead, take pity on me. It was a special trial the Lord gave me.
Just kidding. I think sisters are great. I love my sisters.
But there’s nothing like having brothers. It’s something I’ve always wanted. Either an older brother who could teach me how to be a man or a younger brother that I could boss around. But it’s a little too late for me to get one of those now (my mother is not the wife of Abraham. She may look 29, but she’s really not). I admit, I was a little bitter at God growing up. I felt like I could be a lot better at sports, a lot more secure, a lot more “manly” if I had had brothers. Recently, reflecting on how weird I am (we all need to do that from time to time), this thought of wanting a brother came back again from the depths of my insecure high-schooler self.
It’s like I’ve been missing something all my life. A brother could have fixed a lot of my issues! Or maybe not…
For those of you who have brothers, you may be telling me, “The grass isn’t always greener on the other side.” Maybe I’m lucky. My Mom says that boys who grew up with onlyt sisters make better husbands (I hope my girlfriend’s reading this). And I certainly am appreciative of my family. I could not ask for better parents. A Mom who will always care for me, and a Dad who invested in me more than I could ever deserve. And I love my sisters (I need to say that again so I don’t get yelled at).
But I still feel like I need a brother!
But then this week, it finally dawned on me…I already have one!
Several, actually. A little while ago, a friend texted me asking for urgent prayer. I loved the way he put it: “Gonna call on one of those ‘brother’ times…”
Then, a couple days ago, I remember saying to a good friend, “You’re like my brother!”
I think I understand now, as much as a human can understand the divine Providence of God. The reason God didn’t give me brothers was to force me to find brothers among His children.
I love one of the words Peter uses for the community of Christians in 1 Peter: “the brotherhood.” Read 1 Peter 2:17:
“Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.”
He also likes to encourage Christians to have “brotherly love” for one another. This is the word from which we get the name “Philadelphia.” The city of brotherly love…
It seems pretty clear as you read the New Testament that one of the terms we should use for fellow Christians is “brother” or “sister.” I love that!
I’m so glad for the “brotherhood” in Christ. We have one Father. We have the ultimate “Brother” in Christ who sticks by us no matter what. I don’t need an older brother to teach me how to be a man when I have a Savior who teaches me how to live. Who defends me from bullies. Who teaches me how to carry the family name.
I’m also glad for the “brothers” God has given me among His children. Guys I can be real with. Guys who will pray for me and I for them. Who will defend me against temptation and call me out for my faults. “Bros” who stick by me and encourage me to live for Christ by conversations over coffee or by setting an example. Older brothers who teach me how to make decisions. Younger brothers in whom I can invest (and no, not beat up).
Yeah, I love my brothers.