Written By Olivia.O, Singapore
It is our human nature to compare and our siblings are the most available person to compare ourselves to. Hence, if you are not the only child, probably, you have experienced what is commonly known as “sibling rivalry.”
According to Dr. William Antonio Boyle, sibling rivalry is defined as “the antagonism or hostility between brothers and/or sisters which manifest itself in circumstances such as in the common children’s family fights.” Such fights can be over our parent’s limited amount of time, attention, love and approval.
Sibling rivalry is seen time and time again in the pages of the Bible. It shows itself mainly as jealousy. Cain was jealous of Abel’s offering to God (Gen. 4:4-5); Jacob was jealous of Esau’s birthright and father’s favoritism (Gen. 25:28-34); Leah was jealous of Rachel’s beauty (Gen. 29:17).
Are you suffering from sibling rivalry? Here’s are some tips taken from Relevant Magazine on how you can deal with it:
1. Recognize that we are all unique individuals
All of us are made different—with unique talents, gifts and personalities. Even if our sibling has a more outstanding quality, that doesn’t make us any less special. God made us the way we are, and He likes us that way. We are of infinite value because we are loved by the One who created us.
2. Forgive and be free
Some of us have parents who make us feel like we don’t match up to our siblings. Others have siblings who intentionally tried to make us feel bad about ourselves in order to feel better about themselves. Most of us harbor some grudge against a family member for something or another. The lack of forgiveness only eats away at us and keeps us from experiencing total freedom. It’s time to let it go. Sometimes total reconciliation isn’t in the picture right now. That’s okay. We can still be at peace if we’ve forgiven those family members. Being bitter forever will only make us miserable. Forgive them today.
3. Treasure our siblings
Siblings are one of the most precious gifts God has given to us. Most friends will come in and out of your life, but siblings are there for the long haul. They understand why your family is so bizarre. They’ve a profound impact on who you are. They know you in a way no one else can know you. Don’t let little jealousies and rivalries cause you to miss out on the relationships you can have with them. Maybe it’s time to swallow your pride in order to make something right. Just go ahead and do it! You’ll be glad you did.