“Love one another with [sisterly] affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.”
-Romans 12:10 (ESV; “sisterly” added by me)
Let’s admit it, today the words “brother” and “sister” are often cause for an eye-roll. “No one gets along with their siblings” many people think, so when siblings do get along, it typically stands out.
Today, we see more loving and caring posts on social media about one another’s friends than we do each other’s siblings. In fact, if I come across a post about one’s brother or sister, I can almost bet you that it will be a complaint.
The world looks at siblings as pests; but the Bible uses them to define love.
Romans 12:10 uses the term “brotherly affection”, but for the sake of this audience, I think it will come as a bit more relatable if we use the term “sisterly”.
“Love one another with sisterly affection…”
I have three sisters (and two brothers) of whom I love dearly. And ladies, if you have sisters, then you know that us girls can have some pretty intense “disagreements” over some of the most random things. Of course my sisters and I have partook in many, many of those disagreements. But we’ve always made things right at the end to preserve our relationship. Hugs, kisses, coffee and chocolate make everything right again, am I right?!
The term “love one another with sisterly affection” means to love someone enough to attempt to make things right after something has gone wrong. The Bible doesn’t tell us that we must agree with everyone all the time. In fact, it’s perfectly normal for us, as human sinners, to disagree with each other. We just need to be sure to handle it the way Biblical sisters ought to handle it. Not the way the world assumes how sisters should handle it.
There are going to be disagreements all throughout life. Not just with our physical sisters, but with friends, coworkers, church associates, and even strangers. And the Bible tells us to love them with “sisterly” affection. Which is done with respect, trying to understand where the other is coming from, listening, apologizing when we know that we are wrong, and acting out of Christ’s love for us.
“Behold, how good and pleasant it is when [sisters] dwell in unity.”
-Psalm 133:1 (ESV; “sisters” added by me)
I love the quote from The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis, when the Pevensies meet the Professor for the first time, after the children have been fighting. He says, with a little severity in the movie,
“You’re a family aren’t you? You might try acting like one!”
Sisters, are we acting like a family? Not just to our physical families alone, but to our sisters in Christ as well? Are we setting ourselves aside and listening for a hurt we may have caused? Are we humble enough to admit and apologize when we’ve been wrong? Are we loving one another with sisterly affection?
I certainly hope that we are, but if we’re not, are we willing to start?
Do any of you have advice on how to show sisterly affection to our related sisters and brothers? What about for extending that love to those who may not be related to us? We would love to read your advice in the comments below!
Rayleigh Gray – Associate Editor & Web Manager