I don’t have much of a relationship with my sister.
There I said it and I’m admitting to it.
It’s not that I like how it is. I wish it was different. My desire is for it to change and improve.
When I needed to decide on a topic for this series, I by-passed this; I mean who really wants to air their dirty laundry?
Somehow my thoughts kept returning to it; I had to write about it because I know I’m not the only one experiencing a broken exchange with a sibling.
I wanted us to let go of the shame, guilt, and feelings of loneliness when it comes to our sisters and brothers and the relationship status that we have with them.
How to Get Along With Your Sister (and Brother)
The Reality on Earth
The reason I know, not all sisters get along is because this world is broken.The reason I know, not all sisters get along is because this world is broken. Click To Tweet
We may have a fascination with Norman Rockwell or Hallmark and their depiction of a family, but the truth is: American families aren’t a reflection of the picture-perfect family.
Many of us don’t have an unblemished family. Some of us might even try to cast visions that we do have that family by the photos we share, but behind closed doors, we’re a mess of dysfunction.
So here I am admitting my dysfunction and the broken sibling connection I have, which I hope can encourage you. Maybe this post could spur you forward and help you look for ways on how to improve yours.
What if you want to have a closer friendship with your sister (or brother)?
Friend, I don’t know! But if you have a close relationship with your sister or brother, I’m envious. That’s the way it should be, the way God intended.
I don’t know how to improve my relationship because it’s been this way for 25 years.
How does one get closer and more intimate when there aren’t common interests or any other shared threads in life?
How does one get close when geographical distance creates a vast discord, and no one is willing to take the time to text, Facetime, or call?
When Our Relationships with Our Sisters (or brothers) Aren’t Hallmark Perfect
For handfuls of us, the results of a broken world are evident in these key relationships.
For my situation, there wasn’t a falling out or any one specific thing that created the chasm, but rather small steps that created larger gaps over time.
It began in high school… I think. I’m not even sure what happened; I just know I literally know nothing about my sister.
Part of me is sick to my stomach admitting this; I mean I sound terrible. The other part of me thinks: my sister doesn’t know anything about me and isn’t interested really in knowing me either.
It’s complicated friend, isn’t it?
A lot of time has elapsed, and I’m not sure if it will ever be different.
Sometimes I wish I was closer to my sibling, and other times, the hurt is there, so I’d rather not feel the pain. Most times, I push it away thinking those feelings will lessen or disappear.Sometimes I wish I was closer to my sibling, and other times, the hurt is there, so I’d rather not feel the pain. Most times, I push it away thinking those feelings will lessen or disappear. Click To Tweet
Here’s what Gods word has been telling me; these relationships are:
- Important to God
- Are hand-picked for us.
God puts a huge emphasis on them, so we probably should heed advice from the Father.
I realize the benefits that a close connection could have for me as I age and experience loss, but many times, I just can’t see the possibility of it being any different. Tackling this issue also might lead many of us to trust God in a more intentional way regarding our relationships.
What I’ve Been Getting Wrong about Sisters
A lot of improving these relationships begins with forgiveness, humbling ourselves, serving our sisters, and becoming more patient.A lot of improving these relationships begins with forgiveness, humbling ourselves, serving our sisters, and becoming more patient. Click To Tweet
We can always point fingers and dish out the pain someone else has caused us, or we can let “bygones be bygones.”
God doesn’t really care who started it; He just wants restoration. Restoration brings God glory. The deeper the chasm and pain, the more glory God gets when the relationship is mended.
I understand friend that I might not understand the pain your sister has put you through, but may I encourage you in the Lord?
Jesus’ example of how to love despite how others treat us is a good place to learn about love. God’s ability to forgive us all day every day can enable us to learn how to forgive our sisters.
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.
(1 Corinthians 3:4-5, NLT)
Then Peter came to him and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone[a] who sins against me? Seven times?” “No, not seven times,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven!”
(Matthew 18:21-22, NLT)God’s ability to forgive us all day every day can enable us to learn how to forgive our sisters. Click To Tweet
7 Practical Ways to Get Along with Your Sister (and brother):
1. Leave childhood pain behind.
2. Find the time and spend fun, positive time together. (Dr. John Gottman says we need 5-7 positive experiences to counterbalance 1 negative experience.)
3. Find common interests.
4. Focus on the positive traits of the sibling.
5. Respect them.
6. Set up boundaries.
7. Bless them, pray for them, and love them.
When a relationship hasn’t existed in years, this list can seem pretty overwhelming, can’t it, friend?!?
Begin With God
Might I urge you to begin praying as your first step? Ask God where He wants you to begin and how He wants to start working on your pain and your heart.
Here’s the thing: we might not see it working out or changing, but God doesn’t work within the confines of what we can see. He works bigger than that.
If we ask for wisdom and guidance, He will help us navigate this.
God wants restoration back in your relationship with your sister more than we do! With God, we can improve these chasms. We can learn to get along with our sisters (and brothers)!God wants restoration back in your relationship with your sister more than we do! With God, we can improve these chasms. We can learn to get along with our sisters (and brothers)! Click To Tweet
Friend, I’m praying for you as you begin to put the time and energy into working on these relationships.
I’m with you in the trenches trying to restore my relationship too.
Want more Ideas to Improve Your Relationships?
About the Author:
Julie Loos is the mom of 5 kids and has been happily married to Greg for 19 years.
She loves to read, eat chocolate, drink iced tea and spend time writing in the midst of messes.
You can find her blog at www.unmaskingthemess.com.
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