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“But if anyone does not provide for his own family, especially for his own household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” 1 Timothy 5:8 CSB

At the beginning of this section of Scripture in my Bible, it says: “The Support of Widows,” God is telling us how to take care of family.  I was blessed with four brothers, men who know how to do this well. All of them have helped take care of me over my lifetime, I would not have the life I have if it wasn’t for them.  My mother was a widow, they took care of her well, so well she never remarried. My brother Butch gave me vision. He went to college first, when no one else in our family had, he gave me vision for my life.  My brother Dutch gave me fatherly love. When my Dad died and Mom was at wit’s end with my poor behavior, Dutch took me into his home and gave me another chance at life. My brother Matt gave me strength. Our relationship has sharpened me more than any other, because we are so alike.  We’ve wrestled with each other to get to maturity, and through it became friends. My brother Ron gave me faith. His journey with God started before mine, I followed him back to Jesus when my life was in a pit. I am thankful for these men who have helped shape my life.

Siblings do shape our lives, they are among the elite who knows you better than anyone else.  They know your shortcomings and love to remind you of them. The challenge of loving siblings will grow our love muscles better than most.  In everyone’s life, hopefully, there comes a point where you realize you’re not a kid anymore. You can’t get away with doing stupid things and blame it on not knowing.  Siblings are the ones who help you realize it. They do this by reminding you of your past mistakes, helping you learn from those mistakes so you can do better next time.  Unfortunately, we may not take their input well, after all, they are our siblings. But maybe we should. 

I’m finally beginning to understand some of the things my brothers have been trying to tell me.  Especially Matt, he was the one whose input I didn’t want but he’s the one I should have been listening too.  Instead of constantly fighting with him, I should have spent time listening to what he was trying to tell me. Now I’m beginning to understand, now I’m realizing, he wasn’t trying to keep me from having fun, he was protecting me.  The same thing God does for us when He tells us not to do things like lie, steal and cheat. He doesn’t tell us these things because He doesn’t want us to have fun, He tells us these things so we won’t hurt ourselves. I’m thankful for brothers because God used them to grow me closer to Him.

Today I’m thankful for brothers.  What are you thankful for?

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