Bishop Ron meets up with his sister Shawn who is thriving in rehab. Bishop Ron talks to his niece who is struggling. Family ties are tested all around as Pastor Wayne’s mother and stepbrother clash, Ron goes to extremes to protect his niece, and Dominique challenges Dietrick to pull his full weight, both in and out of the pulpit.
Adult sibling relationships in families are like the weather—stormy at times, defying predictability, and disruptive. It may be that you have a distant relationship with a sister. Perhaps you and your brother are estranged. Maybe you have a sibling who is taking advantage of your parents, or is displaying the symptoms of addictive behavior. Whatever your situation, I thought I’d offer a couple of thoughts and some biblical wisdom that might help you, your spouse, or a friend weather the storm.
In Scripture we find that the first family experienced the ultimate in dysfunction and adult sibling rivalry—Cain murdered Abel. Joseph’s brothers put a price tag on him and sold him as a slave. Absalom (King David’s son) was an adult terror as he tried to overthrow his dad’s rule, bringing enormous pain to his father. You likely haven’t had those levels of imperfection, but the reality is when any kind of abnormal or ungodly behavior occurs, it’s unpleasant at best.
So you are not alone in dealing with your defective family and its degenerating relationships. Read that sentence again: You are not alone.
Here are two things to do:
- Create boundaries around your life, your family, and if appropriate, your parents. Some siblings have unhealthy, codependent relationships with their parents or other family members. It may be time to call it what it is and create some protective boundaries in those relationships.
- Stop trying to change your sibling. At some point, you may have to let him be who he is and realize that he may never grow up or out of his current state.
Remember that your sibling needs your love. You need your siblings love.
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