I gave birth to two daughters, 22 months apart. One born at 10:22 p.m., the other at 4:58 a.m. True to their birth times, they are night and day apart in just about every way. It’s always a bit odd to me when I am asked if they are twins, because I don’t see any resemblance whatsoever that would prompt that question—so far the older one looks obviously older and the younger one looks obviously younger.
The older one was born two weeks early and came out with eyes wide open, kicking and screaming as if we had just ruined her entire life by letting her out. The younger one was born four days late, was quiet after birth and was kept that way as she was taken away to the NICU. She was fine—it was a precaution to make sure she didn’t have any meconium-related problems.
As a baby, the older one liked being held but hated having a back rub (now she asks every night for a back massage). The younger one has always been a snuggle-bug and still acts like I’m her own personal couch. The older one did not say “I love you” to me until she was almost three. The young one seems to have said “I love you” since the day she came out of the womb.
The older one is orderly, the younger one not so much. The older one is more cautious, while the younger seems to say some version of “Alriiiight, let’s roll” pretty easily. Older, slightly aloof and more independent; younger, loves being with people as if they’re oxygen. And it goes on and on. It absolutely amazes me how two kids created through the same parents can be almost exactly opposite in just about every way. A giraffe and an emu might have more in common than these two. They do have one thing in common though, I love each one immeasurably more than I thought possible.
As a result of all their differences, they either get along really well, or not at all. Unfortunately lately, it is more often not at all than really well. Despite pleas for my sanity, there doesn’t seem to be much middle ground for them. Usually, the bickering about really stupid things begins when the older one is in bossy mode and the younger one does something on purpose to push her buttons.
However, there was a time recently when the bickering reached a more unacceptable level of sisters not getting along. In the eyes of the older one, the younger could do no right and even seemed angry that she existed and was treating her accordingly. After attempting to deal with it in various ways, I honestly didn’t know what to do. Hoping that her love for me would make a difference, I said to the older one, “You need to stop this. She is my child and I love her. Because I love you both so much, you hurt me when you treat her badly.”
I wonder if it’s possible this is how we tug at God’s heart sometimes? Brothers and sisters in the body of Christ, we treat each other horribly over things that, quite frankly, are splitting hairs to show how our particular belief is best. Should we not show love to our brothers and sisters who are also children of the King?
I’m not saying to embrace false teaching or users and manipulators. But there are plenty of real brothers and sisters out there who snub, disregard or treat others poorly based on things like when and how a baptism takes place, whether or not speaking in tongues is a real thing, Calvinist or Arminian (what? love Jesus, move on), pre-trib vs. mid-trib vs. post-trib, or that the KJV is the only correct version of the Bible (which makes me wonder what the people in China or Korea or … should read?). And each and every one will use a Bible verse to back up the position(s) and argue it to death.
All the while seemingly forgetting the parts that say:
My command is this, love each other as I have loved you. John 15:12
Dear friends, since God has so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 1 John 4:11
A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. John 13:35
I honestly don’t care who’s right when my girls are bickering—I want it to stop and I want them to make an effort to treat each other well and in a loving way. Because they are so different, I hope they learn to rely on each other’s strengths to cover the other’s weaknesses—they need each other. I can only imagine that our Father’s heart wants these things and so much more for His kids than I do for my own.