Philia reminds us that siblings are a gift from God. Be encouraged to nurture those relationships that they might be pleasing to the Lord (and to you as well), so that the light on that love reflects His heart to others.

“A true friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need.” Proverbs 17:17 (TLB)

“Finally, all of you be like-minded [united in spirit], sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted [courteous and compassionate toward each other as members of one household], and humble in spirit;” 1 Peter 3:8 (AMP)

“Yes, brother, let me have some benefit and joy from you in the Lord; refresh my heart in Christ.” Philemon 1:20 (AMP)

Philia is typically translated “brotherly love”. It’s one of four Greek words for love: philia, storge, agape and eros. It refers to friendship and affection. Interestingly, the opposite would be a phobia. So philia could be considered a safe, familiar place/feeling – much like how siblings in their best sense should be. With much love and support, deep understanding and history, shared memories and steadfast loyalty. There can be joy and teasing, and even though they may disagree or even fight, true philia wouldn’t allow others to do the same – they would protect and shield one another. They are a gift from God. Life bringing.

This art is a reminder to thank God for the gift of our siblings. And if you’re struggling to do so, be challenged to pray for them and for God to forge the philia relationship that He desires for you to have. Challenge yourself to forgive where necessary and let go of old hurts. Build one another up. Ask the Father why He selected these individuals to have familial ties to you for your whole life. Pray that He bring forth His perfect will and willingly yield to His desires in those relationships.

A sibling can be, all in the same day, your worst enemy and your best friend.  They help us learn many valuable life lessons. And the very best sibling is the one you can also be friends with.  The bond forged in the fires of growth and time can be very strong. Good siblings are a precious, glorious, and joy filled gift from the Father.

Father, I thank You for my sibling(s) and I rejoice with You in the day of their birth. And I ask You to bless them and give us grace to pass through each year together.  And while we might not always completely agree, help us always to respect and value each other. Help us to appreciate each other in the good and bad times, the serious and the playful times. Help us to love like You love that our friendship might bring You honor. Thank You for the gift of these lifetime friends.

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