1 John 4:7, 11, & 12
7 Beloved friends, let us love one another; because love is from God; and everyone who loves has God as his Father and knows God. 11 Beloved friends, if this is how God loved us, we likewise ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God remains united with us, and our love for him has been brought to its goal in us.
Romans 13:8Don't owe anyone anything - except to love one another; for whoever loves his fellow human being has fulfilled Torah.
Galatians 5:13For, brothers, you were called to be free. Only do not let that freedom become an excuse for allowing your old nature to have its way. Instead, serve one another in love.
Always be humble, gentle and patient, bearing with one another in love, and making every effort to preserve the unity the Spirit gives through the binding power of shalom.
2 Thessalonians 1:3We have to keep thanking God for you always, brothers, as is appropriate; because your trust continues to grow greater, and the love you each have for one another continues to increase.
1 John 1:5And now, dear lady, I am requesting that we love one another - not as if this were a new command I am writing you, for it is the one which we have had from the beginning.
Important verses to keep in mind from Romans 12:
9 - Don't let love be a mere outward show. Recoil from what is evil, and cling to what is good.
10 - Love each other devotedly and with brotherly love; and set examples for each other in showing respect.
17 - Repay no one evil for evil, but try to do what everyone regards as good.
18 - If possible, and to the extent that it depends on you, live in peace with all people.
19 - Never seek revenge, my friends; instead, leave that to God's anger; for in the Tanakh it is written, "ADONAI says, 'Vengeance is my responsibility; I will repay.'"
21 - Do not be conquered by evil, but conquer evil with good.
Leviticus 19:18 says, "Don't take vengeance on or bear a grudge against any of your people; rather, love your neighbor as yourself; I am ADONAI." and in Matthew, Mark, & Luke - Yeshua says that the second greatest commandment is "love your neighbor as yourself" (the first being "love the L-rd your G-d with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength") and Yeshua said, "all the Torah & Prophets are dependent upon these two commands." So, obviously, loving one's neighbors as oneself is quite important...
Loving your neighbor as yourself is actually quite simple, and can be summed up in one sentence; Don't do, say, or think anything to/about your neighbor that you wouldn't want them to do, say, think to/about you. See? Simple. The hard part is applying this, and getting your heart in the right place to do so.
Love is a choice. It is a verb. So it requires action. If you say you love someone, it means little, unless you have actions to back up what you have said. If I say I love my mom, yet I am constantly arguing with her and am not willing to go out of my way to do things for her - then my actions have contradicted my words, and I do not truly love my mom.
Remember what love IS?
~ Patient, Kind, Content, Satisfied, Modest, Humble, Respectful, Nice, Selfless, Calm, Easy going, Forgives, Forgets, Bears NO Grudges, Sorry when Others Sin, Takes Delight in Truth, always Bears Up, always Trusts, always Hopes, always Endures, and Love is Alive Forever (Never ENDS)
Remember what Love is NOT?
Our love for our siblings must measure up to this standard. I know, it won't always, but, genuine love is what we are aiming for - it is what Adonai wants us to have! As fallible human beings, we must entreat our G-d for His help daily to love others as we ought.
It is true that often it is those we live with who are the hardest to "get along with". We see all their faults and attitudes - and they see ours too. We must be gracious & merciful with our siblings and family more than with anyone else, really. G-d forgives us, and is abundantly gracious and merciful towards us when we do wrong - should we not follow His example and give abundant grace and mercy towards our siblings?
Grace = Giving others good things that they do not deserve. (ie...a smile from you when your sister has been so mean, and in your opinion, definitely doesn't deserve kindness from you Proverbs 12:16, A fool's anger is known at once, but a cautious person slighted conceals his feelings.)
Mercy = Not giving others punishment/judgement that they certainly do deserve. (ie...not running to tell mom that your brother has been really mean to you and thus deserving of punishment - but rather, letting it go - Proverbs 19:11, People with good sense are slow to anger, and it is their glory to overlook an offense...)
You know, writing this, I find myself thinking about how my relationship with my siblings has developed over the years. In my humble opinion, we as siblings have gotten along better than most do for all our lives. We've had ups and downs, but, only every now and then have our relationships become strained.....and with a few particular siblings, most of the time, it was my fault. But just in the past year, my relationship with each of my siblings has been far better, and more peaceful. Maturity has much to do with this, I know. In the past, my mom would often tell be how, as the oldest, I must be more mature and as such be the first one to do what is right. I know the thing that upset me the most was when I thought my "rights" were being infringed upon. I laugh at this now because I have come to realize that, I have no "rights" as I thought of them. ;-)
Throughout the years, as you and your siblings grow older, if your relationship with each of them doesn't grow closer and less stressful, I would seriously consider praying hard for maturity.....Our siblings are supposed to be our best friends! [a great book on this subject is called Making Brothers and Sisters Best Friends by Sarah, Stephen, & Grace Mally]
As fallen human beings, rough rides are inevitable, because sin is ever-present. We must learn to avoid harping on other's sins, and allow our love to cover a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8). Remember, people with good sense overlook offenses - it is their glory!
We must fight our sinful nature and be holy, set-apart, and righteous for the glory of G-d! Our L-rd doesn't get any glory when we fight, argue, give quick judgments, take offence easily, or when we get impatient. If we take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5), then it will be that much easier to keep from doing the things that do not give G-d the glory. Our relationships with out siblings can be beautiful, full of love, peaceful, delightful, fulfilling, and full of friendship - if we are willing to truly love our siblings as Adonai loves us.
Honestly, young ladies, you don't have that much time with your siblings - you never have as much time as you think you do - so make the years you do have beautiful. Don't make them horrid by quarreling all the time! G-d has given you the siblings you need to build your character, to help you mature. So thank G-d for your siblings often, pray for them, do things with them that they want to do, talk with them. Don't tear them down! That is probably one of the worst things older siblings can do to younger ones! We must build each other up, and encourage each other!
Love never fails! It bears NO grudges! This kind of love is beautiful! The world's "love" (which is selfish, and thus, not true love) cannot be compared to it!
Thank Adonai that He has seen fit to give you siblings today, tomorrow, and ever after!You will not have them forever.