I was homeschooled in high school, but my brothers attended a small Christian school in Englewood, Florida. The school had an umbrella program that allowed me to homeschool and still play sports on the school teams. This was perfect because I loved playing sports.
The one thing they didn’t have, however, was a girls’ soccer team. So I got permission to play on the boys’ team. And, because it was a small school there was only one team—instead of a JV and Varsity. Because of this, not only was I on the team, but so were all my brothers.
There were three of them plus an exchange student that lived with us so our family made up 5 players.
As it turned out, we were all starters.
My mom loved going to soccer games because someone would inevitably ask her which kid on the field was hers. She’d point to the row of four boys at the front, “See that row?” she’d say. “They’re all mine.” Once they were duly impressed she’d add, “And the girl playing sweeper is mine too.”
I was a decent player, but my brothers were good and our exchange student was there on a soccer scholarship. He lived and breathed soccer. It was fun playing with them and I was proud to be on their team.
After every game we’d gather our things and start across the field. More than once, the boys would all be lined up headed toward the car, then realize I wasn’t with them and pause to wait. I’d run up and they’d split ranks, allowing me to walk in the center.
And I’ll tell you—I was basically invincible walking across the field in the middle of my brothers.
When I think about God describing Himself as “brother”—I picture that same rush of safety and importance and comradery. Like I belonged with my brothers, so we belong with Christ.
There’s a place, right beside Him for each of us.
Because we’re human and live in a sin-filled world, my relationship with my brothers has not always been pleasant. There have been harsh words and frustrations and irritations. This is the reality of have relationships in a world that isn’t perfect.
But when God talks about being our brother, I believe He’s referring to the companionship that is possible between siblings. When it says in Hebrews, “Both the one who makes people holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters.” (Hebrews 2:11) or when Jesus Himself explains, “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.” (Matthew 12:49-50)— it’s like He’s inviting us to a brotherhood where we can experience togetherness and belonging—knowing we’re meant to be walking side-by-side.
If you have never experienced God-as-Brother, I encourage you to pray and ask Him to reveal this part of His character to you.
A few places to read and meditate:
- Hebrews 2:11-12
- I John 3
- Luke 8:21
Lord, teach us to know you as brother–as the one we belong with and have companionship with–the one we can go on adventures with and find safety and joy with–the family member who is shoulder-to-shoulder with us as we journey through life.
And Lord? For those who have been wounded by a brother, redeem this in them? Heal and remake and revive the places that have been injured. Do the miraculous work we know you do, and allow this area, this part of Your character, to become a place of joy and hope and belonging.