Sibling rivalry and entitlement

Sibling rivalry and hatred is so real and daunting. I used to wonder how possible it was for a family to be so apart and disconnected.

My disbelief must have been caused by the fact that the family I came from enjoyed a semblance of unity; I would laugh with my friends saying in the WhatsApp era, the busiest and funniest WhatsApp group I was on was the family one.


The Bible narrates several cases of jealousy and rivalry among people born of the same parents. When God accepted Abel’s offering which was meaty and ultimately decided He will not be a vegetarian, Cain became very angry. God warned Cain about potential sin caused by jealousy and bitterness. Cain did not heed to the warning, he murdered Abel.


The second story was about Esau and Jacob. When Esau heard that Jacob had deceitfully taken his blessing, he burst out and uttered a lot of hurtful words, held a grudge against Jacob and planned to kill him.


This all started when Rebekah, Isaac’s wife, overheard his decision to bless Esau and not Jacob so she schemed to obtain the blessing for Jacob. Rebekah at that instant went against the parental responsibility of fighting jealous feelings among children and promoting peace, love, and harmony.

Then there’s Joseph, Jacob’s son, he was not loved by his brothers at all, and not because he had done anything wrong. They even plotted to kill him and sold him. These cases happened then and still do today.

Recently a lady called Jamila came to see me after she had had a huge misunderstanding with her sister.

Being the firstborn in a family that was orphaned at a young age, for the larger part of her life, Jamila gave her whole to support her siblings. She did casual jobs to feed the family. Of her four brothers, she had a soft spot for the youngest two and so lent them a hand whenever she could. That was even after they were fully grown and each one pursuing their personal goals.

Unknown to her, this was not appreciated by her two brothers who were evil. They started addressing her like she did not matter at all, they blamed her for supporting two brothers fully and being mean to them or rather, not noticing their struggles.

This hurt her so bad considering what she had gone through for all of them to reach where they were. As I sat there listening to her, watching as tears flowed down her cheeks, I could not help but accept the fact that as one grows older, life will teach them different lessons; they will learn to give and to take, to love and hate, they will also learn about selfishness.

Life has a way of forcing someone to a place where they say ‘I have done my part let the world take over’. You also get to learn that to save or rescue something or someone you’ve got to let go of something.

Whether it is a child, a sibling, friend or parent, it sometimes becomes imperative for you to drop one in order to save the other. The challenge is in picking who to save, it has to be done wisely because you want to choose and save one that one would choose you under similar circumstances.

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