Let me tell you what prompted this post on Bible verses about brothers. When I imagined having a house full of kids running happily down the halls, listening attentively as we homeschooled together, and playing on the tire swings in the backyard, never did I imagine all of the fighting I’d hear.
My boys who are busy yelling at each other, need to be reminded how blessed they are to have each other. Human nature being selfish from the start does not naturally lend itself to the love we read about in scripture.
We need to encourage our kids to look at their motives and actions and teach them how to express love the way God wishes us to.
Whether you have battling boys or are looking for a good sibling verse, come along with me as we explore Bible verses about brothers, and let’s encourage them to love and give us moms a bit of peace!
While these Bible verses about brothers came about because of my boys fighting, they are, of course, completely applicable to sisters. Loving one another as Christ loves us is a goal we all have as we draw closer to our Lord and Savior.
What does the Bible Say about Loving Your Brother?
We have two kinds of brothers in the Bible. Our true blood brothers and those who are family through the blood of Christ. Whether we are talking about physical siblings or church unity, it is God’s desire that we treat each other differently than our natural sinful nature compels us.
A friend loves at all times,
And a brother is born for adversity. (Proverbs 17:17 NKJV)
You know, it was just recently that I understood what this verse means. How wonderful is it that God gives us friends and siblings to help us through hard times!
We also need to flip that around. We are here to support and encourage our brothers as well.
A brother offended is harder to win than a strong city,
And contentions are like the bars of a castle. (Proverbs 18:19)
Solomon is wise, isn’t he? Have you ever been in a situation in which you were at odds with someone close to you? It is not a good place to be and the longer it goes unresolved, the harder it is to reconcile.
Our kids need to learn to solve their differences promptly otherwise bad feelings fester. The closest relationships in their lives are meant to support and encourage, they need that as they grow up and face the hardships in life.
Bible Verses about Brotherhood and the Will of God
Bible verses about brothers should include the much larger brotherhood we are a part of. We should have an unfeigned love of the brethren, the body of Christ.
When the Mary, the mother of Jesus was wishing to visit with him in the midst of the crowds, Jesus turned and said:
“Who is My mother and who are My brothers?” And He stretched out His hand toward His disciples and said, “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 12:48-50)
Whether you grew up an only child or had a houseful, you are part of a much larger family in the body of Christ. An important sibling verse teaches our kids how important it is to get along. It is “good and pleasant” and way more fun.
Behold, how good and how pleasant it is
For brethren to dwell together in unity! (Psalm 133:1)
Of course, we are throwing together a group of people with sinful natures that have not been surrendered as well as baggage they grew up with so will these relationships be perfect? Absolutely not, but Scripture encourages us in the right direction.
We are children of God walking together on this path toward eternal life. There is no room for selfishness. Christ Jesus has shown us greater love, but oftentimes, especially with our kids, we need to go down to the very basics as in this verse.
A man who has friends must himself be friendly,
But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. (Proverbs 18:24)
1 John 3:10-17
John comes down pretty hard in his epistle to believers. His emphasis over and over is the love of Christ. How can we get along with one another without it? Take a look at the crazy going on in the world right now. A direct result of the love of Christ being absent.
This passage is a little lengthy but it gives a full picture of what God expects from us as saved individuals, wanting to grow in the love of God and the change in our hearts that comes about through the Holy Spirit. Experiencing the greater love that comes from the Heavenly Father which we accept in such a magnitude that it flows out of us.
In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother. For this is the message that you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another, not as Cain who was of the wicked one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his works were evil and his brother’s righteous.
Do not marvel, my brethren, if the world hates you. We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death. Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.
By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him? (1 John 3:10-17)
I feel as if he is saying “Little children, it is time to embrace good deeds, not only to your own house but to all of God’s people”.
1 Peter 4:8-9
Love and forgiveness go hand in hand as well which is one of the more difficult concepts of brotherly love to act out.
Bible Verses About Brotherly Love in the New Testament
In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, we have overcome sin and our sinful nature. As we are seeking the will of God with a pure heart, we should be studying what true selfless love looks like.
I was recently in a discussion with a group of women and some of the more mature Christians were making condescending comments toward a couple of dear friends. My heart hurt as I could feel their attitudes being a stumbling block for these women.
Jesus was constantly seeking “the will of my father” and I think for us as believers trying to love like he did is an important step toward the same attitude.
Are we there for our friends in time of adversity? Are we encouraging them on their journey to the Kingdom of Heaven? Are our actions an illustration of love?
Let brotherly love continue. (Hebrews 13:1)
Sometimes the tongue is much more difficult to teach to love than our actions are. Sure we can help with physical needs and daily food, but what about interpersonal conflicts? Are we able to show love when we’ve been hurt?
Do not speak evil of one another, brethren. He who speaks evil of a brother and judges his brother, speaks evil of the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. There is one Lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy. Who are you to judge another? (James 4:11-12)
1 John 4:20-21
Embracing the revelation of Jesus Christ means loving the way he does.
If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also. (1 John 4:20-21)
The family of God is a beautiful thing! The weak brother should be encouraged by the stronger, without danger of the judgment of others in the body of believers. The older brother should help the younger brother without selfish ambition.
It really is a beautiful idea, we just need to overcome our sinful nature.
Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous; (Romans 3:8)
Sibling Relationships in the Bible
As we continue with our Bible verses about brothers, let’s explore some siblings in the Bible. What comes to mind when you think of siblings in the Bible? The obvious ones all have stories of jealousy.
- Cain and Abel (with Cain’s angry question toward God “Am I my brother’s keeper?)
- Story of Joseph and his 11 brothers (a crazy story of jealousy and forgiveness)
- Mary and Martha
- Jacob and Esau (with Jacob grabbing Esau’s heal at birth and signifying the lifelong struggle between them)
- Prodigal Son parable (even parables of Jesus contain siblings because they are who we deal with daily)
Let’s not forget the story of Moses and Aaron, two brothers standing against the great Pharoah. Moses was afraid to speak, therefore God had Aaron do the talking for him. Together, working for the glory of God. I don’t know about you, but that is what I want for my boys (well maybe not the standing against Pharoah part but definitely the working for the glory of God).
Or how about David and his brother Jonathan? While Jonathan was not his blood brother, the Bible says that Jonathan loved David as his own soul. They made a covenant and Jonathan gives David his own robe and armor. When Saul turns against David, Jonathan remains faithful to his beloved friend and helps him escape, both of them weeping to know they would not see each other again.
More brothers are seen in the New Testament among Jesus’s disciples. Another amazing example of siblings working together for the kingdom of God. James and John the sons of Zebedee and Peter and Andrew the sons of Jonas.
What does the Bible Say about Brothers Fighting (and other great sibling verses!)?
The Bible has a lot to say about how we get along with one another. If you are frustrated with the fighting going on in your home (or need a few sibling verses to drive a point home), go over these verses and principles with your kids. These are pillar characteristics we want to instill in our children and few things prepare us better than practicing on siblings.
- Forgiveness is important. No one is perfect. Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times? Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven. (Matthew 18:21-22)
- Put your brother (or sister) before yourself. Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another. (Romans 12:10)
- Fighting hurts both of you. Love is the only safe place. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another! (Galatians 5:14-15)
- Be cautious about how you speak to others. A soft answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger. (Proverbs 15:1)
- Love shows humility, patience, and gentleness. With all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, (Ephesians 4:2) When Jesus washes his disciples feet, we get a clear picture of his relationship with his closest friends. He was a true example of humility.
- Take care of one another. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. (Philippians 2:4)
- Do not retaliate when wronged. See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all. (1 Thessalonians 5:15)
- Boasting is not helpful. Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up. (1 Corinthians 13:4)
- Do not complain about each other. Do not grumble against one another. (James 5:9)
- Be willing to listen when you’ve wronged your brother. Whoever loves instruction loves knowledge, But he who hates correction is stupid. (Proverbs 12:1) It is our tendency to become defensive when someone is unhappy with our actions. It is important for us to listen when someone feels we’ve wronged them.
- Be aware of your Christian brothers’ faith. Sometimes we create a stumbling block for our friends, new believers, and fellow church family because we are not sensitive as to where they are in their faith. True brotherly love is always thinking of others and being sensitive to those of a weak conscience. “ For if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating in an idol’s temple, will not the conscience of him who is weak be emboldened to eat those things offered to idols? And because of your knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died? But when you thus sin against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ.” (1 Corinthians 8:10-12)
Bible Verses about Brothers
Well, there you have it. Bible verses about brothers, but also Bible verses about what true love is all about. If only we were all at the place in which our hearts were clean enough to live out this agape love of Christ. All of the drama would disappear. Am I right?
While researching Bible verses about brothers, I came across a couple of sites that had helpful tips. For further study on siblings, check them out 🙂
I want my house to be peaceful and full of love, but I also want God to be the one changing hearts. I think that is key to brotherly love. Allowing God to come in and work in our hearts.
With that in mind, check out these other devotional-type posts to saturate your home with the word of God.
I hope you found these Bible verses about brothers to be helpful. I would love to hear how it goes when you study them with your kids. Be sure to leave a comment below!