My big brother will git you fer that, He’ll shine up your eye and he’ll step on your hat: You’d better watch out in the mornin’, for he Will be lookin’ fer you, jes’ for pickin’ on me. You can slap me an’ cuff me An’ bully and bluff me, But I ain’t alone in this world, There’s another That you’ve got to meet When you’re out on the street Who will fix you for certain, an’ that’s my big brother.
My big brother can clean up with two Or sixteen or eighteen big cowards like you! An’ you’d better be careful, coz when he’s around With only one hand he’ll knock you to the ground. When I tell what you did He’ll say, ‘That’s all right, kid, I’ll just send him bawling back home to his mother.’ If you’re looking for fight You will get it alright The very next time that you meet my big brother.
‘My big brother!’ I heard it to-day as I passed down the street, And it brought back to me many memories sweet Of the days long ago when my big brother, too, Did for me what he threatened his brother would do. When he finished my fights, And he stood for my rights, With a strength I believed that no rival could smother, And I chuckled with joy, And I thought: ‘Lucky boy!’ For I know what it means to possess a big brother.
– “My Big Brother” by Edgar Albert Guest
Perhaps you have a big brother. Perhaps you are a big brother. Perhaps you wish you had a big brother. Whatever the case may be – whether you have firsthand experience with older brothers or are on the outside looking in – most of us would agree that a big brother is a handy guy to have around!
As Edgar Guest pointed out in his down-to-earth poetry style, a big brother is (or ought to be) someone you can always count on to have your back. Unfortunately, some big brothers don’t fit the bill. Some big brothers treat their younger siblings with contempt…sometimes ignoring them, sometimes picking on them, sometimes manipulating them…using their status of “big brother” to elevate themselves and thus demote their younger siblings. A big brother like that is one we can all do without.
Even if you had a less-than-stellar big brother, we know that there are big brothers out there who would give an arm for you. Today, we are going to talk about such a one. Romans 8:29 hints about a certain someone who is our “firstborn brother” – that is, Jesus Christ. Can you think of a better big brother than our Lord and Savior?! We as Christians are blessed with The Best Big Brother a sibling could ask for. Let us muse over three ways that Jesus takes what we know about big brothers in the family unit to a whole new level.
The Best Big Brother….
A great big brother is one who teaches his younger sibling(s) all he knows. You can find such a brother out on the court shooting baskets with his little brother. Teaching his kid sister how to win at chess every time. Letting them in on the secrets to his Mario Kart skills (well, some of them). He shows the little rugrats under his wing how to hit targets, pop wheelies, skip rocks, solve equations…and the list continues.
A great big brother doesn’t just teach his siblings how to succeed in the little things. He teaches them how to succeed at life. He shows his younger brother how to treat a lady. He makes sure his younger sister knows what kind of guy to avoid. He helps you with your friend troubles. He cheers you up when you’re feeling down. He gives great advice. Whatever problem you’re going through? He’s been there and done that “back when he was your age”. With such a big brother, you know there’s a practically endless supply of knowledge at your disposal…when he’s in the mood to share it!
The Best Big Brother certainly knows how to show you the game as well:
When Jesus went ashore, He saw a large crowd, and He felt compassion for them because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and He began to teach them many things. – Mark 6:34
A physical big brother may not find himself to be gifted at teaching, preferring to fly solo. Our spiritual brother’s identity as “teacher” is a vital part of His character. (John 13:13)
A physical big brother that is gifted at teaching may still tire of our needy presence and ultimately tell us to buzz off when he needs a rest. Jesus is ever “gentle and humble in heart”; He exhorts us to “learn from Him so that we may find our rest”. (Matthew 11:29)
A physical big brother may hold information out on us, because he prides himself on being the one and only big guy on campus. Jesus is not stingy with us, but divulges “all things He has heard from His Father” to His younger siblings, calling us “friends”. (John 15:14-15)
Jesus is The Best Big Brother, because He shows you the game.
2. The Best Big Brother…
A great big brother is one who goes to bat for you…even when you’ve made a right fool of yourself. His attitude is “if you fall, I’m going down with you”. If Big Brother has any fault, he takes responsibility for the misdeeds of the collective group. If he bears no fault, he takes the role of defense attorney – persuading Dad and Mom to go easy on his little pal(s). After all, did he not once share in the juvenile plight of his sibling(s), with no one to go to bat for him?
A great big brother never lets you walk the “walk of shame” alone. Sure, he may think you were a big dummy for doing whatever it was you did, but do Dad and Mom really need to know that? He’ll give you a stern talking-to later, but the first priority is getting you out of the line of fire that is your parents’ wrath. With such a big brother, you know that you won’t be left alone to answer for yourself.
The Best Big Brother certainly knows how to share in the blame as well:
Therefore, He had to be made like unto His brethren in all things, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. – Hebrews 2:17
A physical big brother may be apathetic towards our parental predicament. After all, whatever trouble we find ourselves in, it’s not his problem! Our spiritual brother stands up for us and smooths things over with Dad, as our “advocate” and “propitiation for our sins”. (1 John 2:1-2)
A physical big brother, though perhaps being equally guilty in wrongdoing, may chicken out and leave us to bear a mutually-deserved punishment alone. Jesus, who “knew no sin”, became “sin on our behalf” – taking our blame upon Himself when He had zero part in it. (2 Corinthians 5:21)
A physical big brother may (whether secretly or openly) be delighted when we get “busted”…it cements his status as the golden child and gives him future ammunition with which to deride us. Jesus not only understands our weaknesses, having been “tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin”, but he also “sympathizes” with us…compelling Him to extend mercy and grace to us when we have need of it. (Hebrews 4:15-16)
Jesus is The Best Big Brother, because He shares in the blame.
3. The Best Big Brother…
A great big brother is one who keeps the bullies at bay. Nobody better pick on his sibling(s) unless they want to feel his wrath! Any would-be assailants are sent running for the hills at the mere thought of contending with Big Bro.
A great big brother is a superhero in the eyes of his kid brother or sister. Got a battle? He’ll fight it for you. Got an enemy? He’ll send them packing. With such a big brother, you know you’ll be safe from harm’s way.
The Best Big Brother certainly knows how to shove off the gang as well:
And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, he who accuses them before our God day and night. – Revelation 12:9-10
A physical big brother may think he’s “too cool” to get involved in the affairs of his little sibling. He wouldn’t dream of being seen defending a little pipsqueak in public – the guys might think he’d gone soft! Our spiritual brother allowed Himself to be “made for a little while lower than the angels”, He willingly “tasted death for everyone”, and He is “not ashamed to call us brethren”. He was willing to humble Himself and become “flesh and blood” for our sake – so that He “might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil”. (Hebrews 2:9; 2:11; 2:14)
A physical big brother may dismiss our concerns over bullies. He might think we’re overreacting, and need to grow a backbone. He may think we’re making up stories just to get attention. Jesus is well aware of the enemy we face in Satan. Rather than diminishing the very real threat that the devil is to us, he acknowledges it: “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy” – but that’s not the end of the story – our big brother will take that thieving bully down. Jesus assures and comforts us – He came “that we may have life, and have it abundantly”. (John 10:10)
A physical big brother may, in fact, be our bully himself. He might abuse his elder position in the family, treating younger siblings to a steady diet of his cruel teasing, blackmail, and imperious dictatorship. Jesus doesn’t use and abuse his underlings. In contrast, He says He “did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” – this attitude of service ultimately led Him to make the ultimate sacrifice that took us from harm’s way and sealed our bully Satan’s fate. (Mark 10:45)
Jesus is The Best Big Brother, because He shoves off the gang.
Every one of you reading this article – from the only child to the member of a family full of brothers – has the opportunity to form a relationship with The Best Big Brother. Being Jesus’ little brother or sister has its perks: He will Show You The Game, He will Share In The Blame, and He will Shove Off The Gang. Metaphorically speaking, Jesus is The Best Big Brother. Literally speaking? He is all that and so much more, because…
There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. – Proverbs 18:24b
For God’s Glory, CA Bolks
Chelsea Bolks is a church of Christ minister’s wife, and the home educating mother of two children. She and her family currently reside in Northwest Iowa.
I see you, focused, strong and healthy; In satisfying abundance and very happy. I see you growing in grace and knowledge; Because life’s experience is the best college. I see you maturing: fully and so complete; Into a lovely woman and suitable helpmeet. I see you, an imperfectly perfect vision; Full of life, ambition and positive passion. I see you, with a radiant smile and influence; And an effervescence that makes a difference. I see you, a woman of stature and virtue; Full of dignity, and to whom praise is due. I see you, with curves and features sexual; Scintillatingly attractive: a stunning visual. I see you as beautiful as you can ever become; A woman: charming and full of compassion.
“I See You” By Dion O. Penville
Do you long for such words of admiration to be said of you? Do you yearn to have your man’s deepest affection and undivided attention? Do you wish to be the sole object of your husband’s every desire? If this sounds like you, I will let you in on a little secret: you need to learn how to “merry” a married man. (That’s *M-E-R-R-Y*, thank you very much, so you can go ahead and get your mind right out of that gutter!) If you can nail down the art of merrying your man, his heart will be yours to keep.
Sounds great, right? But how does a wife go about “merrying” her husband? And isn’t every husband unique in what he wants/needs from his wife? Well, yes and no.
Today, I will share with you the three basic ways to merry any man, regardless of race, color, creed, national origin, religion, et cetera, et cetera. Now be forewarned: you will not find relationship tips in this article such as, “put a secret love note in his lunchbox”, or, “tell him how special he is to you every day” and other such fluff. Honestly, those are tips on how to merry your female friends – this is men we’re talking about. You want to win a man, you’ve got to treat him like a man. If that’s not up your alley, you’ll probably want to stop reading right now.
Still with me? Clever girl. Without further ado…
Step #1 on How to “Merry” a Married Man:
It would be ludicrous to write an article about a man’s merriment without mention of priority numero uno: his sex life. A lot of marriages (even Christian marriages) are suffering for one glaring reason: women don’t understand, or seek to understand, the sexual needs of their man. I find it imperative to share with you this enlightening masculine perspective before I wrap up with some of my own feminine thoughts:
…if it were not for abundant testosterone and the sex drive that God put into men making them attracted to women for sex, I personally don’t believe that the vast majority of men would choose to have anything to do with women at all. Women are, in so many ways, different than men and are so confusing, emotional, irrational and so much trouble that without the sex drive, the vast majority of men would not give a woman the time of day. So, in essence, the thing that so many women despise about men is the only thing that draws them to you and gets them to marry you and provide for you and protect you in the first place!
…God made sex to bring a husband and wife together in body, soul, and spirit. Among other things, it is the magnet that draws and the glue that binds your husband to you. You women want to have a close and intimate “oneness” relationship with your husband? Sex is the path that God created to draw your man to you and bind the two of you together. Your husband not only has a physical NEED for sex (just like he needs to eat food and drink water to survive), he also has an emotional need for it. Both of these needs were God created so if you despise them, you are despising God.
– Portions of a comment by user “Trey” on article “Giving Men a Voice on Being Starved for Sex”. Full article/comment can be found at www.thetransformedwife.com
There you have it, straight from the horse’s mouth. I daresay any man who claims that sex is not of paramount significance to him is either a) lying through his teeth, b) afraid of facing the wrath of his wife by said admission, or c) called to a unique lifestyle of celibacy by the Lord (1 Corinthians 7:7). Bottom line, men are sexual beings.
My husband has often said, “sex is the key that opens the door to a man’s heart” and this couldn’t be more evidenced than by our marriage. It’s no secret that I wasn’t exactly my husband’s cup of tea when first we wed, but faithful daily sex (in time) forged between us a stronger bond than I could have dreamed of. We have been married more than eight years, and in my humble opinion, have the most splendid marriage. (This is not to say that we don’t struggle in other areas of life, as we most certainly do) I can truly say that my husband is my best friend and the love of my life, and I owe this in greatest measure to God’s perfect design of “two becoming one flesh”.
If you want to merry your man, your body is the key. Give your man your body, and he will give you his heart. There’s a reason it’s called “making love”…sex softens a husband’s heart and links him to his girl. (Pardon the pun) A glorious, one-flesh marriage is built when two individuals set all reservations aside and give their bodies to each other…unabashedly…every day. No hiding allowed. None of this lights off, pajama wearing, “I’m so nervous” charade. Men are attracted to a confident, sexy wife…he wants you. Your nakedness, your openness, your sensuality. You are one with your husband…own it. You won’t be sorry.
Therefore shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed. – Genesis 2:24-25
Want to merry a married man? Merry His Anatomy!
Step #2 on How to “Merry” a Married Man:
Apart from a great sex life, a man longs for a woman that he can “do life” with. Are you involved and invested in your man’s activity – that is, his hobbies? I’m of the firm persuasion that a couple that plays together, stays together. Too many couples drift apart because they share few interests and are rarely together. She goes out, he stays in. He watches football, she browses Facebook. She loves socializing, he loves contemplating. He likes sci-fi, she likes chick flicks. The list could go on. The thing is, a marriage doesn’t have to include so much disconnect. Do you love your husband? Then it shouldn’t be hard to take an interest in the things that make him tick.
It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages.
– Friedrich Nietzsche
Since getting married, I have made it my mission to adapt to my husband’s interests. I have learned to enjoy what he enjoys and love what he loves! All it takes is an open heart and a willingness to get outside your comfort zone. Here are some examples from my own experience:
I used to have zero interest in Star Wars, but my husband loves it. We started watching the movies/shows together in timeline order some months ago, and now I am a bonafide Star Wars nerd. My recent obsession is sipping hot cocoa with my man and catching up on the latest episode of The Mandalorian!
I used to despise the flavor of pepperoni pizza. My husband finds it to be scrumptious. I started eating it with him, and now it has become one of my favorite kinds of pizza. Now we fight over who gets the last piece. (I kid!)
I used to be apathetic toward my appearance (I dressed like a schoolmarm, never did anything with my hair, didn’t know a thing about makeup, etc.). My husband enjoys being fashionable, and values having an attractive wife by his side. I revamped my wardrobe and started dolling myself up early on in our marriage, and now I *may* have a slight clothing, shoes, makeup, and hair product hoarding problem (oops)!
These examples serve to show that it really is attainable (and enjoyable) to join in your husband’s activity. As you determine to spend time with your man, enjoying whatever hobbies and interests he has, I guarantee it won’t be long until you find your own hobbies and interests aligning with his. Your husband should be your very best friend, and what woman takes no care for the interests of a friend?
…this is my beloved, and this is my friend… – Song of Solomon 5:16b
Want to merry a married man? Merry His Activity!
Step #3 on How to “Merry” a Married Man:
A woman may be an ethereal sex goddess, and she may spend every waking moment participating in her husband’s activities; but if she does not respect her man, he will be so revolted by her presence that she will not even be given the chance to let those qualities shine. Respect is to a man as love is to a woman…if a man is treated with disrespect long enough, his reaction will be to withdraw into isolation from the offender…namely, his wife. If you allow such a wedge to form in your union, it will be hard to win him back.
Do you respect your husband’s authority?
Here are some practical questions you might ask yourself, which will allow you to see where there may be disrespect in your marriage:
Do I argue with my husband (especially in mixed company)? Do I bicker back and forth with him about a fact I believe him to remember wrongly? Do I shame him by trying to prove who’s “right”?
Do I insult his intelligence or capabilities as a grown man? Do I badger and nag him with my honey-do-lists and constant “reminders” of what he needs to do? Do I regularly question his choices and insert my unsolicited advice and opinions?
Do I undermine his authority in the home? Do I stand in opposition to his commands and directives in regard to myself and the children? Do I let him know my disdain for his wishes by my words or body language?
Maybe none of these examples apply to you. However, even if you are not actively disrespecting your man, are you actively respecting him?
God commands a wife to respect her husband. This word means to hold in high esteem, to lift up. It’s closely connected with the word “reverence.” Ladies, what your husband needs and craves from you more than anything else is respect. While you love to hear, “I love you,” we men want and need to hear, “I respect you.”
– Tony Evans, For Married Women Only: Three Principles for Honoring Your Husband
Do you praise your husband to his children and to others? Do you listen intently to the words that he says? Do you trust his ability to make sound decisions…not only in large matters, but in the small choices of everyday life? Do you allow him to be the spokesperson for your family, while you humbly take on a more behind-the-scenes approach? Such examples as these speak volumes to your husband of your respect, and will render you a queen in his eyes.
Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. – Ephesians 5:22-24
Want to merry a married man? Merry His Authority!
Did you notice that the three ways to merry your man coincide with the threefold aspects of his human makeup? When you merry your man’s anatomy, you are taking care of him somatically (remember, soma = body). When you merry his activity, you are taking care of him soulishly. When you merry his authority, you are taking care of him spiritually. If you learn to thrive in these three areas for your husband, you will forge an unbreakable bond with him. You will be united as one in soma, soul and spirit forever. Fairy tale endings really do exist – but only for those who are willing to work for them. Now, you know what you need to do. Put down your phone…and get out there and merry your married man!
She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life. – – Proverbs 31:12
For God’s glory, CA Bolks
Chelsea Bolks is a church of Christ minister’s wife, and the home educating mother of two children. She and her family currently reside in Northwest Iowa.