Battles Between Brothers: A Not-So-Civil War

Caribou Piece: Part 1

 

Battles Between Brothers

Today’s post stems from a recent class assignment: Visit a museum, choose a piece of art, and write on it. Carl Rungius titled this work Caribou’s Death Struggle. The two caribou battle to the death, but inadvertently lock horns. Trapped, the victor faces death himself.

When I saw this painting, I immediately thought of Galatians 5:15 (NIV), “If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.”

Holidays bring a great deal of stress with them, especially if you have a fun family, as in dysfunctional. Times that should be celebratory can end in hurt and anger. Let’s see what we can learn from these two caribou.

First, the fight. What caused it? A battle for territory? Possessions? A challenge of leadership? We don’t know. What we do know is that brother battled brother. They should have been on the same side.

Don’t they—and we—struggle enough without fighting each other?

I don’t see this battle as part of God’s intended order.

Not for His caribou.

Certainly not for man.

What’s to be gained from a fight?

The satisfaction of being right? Having the last word? Self-defense?

James 4:1-2 (NIV) reads, “What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight.”

Yet, look at what’s to be gained from not engaging in the fight.

Grace. Humility. Brotherhood.

And—we live.

As we head into the holiday season, may this piece challenge us to show patience, mercy, and grace to those relatives who try to lock horns with us.

Workout of the Week: Not-So-Civil War

Memory Verse: Galatians 5:15 (NIV) “If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.”

Meditation Passage: James 4:1-2 (NIV) reads, “What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight.”

Just Do It: Disengage.

Titus 2: A Tribute to My Grandmother

A Tribute to My Grandmother

“Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands so that no one will malign the word of God.” (Titus 2:3-5 NIV)

My grandmother passed away last week. How fitting it was that the morning she died, my quiet time reading was the passage above for my grandmother epitomized the Titus 2 woman.

Though I have fond childhood memories of my grandmother, it wasn’t until my college years that I really got to know her. She was one of the greatest generation that Tom Brokaw refers to in his book of the same name. A war bride, she discovered she was pregnant after my grandfather left to serve in World War II. She moved back home and lived with her mother and grandmother until he returned. My mother was two when she met her father. Stoic and not given to many words, my grandmother never complained. About anything. Ever. Not about aging, widowhood, or her own children. And if I ventured into the grumbling arena, she’d give me a look and make a wry comment about how she was “sure I would manage.” I learned not to complain.

She was gifted in hospitality. The door was always open, and there was always room at the table. Both my grandparents would have given you the shirts off their backs, but she could go one better. She could make her own pattern and sew you one. While she didn’t teach with words, she taught plenty with action:

  • How to roll with whatever life dealt you
  • How food opens the heart for fellowship
  • How to give generously and to serve others
  • How to choose a good man and stayed married for fifty plus years

I want to be like her. I want memories with my grandkids to be like the ones I have of her. And I’m thankful for every moment we spent together, because not one memory I have with her is negative. Not one.

I love you, GG. Give Jesus a hug, and I’ll see you on the other side.

Questions:

Do you have a special person who impacted your life in a unique way?

How did they make impact?

Who are you impacting? How?

Family Application:

Who is that person for your children? Why?