Our third contributor for our series on LOVE is Sydney Friar Dougherty. As a wife, daughter, aunt, and dear friend, Sydney embodies compassion in several relational capacities. Yet maybe the most unique of those capacities is that of the love she has for her three older siblings. Among just being an all-around amazing (and amazingly gorgeous) human being, Sydney is a former Miss Missouri, singer/song-writer, and does marketing for resorts and attractions . Please join us in welcoming her and enjoy the perspective she brings on being a sister in Christ.
-The Women of The Well
You don’t have to spend very much time reading The Bible to learn an important message: We are all brothers and sisters in Christ. This is one of those biblical concepts that has beautiful imagery behind it but is often difficult to translate into “the real world,” at least for me. In all reality, most of us probably fall into one of two categories when it comes to applying this idea:
- “I have a great family that I love, and there is no way on earth that I can love that meanie pants in the office in the same way that I love them.”
- “My family and I have never really gotten along, so treating the meanie pants with that same level of ‘respect’ shouldn’t be too hard.”
I fall into the first category. I was raised in an amazing, large family. I am the youngest of four, and we grew up in the same small town as most of our cousins, aunts, and uncles. Every Sunday after church we would all gather at my grandma and grandad’s house for a big…and loud lunch. My whole family has always been close, and my siblings and I are no exception. Don’t get me wrong, we are close, but we have definitely had our fair share of moments we wanted to rip each other’s heads off. Like the time my brother and I almost accidentally impaled one of my friends at my birthday party as we threw heavy household objects at each other, trying to prove some ridiculous point.
We all had our things. My oldest brother is eight years older and four inches shorter than me. He LOVES when I point this out….and here I go again. He joined the Marines when I was just a pup. When he left on his first deployment I was shorter than him, and when he came home, “Surprise! Meet your giant, awkward, pre-pubescent sister!” This automatically builds in some opportunities to pick on each other. Despite that, and despite having lived apart most of our lives; we can always pick right back up, as if no time has passed. I may be his annoying “little” sister, but he still always makes me feel so loved, and I am so very proud of him.
My sister is literally the most perfect person I have ever met. She is beautiful, smart, faithful, hardworking, and has a rock hard bod. Admittedly, unfortunately, I spent a lot of years struggling with this and holding it against her. What a waste of precious time. Eventually I realized that it was truly a blessing to have such a strong young woman paving the way for me. Today she is a mom of three boys with a baby girl bun in the oven, and I could not be more thankful to have her as my friend and role model. She still has a rock hard bod, by the way, which I’m still trying really hard to have a good attitude about.
The brother closest to me in age is probably the one I fought most with growing up, but today he is one of my very best friends. We have the same weird sense of humor, and at times I’m convinced he can read my mind. We may have spent a lot of years bickering, but that hasn’t hindered us from having the awesome friendship and relationship that we do today.
So here’s the takeaway. When we think about being brothers and sisters in Christ with people in social and professional settings, we aren’t being asked to always get along with them and agree with them through everything. We are asked to push through the arguments, persevere through the pain and love others even when you don’t like them. On the other side of all of that, there just might be a beautiful friendship waiting.