I recently saw this picture on Facebook, and I have to admit, it made me laugh. I am the youngest child with only one older sibling, so their was never the middle child saga in our house. But we all have heard the jokes and know the stereotypes:
Older children are the boss.
The youngest is spoiled.
The middle child is ignored.
Starting with Jan Brady’s infamous, “Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!” tantrum, middle children have been bemoaning their fate as lost in the shuffle.
For some reason, I was thinking about this the other day during my prayer time. I have no idea why my brain went there, like I said, we have no middle siblings in our immediate family. But for some reason I started thinking about how, in the world, no one wants to be the middle Child. However, in God’s kingdom, not only should we want to be a middle child, but we are called to be middle children. What do I mean.
The last words Jesus gave us before his ascension were to go and make disciples. I firmly believe the best discipleship process is through mentoring. We are all called to be middle children in the mentoring family. I believe God’s perfect plan is for all people to have an older person mentoring them, and in turn we should be mentoring someone younger.
We need a spiritually older sibling to help us grow in our walk with God. They help us avoid the mistakes they have made in life. We learn from their life experiences so that we can not only grow spiritually, but in the process become equipped to in turn be the older sibling to someone spiritually younger.
As a spiritual middle child, we take what our older sibling taught us, and we in turn pass it on to our spiritual younger siblings. We pour into their lives exactly like someone else poured into us. That way we don’t constantly take and take, but learn to pour out to others what was poured into us.
This is God’s will. It is our call. We are called to be middle children in the kingdom.
What about you. Who is your older sibling? Who is investing spiritually into your life? Thank God for this person, and commit to maintaining this relationship. If you don’t have this relationship, ask God daily to give you a mentor.
Who is your younger sibling? Who are you sharing your life experiences with to help the avoid the same mistakes you make. Who are you steering towards spiritual growth? Commit yourself to go even deeper in this relationship in 2016. If you don’t have a spiritual kid brother, daily ask God who it should be. Trust me, there is no shortage of men needing a spiritual big brother.
Let’s make 2016 the year of the middle sibling in God’s kingdom.
Jamie Holden is the Founder and Director of Mantour Ministries. He is a graduate of the University of Valley Forge. He is also an ordained minister with the Penndel District of the Assemblies of God and an AG Associate Missionary with AG Missionary Church Planters and Developers, focusing on strengthening men and men's ministry.
You can partner with Jamie on a Monthly basis to reach men both inside and outside the church. You can give online at www.giving.ag.org using account number 2813962