Growing up with my two sisters and brother, trust was tough to build between us. Now, as a parent, I want to teach my kids how to trust each other. I turned to the Bible and found a cool story about siblings that isn’t your usual kind.
In my new blog post, I’ll share what I learned from Rahab’s story in the Bible and give you five easy ways to help your kids trust their siblings. Join me as we explore how this old story can help us make our families stronger and happier. Let’s keep it simple and discover how to build trust between siblings!
5 ways to Build Trust with our siblings
I have always been interested in Rahab and her story. Before now, I had never considered her relationship with her family.
But since reading her story more in-depth I have learned so much about Rahab. I have come to see that she used her position in her family to cultivate trust and safety for the family.
We don’t know much about Rahab or her family and so much of my thoughts are based on what I know about the bible and the times she lived in.
2 things we know about Rahab
1. Rahab was a harlot
Joshua 2:1 NKJV “Now Joshua the son of Nun sent out two men from Acacia Grove to spy secretly, saying, “Go, view the land, especially Jericho.” So they went, and came to the house of a harlot named Rahab, and lodged there.”
As I was doing some research for this post, I learned that “harlot”, when translated from the Hebrew text, can also mean innkeeper.
Whether she was a prostitute or an innkeeper, her work would have ensured that she would have known many travellers and had many connections in the city.
Her status is one reason she knew so much about what Israel has done and some about their God.
2. She used her work to her advantage
From the passage, Rahab was used to having strangers in her home and that people did not suspect her for having the 2 men in her home.
Her neighbours would know what she did and would see her welcoming many types of people into her home.
Rahab used her work as an advantage. She had heard about the God of Israel and had identified these men as Israelites. Instead of making money off these men, she asked them questions and used the opportunity to save her life and the life of her family.
She would not have had the opportunity to meet the men or have them in her home without the type of work she did.
Regardless of the type of work she did, she used the opportunities she was presented to display faith and to save her life.
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- What to do when you lose faith in God?
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3 things we learn about Rahab’s family
1. Rahab had a large family
We know little about Rahab’s family. The Bible only gives us a few clues.
“and spare my father, my mother, my brothers, my sisters, and all that they have, and deliver our lives from death.””
Joshua 2:13 NKJV
This verse shows us she had a large family and that she obviously loved them enough to want to save them and take care of them.
2. They looked to her as a leader
It’s hard to know exactly the relationship between Rahab and her family.
In our day in age, if a family member is a prostitute we would not trust them.
But, Rahab’s family seemed to respect her and look to her as a leader.
Their relationship could be a clue that she was an innkeeper and not a prostitute or it could also reflect the times they lived it.
In the city of Jericho, sin was so rampant that having a prostitute as a daughter was not abnormal or may not have been any worse than what others were doing in their lives.
Whatever the circumstances were, Rehab’s family looked to her for leadership.
3. They trusted her
Real trust demands action. When Rahab told her family to stay at her home, they did not just listen, they took action.
They gathered together in her home and listened to her.
But Joshua had said to the two men who had spied out the country, “Go into the harlot’s house, and from there bring out the woman and all that she has, as you swore to her.” 23 And the young men who had been spies went in and brought out Rahab, her father, her mother, her brothers, and all that she had. So they brought out all her relatives and left them outside the camp of Israel.
Their trust in her would have been tested.
The family would have seen the Israelites coming and would have gathered in her home on the first day. But, they would have to wait for 7 days. During the 7 days, it would be easy to see the Israelites walk around the wall and think that there was no way for them to win.
The family would have had ample opportunity to leave the safety of Rahab’s house and go back home.
But they didn’t- they stayed.
Their trust in Rahab was so big that they stayed for the whole 7 days until they were rescued.
How did Rahab build trust?
The passage in the bible does not give us many clues as to why Rahab’s family trusted her.
I think that her family trusted her because of her past behaviour.
Rahab must have used her connections and knowledge to help her family before.
Her family would know how many people she knew and how she gathered wisdom and she must have used this knowledge to help them before.
So, when she told them what she knew, they trusted her.
Rahab also must have been known to be honest or at least caring towards them. If Rahab was known to lie or exaggerate, then her family would not have listened. This is a classic: The boy who cried wolf lesson.
The boy was not trusted because he lied so often that when he was telling the truth, they could not tell.
5 ways to Build Trust with Our Siblings
1. Say what you mean
If we want to build trust with our siblings, then it’s important that we learn to say what we mean.
“But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.”
Matthew 5:37 NKJV
Nobody likes someone who uses words as double-speak or whose words we don’t understand.
Words are extremely important, and we must be careful how we use them. We should be honest and not deceptive.
2. Don’t lie
To build a trusting relationship, it’s important that we don’t lie. When we lie, it is just for a moment.
The truthful lip shall be established forever, But a lying tongue is but for a moment.Proverbs 12:19 (NKJV)
Even a small lie can make a lasting impact.
When my husband and I were first married, I would ask him questions like: do you like this dinner? Because he did not want to offend me, he would walk around the questions or answer and say that he liked the food when in fact it was not his favourite.
Over time, I came to tell him I would prefer for him to be honest about what he liked and did not like to wake up in 20 years and find out that I have been making him food he hates for so long.
3. Keep our word
We can build trusting relationships by keeping our word.
But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By1 John 2:5 (NKJV)
thiswe know that we are in Him.
There are a few verses in the bible that warn us to not make vows because we have to keep them.
You shall be careful to do what has passed your lips, for you have voluntarily vowed to the Lord your God what you have promised with your mouth.Deuteronomy 23:23 (ESV)
When we tell someone we are going to do something, it’s important that we do what we said we would do. If we tell people we are going to help them, then it’s important that we show up and help them even if we don’t want to.
4. Help them
Rahab did not just save herself, she helped her family.
Being a good family member means helping our siblings when we can.
This can be hard as every family has different expectations of what “help” looks like. I don’t think there is a perfect answer or a proper formula that will work for every family.
But, when you can- help your family
Helping can take many forms.
A few examples:
- My brother-in-law worked at a hotel chain for a long time and he had access to a family and friends discount. So, he extended that to us and we took advantage of that once in a while.
- There was a time in our life when our finances were shaky. We never asked people for money or support, but we have had family members send us money to help us out.
- When we travel home, we have a family who gives us a place to stay and lends us car seats, strollers and so on
- My sister has kids who are older than mine, so she passes clothes to us.
As you can see, we have been very blessed with siblings in our lives and “help” can take many forms.
In the comments, please tell me ways you help your siblings or how you have helped them.
5. Protect those we love
Rahab did not just help her siblings, she protected them and saved their life.
This shows us she loved fiercely and was protective of those she loved.
We can build trust with our siblings by protecting them.
We may not have to save them from an invading army, but there are many ways we can protect our siblings.
When I look at my kids, I see many ways that they protect each other. They will hold hands while crossing the street or even carry each other. They will also take care of each other when they are sick and bring them things to make them feel better.
We can protect our siblings by sharing with them what we know about life.
Rahab had specific knowledge about Israel their plans and their God. She used that knowledge to protect them.
Maybe you have experienced something that hurt you and you see your sibling walking into the same trap. You may not stop them, but you can share with them what you know and hope that you honestly can save them from potential pain.
Rahab has so much to teach us about life and relationships. I hope you have been blessed by these few lessons and have discovered ways we can cultivate trust with our siblings.
How do you build trust with those you love?
Sibling Blog Series
This post is one part of a blog series on cultivating sibling love.
There are 5 blog posts in the series.
The goal is to give you a bible series where you can go for examples of siblings in the Bible, what you can learn from them, and practical ways to foster that love in our home.
Here are the other posts in the series:
- Cultivating Sibling Kindness
- Cultivating Sibling Forgiveness
- Not in HER image!
- Mary and Martha: A Time to Grow and a Time to Give
I hope you enjoy the series and find ways to help you with your relationships with your brothers and sisters, or as you raise your children.
Let me know in the comments what you have learned from reading about siblings in the bible. Please share this post with others. Thank you.