June 9

Birth Order

Ephesians 1:11 In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will….

These last few decades have seen an emphasis on birth order, and how it affects us as individuals. There is no doubt that our place as the oldest, the youngest, or the one in the middle places us in different circumstance. The problems are when there is an implication that you are a victim of your birth order, or that birth order determines your destiny, or that it explains (or really, excuses) the way you are.

While we will always find data that seems to suggest that birth order carries a great degree of importance, there are scientists who feel that the effects of birth order “are somewhere between negligible and nonexistent.” Look at some of the Bible’s examples:

• King David was the eighth and youngest son.
• Adam and Eve’s third son led to Noah, whose third son led to Abraham.
• Isaac’s second son Jacob was the father of the 12 tribes, and Jacob’s 11th son saved the nation from starvation because of his high position in Egypt.
• Moses was the second son.

Clearly birth order didn’t prevent any of these people from fulfilling the call of God in growing into great leaders.

Yes, birth order is a factor in our lives. It may provide us with a different set of circumstances than some others—including our siblings—but it is God who is the Great Factor in our lives, and it is He who in His sovereignty has decided what order we fall in. He has put us in the families He’s chosen to put us in, and in the order He’s decided. Every position has its benefits and challenges, and God is sovereign in placing us in those positions and in working those opportunities for our good (Romans 8:28). As with every other circumstance we face in our lives, we must handle it with His grace, His power and His wisdom. And we can rejoice because He’s in charge and He knows what He’s doing!

Prayer: Father, help me and those I love to accept our place in the birth order as we would accept any other circumstance in our lives. Forgive me for whining or complaining, or using my position as an excuse for anything. Thank You for placing me where You did, as that is Your will for me. Thank You that You promise to work all circumstances connected to my birth order together for my good.