Blood and Water

“We’ve all heard the phrase “blood is thicker than water” usually referring to family ties as being stronger than other connections we have in our lives.  I have often times begged to differ this reference since it hasn’t been very fitting in my own life.

I hearken back to a time, a warm and sunny summer day, when us four young teenage siblings (2 brothers and 2 sisters) left a movie theater to begin our walk back home.  As we made our way through the parking lot, a couple teenage boys began saying some really nasty things to my sister and I.  They got close and taunted us, and I worried for our physical safety.  I remember being very scared.  When we turned to our brothers for help, we saw them running away across the parking lot!  No help there.  My sister and I were on our own.

This attitude has continued in my family throughout the years.  Despite my best efforts at closeness with family members, I still find myself on the outskirts of things – excluded from the so-called “family”.  I will always respect my parents for who they are, but they have treated my brothers differently from my sister and I our whole lives.  They gave them the support they needed when we were young and continue to show their preference for the boys (who are now grown men) in many ways.

Oh, I let this eat away at me for years!  In particularly when my daughter came into the picture, and her uncles and grandparents on my side made no effort to get to know her.  This hurt deeply and for a long time.  Then one day, I stumbled across an explanation of the quotation, “Blood is thicker than water”, that made so much more sense.

14. “Blood is thicker than water.”

This is one of many Bible verses that has been misadapted for common use, because the word “convenant” doesn’t roll off the tongue in everyday use. However, the real version completely changes the meaning. The quote comes from: “The blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb.” This actually means that blood shed in battle bonds soldiers more strongly than simple genetics. Although we commonly use it to suggest the strength of family ties, it doesn’t refer to family at all.

31 Famous Quotations You’ve Been Getting Wrong

While most people would think that “blood” refers to family ties and their importance, the original version of the saying was talking about something much different.  It may mean different things to different people, but to me it means the person or people who have stuck with you through thick and thin, showed their support no matter what, let go of the silly differences you may have, and really CARE about you and are interested in your life – THAT is blood to me.

So this is just a little something to think about, especially during this time of year.  So many people feel obligated to family members, but often they are let down or even hurt by those very same people.  Ask yourself this:  who in my life really cares about me?  Who has stuck by me through the good and the bad?  Who would stand up for me no matter what?  If you are one of the lucky ones, you will get an answer.  Cherish this person or people and never let them go.  Realize that family ties don’t always bind and being related doesn’t always insure loyalty, trust, attention, or love.


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