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Some relationships are just for a season, while others are meant for a lifetime. And it’s important to know which is which to fully appreciate each in its own way.

To be fair, outside of family, most of our relationships are seasonal. Perhaps we’re friends throughout childhood or college, or while we’re working at a certain job, living in a particular city, or attending a specific small group. And the relationship naturally wanes once this season of life is completed.

Many times, our paths in life have simply taken us in different directions and we remain friendly with each other, just not as close as we once were. At other times, we must make a cleaner break when our values are no longer aligned.

But, either way, we can be grateful for our season together and part ways as better men.

Lifelong friendships are those that transcend season, life stage, and even miles apart. There’s a bond here that remains through thick and thin. And these relationships provide an anchor for our souls – a constant to hold onto throughout the many other changes in life.

Sometimes these distinctions are very clear. And this allows us to graciously let go when a season has passed, or to hold on and dig deeper when there’s more ground to cover in our life together.

At other times it’s less clear and we risk many frustrations and heartaches when we don’t take the time to discern. On the one hand, we frustrate ourselves when we expect seasonal friends to have the same loyalty, commitment, and investment as those for life. On the other hand, we miss the depth and richness possible when we hit challenges and assume our lifelong friends were just meant for a season.

Wisdom and discernment are needed to know when to let go and when to keep fighting for more of the goodness and beauty available.

In the end, be willing to let go when the seasons of life change and a relationship is coming to its natural end. But don’t give up prematurely as some are meant to last a lifetime.

Photo by Giuseppe Patriarchi on Unsplash

Dr. Corey Carlisle

Licensed marriage and family therapist and certified sex therapist - providing Christian counseling and soul care to individuals and couples, with a special emphasis on developing the masculine soul. Suwanee, GA 30024

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