It’s been said we can never step into the same river twice, because it’s not the same river and we’re not the same person. And this seems to hold true for our relationships as well.
For instance, we fall in love and get married. And as best as we can, we’re making an informed decision based on who we know ourselves to be, that of our future wife, and the nature of our relationship together.
But even as we go into this relationship with our eyes wide open, the river of life comes with many changes. And it doesn’t take long before we realize our wife is not the same woman we married. Our relationship has also changed over the seasons as well.
And while it’s typically easier to see the changes in others and in our external circumstances, when we’re honest with ourselves we realize we’re not the same man either.
For many this becomes a point of despair and a desperate attempt to return to how things once were.
But there’s no going back. And wisdom demands we accept reality on its own terms today – however different it might look than before.
But this is not to suggest anything goes. It’s difficult to hold onto any meaningful sense of the relationship itself if everything changes and nothing remains the same.
While the water in the river is constantly flowing, the riverbank provides a needed stability – allowing us to even name it as this river rather than that one.
And in our relationships, there are also bedrock truths that should remain stable even as the seasons of life change.
As such, there’s a sense in which we, and our relationships, are constantly changing. And we must courageously and wisely adapt to this change.
At the same time, there are also foundational truths that do not change. These help to define the relationship and give it a consistent meaning over time.
Embrace the ever-changing river of your relationships while staying anchored to its bedrock truths as well.
Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash