Sunday, July 26, 2015

The Blood of the Covenant: My Thoughts On Family

The Blood of the Covenant: My Thoughts on Family
Chris Costello

I am a human, and like most humans, I have a family. Unlike most humans, I have a very, very large family. I often describe myself as having a ‘small army of cousins,’ and that’s true. When you’re dealing with numbers as big as I am, it’s statistically inevitable that there will be people in my family whom I dislike. There aren’t many, of course, but they do exist. (You can read about my experience with one of them here.) In any case, the environment I was raised in greatly influenced the way I think about the modern family unit, and my opinions on said unit. those are, I guess.

Family doesn’t mean shit. By that, I mean the bond of family is not inherently meaningful. It only becomes important when all parties work to make it so. Family is like any other relationship, in that it requires effort. You gotta earn it.

Again, I believe that this is true of any relationship, and most people would agree with me, up to a point. They usually draw the line at family, though. They say things like, ‘they’re your family, you have to love them,’ or ‘he’s your family, he means well.’ 

I disagree, but I understand where these people are coming from. After all, our family stays with us forever. They’re the first people we interact with, the first relationships we cultivate, and they permeate every aspect of our lives. For better or worse, the things they say stick with us for all eternity. Their compliments carry more weight, sure, but so do their insults. That’s why the people who say things like ‘blood is thicker than water’ are wrong. Since family is not a matter of choice, there’s no telling who you might end up with. What if a gay person grew up in a conservative christian household, and his entire family considered him immoral. That person should be able to leave that environment, because it’s toxic. He didn’t choose his family. If it is not to his liking, he should absolutely have the freedom to leave.

So those are my views on family. I’ve gotten a lot of flack for them over the years, but I believe they are correct, so I’m sticking with them. And, as those ‘blood is thicker than water’ people are loathe to tell you, I’m not alone in these convictions.

‘Blood is thicker than water’ isn’t even the full phrase. It’s actually, ‘The blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb,’ meaning that the bonds formed by choice are stronger than those formed by birth. Isn’t it funny how these things work out?

Just something to think about.

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