Sometimes I wonder where sayings come from. As an English major, the origin of different words, figures of speech and the like always fascinates me. There's an old saying I've heard a lot lately, and I have to be honest. I really dislike it. We've all heard it at some point, I'm sure. "Blood runs thicker than water."
Okay, the commonly understood meaning is that relationships with family go deeper, are stronger than those with friends. In all honesty, I have not always found this to be the case in my own life. Envy is an emotion I try at great lengths to avoid, but I have to say I envy those who have close relationships with their extended family, cousins, second cousins, and third. I used to see these family members once a year. Now I'm lucky if I see them in a decade. It saddens me, but geographical distance makes it hard to maintain a close-knit connection. This is one of the reasons I am grateful for social media. Although I do not see these relatives often, I feel as though I am part of their lives because I can send them a message, view their pictures, and be aware of what's going on in their lives. I know that the bond will always be there, no matter how many years pass. So in this way, I get it.
In a literal sense, I've always found the "Blood is thicker..." saying odd because, well, yes, blood does technically "run" thicker than water but it makes me imagine someone who has water running through their veins, which makes absolutely no sense. So, recently I decided to research where the phrasing originated, and what I found was surprising.
"The blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb."
Now this conveys something else entirely. My interpretation is that my relationship with God precedes my relationship with my family.