It’s no secret that every season of life brings growth and change. It’s how God designed us. We trust Him to make it happen and are pretty happy to know that we can place our confidence in His process. (Philippians 1:6)
But when it comes to our relationships, many of us wish things would never change.
We want the thrill we had when we first fell in love to never fade. The delight of children’s laughter to forever fill our home. The shared likes and preferences of family members to stay steady and constant. So we hold on tight and pretend not to notice when the people we love grow into more mature versions of themselves. We resist change and our relationships can suffer.
Embracing change and celebrating growth allows us to love our people ever more deeply for who they are today.
It’s natural to try to hold tightly to those we love. But holding on too tightly to the past can squeeze the life right out of love. While a shared history builds lifelong bonds, getting stuck in the past and continuing to see our loved ones as they once were can damage present-day relationships.
We love others best when we notice them for who they are now. Not just for the people they were when we first met and fell in love – whether a spouse who once swept us off our feet or a child who captured our heart at first glance in a delivery room.
We nurture the bond between us by responding to what we notice.
Everyone wants to be seen and understood and loved for who they are. Spouses, children, siblings, parents, and friends. Is there any better feeling than knowing someone sees you for who you truly are and loves you deeply, right here and now? Not for who you once were (young, perky, no wrinkles, stretch marks, or scars) but for the real-life, ever-evolving messy human who’s growing and changing right before their eyes.
When we embrace change and encourage one another to become the people we’re designed to be, we create more love in our lives. We love best by celebrating growth throughout our lives together.
An abundance of love grows more love.
Love soaks in and enriches the soil where it’s planted. New things grow – new ways of relating to one another, celebrating one another and encouraging each other to become the very best versions of ourselves.
With a spouse or partner, that means love deepens as we mature, often ebbing and flowing through seasons of change. With growing kids, the rich soil where love grew them into adults will be the same soil where a new grown-up relationship will take root.
It’s natural for our love to change. Changes mean life is happening.
Whenever we find ourselves thinking of love lost or seasons of love past that make our hearts hurt with longing, it’s time to ask:
- “Am I giving my loved ones the gifts of embracing change and celebrating growth?”
- “Am I noticing who they are today and who they are becoming?”
- “Am I holding too tightly to an earlier version of who I fell in love with and trying to keep them there?”
- “How can I nurture our bond by looking for ways to love them here and now?”
Let’s love with authenticity and intention the people right in front of us. Not who we wish they still were, but who they are and who they are becoming.
Give your loved ones the two gifts that will keep your bond healthy and strong: Embrace change. Celebrate growth. And keep the love in your life blooming through every season.
“Let all that you do be done in love.” (1 Corinthians 16:14)
How are you celebrating growth and change with your loved ones? Share in a comment below.