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Love In Every Season

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Solomon, one of the wisest people to walk the earth, understood that for everything in life there are seasons. In Ecclesiastes 3:1, he reminds us that, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens” (NIV).

God instilled creation with a beautiful order and our relationships are yet another avenue in which we get to see His creativity, wisdom, and majesty unfold.

As a professional counselor and relationship specialist, one thing I have witnessed is that all relationships pass through a predictable pattern of interactions that I like to call the “seasons” of a relationship: spring, summer, fall, and winter.

These four seasons of a relationship mimic the seasons we pass through in nature. Just as nature passes through the four seasons, so do relationships. The seasons don’t always happen in order. They can take months to unfold in a relationship or even years. And often, a relationship will cycle through these seasons again and again. But their presence is always sure and their purpose clear.

Spring is a time of new beginnings. In spring, emotions are in full bloom. Everything about the relationship seems bright and beautiful. Attraction is growing at a very rapid pace. Spring is a time of planting good seeds in a relationship and a time of uprooting any harmful weeds, and we have to know exactly what we’re looking for in order for our relationship to succeed.

The season of Summer in a relationship is when things start to get hot. The heat of summer causes us to begin shedding our layers, getting to know one another in a deeper and more deliberate way. We start experiencing the warmth of emotional intimacy, the heat of physical intimacy, and the fire of spiritual intimacy, and we’ve got to learn how to navigate each of those areas in a healthy and meaningful way so that we don’t get burned.

Fall is when our true colors begin to shine in the relationship. We’re no longer blinded by the brightness and beauty of spring, because in fall we begin to see things as they really are. The cover we once had begins to fall and we realize we’ve got nowhere to hide from our flaws and weaknesses. It’s a season of deep connection and communication and we either learn to embrace the vulnerability and authenticity of this season, or our relationship gets stuck.

Then there’s the season of Winter: the time when things begin to cool as the normalcy of day to day life sets in. Winter offers us an opportunity to lean in to the comfort and stability of familiarity, but it also sets us up for the dangerous frost of apathy and the freezing of intentionality. We can start getting so accustomed to love, that we begin to take it for granted. If we approach winter with understanding, we can allow our relationship to be strengthened by the struggle; otherwise, we allow the struggle to sever our relationship.

Each season of a relationship is unique and necessary, revealing both the strengths and weaknesses of the relationship. Some seasons come with difficulty. Others are filled with joy. But each season plays a specific role in determining the health and well-being of your relationship. It’s crucial to recognize the seasons so that you can begin to learn from them.

No matter what your age or stage of relationship—single, dating, or married—the quality of your relationships impacts the quality of your life. For those who are willing and ready, there is an opportunity to find love in every season.

This devotional by Debra Fileta is available at Bible.com.

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