I read this on Jonsi's blog "Open your eyes and see", who reposted it from Upsi's "You don't have to dance for them" and it is too powerful not to repost. I hope they don't mind terribly. What wonderful insight (and brilliance in research) on Upsi's part. I never would've thought twice about this.
I've been researching the origins of the expression "blood is thicker than water" and it turns out it means exactly the opposite of what people use it for. People use it to mean family ties are the most important, but really the saying comes from the idea of a blood covenant - "blood of the covenant is thicker than water of the womb" - in other words, the bonds we make in faith are stronger than those of family.
The bonds we forge in choice, with all our hearts and all our faith, with those we make a promise to stand by and honor, are thicker than the water we're born in - stronger than the bonds with the family we're born into. Because we choose to make those covenants. What we choose for ourselves is stronger than what is chosen for us.