I cried over unspilt milk at the breakfast table. It jostled in the jug, straight from the farm, raw, and my emotions were raw, too. My husband had just seen the mandatory fine print on the label, “Not for human consumption,” and wondered how I could be guzzling it down.
Reluctant, I typed in search words at my computer. Together, we sifted through scientific studies, FDA warnings, conspiracy theories, outbreak data. But we wound up where we started: me craving the au naturel, him feeling best about food from the box. Who can change the lawyer’s mind or his tastebuds? But who can change mine either?
If only I could get him to swoon over free-range eggs, raw Amish cheese, organic vegetables…or really any vegetables at all. I wanted him married not just to me but to my tastes.
Later, I gathered with friends, bumbled about the raw milk and my ridiculous tears. I just couldn’t shake the frustration, the desire to change my husband.
One friend handed me a slice of apple pie.
“I’ve gotten caught up before trying to find a friend who sees the world just the same as me,” she told me as she rumbled open the silverware drawer and grabbed a handful of mismatched forks, “I’ve never found one, but I don’t think I’d be any better off if I did.”
Simple words that they were, they were honey to me, “sweet to the soul, healthy to the body,” whether the raw milk was healthy or not.
I looked at the friend with the seminary degree and nominal Christian parents, another who teaches us the glory of God in the names of microbes and images on doppler radars, one who sits quietly filtering the conversation through the counselor’s ear, another whose organization skills from teaching in the elementary school now keep us on track in getting together like we should. But no matter those efforts, if we had to be replicas of one another to warrant friendship, none of us would be circled up in that family room.
I felt it in that eclectic group– that for growth, for creativity, for healthy relationship, “few things are as important as time devoted to cross-pollination with fields [or people!] outside our areas of expertise.”
The Lord has been making a big deal of it from the beginning, that we would know both unity and diversity, that we would be fruitful and multiply, like the growth that happens when pollen travels from flower to flower, filling the earth and displaying all the differentiation hidden in His creation.
It is why He toppled Babel. It is why He toppled tables in the temple court saying His house was meant to be “a house of prayer for all nations.” It is why in His mercy, He toppled my non-committal ways and put me with my husband, pairing emotional stability with boundless idealism. Compatible does not mean identical.
In community, we sisters brought our findings together, the nectar of kind words boiled down and I went away re-aligned. In my fridge, I stocked the plain old organic milk again, a compromise between his and her tastes and philosophies. I clinked my glass against his and drank up, feeling my marriage a bit of paradise again, all of the blessed differences, milk and honey.
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This post is part of our Take Heart series. This week we’re talking about romance and we’d love to have you link up with us and share how God has helped you take heart in the midst of your own struggles in singleness, married life or abandonment. In your post, link back to our page here (you’re welcome to grab the thumbnail graphic to use in your post) and invite others to join in. Then, be sure to visit and comment on the posts that link up before and after yours and encourage each other!
Oooh this post is SO good Darcy! Really, so much of it spoke to my soul and so many of my frustrations in relationships. It is as if a light bulb just came on for me.
In short, I grew up with mainly just my mom (to whom I am very similar). Her and I are very close–we click in our ideas, views, etc. So I often go about hunting for relationships with people “like” me. Oh how wrong I have been! I thank the Lord for this revelation. I may have to read your post a few more times just to have the truth imprinted firmly upon my heart and mind.
I’m really into studying temperaments and David Keirsey’s book on temperament and character talks about how the things that first inspire us about the person are often the things we end up wanting to change about them. The interesting thing about cross-pollination is that it happens within the same species of plant. You need to have different kinds of apple trees near each other to pollinate. So, there is this need for both unity and diversity. All apple trees, but diverse kinds. It is important that we marry one who knows and loves the Lord and is like-minded in the important things, but it serves our growth best when we allow for healthy differences to interplay and challenge.
a balm. ❤
I love this. Not just because it has happened to me (yes, me and kids guzzling raw milk, DH freaking out), but also because of your poetic and Godly approach and takeaway. Oh, and not to mention that Proverbs 16:24 is a favorite verse of mine!
And I thought I was the only one! That trips me up, too, thinking that when we have a disagreement or difference that other couples we respect don’t deal with the same kinds of things. It helps so much to say it aloud to friends (as long as it’s presented respectfully, that is).
When all that happened, he reminded me that it was a big step just for him to drink organic milk. Ha! He’s come a long way in regard to health foods and I’ve come a long way in lightening up. 😉
OK, this is too funny….hubby and I have had this same conversation concerning raw milk in the last couple of months. How funny that two new friends would face the same thing. Kindred spirits, I say!
So funny. We could start a little club…but then our husbands could start one too. 😉
So I don’t drink raw milk, but I could totally relate in other areas of our marriage! What a great reminder, Darcy!
I don’t drink it either…anymore. 😉
“Compatible does not mean identical.” True words about life in general and marriage in particular! When we learn this, and believe me, it took me years to learn it, life gets so much easier! I’m learning how not to ‘sweat the small stuff’. Love your honest words Elizabeth!
Love this post friend!