Embracing the Friction: The Hidden Sweetness in Marriage

The Sweetness Beneath the Spikes: A Lesson from Super Fruits and Marriage

By Chris F. Walker

Many of the “Super Fruits” of this world come in a form with spikes on the outside. Think of the prickly durian or the armored pineapple. These spikes serve as a form of defense, protecting the vulnerable, nutritious fruit inside. The true treasure lies beneath that tough exterior, but it requires effort and patience to access.

Imagine two of these spiky fruits thrown into a tumbler together. As they roll around, they knock into one another, and their sharp, rough edges begin to break off. This process is not immediate nor painless, but it is necessary for revealing the goodness inside.

This concept reminds me of Proverbs 27:17, “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” In today’s “cancel culture,” people who encounter friction often choose to keep their spikes and abandon the other fruit instead. The trouble is that this leaves them to face the tumbler of life alone.

Nowhere is this more prevalent today than in marriage. People often mislabel this process as “abuse” when it may actually be a slow breaking down of their rough edges. To be clear, there are genuine forms of abuse that must be handled with utmost seriousness and care, and those are not the subject of this discussion. However, frustration with a partner’s attitude or behavior, while challenging, does not always equate to abuse.

Demanding Spikes and Frustration

Consider the scenario where one fruit wants to quit. This fruit insists on keeping its spikes while being angry that the other fruit has any at all. It’s a demand for self-protection at the expense of growth and unity. This attitude not only halts the process of breaking down rough edges but also creates resentment and isolation. When one partner refuses to become vulnerable and let go of their defenses, the relationship suffers. Both fruits need to be willing to endure the friction and discomfort for true transformation to occur.

In many cases, people believe the problem is that they picked the wrong fruit to share the tumbler with. The reality is often that the pain and frustration they feel are part of the process of knocking off their rough edges. The only way to let this process do its work is to stay in the tumbler until those rough edges are gone and the sweet fruit begins to reveal itself. At that point, both partners, having become vulnerable and more refined, can share in a relationship that is as rich in nutrients as a super fruit should be.

Marriage is not about finding the perfect match. It is about two imperfect individuals being thrown into the tumbler of life together. The refining process takes time, but as each spike is knocked off, it becomes more enjoyable and certainly much sweeter being in the tumbler together. This transformation only works if you recognize what’s happening and choose to allow the process to unfold.

Rather than getting upset at the friction in a marriage, try to be thankful. Each time you let go of one of your spikes and allow yourself to be more vulnerable, the more likely it is that your partner will begin to do the same. Over time, all that will remain is the goodness to be shared and enjoyed for much longer than it took for the spikes to be knocked off.

#MarriageGoals, #RelationshipAdvice, #LoveAndMarriage, #LifeLessons, #GrowthMindset, #ChrisFWalker

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