Monday, January 28, 2013

Marriage Maintenance:: Lessons from a Grapefruit

Growing up in Plaquemines Parish, citrus fruit was available to us all winter long. It really is an industry down there. I mean, the parish festival that represents the best that we have to offer is the Orange Festival.

There is just something about the soil down there. So rich...and it produces wonderful fruit!!

My dad always planted trees: navels, satsumas, and grapefruit.

Some trees lasted a long time and others struggled to produce any fruit at all.

His grapefruit tree was huge though. Seriously, it was like 15 feet tall. There was no way our family could eat all of the grapefruits it produced.

People would come over and just start cutting...they would carry away bags of grapefruit, and there would still be more.

It was a blessed tree. These were the largest, sweetest grapefruits I've ever seen or tasted.

Marriage is like cutting a grapefruit.

You can never cut it in half evenly. One half will always be larger than the other.

Lee and I were told by a very dear friend of ours this:

"Lee, if you cut the grapefruit, give the larger half to Bri.

Bri, if you cut the grapefruit, give the larger half to Lee."

This has stuck with me for almost 10 years now.

Marriage quickly showed me (and it continues to show me) how selfish I can be, but this lesson reminds me how selfless I need to be.

Selflessness is hard. It is not natural. Our human nature automatically wants to look out for itself...and to constantly put someone else's best above one's own all the time is not an easy task to successfully accomplish.

The Five Love Languages book by Dr. Gary Chapman has helped me and Lee. We know the way that we each receive/feel loved, and we work hard to show each other in those ways.

Giving Lee the larger half of the grapefruit is not just about physical when we literally split a snickers bar in half...Or only when things are going good...

It's about doing unto others as you would have them do unto you...treating someone the way I want to be treated.

There are days when I don't want to do that. It would be easier to be selfish. To focus on myself and what I want...

And I know that there are times when it drives Lee crazy that my car is a mess...but he cleans it without complaining...even though he may give me a little bit of a hard time. :) He still does it for me even though he's not the one who made the mess.

Selflessness requires action...and it is definitely a way to make a marriage better.
Selfishness will only tear a marriage apart.

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